Pelham Pythons Baseball '08

Mostone picks it up at Pelham

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Thursday, May, 08 By Hector Longo
Staff writer

James Mostone doesn't concern himself with the lack of senior class teammates.

He embraces the fact that part of his job description is mentor to young Pelham teammates.

And even the mounting losses haven't been able to get him down.

One of the few bright spots in Pelham's 2-8 start, Mostone is dominating.

Mostone is off to a .393 start at the plate with eight RBIs, pacing the Pythons in both categories. With a third, Jamie Vaiknoras, set to return from a shoulder injury of his own, Mostone and Steve Rogers are the only two senior regulars right now.

The four-year starter also anchors the pitching staff. He is just 1-2, but has chewed up 27<1/3> innings with 23 strikeouts and a 3.07 ERA.

He'd like a few more wins, but for now, the playing is the thing.

"Football, I felt like I got robbed," said Mostone, 5-11, 170-pound linebacker/offensive lineman who missed nearly the entire undefeated championship season with a severe shoulder injury. "I played the three previous years, worked my way up to where I would have played both ways and been the kicker.

"I wasn't even sure I'd be back here. Missing football was tough enough, but I don't know what I would have done this spring."

An infielder by trade, Mostone has been a rock for coach Matt Stone.

"He's never been a vocal guy by trade, but this year, out of necessity, he's come out of his shell," said Stone. "Of course, he's leading by example. He battles on the mound all the time, plays tough defense, works hard, plays the game the right way."

Mostone hit .469 with 18 runs and 18 RBIs last spring, so the fast start this year, even coming off the shoulder woes, is no surprise.

"As soon as my shoulder started to feel better, I got after it," said Mostone, who'll play next year at St. Joseph's in Maine. "As soon as it was OK, instantly, I got into the cages."

Mostone has come a long way, since first separating the left (non-throwing) shoulder in a Salem Legion game last summer, then doing serious damage on a tackle attempt in preseason football practice. Surgery and six months of rehab have done the trick, though.

And even with the tough beginning, he says, don't count the Pythons out. A favorable schedule along with valuable experience gained by the youngsters should bode well for the Pythons.

Sophomore outfielder Josh Luciano is coming on strong, having raised his average to .321, and classmate Corey Couillard is a promising pitching prospect who could turn the corner soon.

"I think we could be OK. We have to stop making all the errors we've made," said Mostone, whose older brother Mike played at Central Catholic. "We've got some players. We just have to find a way to put it all together. I think we need to win five more. We're definitely going to make a run at it."

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