FALMOUTH — Brennan Rumpf has been throwing a baseball all winter. Not surprising since the Falmouth High senior has signed a national letter of intent to pitch next year at the University of Maine.

So the official first day of baseball and softball conditioning and throwing – no hitting, no fielding, no baserunning allowed – was in many ways just another workout day for Rumpf and many other baseball players at Falmouth High.

“Most of these guys have been throwing all winter,” Rumpf said.

Except Monday was different. As it was at schools across Maine, Monday signified that baseball and softball seasons have begun. Teams in other spring sports – lacrosse, tennis and outdoor track – begin practices next week.

The entire team was at practice. The prospective pitchers threw 30-to-45 pitch sessions in the high school gym from atop a sloped wooden pitcher’s mound under the discerning eye of veteran coach Mike D’Andrea.

With the temperature in the low 50s and no snow in sight, position players took their throws outside. Everyone did a couple of laps around the outdoor track.


“Today the excitement level was there. You’re all here. You get to see your friends and now it’s about playing baseball,” Rumpf said.

The first week of conditioning is primarily built into the baseball and softball seasons to help players avoid arm injuries. Teams can use the week to include throwing programs, stretching and some conditioning.

From a coach’s perspective it’s a chance to start to gauge who is going to be able move into a pitching role. In Falmouth’s case, Rumpf is the only returner with starting pitching experience for a team that is expected to be right at the top of the Class A South standings.

Last year, behind Rumpf and since graduated Eli Cowperthwaite, Falmouth lost its first game of the season then rang up 15 straight regular-season wins to enter the tournament as the top seed in the South. The Navigators, 16-2 last season, beat Cheverus in the quarterfinals before losing to Thornton Academy 3-2 in the regional semifinal.

“It’s arm care week,” D’Andrea said. “The message is, Who’s going to go out there and throw strikes and show they can be a pitcher and not just a thrower?'”

Nick Wyse, a junior, said he’s trying to make his case for a spot on the Falmouth staff. He played both varsity and JV as a sophomore.


“I throw a lot, about three days a week,” Wyse said. “Today I’m trying to get some feel on my pitches and get my arm conditioned in front of coaches. It’s one thing to throw some bullpens on your own. It’s a little different to do it here.

“I know I’m good enough and it’s time for (the coaches) to see that.”

Senior outfielder Tony Severino is an example of a player who actually benefits the most from the extra week of throwing-focused conditioning. Severino has not been throwing a baseball all winter.

“I’ve been slowly getting into it. This is like day six for me,” said Severino, noting players have gotten together on their own for throwing sessions. “It’s more about starting to bond as a team. To build the team, and build the arm for sure.”

Then there are the catchers. Falmouth has senior Ethan Hendry, like Rumpf a returning Varsity Maine All-State player, and junior Brandon White. Hendry and White spent the 90-minute session doing what catchers do: squatting while wearing shin guards, chest protectors and helmets and catching pitch after pitch.

“From my point of view this is the worst week of the season,” Hendry said, at most half-joking. “I’m excited to be back, certainly, but catching bullpens all day isn’t the most fun.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.