“We want to compete with every pitch and play with respect for the game of baseball,” said Head Baseball Coach Patrick Moriarty. This past season proves that the team was able to embody Coach Moriarty’s philosophy. During Coach Moriarty’s first two seasons with the baseball team, they have exceeded all expectations.
Starting from the first season, the team set the high goal of making the playoffs – one they hadn’t accomplished in the past five years. With a hard-fought season, they were not only able to make the playoffs but contended in the semi-finals with a close game against Phillips Exeter Academy. Coach Moriarty’s leadership and energy had a tremendous effect on the team.
“When the opportunity came, I knew that Mr. Moriarty would make an immediate impact on the team,” said Athletic Director Bob Howe. With the head coach seat vacant two years ago, Mr. Howe knew that there was no one more suited for the job than Coach Moriarty. Before his appointment at Deerfield, Coach Moriarty led the Pope Francis High School varsity baseball team in Springfield, MA, where he had once played as an all-star player and went on to play at the American International College in Springfield, MA.
During his tenure at Pope Francis and Cathedral, Coach Moriarty left a lasting mark on the program. With an impressive record of 183-77, his team won the Western Division One Championship in 2014 and made the playoffs every single year. Another highlight of his time there was when he combined the Division IV Holyoke Catholic program with the Division I Cathedral program. He led the new team to an unprecedented record of 17-5 and a first ever (for a Western MA team) birth into the Division 1A ‘Super Eight’ Tournament. Mr. Moriarty’s work at Cathdral/Pope Francis High School has produced three MLB players: Chris Capuano, Scott Barnes, and Nick Gorneault.
Before leaving Pope Francis High School, Coach Moriarty was named the Coach of the Year by the Masslive Springfield Republican and was inducted into the Cathedral/Pope Francis High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
“He comes from a winning background and makes sure that the players know that whatever team we play we have a chance against them,” said Assistant Coach Ray DeMartino. In the past season, the baseball team faced Worcester Academy in the postseason playoffs, who won the Central New England Championship two years ago, and won their close game. Coach Moriarty has helped the team believe in themselves and understand that with hard work and effort that there is no game that they can’t win.
Coach Moriarty’s baseball philosophy boils down to one main point as he put it himself, “I want my players to be good people, good students, and, most importantly, positive and productive members of the community.” He asks his players to not only play at an extremely high level but also to play with respect. Captain Henry Gustavson said, “Coach Moriarty has taught me the importance of playing the game the right way. He preaches playing hard every day, but also respecting the game and our opponents.”
“When things are going well, I can’t be content. When things are going poorly, I can’t let it get to me and have to keep working every day to improve,” commented Gustavson. Coach Moriarty’s philosophy applies to every single game whether they are winning or losing. No matter the game or circumstance, Coach Moriarty always emphasizes the importance of maintaining his poise.
“As a baseball player, Mr. Moriarty has helped me develop in all three aspects of the game: pitching, hitting, and fielding. His attention and care each day in practice has helped me shape my game and helped me become the player I am today,” said Gustavson. Coach Moriarty gives each athlete on his team individual attention so that they become aware of their strengths and weakness so that they can make the most out of their game.
“He is a phenomenal coach but an even better person,” commented varsity baseball player Max Stevens ’20. Coach Moriarty is known to be a demanding coach, but he never sacrifices his team spirit. Although he is building a championship program, Coach Moriarty most importantly understands the fun that is present in baseball. Coach DeMartino agreed by saying, “He is a tone-setter and demands a lot but makes sure that we’re having fun while doing so.” Coach Moriarty’s impact has been beyond the wins but more so about the culture that has individually affected each player.
With the season coming to a close, the baseball team will make a run for a spot in the postseason playoffs. Although they will be going up against top teams in New England, the future of Deerfield baseball remains in good hands. As Co-Captain David Thomas stated, “Coach Mo is the best high school baseball coach in the state of Massachusetts.”