Athol’s Mark Ferrari commits to Franklin Pierce

  • Athol pitcher Mark Ferrari, shown here in 2018, recently committed to Franklin Pierce University on a baseball scholarship. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 7/21/2019 6:26:55 PM

After his freshman season at Athol High School, Mark Ferrari wasn’t sure he could play baseball at the collegiate level.

“I was just mediocre my freshman year,” Ferrari said. “Which was disappointing to me.”

Then, in his sophomore season, the right-handed pitcher began throwing harder with more command.

“I took a big leap from my freshman to sophomore year,” Ferrari said. “I had a great sophomore season so I began to think I could play college ball.”

From there, Ferrari increased his training regimen.

“I just started playing baseball a lot more,” Ferrari said. “Doing stuff to gain arm strength. I just threw a lot to get used to it.”

After a dominant junior season, Ferrari began to field collegiate offers and interest from coaches. On Friday, he announced his commitment to Franklin Pierce University on a baseball scholarship.

The Ravens, coached by Mike Chambers, were the Northeast-10 Conference champions in 2019.

“I loved their coaching staff,” Ferrari said. “The campus was awesome. It’s a small campus which I like. It’s really nice.”

Franklin Pierce, located in Rindge, N.H., fields one of the top baseball programs in Division 2. Ferrari visited the campus twice, the first was a tour and the second was centered around baseball.

“I liked the way they talked about baseball around there,” Ferrari said. “The way the team carries themselves. It’s a really good program.”

After completing his senior season at Athol, Ferrari said he will be able to compete for a spot in Franklin Pierce’s rotation when he arrives on campus in 2020.

Ferrari had interest from American International College, Assumption and UMass. But a decision had to be made fairly quickly.

“I had to make my decision early,” Ferrari said. “Division 2 schools give out their scholarships and give you a timeline. I thought Franklin Pierce was a good fit.”

There will be changes to Ferrari’s usual schedule at Athol High School during his impending senior season. There will be no soccer with the Red Raiders this fall, as he’ll use the time to train for baseball.

“I played with all my friends and it was awesome,” Ferrari said of leaving soccer behind. “I am going to miss everyone on the team. I have to take one of the sports off to train and get better and that was the sport that was left out.”

Ferrari will continue playing basketball for Athol next winter.

Ferrari has a four-seam and two-seam fastball in his repertoire, as well as a curveball. He spent his junior season improving the command of his change-up.

Ferrari has topped out at 87 miles per hour on the radar gun and will use a 16-week online program that helps increase velocity during the fall.

“It’s suppose to add five to 10 miles per hour on your fastball,” Ferrari said. “If you do it correctly.”

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