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Allard has Cape league tryout

  • Nighthawks pitcher and Hartford High alumnus Jordy Allard winds up to throw in the third inning of their game against North Adams in White River Junction, Vt., on June 28, 2019. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 4/8/2020 9:15:02 PM
Modified: 4/8/2020 9:14:52 PM

BRIDGEWATER — If Hartford High graduate Jordy Allard returns for a third season with the Upper Valley Nighthawks this summer, it will come after a detour.

Allard has signed a 10-day contract with the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod Baseball League. The deal is essentially a tryout for a spot in what is considered the nation’s top summer baseball circuit.

The Babson College junior pitcher will have played precious little ball by the time the summer season starts, assuming it does. Allard’s Beavers had just three games before their NCAA Division III campaign was canceled by the coronavirus pandemic.

“In this year and this situation, it could go two ways,” Allard explained last week in a phone interview from his Bridgewater home. “They could need more players because people’s arms aren’t ready, or they need less players because there was no College World Series. I don’t know which way it’s going to go. It’s nothing I can control.”

Still, it’s a rare thing when a former Upper Valley high school standout gets a call from the Cape.

In a normal year, the CCBL’s 10 teams fill their rosters with talent from Division I’s Power Five conferences. Many of those players see their college seasons stretch well into June with the CWS, so Cape teams sign fill-ins to short-term deals and release those players once their regulars arrive.

Allard would join the Commodores owning a solid two-summer New England Collegiate Baseball League resume with the Nighthawks. Two different managers employed the right-hander as a middle reliever and spot starter. Allard handled the role well, with a 2.96 earned-run average in 14 appearances in 2019 after a 2.73 ERA in 16 games the previous summer.

One of those managers likes Allard’s chances.

“Because of the type of pitcher I was (a submariner), I was not a believer in velocity and stuff,” said last year’s Upper Valley boss, Keller Bradford, from his Mississippi home. “Jordy has character and intangibles that make up for what he might be missing stuff-wise. He can pitch to the bottom of the zone and set a hitter up and away. That will be something that, in the Cape League, they’ll not have seen a lot of.”

With no games to play, Allard is making the most of an odd training situation.

His family’s farm has an indoor arena for horseback riding; he’s adopted it for throwing sessions, setting up a tarp to knock down his pitches. He’s occasionally reunited with former Hartford teammate Tyler Hamilton at the Maxfield Sports Complex to toss simulated games. He can lift weights in his basement or run nearby hills.

And he can wait for June and hope for the best.

“I get 10 days to be in the best college summer league and have an opportunity to stay, if I play hard,” he said. “If they have too many players and I have to be sent home, those are circumstances I can’t control. What I can control is how good I pitch and how I take an opportunity that I’ve been waiting for my whole life.”

Greg Fennell can be reached at gfennell@vnews.com or 603-727-3226.




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