ME's Painter named CAL Baker POY, CAL baseball and softball stars announced

Jared Charney PhotoManchester Essex senior captain Harry Painter was named Cape Ann League Baker Division Player of the Year.



In a big season for the Manchester Essex baseball program, which saw the team share the Cape Ann League Baker Division championship with Hamilton-Wenham, Harry Painter stood above every player in the league.

The Hornet's UMass Lowell bound senior captain was named the league's Player of the Year for his work on the mound and at the plate.

Painter was honored after missing all but two games of his junior season, not pitching a single inning, with an elbow injury that required surgery. He was an All Cape Ann League pitcher as a sophomore in 2017.

In 2019, Painter was eased back onto the mound after last year's surgery. He sported a 1.87 ERA in 32 innings, including three wins, two saves and 46 strikeouts. 

While he was dominant on the mound, his work at the plate was just as strong and what put him over the top as the CAL Baker's best player. Painter hit an incredible .544 on the season with seven home runs, 30 RBIs, 27 runs scored and 10 steals. He was the team's top run producer in the middle of the order.

"He's a great talent all over the baseball field," Hornets head coach BJ Weed said early in the 2019 season. "His pitching is dominant but we are seeing how good of a hitter he is too."

The Hornets racked up a bunch of accolades as Weed was named the Baker Division Coach of the Year in managing the team to a 15-5 record and its second league crown in the last three years. 

The team also had two other players named first team all Cape Ann League. 

Senior captain and shortstop Bennett O'Leary had a big year at the plate with a .409 average while driving in 28 runs, hitting three homers and scoring 24 times with 14 stolen bases. Senior captain Dylan Wilson was also a first team All-Star after posting a 6-1 record with a 2.05 ERA and only 15 hits allowed this season to go along with his home run, 17 RBIs and .318 average at the dish.

Manchester Essex and Rockport combined to have four players named second team CAL All-Stars.

Outfielder Luke Leavitt and catcher Mike Quill were named to the team after each hit over .370 this season.

For Rockport, senior captain Noah Rawson was a second team All-Star selection, he was one of Rockport's best run producer in the middle of the lineup, hitting a home run in his final high school at bat, and a standout behind the plate.

Sophomore Kyle Beal was also named second team All-Star. Beal was Rockport's ace this season as he kept hitters off balance by pounding all sides of the strike zone with all of his pitches. He combined with Rawson in the middle of the Rockport order as another one of the team's most reliable run producers.

Levasseur, Gendron, Ryan named first team All CAL softball

Local teams were also well represented on the league's softball all-star teams as Manchester Essex had two players on the first team and two on the second team, with Rockport landing a player on the first team and a player on the second team.

For Rockport, junior captain Lauren Ryan was a first team All-Star. The first baseman was Rockport's leading hitter in the middle of the batting lineup.

State tournament bound Manchester Essex saw junior pitcher Sydney Levasseur and junior catcher Claire Gendron, both captains, named first team All-Stars. Levasseur got the win in all 11 of her team's wins, throwing to Gendron in each one. The two are also standout hitters.

Rockport's Kelsea Anderson, a freshman pitcher, was named second team All-Star as she had a breakout season in the circle. Manchester Essex senior captains Molly Field, a shortstop, and Belle Graves, a second baseman, were named second team All-Stars. The seniors are two of the Hornet's most powerful bats.