Preparing first-year baseball coaches starts with imparting the lessons of the game to their players

It’s all on the table in the opening week of the season for a rookie coach.

“Before Game 1, I had dreams of how it would go and what it would look like,” the freshman coach at Lynn Tech said. Eddie Lewis said after Tuesday’s season-opening 9-1 triumph over KIPP Academy. “I had prepared the mentality for a very long time.”

At the start of the season, the Globe had at least 10 new head coaches in Eastern Mass., and a few are bringing professional playing backgrounds to their new gigs.

At Bishop Fenwick, first year skipper Matt Antonelli always knew he would be a coach after his playing career. The former St. John’s Prep and Wake Forest star was the 17th overall pick by the San Diego Padres in the 2006 MLB Draft.

During his eight-year professional career, which included a brief stint in the major leagues in 2008, Antonelli paid close attention to his coaches, gathering tips and ideas to prepare for his future trade.

“These experiences have definitely helped me,” said Antonelli, who leads the Antonelli baseball program and has been an assistant at St. John’s Prep since 2016. “Even though I’ve played for a long time at all levels, the key to being a better coach is to coach I think back to how much I’ve grown already.

Another former professional player takes the reins of Bridgewater-Raynham.

Mike Connolly returned to his alma mater after a stellar career in Maine and a six-year stint with the San Francisco Giants organization. When his former coach at BR, John Kerneyretired after 23 years and 300 victories, Connolly decided to bring his youthful voice to training.

“I think I’m young enough and fresh enough that I can relate to kids,” Connolly said.

Connolly runs training like a college program. The players are divided into position groups, where an accomplished staff featuring Connolly’s younger brother, Jackformer Notre-Dame pitcher and cousin joe fridaythe state’s 2014 Gatorade Player of the Year at BR, are among those handling the drills.

“It’s been a great experience, so much to learn not just from him, but from all of his staff who played at a high level of baseball that not many people get to play,” the senior catcher said. Nolan De Andrade.

The new coaches have not forgotten their predecessors.

Healy, a BC High graduate, said he speaks daily with Norm Walsh, for whom he was an assistant for 14 years with the Eagles. The biggest takeaway Healy collected was scheduling the best. BC High is expected to play 10 games against teams in the top 20 of the Globe’s preseason poll.

For Lewis, who is also returning to his alma mater at Division 5 Lynn Tech, the goal for Year 1 is to create a culture based on winning and community.

“I want men of character who give back to the community,” Lewis said. “Hopefully baseball will be a platform for an education for these kids in the future.”

▪ It wasn’t a great opening week for the pre-season Top 20 teams, as three of the top six teams and five of the top 20 suffered losses. The first was No. 3 Milton, who suffered a 1-0 loss to No. 2 Austin Prep on April 2. No 1 Xaverian lost their opener, 9-6, to No 17 Plymouth North on Tuesday. Also Tuesday, No. 6 St. John’s Prep lost in its second game of the season, 8-4, to unranked Billerica. Two teen-ranked teams lost to BC High, as No. 16 Walpole trailed, 5-4, Monday and No. 13 North Andover fell, 6-1, Thursday. On Friday, No. 12 Medfield lost 8-6 to unranked Holliston, Plymouth North fell 3-0 to unranked Scituate, No. 8 St. Mary’s lost 8-1 to Austin Prep and No. 14 Catholic Memorial dropped a heartbreaker, 4-3 in 10 innings, to No. 5 Catholic Central.

▪ As is often the case, the pitchers seemed to have the upper hand over the batters in the cold first week. In addition to strong pitching performances from our Players of the Week, there were some outstanding departures from Austin Prep senior Evan Blanco (10K, 3H, 1BB), St. Mary’s Senior Aiven Cabral (11 K, 1 R, CG), St. Mary’s sophomore Eric Ponts (11K, 3H, CG), Danvers Jr. Joe Zamejtis (12 K, 0 ER), Milford Jr. Tyler Caldon (9 K, 1 H, 6 IP), Lynn Senior Classic Kyle Durant (8K, 1H), Abington senior Aidan O’Donnell (8K, 1H), Bishop Stang senior Jacob Laudati (4K, 2H, 0ER, CG), and senior Cohasset Collin Madden (5K, CG).

▪ Holliston dedicated season to 2009 graduates Corey Ciarcello, who died on February 28. He pitched for the Panthers and was on the school’s 2006 Division 3 state championship golf team. . In Western Mass., Granby’s Ryan Gaughan threw a no-hitter with eight strikeouts in a 1-0 win over Easthampton. . . Former Methuen and UConn closer Jacob Wallace will pitch for the Double A Portland Sea Dogs this spring after spending last season at High A Greenville … BC High graduate Shea Sprague, a 2021 Globe All-Scholastic, will return to Boston this weekend with Elon University as they take on Northeastern. Sprague, a freshman southpaw, will take the mound at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Correspondent Brendan Kurie contributed to this report.

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