A’s have hometown feel with infusion of local talentBy Mike Berger
For the first time in several seasons, the Canton A’s semi-pro baseball team has hometown representation on its roster with four Canton athletes joining this year’s squad.
The four Canton residents are Sam Larson, Jimmy Fitzgerald, Matt Bernstein, and Mark Cunningham. Larson, Fitzgerald and Bernstein are former Canton American Legion players and former CHS baseball standouts.
In addition, head coach Kee Arguimbau, who has served as an assistant coach at Sharon High School and who teaches in the Stoughton Public Schools, has recruited several Sharon players and one Stoughton High athlete, Jacob Gibb, to the team.
There is no age minimum in the Cranberry League, but players typically are college age or above. The Stoughton American Legion team was given a two-year ban after forfeiting two games last year, and many of the Stoughton players either switched to the Canton or Foxboro Legion teams or joined AAU teams. Arguimbau saw Gibb’s talent as a hitter and catcher and invited him to play for the A’s this summer.
Through the first 10 games of the season, Canton is 4-6; however, Arguimbau is not worried. Last year the team won only three of its first 12 games but finished 10-3 and ended up qualifying for the playoffs.
Arguimbau believes he has one of the best pitching staffs in the league, especially with the addition of the four Canton players along with Sharon residents Nate Pederson, Dave Roberto and Andrew Poliferno. One of the team’s biggest problems to date has been on defense, but Arguimbau made a few defensive switches on Sunday in the second game of a doubleheader against Acushnet that paid immediate dividends. Canton went on to win 4-3 as Pederson pitched eight solid innings while Poliferno picked up the win in relief.
Two weeks ago against Quincy, Roberto pitched brilliantly as he struck out 10 and limited the Phillies to just two hits over seven innings in a 1-0 win. Larson also has a victory on the season and is currently second on the team behind Roberto with a 1.00 ERA. Fitzgerald and Cunningham are also off to strong starts and are currently third and fourth on the team in ERA, respectively.
In addition to the newcomers, the A’s also return several talented veterans from last year’s playoff team, including pitcher Zack Walker and veteran hitters Steve Delanian, Joe Belmosto, Nick Radcliffe, Cory Albanese, Aiden Farrell, Brian Williams, Billy Mitchell, and Anthony Perriello.
There are 10 teams in the league this year with Marshfield as the new addition. The Brockton Dirtdogs were relocated to Bourne and renamed the Mariners. Returning teams include Acushnet, Quincy, Easton, Braintree, Kingston, Rockland, and Whitman.
This week, the A’s were due to travel to Whitman on Thursday, June 18, and will host a doubleheader against Easton on Sunday, June 21, at CHS at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
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