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Wave righthander chooses Merrimack

Greenfield righthander Garrett Hudson was dominant as a junior and should be even more overpowering this spring when the Green Wave embarks on its 2014 Hampshire League season.
Recorder/file photo

Greenfield righthander Garrett Hudson was dominant as a junior and should be even more overpowering this spring when the Green Wave embarks on its 2014 Hampshire League season. Recorder/file photo

Greenfield High School senior Garrett Hudson helped pitch the Green Wave baseball team to a WMass Division II title last spring, a feat he will look to try to duplicate in his final season with the team. While that will be no easy task, one thing Hudson will not have to worry about is where he will be pitching in 2015.

Hudson has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball at Merrimack University, an NCAA Division II team.

The WMass Division II Most Valuable Player from last season was absolutely dominant on the mound, finishing with a .37 earned run average, with 80 strikeouts and 11 walks in 56 innings. He also pitched a pair of complete-game shutouts in the WMass Division II Tournament, including a 2-0 victory over Mt. Greylock Regional High School in the WMass championship game, where he fired a one-hit shutout. While he had a great junior season, Hudson admitted that he hadn’t been getting a lot of calls from coaches.

Hudson said that he first began sending out e-mails to coaches at schools that had caught his eye back in April and then pitched for the West baseball team at the Baystate Games, which was attended by numerous college coaches. Unfortunately for Hudson, he did not have a great outing at the Games, walking in a run in one inning.

“I never do that,” Hudson said of the lowlight, “but I guess I caught the coach’s eye in the first inning that day.”

Sure enough, Merrimack coach Jim Martin contacted Hudson, who he said was the only coach to reach out to him. Merrimack was one of the schools Hudson was most interested in attending, and after visiting the North Andover campus in August, he was all but locked in on his decision. He will receive a partial scholarship to the private university, where he will major in sports medicine and exercise physiology.

“I got accepted into the school in mid-December and it was such a relief,” Hudson said.

Hudson said that he first thought about attending Merrimack when he was 11 or 12 years old and remembered watching them play hockey against UMass at the Mullins Center. That boyhood daydreaming has become a reality.

Martin, a Norwood native, has coached at Merrimack since Oct. 2010 and is entering his fourth year with the program. The Warrior position marks his first collegiate coaching job, after he came over from a five-year stint as an assistant coach at Southern Connecticut State University. When he took over at Merrimack, the baseball program hovered around the .500 mark. After a pair of rebuilding years under Martin in 2011 and 12, the Warriors broke out last season, posting a 30-19 record, tying for the most wins in school history. The Warriors made it to the Northeast 10 title game, where they lost, and narrowly missed an at-large bid into the NCAA Division II Tournament.

Hudson will try to help Martin’s program continue to grow, although he still has a little work left for his hometown team. While the Green Wave baseball team will be without nine seniors from last year, Hudson said he still hopes to improve on last season’s success. His goal? That’s easy: win a state championship. As for a personal goal, he had a fire lit recently while playing in a boys’ basketball game at Hopkins Academy.

“I saw the banner for Garrison Banas’ 400 career strikeouts,” Hudson said. “That would be pretty cool.”

Another year like the one he had this past spring, and he may yet hang his own banner at Greenfield.

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