Steve Perakslis played and learned from a Hall of Fame coach. Now he’s solidifying his own legacy.
Perakslis, who came up under legendary Abington High baseball coach Tom Graham, earned his 300th win at the helm of the Green Wave Wednesday during a 5-0 victory over Norwell.
“It’s quite an honor,” said Perakslis. “It’s been a long time. Starting back 20 years ago, I didn’t know if I’d get this far, but I love coaching. I love the kids.”
Perakslis, a 1981 Abington High graduate played under Graham and then coached the freshman and junior varsity teams, before taking over the varsity program from Graham in 2002.
In 2006, Abington named the varsity baseball diamond after Graham, who is a member of the Massachusetts Baseball Hall of Fame and Abington High School Hall of Fame. Perakslis, meanwhile, has brought the Green Wave baseball program to even higher heights, winning a state championship in 2009, and making it to the state title game last year.
“The kids won the games not me. All I did was write their names down and … give them a little bit of coaching,” he said.
Abington High Athletic Director Peter Serino said Perakslis has excelled because of how much he cares.
“He has an unmatched passion for not only the game of baseball but for seeing his kids succeed, on and off the field,” said Serino. “It is apparent to everyone that plays for him how much he cares about them and the kids know that he will do anything for them. As much as he knows about the game of baseball, he knows more about kids.”
Wednesday’s game wasn’t the prettiest of Perakslis’ career – those could include any of the no-hitters thrown by former star pitcher C.J. Hillyer, or current standout Aidan O’Donnell – but the Green Wave got the job done for their coach.
Norwell starting pitcher Ky Princi had control issues all day, and at one point in the first inning walked four batters in a row to give the Green Wave a 1-0 lead. Princi walked eight batters in 3 2/3 innings, as well as hit a batter, struck out four, and was responsible for all five runs.
In the second inning, Ryan Tobin hit a long triple to right center scoring John Sellon and Drew Donovan. Tobin then scored on a wild pitch by Princi to make it 4-0.
Sellon (two walks on the day, plus a ground out) would score again in the fourth inning on a single by O’Donnell (the only Green Wave batter with two hits in the game) to cap the scoring at 5-0.
Green Wave starting pitcher Steve Madden was not his typical sharp self, likely the result of pitching a fourth straight day. He walked six Norwell batters in four innings, but he only gave up two hits and held the Clippers scoreless. Henry Rogers gave up just one hit in three innings of shutout relief work.
After the final out, Perakslis received an ice-water bath from his excited players and was given the game ball.
“It’s been great,” he said. “I’ve had the best 20 years of my life.”
Perakslis will be further honored before the Green Wave’s home game Saturday against Cohasset at 3 p.m.