Baseball/softball notebook: Hee’s that guy

Walpole pitcher Alex Hee is the poster child for what every baseball coach wants in a player.

The senior right-hander has blossomed into one of the premier pitchers in the Bay State Conference, but that only tells part of the story. Hee is also one of the top students in the school, a member of National Honor Society who is headed to WPI to continue his education.

“Alex is a special kid,” Walpole coach Chris Costello said. “He works hard in the classroom, he’s always had a path in life and that was to be an engineer. He is a true Renaissance kid, he’s an Eagle Scout, he’s in the band – he’s the type of kid every coach wants to have.”

Academics have always played a big part in Hee’s life. He says that approach comes from his parents (Corwin and Jennifer), who have pushed the importance of having a good education.

“For me, academics have always come first,” Hee said. “My parents have always stressed it to me. There is a slim chance you are going to be playing baseball after college so you need something to fall back on which is why education has always been important to me.”

Costello has known early on that Hee had the potential to be something special. He watched Hee perform at the younger level and immediately recognized he possessed some of the special intangibles needed to succeed in high school.

“First and foremost, Alex is a pretty talented kid,” said Costello, who pitched at Walpole from 1987-90 and later spent six years in the minors. “He’s a very cerebral pitcher, very intelligent in all aspects of the game. Even when he was a younger pitcher, he just knew how to attack the batters.

“I spend a lot of time at Little League fields, so I could see back then that Alex had certain traits that could translate into becoming a good high school pitcher. You look at someone like Alex back when he was 10-11-12 and he already had a good feel for the game.”

Hee has never had any visions of pitching anywhere else but Walpole. Growing up, he was a big fan of former Walpole star Cam Schlittler, who went on to pitch at Northeastern and is currently in the New York Yankees farm system.

“All the way back to my middle school days, Cam was the person I wanted to be like,” Hee said. “I wanted to pitch like him, I wanted the ball in the big games like he did.

“I met (Costello) back then and he’s always been someone I can talk to about pitching. He’s been great with my mechanics as well as the mental side of the game, I can ask him any question and he knows the answers because he’s been through it.”

Once his high school career ends, Hee is ready to attack the next stage of life. The prospects of a high-level education coupled with an opportunity to continue his baseball career excites him.

“I really liked the coaches from the first time I met them,” Hee said. “Coaches (Brendan) Casey and (Steve) Shaddock were in their first year on the job and they were really energetic and I liked their enthusiasm.

“I knew the school has an aerospace engineering program. I’ve always loved rockets and my dream has always been to work at NASA some day.”

Final hits

The recent news that the King Philip softball team had to forfeit six games due to an MIAA rules violation regarding electronic communications will certainly cause ripples in the upcoming Div. 1 statewide tournament.

In the latest MIAA power rankings release, King Philip was No. 8 with a 16-3 record. The six losses, which the school self-reported after the violation was uncovered, will certainly drop the Warriors several spots in the rankings. It will also make life a little more unsettling for a higher seed that will have to face a very talented King Philip team a round or two sooner than originally expected.

Hanover was the other school which self-reported the same transgression. The Hawks forfeited three games (Plymouth North, North Quincy and Hingham), which would drop them below .500, according to the latest MIAA records.

Medfield senior slugger Kaelyn Larkin continues to add to her legacy as one of the premier power hitters in state history. The Stony Brook-bound outfielder belted her 39th career home run in an 8-2 victory over Holliston on Senior Night.

St. Sebastian’s captured the first Independent School League baseball tournament last week by defeating Lawrence Academy, 2-0. Highly-touted freshman Gavin Wainwright shut down the Spartans, allowing just five hits, while fanning eight. Wainwright also helped his own cause by driving in one of the two runs with a sacrifice fly.

O’Bryant ace Matthew Griffin fanned 16 against Boston International last Wednesday, giving him an even 100 on the season.

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