Mike McCormack will likely be the next product out of the Newburyport coaching factory.
But first, the Worcester State College senior and 2004 Newburyport High graduate will compete in the NCAA Division 3 Regionals next Wednesday. The McCormack-captained Worcester State club recently captured the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference title with a two-game sweep of No. 1 seed Westfield.
McCormack, a utility outfielder, batted .350 in 11 games this season. After starting the season 6-13, Worcester State won 17 of its last 20 games. The midseason turnaround reminded McCormack of his senior year as a Newburyport High captain when his squad started 3-6 before closing with a 10-game winning streak and a Cape Ann League title.
"I remember that year we got beat at Amesbury," McCormack said. "We came together after that game. We talked among ourselves and coach (Bill) Pettingell. Then we won 10 in a row and a CAL Large title."
McCormack appears primed to join a long list of Newburyport alumni who chose to follow Pettingell's career path. The list includes Dave Wilbur (Class of 1970, Beverly High head coach), Steve Malenfant (Class of '72, Newburyport High assistant), Mark Rowe (Class of '79, Georgetown High head coach), Peter Yates (Class of '80, Georgetown High assistant), Chris Lamothe (Class of '86, Manchester Essex head coach), Ryan McCarthy (Class of '98, Newburyport High assistant), and more than 10 coaches at the college level.
McCormack, who tonight will be named the Worcester State College male student-athlete of the year at a school function, is applying for graduate assistant positions with college baseball teams throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions of the United States.
"If I get a position as a graduate assistant, they'll pay for my school and I can coach," McCormack said. "I don't want to be out of baseball quite yet. I still want it to be a part of my life."