By Dan Guttenplan
---- — It’s always difficult to leave Cape Cod just before the beginning of the summer, so Richard Fecteau is hoping to avoid that scenario.
The Triton Regional High alumnus is currently playing on a temporary contract with the Hyannis Harbor Hawks in the Cape Cod League after a breakout freshman season at Salem State College. Fecteau earned the extended tryout with Hyannis by flashing his talent at an open tryout in Wareham in late May. Hyannis head coach Chad Gassman approached Fecteau that day and offered a contract.
“When he offered me a temporary contract, he said it could be extended for the full summer or it could be two days,” Fecteau said. “It’s been longer than two days. I thought I’d put all my effort into seeing if I can get a full contract. I’ll work my tail off, and if it doesn’t work out, I won’t be upset.”
Fecteau is somewhat of an anomaly on the Hyannis roster in that he is the lone Massachusetts resident, the lone NCAA Division 2 player, and one of two players who just finished their freshman seasons. All other players will be starting their junior years in college in the fall.
“As you can tell, the competition is very, very good,” Fecteau said. “There are a lot of phenomenal players. Everyone’s 6-foot-6, 6-foot-4, 240 pounds.”
Fecteau, who is 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, reported to the team June 6. In his freshman season at Salem State, he batted .357 and led the team in doubles (9), RBI (25) and slugging percentage (.554). He earned Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Rookie of the Year, and first-team All-MASCAC. Salem State won the MASCAC regular and postseason championships, earning an NCAA tournament berth.
“I didn’t even think I’d have a chance to play every day as a freshman,” Fecteau said. “I figured I’d play it by ear and ease in when I got older. They stuck me in centerfield for the first few weeks when we went down to Florida for the spring trip. When we came back, I started just about every game at third base. After that, the entire year was great.”
Like most Cape Leaguers, Fecteau is staying with a host family. For now, he is soaking up the experience of playing in the premier college baseball summer league in the Northeast.
“My host family said a lot of the guys who signed temporary contracts stayed the whole summer last year,” Fecteau said. “They took me out a few times, so I’ve had a chance to see a little of the Cape. We practice a lot, but I have the nights off. They took me out to dinner a few nights. I’ve been able to relax and enjoy the Cape a little bit.”
The Harbor Hawks were scheduled to open the season last night, although the game was postponed due to rain.