Seventeen-year-old Matt McIsaac just ended his junior season on the baseball diamond with a loss to Lynn English in the playoffs, a tough one, considering the Tanners see the Bulldogs during the regular season in the Northeastern Conference.
McIsaac’s season highlight was making the post-season with the Peabody High baseball team; he also hit a home run against Saugus and was manning second base during two Pat Ruotolo no-hitters.
“We were nervous during the first one of course, but the second one he pitched, against Swampscott (in Swampscott) was tough,” McIsaac said. “Swampscott’s got some really tough lights, and we lost a few high pop-ups between second and short, but we were able to track them down.”
“It’s really nerve-wracking, but exciting at the same time,” McIsaac said.
McIsaac and Ruotolo will be back on the diamond for the Tanners next spring, but they both are captaining the 2012-2013 edition of the Peabody hockey team along with goaltender Joe Powers.
McIsaac suffered a whiplash injury and had to sit out five games during last winter’s hockey season, and couldn’t wait to get back on the ice.
“It was so hard not to play, it was making me crazy watching the team,” McIsaac said. “We’re a young team, we had a hard season and we’re looking forward to next year for sure.”
McIsaac lives in South Peabody with his brother and sisters, he loves to watch movies, on TV or at the theaters, and his favorite TV show is “That 70’s Show,” and he likes listening to country music.
“I’ll eat something light before a game a protein shake or a granola bar to get ready,” McIsaac said.
His biggest influence is his uncle Mike Connelly who played second base for Lynn Tech in the 1990s. McIsaac brought his average up from the low .300s up to the high .300s this season and hopes to see more improvement as a senior.
“I have a great relationship with coach (Tanner coach Mark Bettencourt), very close to him and all the coaches, my coaches have all worked with me since my freshman year to make me a better player.”
“I live close to the golf course, and I love hockey, but baseball is definitely my favorite sport, for sure,” McIsaac said. “One of our baseball assistant coaches, Pedro Morales, was actually my uncle Mike’s coach when he was at Lynn Tech.”
“Baseball allows me to get my mind off of everything else,” McIsaac said. “I get to spend time with my friends, everyone there is enjoying the same things that I like to do.”
“Baseball players al have something common, it’s like a another whole family away from our real families when we’re together as a baseball team,” he said.
McIsaac will be playing for former Peabody great Steve Lomasney over the summer to stay sharp, playing in four national tournaments, three in New Jersey and one in Georgia.
“It’s a lot of elite baseball players from the North Shore, Pat (Ruotolo) is playing, kids from Marblehead, St. John’s Prep, and some from Swampscott; it’s going to be a lot of fun,” McIsaac said. “Once baseball ends, I’ve got hockey tournaments, then it’s time for golf, so I’m pretty busy.”