Morganelli Could Be Impact Player for Bentley College Nine

Ken Hamwey Staff Sports Writer
KP Star in Baseball, Football
Issue Date: 
August, 2019
Article Body: 

David Morganelli finished his athletic career at King Philip Regional by excelling in two sports — football and baseball — and now he’s preparing to succeed at the collegiate level. That chapter will begin next month when fall baseball gets underway at Bentley College.
The 6-foot-2 190-pounder, who was a captain in both sports as a KP senior, was a sure-handed wide receiver for coach Brian Lee’s two-time Super Bowl champions, and he was a major asset as a pitcher and third baseman for three seasons.
A Hockomock League all-star in both sports, the Norfolk native didn’t always compile overpowering statistics but when the lights were bright and a clutch effort was needed, Morganelli usually got the nod. And, he delivered.
Last fall, in the playoff semifinals in football, KP needed a touchdown to clinch a berth for a third straight Super Bowl appearance. A play was designed for Morganelli and his 20-yard reception was spotted at Mansfield’s one-inch line. The Warriors scored on the next play, ensuring a matchup against North Andover at Gillette Stadium.
As a sophomore, with KP needing a victory over Milford to even its record at 10-10 and to secure a date in the baseball tournament, Morganelli was summoned for relief duty with the bases loaded. He calmly retired the next three batters and the Warriors were playoff-bound.
“Those situations were definitely two of my best high school games,’’ Morganelli said. “I played against Mansfield in spite of a broken hand. We trailed but we came back. The battle against Milford wasn’t settled until the seventh inning. As a captain, I always tried to lead by example and that means to do what you’re supposed to. I enjoy being called on in tense situations.’’
A right-hander who banks on a fastball and curve, Morganelli is acutely aware that his transition to Division 2 Bentley will be challenging. But, he’s eager to face whatever hurdles await.
“What I’ll need to do in college is to develop a third pitch, improve the speed of my fastball and read the hitters more effectively,’’ he offered. “Keeping hitters off balance will be a big factor and I hope to increase my fastball speed, which has been in the mid-80 mph range. The third pitch I’ll add will be a change-up.’’
Morganelli’s summer preparation has included lots of physical conditioning (running and weightlifting). But, the best elixir has been pitching and hitting for the Franklin Legion squad.
“I’m glad I got the opportunity to play for Franklin this year,’’ Morganelli emphasized. “I previously was on the Norfolk Legion for two years but missed one season because of a fractured wrist. It’s also fun being with former teammate Terry Murray. We were the starters for KP during the spring. Franklin is a comfortable setting and I’m glad to be part of their organization.’’
Manager Joe Macchi no doubt likes having Morganelli aboard, especially after the 18-year-old’s performance against Norwood early in the campaign. Using his aggressive approach on the mound and at the plate, Morganelli pitched three solid innings of relief and went 3-for-4 at the plate. His walk-off single in the seventh gave Post 75 a 5-4 triumph.
“David is versatile because he can be used as a starter or closer,’’ Macchi said. “He’s a quiet competitor who gets the job done.’’
At the start of the Legion season, Morganelli’s goals for Franklin were to qualify for the playoffs and advance as far as possible. Franklin’s 14-2 record has ensured a berth in the District 6 playoffs and it’s Morganelli’s statistics that have played a role. After 16 games, he had a 3-0 record, a 1.26 E.R.A. and a .412 batting average. He also had 28 strikeouts in 20 innings.
A team-first competitor, Morganelli’s numbers at KP may not have been dynamic in the win-loss column but his E.R.A. was outstanding. He went 2-3 as a junior and had an E.R.A. of 1.99. His senior year included a 2-6 record, an E.R.A. of 2.32 and a batting average of .330.
“David competes with lots of heart and dedication,’’ said KP baseball coach Greg Kessler. “A quality leader and a great kid, he always wants the ball in a big game. His record this year wasn’t impressive because we didn’t get him many runs. But he was top-notch, finishing his career with 100 strikeouts.’’
The attributes that made Morganelli a breed apart, both in football and baseball, were his high athletic IQ, mental toughness and his athleticism. On the gridiron, he relied on dependable hands and solid route-running. On the diamond, he was aggressive, worked intensely and maintained a positive attitude.
An honor-roll student at KP, Morganelli plans on majoring in finance at Bentley. And, he plans to prove that he’s worthy of playing time on the Falcons’ baseball team.
“Two of Bentley’s assistant coaches scouted me at KP,’’ Morganelli noted. “They saw two games and said that if I keep up the good work, I could make an impact as a freshman.”
Morganelli has the ability and the attitude to be considered a great catch by Bentley. His athletic philosophy and the lessons he’s learned in competition could lead to a quality college career.
“I play to win,’’ he said. “I also strive to reach my potential. Winning creates fun, and athletics has helped me to develop relationships, build confidence, overcome adversity and to realize there are no limits to what one can achieve.’’
Calling his parents (Patrick and Kristen) role models for their support and encouragement, Morganelli also admires his football coach. “We won two Super Bowls with coach Lee,’’ he said. “He inspires and motivates his players very well. He also stresses the importance of conditioning.’’
Now that his KP career is history, Morganelli knows he’ll miss his Warrior teammates and friends. “It’s bittersweet because people will be missed but there’s a new chapter ahead at Bentley,’’ he emphasized. “I experienced success at KP and hope it’ll continue in college.’’
David Morganelli’s positive attitude and his insatiable work ethic will be valuable assets as he takes his game to a higher level.