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Monthly Featured Nokona Player Profile

Blake Gallagher

Blake Gallagher, widely regarded as the best dual-sport athlete in New England, is currently a junior at the St. Sebastian’s School in Needham (Class of 2017). He began playing in the Nokona Baseball Program in 2009 as an 11 year old. Blessed with talent, size, speed and power even at a young age, Blake was a standout from the day we were first introduced to him.

Early on, it was clear Blake was a natural talent both on the mound and at the plate—but what remains so impressive today is that he has managed to stay at the top of his class all these years, from little league, to the big diamond and into high school. He is a driven young man who understands what it takes to get to the next level. His work ethic, drive, determination and commitment to excellence has carried him far, and today he is nationally ranked as not only one of the top baseball players in the nation, but also nationally ranked as one of the nation’s top football prospects.

A resident of Bridgewater, MA, Blake’s athletic accomplishments are startling. This past year alone as a high school sophomore, Blake was an All ISL High School Baseball All-Star, the #1 ranked player in MA according to Perfect Game Scouting Reports, won the Perfect Game Home Run Derby in Fort Myers, FL, and was named to the Perfect Game All Tournament Team four times.

At 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds, with a 92 mph fastball and over-abundant power at the plate, Blake is a very imposing figure on the field. Most important, however, is that despite all his accomplishments and athletic talent, Blake carries himself with the utmost humility. An honor roll student, he has undoubtedly set himself up for success moving forward—but if you speak with this young man, you would never know how good he really is. He remains one of the most humble players we have had in our program; he has never given a thought to being more important than any other member of the team. That is just one reason he is so well respected by teammates and coaches alike.

Blake has always played the game the right way. His inclusive personality has allowed new players to feel at home in our program, and he will be the first teammate to reach out and make new ballplayers feel welcome. Without question, this talented individual is one of the great young leaders you will come across anywhere in the country.

This fall, you will find Blake in the backfield on offense as a running back, and as a linebacker on defense for his high school squad at St. Sebastian’s. Wherever Blake’s talents take him, whether in baseball or football, the Nokona Baseball Program is exceptionally proud to have had the opportunity to watch him develop over the years.

Nokona Baseball teams with players of ages 10-14 years compete regionally in the Elite Baseball League (EBL), while the college prospect teams with players of ages 15-18 compete at a variety of college showcase events locally, regionally and nationally.

Competitive tournaments across the region and around the country are hosted by Perfect Game, CABA, Triple Crown, USSSA, ECTB, Pastime and other elite baseball organizations. 

Player selection takes place in late summer/early fall and workouts begin in late fall at our indoor training facility located at 60 Pleasant Street, Ashland, MA (the NAC). The Nokona Baseball outdoor season begins in the spring as the weather permits.  Learn more...

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Nokona in the News
The Nokona Baseball Online Store is now open through November 1, 2015. All mandatory apparel—and lots of new items for 2016—may be purchased at the store. Click to visit!
Nokona Baseball Online Store now open

Grand Opening of the Nokona Athletic Club - Directions

The Nokona Athletic Club—"theNAC"—is a new 12,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art private baseball athletic training center exclusively for the Nokona Baseball Program.

Equipped with six hitting and pitching tunnels, plus a fully equipped workout and training center, theNAC also features a café and common area for congregating, socializing, having a cup of coffee or just sitting down for a beverage or snack. It includes high-top tables and chairs, two 55-inch TV screens, kitchen area, beverage and healthy snack vending machines, and a coffee prep area—all with a very rustic and relaxing café feel.

The facility also features offices and conference rooms. Upstairs above the office area is a comfortable mezzanine sports-themed parent/player lounge outfitted with leather seating, TV's, high-top seating and a great viewing area overlooking the entire facility.

Nokona announces its new corporate branding: Since 1934 Nokona has been a leader in providing the best baseball products in the world, all made right here in the USA. The new branding brings a modern look to an 81-year tradition of quality and excellence. We at Nokona Baseball look forward to incorporating this new and contemporary look into our program for 2016.

Nokona Baseball wraps up final 2016 tryout session

The Nokona Baseball Program finished up 2016 tryouts Sunday, August 30th. Over a four-week period beginning in early August, 297 players aged 10-18 years participated in the tryout sessions, competing for spots on 10 teams fielded by the Nokona Baseball program from the 10-and-under team through the 18-year-old "College Commit" team—which is new for 2016. August tryouts—which take place on weekends during the last month of the summer—present not only skills-based challenges for the ballplayers but scheduling challenges and sacrifices for them and their families. Nokona Baseball recognizes the effort and commitment required to participate in our rigorous and important tryout sessions. We would like to thank every ballplayer who came out and participated in our tryouts, as well as all those who supported their efforts to compete and belong to one of the top college-focused travel baseball training programs in the country.

Nokona 16 and 17 Prospects finished the summer season at the Providence Slugfest Event held in RI Aug. 7-9.

Nokona Baseball Announces the Hiring of Coach Eric Rodriquez

Nokona Baseball is pleased to announce the addition of Eric Rodriquez to its staff. "Eric is an extremely talented coach, communicator and teacher, and we are very excited to have him join us", said Nokona Baseball Founder Geoff Cuneo.

Coach Rodriguez is a 2007 graduate of Burlington High School, Burlington, MA, where he was a three-year varsity starter. He went on to play his college baseball at UMass/Dartmouth where he was a catcher and graduated with a degree in Marketing in 2011.

He has spent the last six seasons coaching baseball in the New England area—and with great success: In 2014, his 14U team finished their season with an amazing 51-9 record and captured a bronze medal at the USA Baseball 14U Cup in Cary, NC. Eric has also guided his teams to EBL Championships at the 14U, 15U, and 18U age group levels in 2012, 2014 & 2015. He has seen many of his players go on to play in college at the Division I, II, and III levels—some of whom are playing in the most prestigious summer leagues in the country today.

Coach Rodriguez is employed at Oracle Corporation in Burlington, MA. He and his wife currently reside in Salem, NH.

Nokona announces Fall Baseball Registration

Nokona Baseball announces its 2015 Fall Baseball Registration following August tryouts. Registration will open Saturday, Aug. 29th. Fall Ball will consist of six weeks of baseball during the months of September and October, with play limited to the weekends. The Nokona Fall Ball Season is an opportunity for those players seeking additional competitive play and instruction. For more information, or if you would like to pre-register, please email mike.lyon@nokonabaseball.org or dan.sullivan@nokonabaseball.org.

16U Nokona Prospects Participate in the 16U PG Evoshield Classic in Lakeland, GA July 28 - Aug 2

LHP Pitcher Chris Grome from Framingham, MA and Dexter School in Brookline, MA delivers a pitch in an 8-6 victory in Lakeland, GA.

Catcher Alex Reynolds, Hopkinton (MA) High School, feels the pop of an 87mph fastball.

6' 2" 225lb St. Johns High School (Shrewsbury, MA) player Jack Fields rips a base hit on route to a 15-7 victory in Lakeland, GA.

PG 17U Super25 All Tourney Team Announced

Congratulations to Chris Attisani, Tim Simoes, Dan Chapski and Andrew Flint for being selected to the PG 17U Super25 All Tourney Team for the July Super25 event held in Ft. Myers, FL the week July 11- July 17. Chris Attisani is a rising sophomore at Buckingham Brown & Nichols in Cambridge, MA, Tim Simoes is a rising junior at Xaverian in Westwood, MA, Dan Chapski is a rising junior at Xaverian in Westwood, MA and Andrew Flint (currently ranked the #1 prospect in Class of 2017 by PG scouting report for the state of RI) is a rising junior at Bishop Hendriken HS in Warwick, RI. Congratulations to all four Nokona prospects.

The Nokona 14U team completed their 2015 season with a strong performance at the Triple Crown Nationals in Myrtle Beach, SC. The team went 5-3 before eventually bowing out in the quarterfinal bracket. The tournament caps a tremendous season for the 14's and completes a record back to back 40+ win seasons. Congratulations to the Nokona 14's.

Justin Mojica delivers a pitch at the 16U CABA World Series in July in Marietta, GA.

Zach Sisitsky is the picture of concentration as he prepares to catch the ball at 1B at the 16U CABA World Series in Marietta, GA.

The Nokona 15U team competed this past week in the CABA 15U World Series in Charleston, SC. The team finished a terrific week at 6-2 while ultimately falling in the second round of the playoffs.

Congratulations to Nokona's Blake Gallagher for winning the Perfect Game HR Derby down at City of Palms Park in Ft. Myers FL. Participating in a very large field, Blake capped the win by launching a 400' missile to win the event. The Nokona 16s Prospects are in Ft. Myers this week participating in the National PG 25 Event at Jet Blue Park.

Andrew Flint, Eric Mah and Josh Petrucci hustle off the field at the 16U National Championships held at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, where the team went 7-0.

16U Chiefs Finish Undefeated At National Championships in Louisville

The 16U Nokona Chiefs had a remarkable 7-0 record at the 16U National Championships in held at the University of Louisville during the Fourth of July weekend, reaching the final four out of 96 teams competing. For more pictures, click here.

The Chiefs were led on the mound by four complete games, including an opening night no-hitter by Andrew Flint, who also picked up a second win on the final day of competition. Chris McGrory had a dominant performance on day two, helping set the stage for the Chiefs' tourney run.

Dan Chapski and Eric Mah finished pool play off with complete games of their own, including a win under the fireworks on July Fourth. That led to an epic playoff day on Sunday that saw the Chiefs go 3-0 thanks in large part to the bats of Dan Chapski (walk off homer), Blake Gallagher (homer in game two) and Chris Attisani. Chris Grome had added a bomb of his own earlier in the tournament.

Unfortunately, that is where the Chiefs' run ended, as the semi-finals and finals had been pushed back a day due to rain earlier in the tournament. The group had airplane flights home already booked which could not be changed. The 16U's outstanding performance was the result of a complete team effort, and saw a different player step up every day, up and down the lineup, to go along with tremendous pitching, defense and catching. It was terrific week the ballplayers will remember for years to come.

David Capobianco toes the rubber at Frank Eck Stadium, home of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, where the Nokona 17s appeared in the 17U Nationals in South Bend, IN over Fourth of July weekend.

Jack Schwartz delivers a pitch at the Legends 14U College Tour Wood Bat Invitational Tournament in June, held at Tufts University.
Tourney Alert: Nokona 17U College Prospects Head to Notre Dame for Championship

Top U.S. teams head Midwest to the Nationals at Notre Dame: This coming week and through the Fourth of July Nokona Baseball's 17U College Prospects head to South Bend, IN and the University of Notre Dame for the 17U National Championships. Coached by former Northeastern All American and New York Yankee minor leaguer Mike Lyon, the 17U prospects look forward to showcasing their talents to the schools in the midwest. College coach and recruiter attendance is typically very high for this event.  

Congratulations Nokona 13s on CABA World Series Win

After a week of highly competitive ballplaying, Nokona Baseball's 13U Team emerged as the 13U CABA (Continental Amateur Baseball Association) World Series champions by way of a perfect 8-0 record. With an offensive attack that consisted of an amazing 88 runs scored during the week's games while giving up only 15, the Nokona 13s finished the week by being crowned this year's CABA World Series Champions.

The depth of the pitching staff shone brightly during the tournament, with outstanding performances delivered by Wyatt Scottie, Colin Ahern, Jay Driver, and Frankie Hernandez. Coupled with the clutch hitting off Ethan Kee, Jamie O'Brien, Matthew Shaw, and P.K. Messervy, the Chiefs' stellar defensive play was equally critical on their road to the championship.

"This is such an important experience for the ballplayers," said Coach Justin OBrien. "They put in the time and hard work all season and now they get to see the rewards and feel the satisfaction of coming out on top. They showed up ready to play, and delivered a week of tough, aggressive, heads-up baseball. They didn't deserve anything less than to win the championship, and I'm extremely proud of the entire team."

New For 2016: The 18U College Commit Team

Nokona Baseball announces the addition of an 18U College Commit Team to our program for 2016. This team will be comprised of players who have committed to a college, will be entering their freshman year in the fall to play baseball, and are looking for a place to play during the summer. Games and tournaments will be played regionally, with less emphasis on travel than Nokona's College Prospect teams. 

If you are interested in participating on the 2016 team, please click here or go to the "Tell Us What Your Looking for" section on this page, enter your contact information, select "The Nokona 18U College Commit Team" and click "Submit".

14U Nokona Chiefs Win 2015 Memorial Day Tournament

The 14U Nokona Chiefs went 6-0 this past Memorial Day weekend at the park in Baseball Heaven, NY to win the Baseball Heaven Memorial Day tournament. The Chiefs began pool play on Saturday with a solid 4-1 win against a tough Rhode Island Eagles team and followed up with a win later in the day with an 8-0 win against Academy Baseball Patriot.

On Sunday, the Chiefs started where they left off by defeating the NY Swarm by a score of 8-0 and followed that up with a hard-fought win against a talented CP Stars team to earn the #2 seed in the 25-team field. The Chiefs began their playoff run with an 8-5 win against the Long Island Mudcats to earn a berth in the championship game against the DB Hawks, who had knocked off the #1 seed.

The championship game proved to be a classic with Nokona winning the game 4-3 in extra innings on a two-out walk-off hit with the bases loaded by Jack Schwartz, who also earned the win by pitching a scoreless top half of the 8th. The tournament win was highlighted by solid pitching from the entire Nokona starting staff and the hitting of Brandon Lee, who collected 10 hits and drove in an impressive 10 runs during the six-game stretch.

Note: Four years ago, under the direction of Coach Carroll, the Nokona 10U Team won this same Memorial Day Tournament crown at Baseball Heaven.