Sports Person of the Week
Pireaux Making Huge Contributions to Hand’s Stellar Start
Senior captain shortstop Jack Pireaux is hitting .333 for a Hand baseball team that’s sporting a record of 10-0 this spring. (Photo courtesy of Jack Pireaux)
The Hand baseball team is the No. 1-ranked squad in the state of Connecticut, and senior captain shortstop Jack Pireaux is right at the forefront of the Tigers’ attack. Jack has a .333 batting average to go with 14 runs scored, six RBI, and three stolen bases this spring, helping the Tigers storm out to a 10-0 start to their campaign.
Jack feels thrilled about how well Hand is playing ball this year. The senior captain wants to help the Tigers keep a good thing going as they play deeper into the season.
“As of right now, we are currently 10-0, so I couldn’t really ask for much more from the boys. The first 10 games have been so much fun, and the expectation is to just keep the effort and focus,” Jack says. “If we stay locked in, the wins will keep coming. The expectation for the rest of the season is just staying locked in and putting the effort that we need to in order to stay successful. At the end of the day, I just want to have fun playing baseball with the boys.”
Jack’s love for the game started early. Jack’s father Scott often played catch with him in the yard and also taught Jack the fundamentals of hitting a baseball.
“I have been playing baseball for as long as I can remember,” says Jack. “My dad got me into the sport when I was very young by playing catch and hitting with a small baseball bat. He would spend hours with me outside playing baseball, and I loved every minute of it. He signed me up for a Little League, and I haven’t stopped playing since then.”
Hand Head Coach Travis LaPointe is another important figure in Jack’s life. Jack says that working with LaPointe is one of the biggest reasons why he’s become both the player and the person that he is today.
“My relationship with Coach LaPointe has been nothing but amazing. He helps me and many other players out with his advice in life,” Jack says. “He gives everything he has into every game if we are up by one run, losing by 10, or winning by 10. All while doing that, he understands that baseball is something we do for fun.”
Coach LaPointe describes Jack as a quiet leader who has earned the respect of everyone in the Tigers’ dugout through his play on the field. LaPointe also believes that Jack is the team’s best overall athlete.
“Jack has the respect of all of his teammates, coaches, and peers throughout the community,” says LaPointe. “Having him as our shortstop is a security blanket for our pitching staff and our coaches, because we know how tough and skilled he is. He performs best when pressure is the highest. Most importantly, he is kind, respectful, and a role model for our younger players in the program.”
While he’s pleased with Hand’s stellar start to the season, Jack continues to look for ways to improve his approach at the plate and overall game. Jack has been spending a lot of time with his teammates at the batting cages in recent weeks.
“Something I do to improve my game is getting to practice and putting in the focus that is needed to be successful,” Jack says. “I and a lot of my other teammates like to get some extra work in the cages when it gets dark out. It’s hard to call it to work. For us, it’s more just getting together with some friends and doing what we love.”
Jack is hoping that Hand can complete its full season without any setbacks due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Tigers are looking to finish the regular season strong and then make some noise in the playoffs.
“Playing through the COVID-19 pandemic definitely has its struggles. In an attempt to stay on the field, a lot of us have cut down on the people we see outside of the baseball team, which can be tough,” says Jack. “So much of it is just out of our control, which is the hardest thing. As a team, we do what we can and just be grateful and treat every day like it could be your last.”