LYNN — Devin Curley couldn’t have asked for a better senior year at Lynn English High. In the fall, Curley helped lead the football team to a 10-1 season in a year that saw the Bulldogs fall one victory short of winning Division 3 North. In the winter, he helped lead the English swimming and diving team to victory in the Lynn City Meet.
The spring didn’t go as well as he had hoped it would, as the English baseball team went 8-12 thanks in part to falling on the wrong end of multiple close-margin games.
Now Curley has a chance to flip his baseball script with the World Series-bound Lynn Babe Ruth 16-18-year-old All-Stars.
“It’s been a lot of fun playing with this team all summer,” Curley, a right-handed pitcher, said. “I remember when (Lynn coach) Leon (Elwell) told me about playing for this team. He told me we’d have a chance to make the World Series. I remember two years ago when a lot of these guys went to the (15-year-old) World Series. It’s been a lot of fun and it turns out we won regionals and now we’re going to the World Series.”
Lynn emerged as the last team standing in the New England Regionals last week, sealing its bid in the Babe Ruth World Series. The World Series will be played in Jamestown, N.Y. and runs from August 4-August 11. The Lynners play their first game of the tournament Saturday afternoon (2:30) against Fairfax County of Virginia.
“It feels really good representing Lynn, Massachusetts and New England,” Curley, who’ll attend UMass Lowell in the fall, said. “It’s been a lot of fun with the team, the coaches. My high school baseball career was a lot of fun and now it’s great to get a chance to play for a World Series in New York.”
Curley played a huge role in Lynn’s success during regionals. In the tournament opener against Keene (N.H.), Curley tossed seven shutout innings, while allowing just two hits with seven strikeouts. He followed with another dominant performance in the tournament final when he limited Cape Cod to just one run over seven innings with six strikeouts.
For his stellar outings, Curley was awarded the MVP award of the regional tournament. And that’s in the wake of a collarbone injury Curley suffered during the winter.
“It meant a lot,” Curley said. “I didn’t play so much my sophomore year at English. I was an ‘alright’ pitcher coming in. I broke my collarbone in February. I went snowboarding and fell on my collarbone, and ended up having surgery on it. Now to be pitching at this level, it’s a lot of fun.
“I had a lot of fun with English,” Curley said. “We had a couple bad breaks. It’s been fun playing with a group of kids from Lynn. It’s great to have a chance to win a championship with this team.”
As the team closes in on its first World Series game, Curley has nothing but confidence in Lynn’s chances on the national stage. Curley said the team has built an enjoyable atmosphere throughout the summer, one that’ll carry over to Jamestown.
“(I enjoy) the atmosphere of the whole team,” Curley said. “Everyone wants to come down, have fun and play baseball. The coaches (Elwell and Al Donovan) do a great job of showing us things and helping us with the areas that we need to fix. Everyone does a good job of coming down to the field and competing.
“It’s been a great ride,” Curley said of his baseball career. “Starting from East Lynn, Babe Ruth and all the way through English.”
For the past week, the team has asked the Lynn community for help in fundraising for the trip to Jamestown. Babe Ruth pays for one way of transportation, but the rest of the costs have to be financed by the team. The Lynners expect they’ll need somewhere around $8,000 to fund their necessary costs.
Word about the team’s success has made its way through the community and Devin said it’s a good feeling to have Lynn’s support.
“I’ve had people come up to me and say ‘good luck’ and these are people I don’t even know,” Curley said. “I was canning the other day and I had a lady come up to me and say ‘I saw your gofundme page. We’re rooting for you guys and wishing you the best of luck.’”
Lynn departs for Jamestown from Bowzer Complex Thursday morning.