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Castleton’s Reece de Castro prepares for an at-bat during a game in 2020.

When Castleton University’s baseball team opens the season on Feb. 13 with a doubleheader at Cabrini University in Randnor, Pennsylvania, Rutland’s Reece de Castro will have a new home. The Rutland High and Rutland Post 31 graduate is being shifted from second base to third base this season.

“He played in like 12 straight games at third base at the end of the summer with a team in Norwich, Connecticut,” Castleton coach Ted Shipley said.

“He was working out there in the fall and he looked great.

“Reece has become a great leader. When he works out, he brings guys with him.”

Catching is an interesting position on the Spartan roster. It is crowded with about five candidates.

But several can find themselves on the field. Most of the dates in college baseball are doubleheaders and Shipley will likely use a different catcher in each game of the twinbill, Then you factor in the designated hitter along with some possible time in the outfield and you’ve got plenty of playing time to go around for any of the catchers able to prove themselves.

Addison Schaub returns and is a very talented receiver but freshman Jack Boyle, by way of Green Mountain Union High School, figures to contend because he packs power at the plate.

Carson Mosher played for coach Bob Godlewski’s Bryant & Stratton College team last season and Shipley feels he is also very good.

Granville’s Logan Beebe still has a way to go in the catching sweepstakes but Shipley loves what he brings to the team.

“He is one of the best human beings. He will help wth the bullpen or do anything you ask,” Shipley said.

Following the game at Cabrini, the Spartans head farther south with a game at Virginia Wesleyan on Feb, 15. In addition to games, there are already four practices set up on the southern swing.

The home opener is a tough one, a Little East Conference game against UMass-Dartmouth on April 2.

LEC rival Keene State will have a new coach in Justin Blood and Shipley expects him to build up the Owls into a contender very quickly.

“He is a go-getter. I have been recruiting hard for 27 years and one guy I always see out there is Justin Blood,” Shipley said.

Keene State will also have a distinct southern Vermont flavor. The Owls’ roster includes Otter Valley graduates Nate Hudson, Patrick McKeighan and Josh Beayon as well as former Leland & Gray athletic director Marty Testo as an assistant coach.

Beayon led the Owls in batting (.306) and in on-base percentage (.476) last season.

If the recent Arctic blasts have got you down, here is something that might enable you to see the end of winter — the first Castleton baseball practice is Jan. 25.

A little more baseball news: Players for schools like Bellows Falls, Springfield and Windsor will recall Dan Budd umpiring their baseball games, particularly back in the days of the Connecticut Valley League.

Budd umpired for seven decades beginning in 1959.

Budd, who lived most of his life in Newport, New Hampshire, died on Jan. 5 at the age of 88 in Clearwater, Florida. He umpired his last softball game several weeks ago.

tom.haley

@rutlandherald.com

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