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Matt Vautour had this piece in today's Daily Hampshire Gazette on former UMass pitcher Jeremy Demers, who is currently battling cancer.

When he's got a baseball in his hand, it's hard to tell Jeremy Demers has cancer.

Most of the weight he originally lost from his 6-foot, broad-shouldered frame has come back and so far his hair has been unaffected by chemotherapy.

When his right arm reaches back and sends the ball toward the plate, it's not hard to see the standout pitcher he was at Easthampton High School, the University of Massachusetts and the New England College Baseball League.

He has a beard now, and at 31, Demers still looks ready to battle hitters.

Read more: Former Easthampton, UMass pitcher Jeremy Demers stares down fight with cancer

Former UMass baseball and Easthampton pitcher Jeremy Demers will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before Easthampton's home opener vs. Greenfield on Thursday, April 10, 2014, at 3:15 p.m. at Daley Field in Easthampton, Mass.

Volunteers will be accepting donations at the event to help offset Demers' medical costs as he is currently battling Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Donations are also being accepted online here.

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