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Junior Matt DeRosa garnered All-Quinnipiac Division distinction after having a great year in the field and at the plate for the North Haven baseball team this spring. (Photo courtesy of Matt DeRosa )
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Matt DeRosa enjoyed a great junior year with the North Haven baseball team and is primed to take on a major leadership role next season. Matt earned All-SCC Quinnipiac Division honors as the Indians’ second baseman this spring. At the end of the year, he was named one of North Haven’s captains for the 2020 campaign.
Matt has patrolled second base during each of the last two seasons, forming one half of a stellar middle infield combination with shortstop Matt Soloman. The duo turned 15 double plays for Head Coach Bob DeMayo’s team this year.
“Playing alongside Matt Soloman has been a blessing the past two years. He’s getting the ball right out to me, and the kid’s only halfway down the line. It’s just quick flick of the wrist at that point,” Matt says. “Growing up, I wasn’t the biggest or fastest guy, so I had to work my best at fielding ground balls. Playing for Coach DeMayo made me realize that if you think you’re good, he’ll make you better.”
Matt posted a batting average of more than .300 while hitting out of the No. 3 slot in North Haven’s lineup this season. Matt also proved a key run producer with his ability to make contact when there were runners in scoring position.
“Last year, I was batting eighth in a heavy, packed lineup. At the bottom of order, I came up in decent spots and, when I put the ball in play, good things happened,” Matt says. “Coach gave me the same opportunity this year, but in a bigger spot. I just go up and try to do good things for my team.”
Along with earning All-SCC Quinnipiac Division accolades, Matt was also selected to play in the Junior Select All-Star game on behalf of North Haven this year. On top of that, Matt received the Indians’ Sportsmanship Award and was presented with the Rocci Ruggerio Award for his unrelenting hustle for Coach DeMayo’s club.
“Matt is a kid that comes through and hustles 100 percent of the time all the time. In practice and in games, he’s a great kid to be around, because he excites everybody else,” says DeMayo. “Rocci was one of our bus drivers and was a favorite with the kids. He loved the kids that hustled, and that’s Matt. That’s why he got this award.”
Out of all of his honors, Matt says that being named a captain for his senior season is as rewarding as any of them.
“Honestly, it’s one of the most special things knowing my team voted me to be a captain and trusts me to lead them next year,” says Matt. “It’s special to be a part of. I love being there for my guys.”
Baseball has deep roots in Matt’s family. Matt’s two older brothers, Jake and Mike, played for Notre Dame-West Haven and North Haven, respectively, and they both went on to play in college at Southern Connecticut State University. Matt, whose grandfather Joseph Cuticelli attends every game, has already signed on to continue his baseball career at the Division I level at Quinnipiac University.
“The main goal we had as a family is who was going Division I. That competition drove me,” Matt says. “It’s pretty awesome that my family can be so close and see me. My grandfather hasn’t missed a game this year, and that’s the most special. When I texted him to say I committed to Quinnipiac, he was excited, because he still gets to see me. That’s what is special.”
While Matt is excited to play college ball, he’s still determined to make his senior season with the North Haven baseball team a memorable one.
“I want to go out and enjoy every moment. I want to enjoy playing for Coach DeMayo as much as possible. He’s a living legend, and for me to be a part of his 60-plus years is a gift,” says Matt. “Playing for North Haven is an unbelievable experience. It’s special being out there every day.”
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