Jun 07, 2021
Dmitriy Ivanov

Assumption Baseball Players Mentor Future Stars at WooSox Clinic

Members of the Assumption Baseball team gave back to the community this weekend, mentoring young athletes from the Worcester area during the Worcester Red Sox’s first in a series of youth baseball clinics. Several Assumption student-athletes shared their love of the game while instructing the young athletes on fielding, pitching, and hitting. 

“I remember going to these camps when I was younger and I always looked up to the older kids,” said Jared Berardino ’24. “Now that I’m in that position, I definitely want to give back and share my experience.” 

Berardino, who worked with the kids in the outfield drills, wasn’t the only Assumption player excited for the camp. “I’ve been playing baseball since I was these kids’ age, and I’ve always loved the game and have a passion for it,” said pitcher Justin Ray ‘23. “If there’s anything I can give back to these kids, I hope to teach them like the experiences I’ve had over the years. I think they will really benefit from it.”

Like his teammates, pitcher Shea Ryan ’23, who plays for the Nashua Silver Knights of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL), shared some of the baseball techniques he has learned over the years. “I’ve been a pitcher since a very young age and I want the kids to learn really quickly how to throw fastballs, changeups, and to just learn the mechanics of the game,” he said. 

“We were thrilled to have student-athletes from Assumption University join us at the youth clinic presented by Hanover Insurance this past weekend,” said Jack Verducci, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships for the Worcester Red Sox. “The skills and expertise of Assumption’s student-athletes were greatly appreciated by both the team and the clinic participants. Assumption’s willingness to participate in our youth clinics is another prime example of how our partnership is multifaceted and unique within the higher education category.” 

Assumption is one of the founding partners of the Worcester Red Sox, and the partnership is transforming the way in which institutions of higher learning across the country interact with and collaborate with professional sports organizations, in particular, minor league baseball. The partnership is already providing Assumption students unique opportunities both on the field and in the classroom. In addition to earning internships within the organization, business students helped the organization poll the team’s name in 2018, assisted the organization when it revealed its new branding, and the Baseball team played the first official game at Polar Park on May 8.      

“It’s amazing,” said Matt Peterson ’24 of the Assumption-WooSox partnership. “I can’t say any school has this connection to the Woo Sox that we have, and it’s definitely not something we can take for granted. This field is brand new, ready to be used, and right down the road from our school, so it’s a great opportunity.”

Peterson shared that playing a game at Polar Park was a unique opportunity, and the youth clinic is a similar experience for the kids. “Coming to play baseball here is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so [I hope the kids] have fun, enjoy the game, and hopefully get a little better.”

Ryan sees an added bonus to the partnership: “Once [these kids] learn how to play baseball, they’ll start coming to our games and look up to us,” he said.  

The WooSox will be holding additional youth clinics at Polar Park in July and August, and signups will be made available at later dates.