By: James Middleton | West Chester University
Cotuit, MA – 5,135 miles. That's the distance from Cape Cod to Ewa Beach, Hawaii, and the home of Caleb Lomavita (California-Berkeley) and Nu'u Contrades (Arizona State). The pair once shared the field as teammates but now share the diamond as division rivals on the Cape.
"I've been playing with and against him since I was six years old. We play the same way, hard and disciplined. When we were younger, he was the starting shortstop over me, so I always had that chip on my shoulder. I know that he's going to play his butt off because we are on the field together," said Lomavita on playing his teammate.
Before descending upon the Cape, the pair played together on travel and t-ball teams when they were young. Once they got older, they went to the same high school, Saint Louis School, where they shared the field for four years.
"We took the same path in life. We grew up in the same city and then went to the same high school. We both went to Pac-12 colleges, and both ended up on the Cape," said Lomavita.
While they were at Saint Louis, Lomavita was a year older than Contrades. With prior varsity squad experience and Contrades being called up to the team when he was a freshman, Lomavita acted as his mentor to him on the team.
"He's almost the same guy. He's cool, I could always talk to him whenever I needed to, and we would always do stuff outside the field and have fun," said Contrades.
Lomavita and Contrades were both nominated for the Hawaii Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year Award in their senior years of high school. They both won the award, with Lomavita winning in 2021 and Contrades winning in 2022. The teammates were the fourth and fifth players to win the award in school history.
"It means a lot because playing together when we were younger, we were close. Him winning it, I could look up to him and see how he did it and take after it," said Contrades on the pair winning the award.
Lomavita has spent two summers on the Cape, earning all-star honors in both, and the 2023 season marks the first stint on the Cape for Contrades. Even though they are both far from home, it feels like a piece of home is present when they share the field, whether it is at Doran Park or Lowell Park.
"When there's like your brother playing on the other team, it pretty much feels like home again," said Lomavita.