Barmakian providing a spark for Schooners while preparing for future

Groton — Steve Barmakian's summer game day routine includes time set aside for something other than baseball.

He regularly spends a few hours a day at the Wheeler Library in North Stonington.

Quite different from his college library at George Washington.

"It's a quaint little place," said Barmakian, who's in his second season with the Mystic Schooners of the New England Collegiate Baseball League. "It's quiet."

With the Law School Admission Test approaching in September, Barmakian, who'll be a senior this fall, is preparing for his future. He plans to go to law school.

He follows a disciplined daily schedule before putting on his Mystic uniform and batting leadoff for the Schooners.

"I wake up, work out, study for about three and a half hours a day and then it's off to baseball," Barmakian said. "It's a grind. But this is your last time doing something as unique as summer college ball, so you've got to appreciate it while you have it."

Barmakian is experiencing a productive summer in the library and on the baseball diamond. He's also enjoying a second season with his host family, Dan and Amy Baker of North Stonington.

Entering Monday's doubleheader against Danbury at Fitch High School, he was batting .320 with one home run and 10 RBI while starting a team-high 30 games. He's among the team leaders in walks (first with 26), hits (tied for first with 39), runs scored (third with 28) and doubles (second with nine).

In the first game of the doubleheader on Monday, Barmakian walked, singled twice and scored two runs in an 8-7 loss to Danbury. Montville's TT Bowens had a double, his 13th home run of the season and five RBI. The second game was halted by rain.

When assembling the roster for this season, team co-owner/pitching coach Dennis Long insisted that Barmakian be brought back for a second season, according to manager Phil Orbe who returned for his second stint with the Schooners.

"He's having an all-star season but didn't make the all-star team...," Orbe said. "He's been the catalyst for us at the top of the order. He's a very mature player."

Barmakian, who plays outfield and third base, also has embraced a leadership role with a relatively young Mystic team. He offers up helpful advice to teammates.

"I take pride in trying to help my teammates," said Barmakian, who's from Westfield, N.J. "That's something that makes you better as a ball player yourself. I'll try to take that into school when I go back. We're going to have a lot of young guys. If I can help the team here, it's going to be good preparation when I go back."

Once the summer season ends, Barmakian will have a short break before returning to George Washington.

He also have more time to study for his law school entrance exam.

He looks forward to learning more about his future profession and tying it into his baseball career.

"I just know the way I think is really aligned with that profession, that logical way of thinking that's in law," Barmakian said. "I really enjoy it."

"Anytime you can learn a new way of thinking about something, it translates to baseball. I like to think of myself of a very cerebral baseball player. I might not have the skills that some of the most talented guys in the league have, I think what's been able to get me by is the way I play."

"That's a lot of credit to my coach at school, coach (Gregg) Ritchie. He's a really good coach and he instills that in you."

For now, Barmakian is focused on helping the Schooners qualify for the NECBL playoffs. Mystic (18-16-1) resides in third place in the Southern Division. The top three make the postseason.

News and notes

• The Schooners are sending six players to the NECBL all-star game on July 28 at Montpelier Recreation Field, the home of the Vermont Mountaineers.

"It's well-deserved for the guys," Orbe said.

Trey McLoughlin (Fairfield) will be the starting pitcher while catcher Jerry Huntzinger (Seton Hall), first baseman TT Bowens (CCSU) and outfielder David Beam (East Tennessee State) will start and Nicholas Robino (Wagner) earned the nod at closer. Reliever Tyler Schoff (Bryant) is also on the Southern Division roster. Barmakian is Mystic's candidate in the online fan vote. ... Beam, who's fifth in the NECBL in batting average (.374), sat out Monday's doubleheader opener with a sore back. ... Bowens has set a franchise record for home runs with 13, easily passing the previous mark of eight.

g.keefe@theday.com

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