Last Ups: The Final Days of Three Bedford Baseball Careers

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For 12th graders James Brosgol, Matt Mulligan, and Jack Venuti, school might be over but their senior seasons for Bedford High School baseball aren’t quite done yet, with a three-game series against Weston and the Dual County League tournament still looming large on the horizon.

Friends and teammates since T-Ball in the spring of 2009, James, Matt, and Jack have been playing baseball in town since their days on the small diamond and now represent Bedford for the varsity team and in summer league play.

James (soccer, basketball, baseball, cross-country, indoor track), Matt (soccer, basketball, baseball), and Jack (soccer, hockey, baseball) are all accomplished athletes at Bedford High School, with each of them pocketing numerous academic and athletic honors and awards in the runup to graduation. As they prepare to take the field for the last time for the Bucs, I checked in with all of them, their parents and Coach Olson to hear a little more about them and what they will remember from their years of baseball in Bedford.

The final two home games for these seniors will be on Sunday at 10:15 AM and Tuesday at 4 PM at Bedford High School, with Senior Day celebrations following the Tuesday game. Admission is free and you’re certain to see some entertaining baseball.

First, I asked BHS head baseball coach Gunnar Olson to start the conversation about our soon-to-be graduates

“Although we have just three seniors on this year’s team, their impact has been immense and they will all be missed next season. They are three great baseball players and students, but more importantly, they are gentlemen as well.

Jack Venuti brings a positive, energetic, and competitive energy to every practice and game that helps fuel our team- he keeps our team focused, but loose and having fun. Through his four years at BHS, he has worked hard to become a great hitter and shut down pitcher which has been seen on the diamond this season. Jack is respected not only for his work on the diamond and on the ice, but also for his support of his classmates and school community.

James Brosgol is reliable, hard-working, and always puts team success first. His baseball IQ and love for the game shows, which is why we can use him at all nine positions on the field- our “hybrid” player, as the guys like to say. This year James has to be one of our most feared hitters with runners in scoring position, as he often has come through with big hits. His pitching has also improved immensely and he has delivered many valuable innings for us.

Matt Mulligan is playing his first year of high school baseball and he has been a huge addition to our team; the enthusiasm and energy he brings to practice and games is contagious. He is the most vocal player we have in supporting his teammates and is always focused and dialed in.  Matt always takes full advantage of opportunities to get better and it shows with his solid outfield defense and always improving bat.”

Next, I reached out to each of the young men to walk down memory lane a little bit about their baseball careers

What positions are you playing this year?

Jack: First base, pitcher, and outfield.

Matt: Left field and right field.

James: Mostly at third base, but also at shortstop, pitcher, and sometimes in the outfield.

What’s your earliest baseball memory?

James: I remember Kindergarten T-ball at the old D-Field, where A-Field currently sits, being coached by Mr. Gilarde, on the DiamondJaxx.

Jack: Playing T-ball at Davis School on the Bees being coached by my dad.

Matt: Playing T-ball with my best friends being coached by my dad

Thinking back to the small diamond, what was your favorite moment?

Matt: Hitting an inside-the-park home run at Page Field

Jack: Winning back-to-back games as underdogs in the 2014 American League finals at Page Field.

James: Pitching a complete game shutout for the A’s in the 2015 American League championship game to win the title.

What has been the best part of playing for Bedford High School?

James: The military appreciation game my sophomore year. It was a special atmosphere and I’m sad to have missed out on having another one this year.

Jack: The trip to Cooperstown in 2019.

Matt: Getting my first hit and win against Cambridge with so many of my friends cheering us on and watching.

What is the single most exciting game you have played in?

Jack: One of the most exciting games I’ve ever been a part of was in my freshman year, the first tournament game when Bedford won on a suicide squeeze against Wilmington.

Matt: Winning in extra innings in summer ball during Baystate A off a walk-off steal of home.

James: Winning a 14-inning tournament game in the Babe Ruth district tournament during Baystate A, and also our 9-inning playoff win last summer against Waltham when I had the walk-off single.

Who is the best player you have played against?

Jack: One of the best performances I’ve ever seen was Ryan Grace’s (Concord-Carlisle, Class of 2021) when we played him in May. He hit two home runs in the first game then put one on the soccer field when we played them at home. [Grace will be playing at Quinnipiac next year]

James: Jackson Linn—Cambridge Rindge and Latin, Class of 2021. He throws hard, has a crazy outfield arm, and has unbelievable bat speed and power. [Linn will be playing at Tulane next year.]

Matt: Jackson Linn

Who did you look up to and learn the most from when you were coming up through the program?

Matt: All of the seniors from the Class of 2020—they were so supportive of me last year when I came to the winter hitting sessions.

Jack: When I was a freshman there were a lot of seniors on the varsity team, and although I didn’t get to spend every day with them I could tell they had a lot of passion about the game and were fantastic competitors that could rally the team effortlessly.

James: Matt Carluccio (Class of 2019). He helped me a lot when I first joined the varsity team and he’s a great teammate who always leads by example.

What’s the best game you ever played?

Jack: This year I pitched a complete game one-hitter at Cambridge. In that game, I had 11 strikeouts, including somehow striking out an MLB (Jackson Linn) prospect twice. The bus ride back home was electric.

James: In our first win of the 2021 season, I made a bunch of defensive plays including some diving ones, and went 2-4 with 3 RBI. I got my first “Raise the Bar” award that day as well.

Matt: In the playoffs of 2020 Summer ball I went 3 for 4 and got on base all four times. I scored four runs and had a couple of nice catches in the outfield as well.

Which Major League Baseball player do you compare yourself to?

Matt: Mike Yastrzemski (Giants) because he plays right field and is a good hitter

James: Kiké Hernandez (Red Sox). I admire his defensive versatility and short but powerful swing—he definitely plays how I try to play.

Jack: Shohei Ohtani (Angels) because I love pitching and hitting.

What are your future plans?

James: I’ll be playing summer baseball, then attending Brandeis University, where I hope to play baseball.

Jack: Playing summer baseball with my friends and going to Syracuse University.

Matt: Summer baseball with friends and attending Endicott College in the fall.

Finally, any words of wisdom for younger players?

Jack: Make it fun and don’t take anything for granted because you definitely don’t want to leave anything behind.

James: Play every day of baseball like it’s your last. You never know when it can be taken from you by something unexpected, so make sure you’ve done your best.

Matt: Don’t take any shortcuts—give 100% effort all the time because you never know what might happen.

And one last question for the parents
: With the end of their Bedford baseball careers approaching, what will you remember most about watching your son play over the years?

Beth and Dave Venuti: There are a couple of things we’ll remember most over the years. First are the friendships Jack has made and his enjoyment just being out there playing with his teammates; he loves being part of a team. Second, competing… whether it was for a league trophy, summer tournament, or a varsity game his energy is contagious on game days.

Ann and Tom Mulligan: The best part about watching Matt playing baseball was when he was competing against his friends. It was so much fun watching the kids play against each other, especially with all the other things that came with it- car rides, talking to the kids about baseball and other things in their lives, and most importantly the parties and going to Bedford Farms after big wins.

Elizabeth and Dan Brosgol: We will always remember how much joy James had for baseball, how much fun it was to watch him grow and develop, and how nice it is to see him continuing to play now and love it as much as he did as it was younger. It’s been a great run with a group of boys that have always competed hard and had success on the field and we will miss them, their parents, and the countless hours spent watching them play.


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