Baseball has always been an important part of Hopkinton High graduate Christian Lavoie's life. However, now a Junior at UMASS Lowell and currently a starting pitcher for their baseball team, getting to this point hasn't been easy. After missing most of the Hiller's games during his Sophomore and Senior years due to a stress fracture in his spine, Lavoie had to work hard to prove his talents to play on past high school.
IIn his first two seasons at UMASS Lowell, Lavoie has a 7-3 record with a 3.46 earned run average and has struck out 59 batters in 80 innings of work for the River Hawks. Starting next season, the team will be playing in the America East Conference, a change that will move the team up from Division II to Division I.
This past summer, at the recommendation of his college coach, Lavoie also played for the Pittsfield Suns, a summer baseball collegiate team. As a starter, Lavoie led the Suns' starting staff with both a 2.89 ERA and 56 innings pitched. He was also second on the team in strikeouts with 40. One moment that really stands out for Lavoie during his first summer with the Suns was when Hopkinton residents Hank Allessio, Eric Sonnett, and Ken Weismantel came out to Pittsfield to cheer him on.
Lavoie says that his strength is his control, particularly on his fastball. However, not wanting to rely too heavily on his signature pitch, Lavoie wanted to add another dimension to his game, and worked hard this summer to develop his changeup and curveball.
Ideally, after college, Lavoie would love to continue on playing baseball at the professional level. However, considering how much he has had to overcome to get to where he is now, Lavoie says getting to that point would go beyond his expectations.
Lavoie says that the secret to his success is his work ethic and positive attitude, a message which he hopes to impart on those currently playing baseball in Hopkinton.