Ward was well aware of Richard Fecteau by his junior year at Triton. “We saw him play at the Lynn Invitational Tournament,” Ward recalled. “If you’re invited to the Lynn Invitational, it’s a good thing. I had also known his father (Michael) for a while.”
Salem State’s roster isn’t just Massachusetts-heavy. There are 17 players from the North Shore including senior Kyle McElroy and freshman Colton Fontaine of Newburyport. It’s not by chance. Ward likes keeping the area’s best players close to home.
“I know a lot of local and regional coaches,” said Ward, who coached at Salem High School for seven years and spent two years as an assistant/associate head coach before accepting the head post prior to last year. “They know we’re doing the right things at Salem State. It’s a very good option for a local kid.”
Salem State is in a groove. The Vikings took some lumps on their 10-game Florida swing, going 3-7 against heavyweights like No. 18 Marietta, Wooster and Baldwin-Wallace. Since returning to New England, they have won nine of their last 12 games, including a 4-3 triumph over previously ranked Wheaton.
What really has the Vikings believing was Thursday’s 6-4 triumph over No. 5 Southern Maine. Fecteau was the catalyst, going 3 for 4 with a run, a double, six assists and three putouts.
Fecteau downplayed his impact. “It was a great win. Our pitching staff was great.”
He knows this team could be special.
“I think we have as much potential as any team out there,” he said. “We hit the ball very well and out pitching staff is great. I think we can make it to (NCAA Tournament) regionals. I wouldn’t be surprised if we go on from there.”
Bentley’s O’Connor strong against No. 7 SNHU