Aug. 6, 2012
Chestnut Hill, Mass. - Boston College catcher Matt Paré helped the Newport Gulls to a New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) best 31-10 record in 2012. The rising senior is batting .344 on the season with 17 RBIs and five home runs.
The Gulls will face the New Bedford Bay Sox for the Eastern Division Championship, starting with game one Monday night. Paré went 5-for-10 with two home runs, four runs scored and four RBIs in the opening series against the Sanford Mainers.
Q: What is the experience like playing in such a historic park like Cardines?
A: The atmosphere is amazing at Cardines. The Gulls average over 2,000 fans per game, and they are right on top of you. The set up of the field is pretty unique. The dugouts are both on the first base side, there is a bar in right field, and a building intersects with the right field foul line. Those quirks are what make Cardines such a unique environment and a great place to play.
Q: You moved from the Cape League to the NECBL to play for Newport. What do you see as the biggest differences? How has the move been for you?
A: I'd say the travel is the biggest change. The longest trip you have on the Cape is 50 minutes. Here in Newport, that was our shortest trip, and our longest was five hours to Vermont. I enjoy the travel though because it gives me time to catch up on my reading. As for the move, everyone with the Gulls made the transition easy, and I've been having a great summer here.
Q: You are batting .344 with 22 hits five four home runs. What do you contribute to your success at the plate?
A: Honestly, I feel my success has come from not caring about those numbers you just mentioned. I keep track of my own numbers like quality plate appearances and how often I'm hitting the ball hard. I believe that I am a student of the game, especially the mental side. After baseball, I have aspirations to go into sport psychology. Though as a player, I wasn't taking advantage of the good techniques and tools that I had at my disposal. Now, I feel that the player and the student of my identity are finally collaborating for the first time, and it is such an empowering feeling.
Q: What is it like catching for pitchers you don't usually work with during the year? How do you establish a relationship quickly?
A: I get to know the pitchers by catching them in the bullpen. That's where I can figure out how their ball moves, where they make mistakes and what their best pitches are. I'm also calling my own game, which makes it really important to know what works for them and what doesn't.
Q: What has it been like having Eagle teammate Blake Butera on your team? What about playing with different guys from across the country?
A: Having Blake around is awesome. He is a hard worker and a smart player, which makes him an ideal hitting partner who gives great feedback. Learning from other guys on the team who are from different schools is great too because someone might have a different perspective on something that can help me become a better player. All of the guys are great teammates, which makes it easy to come to the field every day.
Q: How do you like living in Newport for the summer? What do you do in your free time?
A: I love Newport. I've spent most of my free time with my host family, the Regans. I have two host brothers, Aiden and Jack, who are both ten and love playing wiffle ball out back. My host mom, Karleen, is a sweetheart, and my host dad, Pete, is a graduate of BC undergrad and BC Law School and also ran track at BC. They have been so gracious this summer, and I'm very thankful for it.
Q: As the season winds down, what can you take from this summer and bring to the Heights for the upcoming 2012-13 season?
A: With this being my last year of summer ball, it made me reflect on my time in college baseball and realize how fast these years have gone by. I'm not at all saying I regret anything I've done, because it has made me into the person I am today. Time is something that should be cherished and used wisely. I look at this as a challenge to ask myself not just every day, but every moment of every day to ask, "What am I doing right now to make myself a better student-athlete?" Not only is this a lesson for me to use going into my senior year at BC, but also a lesson that I can pass onto my underclassmen teammates.
Action photo courtesy of the Newport Gulls; credit to Jed Malise.