COVENTRY- From the rustic setting of Kent County, Rhode Island to the prestigious campus of West Point on banks of the Hudson River, Rob Regine’s baseball journey has been one defined by dedication and commitment.
A four-year playing career at Coventry High School, one that saw him earn an All-State selection as well as the school’s Most Athletic Award and an induction into the National Honors Society, would prove to be just the beginning of what was to come next.
During a road trip with a travel team in the summer before his senior year, Regine caught the eye of Jim Foster, head coach of the West Point baseball team who would later contact him about a potential future with the Black Knights.
Foster, a Warwick native and Bishop Hendricken graduate was familiar with the local baseball scene, having coached the URI Rams for nine years earlier in his career.
Regine was the type of player he was looking to have join his club and sure enough, by the fall of 2017, he was an incoming freshman at the nation’s most respected military academy and officially a member of the West Point baseball team.
Since then, it has been about making a name for himself on a regular basis.
Now in his sophomore year, the Coventry native and Business Management major is continuing his push towards a starting spot on the Black Knights’ roster as his collegiate career approaches its midway mark.
“It’s going pretty good. I think the work that I’ve been doing with Coach Foster and our hitting coach Tom Rispoli has been great,” Regine said recently during a phone interview.
Trey Martin and Josh White two of West Point’s four senior co-captains and both infielders, are players Regine has been watching closely as well, picking as much up from them as he can over the past two years.
“I’ve learned a lot by watching our senior captains,” he said.
Foster has been encouraged by what he has seen as well, hoping to get Regine to “make the jump” into a more prominent role with the club.
“We’re working on his bat speed. He’s getting closer to being a regular contributor,” he said of the sophomore’s future with the club.
West Point was recently in Worcester, MA this past weekend, where they dropped three of four against Patriot League rival Holy Cross. Entering May 1, they sat in third place in their division with a record of 12-9 (26-20 overall). First place Navy has already clinched the Patriot League regular season title, with Holy Cross behind them and then West Point.
While he has largely been used as a pinch hitter over the last two seasons, there have been several memorable moments for Regine in his time at West Point.
The 2018 season saw him play in 30 of Army’s 61 games, accumulating a .222 batting average in 27 plate appearances.
Regine totaled six hits, six runs, one double and four RBI during that stretch, saving his most impressive display for the postseason.
A pinch-hit double in the top of the sixth inning against NC State in Army’s NCAA Raleigh Regional Opener gave the Black Knights a 3-0 lead over the Wolfpack en route to a 5-1 victory.
This year, while only seeing action in 12 games so far, Regine has upped his batting average to .231. In 13 trips to the plate, he has picked up three hits, two doubles and a slugging percentage of .385, with his career slugging percentage now sitting at an even .300.
Baseball is a sport of patience and perseverance. Regine has learned firsthand the level of commitment it takes to compete on a regular basis at the college level.
“The way teams play at a college level is much faster,” he said, as being the single greatest difference between high school and college ball.
The schedule is significantly more demanding as well, with doubleheaders and lengthy travel throughout the course of the year taking its toll on everyone.
Still, Regine continues to push forward, headed down the right track with still two years left at West Point.
While his time with and his commitment to the Black Knights have consumed much of his day-to-day life, Regine was not too busy to keep up with last year’s Oakers and their magical run all the way to the State Finals.
Regine and Oaker head coach Leo Bush keep in touch with one another from time to time, with the former Oaker proud to see what his alma mater was able to accomplish last June.
“It’s just incredible what he has been able to put together with that group,” he said, adding that it speaks to Coventry’s overall resolve and ability to compete with the best of the best in the state.