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Contigiani named Division III Player of the Year

by Bob Martin
Sports Reporter - Gilford Steamer, WInnisquam Echo, Meredith News

Cole Contigiani was named the Division 3 Player of the Year. Bob Martin. (click for larger version)
June 19, 2017
BELMONT — From day one it has been a special season for Cole Contigiani of the Belmont High School baseball team, who pitched a no-hitter even though he took a loss in his first game of the season. His momentum on the mound and at the plate never wavered throughout the season, and the coaches around the leagues took notice by naming him the Division 3 Player of the Year.

In the regular season Contigiani was 7-1 with the only loss being a no-hitter. He followed up that loss with a one-hitter, which showed how just on fire he was right out of the gate. Contigiani pitched 52.2 innings and allowed only four earned runs. He had 69 strikeouts and had a season high of 15 strikeouts in one game.

What is most impressive is his .532 ERA and 0.742 WHIP.

Contigiani shined in the playoffs as well on the mound with a 2-0 record and got the win to send the Red Raiders to the championship against Campbell.

At the plate Contigiani was the cleanup hitter and was solid all season. He hit .405 with a .592 on base percentage and 1.183 OPS. He had 21 RBIs and 19 runs scored. He also played solid third base throughout the season with a cannon arm from the hot corner.

Contigiani said he started training hard in December by hitting and working on his pitches. He said he was going to the batting cages and doing soft toss and tee work. On the mound, Contigiani worked on perfecting his pitches and he said he feels that it has helped a lot.

"I think my control has gotten a lot better with practice this year," said Contigiani. "I just wanted to hit my spots."

Contigiani said he has never been clocked but he estimates his fastball hovers in the low 80s when at its best. When he hits his spots and mixes with off-speed pitches and curves, he is as tough to hit as anyone in the division.

Contigiani said he was trying to become a better player, but he knew that he just had to play his role and be the best player for his team. He said he wasn't expecting the honor of being player of the year.

"It is an awesome feeling but I couldn't have done this with my team and coaches," said Contigiani.

Coach Matt Leblanc has said it has been a joy to watch Contigiani improve as a baseball player over the course of his career. It was his first time making All-State, let alone being Player of the Year, but Leblanc said it is very clear how much work he has put in to get to this level.

"You can't feel anything but happy for a guy like Cole to be named to the first team and, even bigger, the Division III Player of the Year," said Leblanc. "Cole works harder than any player who has come through our program in quite a while. He spent the fall and winter working on baseball as he wanted to be a positive contributor to the team. That work propelled him to the season he is having which was noticed by every coach that saw him play. Through hard work and hustle Cole surpassed his personal goals and the team benefited as a whole."

Contigiani will be heading to UNH next year and plans to play on the club baseball team.

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