Rawlings-PG names Souhegan’s Reagan to Preseason Underclassmen 1st team
Souhegan’s surge to the Division II baseball title in 2016 was built on pitching depth, stellar defense and timely hitting.
Even on such a well-rounded team, it was hard to miss Bryce Reagan.
As a sophomore, the shortstop won the team’s Defensive Player of the Year award for a second straight season and hit .424 with a homer, nine doubles, 30 runs scored and 18 stolen bases.
The nation has taken notice, too.
Reagan, who committed to the University of Texas last fall, was named to the Rawlings-Perfect Game Preseason Underclassmen All-American first team on Friday.
Each team features 100 players who are entering their junior, sophomore or freshman season in high school from the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Bedford junior first baseman Grant Lavigne, who is Reagan’s teammate on the Northeast Baseball Rays in the summer and fall, landed on the second team and was the only other New Hampshire native among the top 300.
“With more than 450,000 high school baseball players in the nation, the Rawlings-Perfect Game Preseason Underclass All-American players represent the very best in their class,” Mike Thompson, executive vice president of marketing for St. Louis-based Rawlings, said in a press release.
The prestigious preseason accolade is appreciated, but Reagan is more concerned about the postseason.
“It’s nice, but right now I’m focused on winning another championship,” Reagan said, “but it’s definitely a good thing to have under my belt.”
Reagan made the verbal commitment to Texas in September. Once he saw the campus and met the staff, he was hooked on the Longhorns.
“We had sent a recruiting video out – me and one of my coaches – and they wanted to get me down there,” Reagan recalled. “I went down on a tour and I just fell in love with it immediately and they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, so I decided to call it home.
“The coaches were awesome,” he added. “The fans are supposed to be great, awesome facilities and it seems like there’s a lot of successful players that come out of there.”
Although the future is bright, Reagan is fixated on the present.
Souhegan opens its title defense in April and the Sabers figure to be strong once again. Reagan is a co-captain alongside seniors Tucker Aiello, Owen Batchelder and Max Benevides. Junior returnees include championship contributors Alec Burns and Ryan Hill.
“Last year we formed a pretty good brotherhood on the team and that’s the reason we won,” Reagan said. “We’ve had a really good offseason and I think we should have a good run at it again as long as we can that brotherhood back.”
Reagan’s physical tools are enough to thrive at the varsity level, but he acknowledges the necessity to continue working on his strength between the ears.
“It comes down to your mental game. That’s what separates the good from the best,” Reagan said. “An area I want to improve on is my mental approach hitting. I have the talent and swing, I just need to trust myself and stay patient.”
Baseball is an around-the-calendar activity for Reagan, and he wouldn’t want it any other way.
“It’s really non-stop. I love getting ready for it in the offseason, and doing my best and having fun,” Reagan said. “It comes down to wanting it more than the guy next to you. I’ve always loved baseball, so there’s a lot of reasons I’m playing – for myself, for my family. It’s a pretty important part of my life now and it gets bigger every day.”