Stonehill Skyhawks Athletics

From the Boston Globe North: Roberts is the real deal at Stonehill

By: Allen Lessels, Globe Correspondent

A lefthanded pitcher from Reading, Jeremy Roberts played golf along with baseball his freshman and sophomore years at Malden Catholic and turned his focus to baseball after that. He was named Catholic Conference Pitcher of the Year as a junior and senior and fit right in at Stonehill. He made the Northeast-10 All-Rookie as a freshman when he went 2-2 with a 3.08 earned run average. A business major and a senior this year, Roberts led Stonehill with 31 strikeouts in 37 innings through his first six starts.

Roberts

Q. What do you like best about baseball?

A. It's a real intimate sport with yourself and also with your team. One of the biggest aspects is you need to get over what happened. For example, in one of my early starts this year I gave up two home runs in the same inning. You need to get over that and move on to the next pitch. If you strike out two times, you need to get out and play defense. I love the intimacy within the game and also the selflessness that's needed. Sports can be so selfish. Everyone cares about the quarterbacks and wide receivers and running backs and the numbers they put up in football. No one considers the offensive line. In baseball, relief pitchers can get overlooked. But I think it's more up front in baseball. Someone can make a nice play on defense and help win the game even if they're 0-for-4 and have three strikeouts.

Q. What do you like about pitching in particular?

A. I've always been a pitcher. I can hit a little and hit in high school and AAU. It's just different with pitching. The game is in your hand and you're in control of everything. I'm a huge competitor and when I see a batter coming up, I just love it. I take things from pitching into real life. Like a presentation in school. I approach it as I would pitching because it works.

Q. Is this season it for you in baseball?

A. I'm not sure. You never know who is looking at you or who is talking about you. I'm a finance major and it's a good major and I know I can get a good job out of school, but I don't know. Playing independent league baseball is not off the table. I played for the Nashua Silver Knights last summer and it was an unbelievable experience. It gave you the atmosphere of being in the pros.

Q. What's your best pitch?

A. My changeup. It has been since I was 13. J.P. Fitzgerald taught it to me [when I played on his AAU team, the Scorpions]. I picked it up from the first time he showed it to me. It dives away from righties. I started getting good with it senior year of high school and was able to throw it to lefthanded batters, too, and that's a hard pitch to throw.

Q. How often do you throw changeups?

A. I'd say I throw I throw 35-40 percent changeups in a game. I throw my fastball 84-86 miles an hour and my changeup is probably 10-14 miles an hour different.

Q. Who's your favorite pitcher?

A. Jon Lester. I formed my pitching, my mechanics, around him. I started watching videos of him when I was young. The whole cancer thing he dealt with was an inspiration. When he came back and threw a no-hitter it was awesome. You watched him last year in the World Series and he kept doing it with the Cubs. He seems like he's a good family guy, just a great family guy.

Q. And a favorite team?

A. It might sound bandwagon, but I'd say obviously the Bruins, the Patriots, the Red Sox. But I really like the San Francisco Giants. I love how they run things over there. They don't really have crazy superstars. They just know how to get it done like the Patriots. But if I had to say a favorite, it would probably be the Patriots, if it had to be one team.

Q. Where do you most like to visit in New England?

A. Lake Winnipesaukee. I love vacationing up there. It's an awesome place. There are so many things to do. I could spend a week there by myself, fishing, swimming, and just hanging out. That's probably my favorite place.

Allen Lessels can be reached at lessfam321@gmail.com.