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Clarkson Provides Solid Play for Rangers

By: Grace Green

Westborough senior Kyle Clarkson has been playing baseball for as long as he can remember. As a kid he played tee ball and has  stuck with the sport ever since. He eventually earned himself a spot on the WHS varsity baseball team his sophomore year.  Clarkson’s passion for baseball began at a young age. He says, “My dad and I have always liked baseball and we bonded over that. I love pitching because you’re in control and baseball is the only game where defense has the ball.”

Up until last year, Clarkson was a pitcher for the Rangers until he tore his UCL, an elbow injury that commonly occurs in players after throwing too much or too hard. “Tommy John” surgery is the most common and effective way to treat the injury, but Clarkson decided to opt out of having the surgery. “Because surgery would have meant missing my senior year, I wanted to keep playing,” comments Clarkson.  He moved over to first base because it involves less throwing and therefore less use of his injured arm.

Varsity coach Scott Kittredge comments, “Kyle’s dealing with a tough situation right now. He can’t pitch, which was his main contribution to the team. He’s been doing well at first base and has been continuing to help offensively.” Coach Kittredge also remarked that Clarkson’s leadership in guiding the team this year as a senior has been very helpful.

First base seems to suit Clarkson well as he has yet to make an error through 11 games and 81 innings with three assists and 58 putouts. He also has a batting average of .333 for this season.  Fellow senior and centerfielder for the baseball team, Matty Ruhl, adds “I’ve been playing baseball with him since second grade. Kyle is always into the game while keeping us motivated and having fun. He was a great pitcher and had an unfortunate injury, but he will always be one of our best pitchers. He’s also just a great guy.”

As for the team, the Rangers hold a record of 5-6 for this season after the team hit a recent losing streak at the end of April. Clarkson jokes “I think we’re all shaving or getting hair cuts or something” in hopes for a change in momentum. However, the team took on Nashoba Regional and pulled out a win on May 4.

Clarkson is confident and hopeful that the team will make it to districts this spring. Beating one of the top teams in the state, Saint John’s of Shrewsbury, is also a big goal for Clarkson and the team.

As for reflecting on his last season as a Ranger, Clarkson shares,  “It’s definitely really sad because I’ve been playing for so long. I’m trying to make the most of it. I’ve played with kids like Matty and Johnny Kelley my whole life so it’s going to be really weird not playing with them anymore. I just have to soak it in and not take anything for granted.”

 

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