Gauthier commits to Southern New Hampshire

Tyler Gauthier forever cemented his place in Lynn baseball lore when he belted a dramatic, game-tying three-run homer in the final inning of the 2007 Babe Ruth Eastern Mass. state championship game that the Lynn 15-year-old team eventually won over Plymouth in extra innings.

Gauthier remembers his fence-clearing blast for the Lynn Babe Ruth All-Stars two years ago in South Boston, a magical moment in his baseball career on a day when the game time temperature was in the neighborhood of 100 degrees.

While Gauthier produced that gem with his bat, it’s his pitching that’s making news today. Now a hard-throwing 6-foot-4 1/2-inch, 220-pound right hander (he bats left), Gauthier, a senior at Lynn Classical High School, has earned a athletic/academic scholarship to Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) in Manchester, N.H.,where he will embark on his first college baseball season in 2011.

Gauthier, 17, has verbally committed to SNHU where he’ll join his brother, Bryant, a junior, on the team’s pitching staff. Gauthier, the second of three baseball playing sons (his younger brother, Kyle, also pitches for Classical) of Mark and Cheryl Gauthier, selected SNHU over several Division 1, 2, and 3 schools that had contacted him.

“I liked the coaches and I think the baseball program is going to do good things because they’re bringing in a lot of good players,” said Tyler, who was recruited as a pitcher.

Gauthier has an 88 mph fastball, a good curveball, a splitter, and a changeup in his repertoire and he should be the ace of coach Mike Zukowksi’s Rams staff in the spring. He is coming off a breakout summer in which he won four games for the Gautreau American Legion Raiders.

Zukowski, who played college baseball at Merrimack, says SNHU is a good fit for Gauthier. SNHU plays in the Northeast-10 Conference.

“Southern New Hampshire gave him a great financial package and I think it’s a great fit for him – Division 2, Northeast-10 Conference, excellent baseball,” said Zukowski. “ He’s hitting about high 80s consistently and he has the breaking ball. I think he be able to compete at this level. He’s a smart baseball player, too, so that’s going to help him. He’s about 6-5 and has a good presence on the mound.”

Zukowski said Gauthier should be the ace of a deep pitching staff at Classical that will include junior Greg Ryback, seniors Ryan Powers and Justin Hart, and sophomore Kyle Gauthier.

“Pitching should be our strength this year,” said Zukowski.

Gauthier, who played in the Wyoma Little League, credits his father for teaching him the basics of pitching. He also lauds Zukowski for helping him develop his skills.

“I like our coach a lot,” said Gauthier. “He really knows the game. I know he played college baseball and loves the game.”

Gauthier is excited about the 2010 Classical baseball season. “Our goal is to make the state tournament and I think we definitely can do it,” said Gauthier. “We have a lot of pitching this year and some good bats. I’m just going to keep working through the winter months to get ready for my final year of high school baseball. I’m excited about college baseball and playing on the team with my brother at SNHU. They say my brother has a chance to be an All-American pitcher this year.”

Mark Gauthier said he’s proud of his son.

“I’m very proud of Tyler and his accomplishments,” said Mr. Gauthier. “There were a lot of colleges looking at him, so for Southern New Hampshire to really go after him the way they did really speaks volumes. They have a terrific program up there and knowing the coaches, they’re really gearing the school for success in Division 2.”

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