HARVARD -- When Bromfield senior captain Ben Veno gazes out over the Trojans' diamond on Pond Road, he sees a team full of promise. Bromfield got its first taste of a 500 record this season
Twenty-nine-years have come and went, but the Trojans' time is now. Veno, a senior right-handed shortstop, cranked the Trojans' first home run of the regular season in walk-off fashion at home against Murdock.
"My first year on varsity as a sophomore was fun, but we were awful," Veno said. "We just basically didn't care after a while if we won or lost. Now, under coach McDonald, we actually want to win. I never actually improved in my sophomore year, but when (McDonald) came, I fixed my swing. Before him, I was slicing foul balls into the parking lot."
The tall-slender Veno has all the intangibles of a quality baseball player: mental toughness, grit and a soft-spoken work until the job is done demeanor. Second-year head coach Fred McDonald had to teach his senior captain how to be more of a vocal leader for the younger players. Veno is one of two seniors on a roster of predominately freshmen and sophomores.
"Ben is starting to delegate more," the coach said. "He is getting a lot done for us. Ben is an outstanding outfielder with tremendous speed, but he moved to shortstop at the start of the season cause we needed him there."
Veno(.429, 2 HR's) swings a mean bat from the right side of the plate in the top third of the Bromfield lineup.
"That was weird winning on opening day," the captain joked. "It was the bottom of the seventh and I thought we actually have a shot at winning. I was actually pretty nervous about that. We have a very young team, but we have the skill to close out games, finally. It is kind of nice to have that feeling that it's not normal when we lose. We expect to win now, instead of hoping to."
Veno plans to attend Norwich University, in Vermont, where he intends on enlisting in the Marine Corps. The senior captain is still on the fence about whether he will continue his baseball career with the Cadets, but McDonald feels that he should.
"Ben would make a great outfielder in college," McDonald said. "He would make Norwich's team as an outfielder, guaranteed. He is very fast and swings a big stick. If I could handcuff him and keep Ben here, I would."
Veno also played basketball for the Trojans, but baseball has always been his first love.
"Baseball is by far my favorite sport," Veno said. "I am more of an outfielder than a shortstop. It was tough to pickup at first, but it was hard to pick up the shifts during the game."
The senior is excited for what the future of Trojans' baseball will be with the number of freshmen who are playing well at the varsity level.
"We have a lot of young kids who are playing very well for us at the varsity level," Veno said. "You never know what is going to happen when the young guys become juniors and seniors -- I think it's going to bode well for the team. Come their senior year, I don't even know what to expect from them."