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Hunter Garthwait had a nice junior year starting in right field for the Indians’ baseball team this spring, after which he made his mark in the North Haven American Legion program during the summer. (Photo courtesy of Hunter Garthwait )
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With the North Haven High School baseball team fielding a veteran squad, Hunter Garthwait felt ecstatic to earn the starting right fielder’s job as a junior this spring. Now that he has a full varsity season under his belt, Hunter expects to take on an even larger role in his senior season. Hunter posted a batting average of more than .300 for the Indians and followed that up with a solid summer in North Haven’s American Legion program.
“It was great to be able to start in the outfield as a junior, because we had some great seniors. Even though I was a junior, I think the seniors welcomed me, and it was a great thing,” says Hunter. “It’s always been a struggle to get my name out there and show my talents. I’ve always been second string, but after this high-school season, where I started, it really helped me gain more confidence.”
Head Coach Bob DeMayo likes the fact that Hunter can help his club by playing multiple positions. DeMayo was especially pleased with how Hunter handled playing right field on the Indians’ home turf this year, since the glare of the sun often poses problems for people who play that spot.
“He can play number of positions, but we were in a situation where we needed somebody in right field who can catch the ball in the sun. He’s a guy I trusted and he did a hell of a job,” says DeMayo. “He’s also an excellent first baseman, and we expect a lot of him on the mound. He had a pretty good year for us, so we expect a lot more from him next year.”
Hunter is happy to play wherever he can in order to help out North Haven. However, he feels that he can make some of his greatest contributions to the squad when he’s patrolling the outfield.
“Being a lefty, I’m kind of limited to certain positions that I can play, so I play outfield, I pitch, and I play a little first base,” Hunter says. “I’ve succeeded more in the outfield and find myself more comfortable there.”
Hunter suited up for North Haven’s Senior and Junior American Legion teams throughout the summer. With the Juniors, Hunter batted .300 with 10 RBI, in addition to notching a pair of victories on the mound. Hunter also pitched well for the Senior team by going 3-0 with one save and an earned-run average of 0.46.
Hunter felt satisfied with how he pitched for Post 76, and he’s looking forward to pitching even more at both the high-school and Legion levels next year. Hunter throws a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, a curveball, and changeup.
“I came in relief often, but next year, I’ll definitely be one of the guys that has to pitch more often,” says Hunter. “Being a lefty, my dad [Dave] said I had to pitch, because everyone is going to want a left-handed pitcher. My most dominant pitch is my change. It’s the one I’m most confident in.”
Even with another year of baseball ahead of him in North Haven, Hunter has already decided where he plans on playing in college. Hunter has committed to Division III Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts—the same place at which teammate Gianni DiMartino is going to play.
“I was getting a couple of looks from different colleges, but Nichols offered me the best opportunity and has the brightest future,” Hunter says. “For me, my most important thing is playing time. You can always go to a big-name school, but you need to go and play right away. You don’t want to go to a college and just sit for your first two years. You want to play all four years, and I think I definitely found that spot.”
Hunter plans to put in as much work as possible in order to make that happen. Working hard on the ballfield is nothing new to Hunter, who just loves to be out there playing and learning the game.
“Throughout the years, baseball has been my No. 1 thing above any sport,” says Hunter. “It makes me happy, since I’ve been doing it for so many years. I’ll put in hours of practice on and off the field, because it means so much to me.”
Hunter isn’t waiting for the 2019 season to give that extra effort. Hunter is going to work hard throughout the offseason, so that he’s ready to roll for his senior year at North Haven.
“My goal is to put my best foot forward and work hard this winter. I think, once again, we have a good chance to go far,” says Hunter. “All of us together have that one mindset. We want to make it to the playoffs and we want to go far in the playoffs. I think we will have a really good team chemistry.”
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