July 30, 2012
Chestnut Hill, Mass. - Boston College junior Nate LaPointe is playing for the Sanford Mainers in the New England Collegiate Baseball League this summer. The catcher earned a spot on the 2012 NECBL All-Star team with a season batting average of .258 and 10 RBIs.
LaPointe is coming off a huge weekend, going 3-for-5 with five runs, two home runs, including a grand slam, two sacrifice flies and eight RBIs in two games. We caught up with him to see what he is working on in the off season and how he is spending his summer.
Q: What have you been working on to improve during the summer league?
A: Throughout the summer, I've been working to improve both defensively and offensively. As far as catching goes, the aspect of my game that I've worked on the most is receiving the baseball as smooth and relaxed as I can. Offensively, I've worked on staying relaxed and hitting the ball to the right side of the field both in batting practice and during the game. My approach is to stay short and hit the ball hard on the ground, and when I get some lift here and there, to just let it fly.
Q: What's been your experience playing with other collegiate players from across the country?
A: The team has been a lot of fun so far. Meeting new guys from across the country and playing on a team with them is a unique experience and I know that many relationships will last longer than the first week in August. There are some real characters on the team that make it fun this year and they are a big part of keeping the team loose and ready to play. All in all, I think meeting all the guys this year has been a huge part of why my experience has been so good.
Q: You're playing with BC teammate John Gorman. What's it like to have another Eagle around?
A: It's great to have a teammate from BC around. We were comfortable around each other from day one and we already know the other. John pitches and I know how to talk to him and what he likes to throw, so in games we already have a sense of understanding for one another. Off the field, we have the same off season workout so we can get to the gym early and work out together knowing that were on the same page and on the same kind of plan. Johnny just finished his freshman year and this is his first year of college level summer ball, so it's kind of nice to be able to help him through some things I've already experienced, both good and bad.
Q: What is the competition like in the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL)?
A: The NECBL is a really competitive league overall, with a couple nationally-ranked teams and some solid overall talent. I think the pitching we have seen is pretty decent. We have seen some other ACC arms and some SEC arms that were impressive. There are a lot of adjustments game to game, pitcher to pitcher, which is what helps us get better as players. Once these pitchers make an adjustment, and they will, you have to be able to make an adjustment yourself. The defense is also very solid; rarely do teams give us extra outs and vice versa. So I would say that the NECBL is a great league and full of respectable competition.
Q: Did you play summer ball last year? Where? What has been different about this summer?
A: Last year I played summer ball in Long Island, for the Sag Harbor Whalers as a part of the ACBL. The defense I would say in that league was similar to that of the NECBL, however the pitching here in the NECBL is much better than what I saw last summer. I had a lot of fun playing in Sag Harbor, got a lot of reps which is what I needed, and learned a lot going into sophomore year. I know a couple of our guys are there now and in speaking to them, they are having the same experience. This summer, the pitching is better all around and the competition is at a higher level. I am having a great time this summer both on the field and with my host family off the field.
Q: How do you like living in Sanford, Maine, for the summer? What do you do in your free time?
A: Sanford is not a small town by any means but it is in the middle of nowhere, which I enjoy. I would say I love it here because the people are nice and the entire town follows the Mainers. In our free time, I usually go fishing or to the beach for the day with some of the guys. We get to know a lot of people here after a few weeks and they all let us fish at their house or use their parking lot near the beach, which is great. I'm glad I came here this year for the experience in terms of baseball, and in terms of getting to know people in a town that really care about their team.