Eamonn McCabe '16 was honored by the Caledonian-Record as Baseball Player of the Year.
From the article in the Caledonian-Record:
St. J Academy's Eamonn McCabe: The Record's 2016 Baseball Player of the Year
Eamonn McCabe used words like unpredictable, unexpected and unreal as he reflected on his final high school baseball season.
The 18-year-old's descriptions are all accurate.
Just like his arsenal of pitches.
The St. Johnsbury Academy left-handed ace had a sensational senior season. After losing the opening game at Brattleboro, McCabe reeled off 11 consecutive victories, including pitching the Hilltoppers to their first baseball title in a decade on June 11 — a 3-1 win over Burr & Burton in the Division I championship at Centennial Field.
"Efficient," St. J coach Marc Choiniere called him.
Efficient and effective. That was McCabe's calling card.
With a fastball topping out in the high 70s, the 5-foot-11 southpaw didn't overpower batters with his velocity, but he sure outfoxed the opposition with pitch location and change of pace, specifically his knuckle curve and changeup.
He finished the 2016 season with a 11-1 record — three wins coming in the playoffs — a 1.13 ERA, 63 strikeouts and just 11 walks in 70 innings. He also batted .314 with 16 RBIs.
It resulted in a slew of postseason plaudits: All-Metro first team, Twin State representative, the Vermont USA Today Player of the Year and today, the nod as The Record's 2016 Baseball Player of the Year.
"I didn't get any recognition last season, so to come out and win player of the year and win all of those game was something I wasn't expecting," said McCabe, who will pursue his college experience, without competitive baseball, this fall at the University of Michigan.
He took time last week to reflect on the Hilltoppers' surprising title run.
"Last year (2015) was the year we were supposed to be contenders, but the season didn't go so well," McCabe said. "This year people thought we would be rebuilding. We had a lot of young kids. We started out with a loss and I kind of thought it wasn't going to go well again.
"But as the season went on, the atmosphere of winning started to come. Patrick [Greenan] was winning games; he definitely pushed me to be better. And the defense was stellar. I don't think there's a better team in the state at playing small ball. And coach Choiniere is the best in the state at coaching small ball. We made the other teams play our game; that's how we came out on top....
"I thank our defense for helping me get the 11 wins."
While his teammates were critical in McCabe's success, so too was his father, Joseph.
"Baseball is my dad's life," Eamonn said. "He doesn't really know how to use the internet, but if he is on it, he looks up baseball stuff.
"To see the influence someone has on someone else, my dad has definitely helped me the most out of everyone. He just loves the game of baseball. He plays it right and he coaches it right and he taught me to play it right."