Taconic Juniors to Play in New England All-Star Game
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Taconic High School’s Izaiyia Mestre and Ryan Abel have been selected to showcase their skills as members of the MBCA Massachusetts All-State team in this weekend’s New England Challenge.
The team consists of rising seniors from throughout the state and will take on Team Connecticut Saturday at Palmer Field in Middletown, Conn.
The pair recently participated in the Eastern Mass vs. Western Mass Junior All-Star Game played at Bentley University. Mestre picked up game MVP honors, pitching two shutout innings and going 1-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and one run scored. Abel served as the Western Mass starting third baseman and went 1-for-3, as the West team shutout Eastern Mass 6-0 in front of many college coaches and scouts.
Following the game, Mestre and Abel were selected to represent Massachusetts in the seventh annual New England Challenge Junior All-Star Game versus Connecticut. The New England Challenge, co-sponsored by the Massachusetts and Connecticut Baseball Coaches Associations, is Saturday at 2 p.m. at Palmer Field.
“The New England Challenge is an excellent opportunity for players to gain exposure to a high level of competition”, said Steve Freker, the veteran coach and MBCA Hall of Famer from Saugus, who serves as the event’s coordinator. “One of our missions is to help guide players to the next level, and being selected to participate in this event is a testament to the type of student-athletes we have in Massachusetts.”
Under the direction of coach Kevin Stannard, Mestre and Abel recently completed their junior seasons at Taconic and helped lead the team to a 19-3 record as one of the top ranked teams in Western Massachusetts. Mestre served as the ace of a strong pitching staff, going 7-0 with 42 strikeouts in 53 innings pitched, while holding opposing hitters to a .118 batting average. Abel helped anchor the offense, hitting .421 with 25 RBIs and a .561 on-base percentage, while committing only two errors all season as the team’s third baseman.