When Plymouth North sought a pitching coach, former MLB hurler Mike Remlinger seized upon the chance to pitch in - The Boston Globe (2024)

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“Mike’s a Plymouth legend,” said Follette, in his 34th season. “I’m so happy he said yes. I don’t know what I would have done if he said no. We’ve had a lot of fun and so far it’s worked out well.”

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Remlinger helps the staff at practice, devises game plans, and calls pitches. Initially, the 58-year-old was nervous about the new gig. He didn’t want to screw things up, especially since Plymouth North was returning a strong nucleus from last year’s Division 2 quarterfinal team. But Remlinger’s knowledge and insight have left strong impressions on his new players.

“We knew he knew the game well, but not this well,” said All-Scholastic lefthander D.C. Brown. “It’s been fascinating to learn from him. He’s pointed out small things that we’ve never even thought about.”

When Plymouth North sought a pitching coach, former MLB hurler Mike Remlinger seized upon the chance to pitch in - The Boston Globe (1)

Brown, who will play at WPI, has a 0.29 earned run average and said Remlinger has changed the way he thinks about pitching. He’s learned how to sequence hitters, grip his curveball better, and use his legs to create more power. Remlinger has also shown videos of big league pitchers. Brown, lefty Sean Hallissey, and Saint Anselm-bound righthander Josh Bryant are soaking up as much knowledge as they can.

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“We have a lot of kids who want to get better,” Brown said. “So it’s been awesome to have a guy who is just as competitive as we are and is right there with us.”

The highlight of the season came last Tuesday when Brown struck out 15 batters and tossed his third career no-hitter in a 6-0 win over Plymouth South. The Eagles, ranked second in the MIAA power rankings, have won seven straight and are allowing just 1.6 runs per game during the streak.

Remlinger’s goal was to not overhaul anyone’s mechanics. Instead, he just wanted to keep it simple and make minor adjustments. He’s also called more changeups in 10 games than Follette has in his 34 years.

“I’m a big believer in small changes vs. big changes,” said Remlinger. “That’s something I learned over my career. It’s all about little adjustments. These kids have done well before I even got here so I just wanted to stay out of the way and help where I could.”

Plymouth North (8-2) has state title aspirations, and the talent stood out to Remlinger on the first day of practice. As the Eagles embark on a postseason run, Remlinger knows he can help with mental skills thanks to his major league career.

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‘Helping manage emotions and expectations is key because that propelled my career forward.’

Plymouth North pitching coach Mike Remlinger, a former MLB pitcher on his approach at the high school level

When Plymouth North sought a pitching coach, former MLB hurler Mike Remlinger seized upon the chance to pitch in - The Boston Globe (2)

In Game 3 of the 1999 World Series against the Yankees, on the mound for the Braves, Remlinger allowed a walkoff home run in the 10th inning to Chad Curtis. That moment helped him understand how to manage emotions in a pressured-filled moment, and paved the way for his 14-year career that included stops with the Giants, Mets, Reds, Cubs, and Red Sox.

“I see myself helping a bunch of high school kids play the game and not go crazy like we all do playing this game,” said Remlinger. “Helping manage emotions and expectations is key because that propelled my career forward.”

At the end of the day, Remlinger is grateful for the opportunity to return to the place where his baseball career began. Since retiring in 2006, Remlinger lived in Arizona and Colorado, teaching and coaching. But he returned to Plymouth last October when his mother died and he was tasked with fixing up his childhood home. Remlinger lives in that house now and works at Red Tops Sporting Goods in Buzzards Bay.

But as Remlinger put it, baseball is in his blood. So ever since Follette called, it’s been a full-circle moment.

“To come back here and help, it’s been incredible,” said Remlinger. “This is like family to me.”

Extra bases

▪ Lawrence filed a successful protest with the MIAA to earn a forfeit win over Andover after the Golden Warriors used a pitcher on Friday who was ineligible to pitch until the following day (after exceeding 100-plus pitches on Monday), a violation of MIAA rule 86.2. The game, which ended 2-0 in favor of Andover, is instead awarded as a 5-0 win for the Lancers, a result change that could have ramifications on both the MIAA’s power rankings and the Merrimack Valley Conference standings.

Related: The Bay State Conference's best is showing its strength in Globe Top 20 baseball poll

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▪ Bishop Feehan’s new renovations for Beach Field included lights, allowing the Shamrocks to host their first two night baseball games this week — both walkoff wins. Randen May scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth for a 6-5 win over Canton Tuesday night, then Dillon Darnbroughcq delivered a walkoff single to beat Cardinal Spellman, 4-3, Wednesday night.

▪ In partnership with #TeddiesTribe, Xaverian is fundraising for cancer research all season long, with pledges for every hit and pitcher strikeout for specific Xaverian players all season long. #TeddiesTribe is a support system for 7-year-old Teddie Criscuolo of Stoughton who was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. At Sunday’s Xaverian game against Bishop Hendricken (R.I.), Criscuolo and her family will be honored in a pregame ceremony and they will throw out the first pitch.

▪ Westford coach Mike Parent earned his 100th career win Monday afternoon when his Ghosts beat Weston 8-0.

Games to watch

Friday, No. 13 Lincoln-Sudbury at English High, 6 p.m. — How will the reigning City League champs, off to a 9-1 start, fare against one of the state’s top teams from four divisions above them?

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Saturday, Lynnfield at Triton, 10 a.m. — It’s an early morning battle atop the Cape Ann’s Kinney Division with two teams off to strong starts. This one could have big ramifications in the standings come the end of the year.

Monday, No. 10 King Philip at No. 19 Mansfield, 3:45 p.m. — There’s always a good matchup on a Hockomock League gameday. The Hornets have won five straight, while the Warriors enter off a momentum-building win over Taunton.

Wednesday, No. 3 Xaverian at No. 2 St. John’s (Shrewsbury), 4 p.m. — Two of the state’s top teams look to get a leg up on the other not just in the power rankings, but in the Catholic Conference standings as well.

Wednesday, No. 11 Andover at No. 17 Central Catholic, 4:30 p.m. — There were plenty of fireworks the last time these teams met, with the Raiders completing a late comeback down to their final out. Expect more of the same in the rematch.

Correspondent Mike Puzzanghera contributed to this story.

When Plymouth North sought a pitching coach, former MLB hurler Mike Remlinger seized upon the chance to pitch in - The Boston Globe (2024)

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