Rookies Help to Build Solid Core
The A's added a number of rookies to the team in '09, including all star catcher Brendan Wheeler of Braintree, who led the team in runs, hits, doubles, triples, homers, rbi and hbp. Ricky Salvucci of Quincy enjoyed his first "full" season with the A's and led the team with a .431 average and 16 stolen bases, despite missing 10 games while leading his Amercican Legion team to and in the playoffs. Weymouth's Chris McDonough (.356) hung up his Brockton Rox cleats to join the squad at midseason and performed at an all star level at first base and in the outfield, while Milton's James Katsiroubas came aboard midseason and hit over .300 while playing a nasty, gold-glove-caliber third base.
Pat "PK" Kelleher of South Boston also donned the green & gold around midseason and brought several years of minor league baseball experience with him as he patrolled the outfield. A broken hand cut short his season, but he hit at a .333 clip and provided invaluable advice to other members of the team. Walpole and Bowdoin's Billy Donahue also saw his season ended by an injury, but he hit over .300 and provided some quiet leadership. Nick Runyan of Hyde Park, Casey Cushing of Milton and Reading's Joe Harvey (Suffolk U) also filled in well as first-year players and helped the team whenever asked.
On the hill, there were yet more rookie contributions. Milton residents and Curry College teammates Ben Howrigan and Joe Carrig led the starters, while Fitchburg State's Ryan Dauley and North Quincy's Matt Edgerly also stepped in as spot starters and relievers. Suffolk's Mitch Monke (of Cambridge via Ohio) made his A's debut in June and never looked back, dominating as the team's closer with a 1-0 mark with 5 saves, yielding no runs, 1 hit and striking out 16 in 10.2 innings. The aforementioned McDonough also threw a 2-hit shutout in his only start of the season. Colin Walsh of Milton returned to the Thomas Club after several years away and contributed both on the mound and at the plate, including a game-winning double in a come-from-behind win early in the season. Jim Perry pitched very effectively in his only two appearances of the season, saving one game and suffering a tough-luck loss in the other.
Second-year veterans Dan Gaughan of Braintee and Ryan Stoller of Milton rounded out the pitching staff, while longtime staff leaders Aidan Powers (Braintree) and John Kostas (Milton)were limited in pitching duties due to injuries and job commitments.
Offensively, Milton's Steve Lambert (.364), Quincy's Chris Malloy (.333), Kostas (.307) and Milton's Matt Hallisey (.281) remained steady throughout the season, while Milton's Mark Daly hit a solid .280 while playing numerous positions in the infield. With a few new additions expected, the future looks bright for the team.