By Jordan Hill
Coach Al Donovan was named head coach of the Salem State University’s Vikings men baseball team on August 30, 2016. Donovan has been part of the University’s baseball staff since 2015, and was selected to replace former head coach Mike Ward.
Three new assistants joined the staff this season. Angelo Salustri is the new assistant coach. Donovan credited Salustri with having “great credentials.” Salustri played professionally in Italy and the Cape Cod league. Salustri tied the career record of home runs while playing at UMass/Amherst.
Salem State University Alum Mike Lamothe is also a new coach. Donovan says that Lamothe “was a phenomenal catcher,” and is working with the catchers and also runs the hitting camp for the Vikings.
Another addition is former Division 1 pitcher and minor league player, John Seehan. Seehan is the new Vikings pitching coach and has impressed Donovan, who says that, “[Seehan] has done a great job here, in a short period of time.”
Donovan is excited about the players on his team. He mentions his three captains—Teghan Malionek from Salem, Andrew Deloury from Andover and Mike Richardson from Belmont—who collectively act as “three extended assistant coaches.” This year’s team features a mix of players from surrounding towns. One is pitcher Andy McLaughlin from Peabody. Another player highlighted by Donovan is freshman Richie Sharp from Lynn. Also mentioned is freshman Eddy Durant a lefty pitcher from Salem.
Last year the baseball team was close to playing in the NCAA Tournament and this year Donovan intends to win it all: “We’re not here to win games, we’re here to win championships.” This will be done with a team first focus. The team is “a brotherhood…the team is always first.” Donovan, his coaches, and captains all share one vision: A championship.