Former LHS baseball coach returns to Falmouth Commodores of Cape Cod Baseball League

photo by: Conner Becker/Journal-World

Lawrence High coach Brad Stoll shares a chat with his team during a game vs. Shawnee Mission Northwest on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, at LHS.

For years, the Stoll family spent summers in Massachusetts watching baseball and living what Brad Stoll called a “Norman Rockwell” life.

Stoll became an assistant coach of the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod Baseball League, one of the top college summer leagues in the country, back in 2009. For the next seven years, he and his family lived there over the summer and experienced the beauty of New England and the country’s favorite pastime in its purest form.

In 2016, Stoll left the Commodores as his sons Jack and Sam began middle school and high school, but there was always a desire to return if possible.

“I wanted to be with my boys in the summer as much as I possibly could,” Stoll said. “I coached (Jack and Sam) over summers … but I always said, ‘I’m going to go back (to Falmouth) if I can.'”

The Stoll brothers have now moved on from Lawrence in their baseball careers. Jack is an outfielder for Grinnell College in Iowa, and Sam will start his college career at Hutchinson Community College this fall. With their dad no longer coaching them in the summer, it was a perfect time to return to Cape Cod.

“It’s a great opportunity to be involved with the best summer college league there is in an absolutely beautiful part of the country,” he said. “It’s a really awesome experience.”

This time will be a bit different for Stoll, as he leaves LHS with greater finality after a 20-year career with the Lions.

“Stepping away from Lawrence High, we’ll see how that opens up some different avenues in baseball,” he said.

The perks of coaching in the Cape Cod league are apparent. Stoll and his sons have built relationships with numerous college baseball stars who have built successful major league careers. Stoll and his family live close to town on Cape Cod for the summer and are surrounded by baseball.

But the most rewarding part is the players involved with the league. Numerous major leaguers spent their summers in Cape Cod, and Stoll has coached for and against them. Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Rhys Hoskins got to know the Stoll family, and Garrett Cleavinger, a pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays, played for Stoll both at LHS and Falmouth. Cleavinger and the Stolls have become “like family” thanks to their extensive time together. Stoll remembers his team playing against Aaron Judge when the slugger played for the Brewster Whitecaps in 2012. Jack and Sam spent their summers as young kids on the team bus hanging around and learning from eventual MLB stars, something few kids have an opportunity to do.

“The quality of baseball … It’s really tough to find outside of the professional game,” Stoll said. “To be a high school coach exposed to that on a daily basis, it was a thrill.”

Stoll packed up his car and will move up on Friday, and workouts for the team will begin the following week. The Commodores start their season on June 15 through the middle of August. According to the team’s site, the team is coming off a 24-18-2 season in which it won its most games since 2019. Falmouth’s season ended in the first round of the playoffs after it was swept by the Hyannis Harbor Hawks in a three-game series.

Stoll will coach alongside Jeff Trundy, who has been the manager of the Commodores for 26 years, according to the team’s site. Trundy has been one of Stoll’s most significant life, baseball and coaching mentors. Stoll said that the two have talked weekly since he left the team in 2016 and that he’s excited to be in the dugout with him again.

For now, the return to Falmouth is only for this season. Stoll hasn’t figured out the plan for his coaching career once the Cape Cod League season ends.

“There’s a lot of question marks, but I’m excited that they had an opening and wanted me to come back,” Stoll said.

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