Almost a year and a half since its last game, with a few months of finger-crossing left before its next one, the South Kingstown High School baseball program enjoyed a proud moment last month.
On Nov. 12, Rebel seniors Jack Wentworth and Zac Zyons signed to play Division I college baseball. Wentworth is headed to Seton Hall, while Zyons will play at Bryant.
South Kingstown is no stranger to baseball exports, of course. The current duo will join several of their predecessors at the Division I level, including Liam McGill and Bo Brutti, plus a host of others in the Division II and III ranks. But it’s a feat every time the tradition continues, particularly for two players in the same class.
“It’s unbelievable,” Wentworth said. “South Kingstown baseball, it’s been nothing but help for us. High school, and even when I was younger in Little League, it’s such a good environment and such a great organization. It’s what brought us here.”
They’re proud to have company, too, with a number of their teammates pledged to play at Division III schools. Scott Cromack has committed to UMass-Dartmouth, Andrew Mosher to Endicott and Owen Caldwell to Lasell, with a few others still solidifying their plans. Junior Ben Brutti can’t sign until next year, but has committed to URI.
“I’ve always said SK is a baseball town,” Zyons said. “Some people may disagree, but for the past 20 years, SK has always been right there, at least high school wise. I think that says a lot about coach [Jim] Sauro. Some people don’t like him, but I love him personally. I think everyone on the team could agree he’s one of, if not the best coach we’ve ever had. He coaches college kids that get drafted every summer, and he brings that same mentality to us. It makes us better.”
Many of the current seniors found baseball success even before they stepped onto Old Mountain Field, winning a district championship with South Kingstown Little League in 2015. At the time, the league broke its all-star teams into two groups before merging soon after. Both teams were good that summer of 2015, a hint of what was to come.
“When we were there it was American and National League,” Wentworth said. “Everyone always said, if we were combined, we feel like we could have gone to the Little League World Series. It’s insane to say, but I think we could have been that good.”
Not long after those all-star days, Wentworth and Zyons made an immediate splash with the high school team, starting as freshmen on the 2018 state championship club. Wentworth played left field and Zyons manned shortstop. Wentworth drove in the first run of a victory in game one of the championship series, and Zyons had four RBI.
“SK has always been one of the strongest programs throughout Rhode Island, and I’m proud to be a part of it,” Wentworth said.
After strong sophomore seasons, Wentworth and Zyons made an impression in the summer travel ball circuit and began to get opportunities. Wentworth committed to Seton Hall last September, and Zyons chose Bryant a few months later.
“It’s always been a dream for us to make it here, ever since we were kids,” Wentworth said. “Everyone wants to play college baseball, but I never thought I would get to this point. It’s awesome.”
“I took it step by step,” Zyons said. “When I was younger, I just wanted to make the all-star team. When I got to middle school, I wanted to play on the middle school team. When I got to high school, just wanted to play. It was probably mid-sophomore year when I realized I had a chance to play Division I, and that just made me work harder.”
Making it official with signed letters of intent gets them one step closer.
“Making it official was a huge changing point. It was just surreal,” Wentworth said. “I’ve always had it in the back of my mind – that’s where I’m going, I’m pumped, I can’t wait. But after the signing, it feels so much more real. It’s in front of me, like I’m almost there. It’s another step closer.”
“I’m excited,” Zyons said. “I’ve worked for it my whole life. It’s what I’ve always dreamed of. Now that it’s all coming together, one step closer to making it happen.”
The next step comes in the spring, with the potential return of high school baseball after last season’s cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic. Wentworth, Zyons and their college-bound classmates form the nucleus of what should be another strong South Kingstown team.
“We have all these kids from one town who stayed together,” Zyons said. “We didn’t send anyone to private schools. We won a championship together. And now we’re going to go play in college. We made it farther than most friends would in the sport.”
And they’re hoping for one more ride together.
“Just hope it happens,” Wentworth said. “It’s going to be a big year for us.”