May 22, 2018
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Foxcroft Academy baseball coach offers final word on FA-Hermon controversy

By Mark Chevalier, Special to the BDN

Editor’s note: Foxcroft Academy varsity baseball coach Mark Chevalier responds to comments and stories following a BDN story on one of his players getting hit by a pitch in a game against Hermon and the subsequent dismissal of the Hermon coach.

A final word on the Foxcroft Academy-Hermon baseball controversy:

It has been surreal to watch this story spiral out of control on the Internet. It is an excellent commentary on journalism today to see that this story on turned into this on within 24 hours. All I ask for now is a moment to respond.

First, I speak to those who believe that baseball’s unwritten rules were cast aside in our 11-1 victory over Hermon on May 16.

We know these rules but simply disagree about the point at which they are applied. We believe that in certain situations they do not apply until a team has a 10-run lead. We especially believe this to be true against a team of Hermon’s caliber. We split with them last year, and we trailed them 2-1 in the fifth inning at their field earlier this year. We knew it would be tough when we saw who was pitching. We are not going to take them for granted. We run until a team stops us, and we expect other teams to do the same. Hermon’s catcher is very good, one of the best in the league in my opinion, and I believe he’s only a sophomore. We just picked our spots.

We practice for many hours each week, and we spend a lot of time working on situational offense and defense. When we have an opportunity to work on something like a squeeze play, we give our players a chance to prove that they can do it in a bigger spot later. You can’t replicate those opportunities in practice. I would expect the other team to do the same if the situations were reversed.

We’re losing 10 players next year, and I’m sure we’ll take our lumps for a while. If a team has a chance to put us away in a game, I fully expect them to do so by any means necessary.

To Coach Aaron Brideau, I’m sorry it came to this. I hope you know that we did not intend to disrespect you or your team, and that we played no role in Hermon’s decision to terminate you. We played a baseball game, shook hands and went home. We were as surprised as anyone to learn the news.

To those who don’t know me, Caleb Richard, our team, or anything about our program but delighted in the opportunity to take shots at us while using fake names online, I applaud your courage and thank you for making us a tighter family.

To Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo! Sports, I thank you for your exquisite journalism. How heroic to take an existing story, twist its intent, cherry-pick quotes that suit your design, and make no effort to contact either party involved. Godspeed, my friend, you too have made us a better baseball team.

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