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Lawrence's "bulldog" Vasquez just keeps getting better

by Sean Whooley, Eagle Tribune

Twice during the Massachusetts Legion state tournament, Lawrence Post 15 brought Jairo Vasquez on in relief. Twice, fans and players from the opposing team seemed to have rising energy levels, with an overwhelming sense of pride that they had forced Lawrence’s starters out of the game, and the momentum was on their side.

Both times, there were smirks and giggles from Lawrence fans across the field, like they had a secret that the opposition didn’t quite know yet.

They would soon, though.

When Vasquez popped catcher Henry Checo’s mitt for the first time, his opponents became very aware of what they were up against. Soon, adversaries from across New England might find out, too, with Vasquez one of the go-to stars on the state champion Post 15 team that kicks off its regional tournament run on Wednesday.

“Jairo is the bulldog,” Lawrence coach Julio Ramos said after his team’s state championship triumph. “He’s pretty much lights out.”

Vasquez starred on the Lawrence High team and was an Eagle-Tribune All-Star as a senior in 2018. Then, he says he was throwing about 87 miles per hour, maximum.

After playing as a freshman at New Mexico Junior College, Vasquez’s max is 92, and he’s consistently hurling around 89-90. There hasn’t really been a big change, he said, but he’s just trusted in his process and continued to improve every day.


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