WOBURN — Just like the most teams that play in Middlesex League Liberty, the Woburn High baseball team had to be above average in level of play just to make it into the tournament.
While the Tanners were not always ready for the post-season play, they had quality ballplayers throughout the last 10 seasons who were good enough to make the Woburn High Baseball All-Decade (2010-19) Team.
The Tanners struggled through much of the 2010s, but they have made the MIAA Div. 2 North tourney two of the last three years, achieving the vision of coach Joe Wells of making Woburn a team that has to be dealt with in the ML Liberty.
Woburn finished off the decade in style with a share of the ML Liberty title in 2019, the first baseball crown of any kind for the Tanners since 1978.
After struggling in 2010-11, the Tanners squeaked into the tournament for the first time in the last decade in 2012, and were dispatched by two-seed Danvers in the first round.
Wells took over the Woburn program in 2014 with high hopes. He discovered it is hard to win games in the Middlesex League, even when the development of the program was going the way he wanted it.
The players loved the game, worked hard, and played with enthusiasm every day. But the other teams in the league were pretty good, too, and all looking to achieve the same goals.
The Tanners began to turn the corner in the last three years, making the tournament in both 2017 and 2019. Woburn lost to Danvers in the first round again in 2017, but the Tanners had by far their best season, last year, qualifying well before the season ended.
Woburn’s 14-6 record earned it the fourth seed in Div. 2 North but the Tanners had two nail-biter wins over Beverly (4-3, 11 innings) and Marblehead (4-3), before bursting into the final with a 6-3 victory over Wakefield.
Despite having chances, early on, Woburn was unable to take advantage and St. Mary’s went on to a 5-0 shutout.
Ryan Qualey led the Tanners, last year, with some amazing pitching, going 8-1 with a 0.71 ERA earning him first team pitching honors on the All-Decade teams.
A lot of the players had roles in the last two tournament teams, and Wells and his consultants from Woburn squads throughout the decade did not forget the most memorable performance of the decade. That was when senior manager Dipen Patel put down his pen and scorebook long enough to toss a two-hit shutout, late in the season, over Stoneham.
WOBURN HIGH BASEBALL
2010’s All-Decade Team
Pitchers: Ryan Qualey, Danny Haverty
Catcher: Joe Burnham
First Base: Nick Patti
Second Base: Corey O’Neil
Shortstop: Kevin Vasapolli
Third Base: Jarred Kenney
Outfield: Jesse Stocker, Brandon Daughtrey, Dane LeBert
Designated Hitter: Kohtaro Shimada
Pitchers: Nick Pineau, Joe Miller
Catcher: Nick D’Antuono
First Base: Bryan Govostes
Second Base: John McDonald
Shortstop: Dillon Koster
Third Base: Graham Bolster
Outfield: Justin Lindahl, Marc Gatcomb, Joe Reynolds
Designated Hitter: Matt Spolidoro
Honorable Mention: Christian Brinkley, Dipen Patel