2013 a bump in the road for Matt Wright

CHESTER, N.H. – Very seldom does a person go through life without the road being a little bumpy.

McClure’s Matt Wright has been on that road during the 2013 AA season with the Eastern League’s New Hampshire Fishercats.

Wright, 26, has a 3-4 record and his ERA is 7.06. He was on the disabled list for 21 days.

Until this year, the Midd-West graduate has had a storybook career. He was a three-time All-Star in the Mifflin County Babe Ruth League and as a 15-year-old in 2002 he won the Outstanding Pitching Award and then helped lead Mifflin County to its first Babe Ruth World Series.

In American Legion baseball, he took West Snyder deep into the playoffs as a 17-year-old and on an individual basis that same year, he just missed making the final all-star game as a pitcher.

At Midd-West as a senior (2005) he helped pitch the Mustangs to the PIAA District 4 Class AAA title and then was a key player for the Mustangs on their run to the state quarterfinals.

Then at Shippensburg University, he pitched the Red Raiders to a College World Series berth in 2008 as a junior and was named an NCAA Division II All-American. During his college years, he pitched in what is considered one of the top college summer leagues in the country, the Cape Cod League.

In the spring of his junior year, he was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 12th round.

He moved up the ladder each year going from the New York-Penn League to the Fishercats.

“I have been pretty successful (throughout my career) until this year,” Wright noted. “It’s been a down year and the boys (batters) here will let you know it.”

Last year, Wright was having a pretty good year (1-2, 3.96 ERA) until July when he suffered a knee injury. The Blue Jays sent him down to Florida for rehab and he pitched there before the 2012 season was over.

“I had a quick recovery,” Wright explained.

Also in December of 2012, he married the former Amanda Gilbert of McClure.

“It has been wonderful,” Wright said, “She gives me her backing (to play baseball). This has been a boyhood dream of mine to play at this level.”

When he began his pro career, he was a starter for the Auburn Doubledays in short-season A ball, but as the left-hander moved to higher competition, he worked out of the bullpen.

His career statistics going into the 2013 season include a 12-11 record in 153 games. He started 29 of those games and had four saves. He pitched in 312.1 innings and gave up 274 hits and had a ERA of 3.30.

Wright’s strikeout-to-walk ratio has been outstanding throughout his pro career as he walked 104 (three intentional) to 362 strikeouts.

Even this year, his strikeout-to-walk ratio has been very good as he gave up only 23 bases on balls and struck out 48.

But the last three weeks, he has been idle.

“When I was off those weeks, I tried to keep sharp by throwing on the side every three or four days,” Wright said.

On Friday night, he finally got back into action. He picked up a win against Trenton Thunder (New York Yankees) with four scoreless innings of work in relief.

“I was really happy tonight,” Wright said, “I hadn’t pitched in 21 days. It proves that I can still pitch at this level.”

The Fishercats play their games at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in downtown Manchester and for a change, the man leaving the ball park Friday night with the biggest smile was Matt Wright.