Click here for a Photo Gallery from Mansfield vs. Whitman-Hanson boys lacrosse at Alumni Field, 6-5-23.
Mansfield Comes Out Focused, Cruises Into Sweet 16
MANSFIELD, Mass. – After winning the program’s first league title since 2012, and winning the Davenport in its first season in the division, Mansfield was carrying plenty of momentum into Monday night’s playoff opener at Alumni Field. Going up against a six-win Whitman-Hanson team, the Hornets could have allowed over-confidence to creep in.
Instead the Hornets were buzzing from the opening face-off. Mansfield scored the first six goals of the game, hardly letting the Panthers have the ball in the opening quarter, and rattled off four goals in just 1:16 to close out the first half to secure a dominant 19-6 win and advance to the Div. 2 Sweet Sixteen for the second straight season.
“We were dialed in,” said Mansfield coach Tim Frias. “We had a week and a half to prepare for these guys and hopefully we’ll have the same preparation for Walpole [in the next round]. They came out focused and we’re tough when we’re focused. It was a good team win.”
With freshman Nico Smith winning 6-of-7 face-offs in the first quarter, Mansfield was relentless from the start.
Drew Sacco (four goals and an assist) got open for a shot from the edge of the crease and Cody Gordon (three goals and three assists) followed with a chance that was kicked aside less than a minute into the game. Grady Sullivan (three goals) would force a turnover on a poor clearance and Gordon would break the deadlock with a nice fake and close-range finish.
Just 12 seconds later, Sullivan came racing off the bench, was hit in stride, and carried it straight at goal to make it 2-0. A couple minutes later, Andrew Burnham (two goals and an assist) found twine while taking a big hit and then just 10 seconds later Tommy Vallett scored with a rocket.
Ryan DeGirolamo (nine saves) was largely a spectator for the first six minutes, but he came up with a big save down low to stop James Whitman from getting the visitors on the board. Down the other end, Gordon fed Tommy Smith (four goals and an assist) for his first. Smith would add another before the end of the quarter, following up after his first shot was blocked.
While the Hornets led 6-0, it could have been much worse for the Panthers. Goalie David MacNeil stood on his head to keep Mansfield out, making seven of his 21 saves in the first quarter alone. “Their goalie was on,” Frias said. “I told the guys at halftime that we probably should’ve had about four or five more but their goalie was a hell of a player and kept them in it.”
The Panthers started the second determined to get back into the game. They won the first couple of draws and Collin Murphy beat DeGirolamo to get on the board. Whitman-Hanson had a long spell of possession but Nico Smith made a great interception and over-the-head flip back to his goalie to win the ball back. He then got his lone goal of the game down the other end to make it 7-1.
Gavin McCarthy and Will Frazier scored just eight seconds apart to bring the Panthers within four and get some energy on the visiting bench, but Mansfield closed the half with a flurry that took the sting out of the rest of the game.
With just under four minutes to go, Tommy Smith found Sacco in front for a goal that stemmed the tide. The Panthers were aggressive in transition, bringing their goalie out to try and limit passing options, but Mansfield saw it and started aiming long shots on net. With 1:16 to go, after MacNeil made a brilliant save on the first shot, Sacco was in perfect position to grab the loose ball and slam it into the empty net.
Twenty-seven seconds later, Gordon forced a turnover and found Sacco alone in front for another goal. Just 13 seconds after that, Gordon got one of his own, cutting in from the right and going one-on-one with the goalie. Less than 10 seconds later, Gordon picked out Tommy Smith and he whistled one into the bottom corner from distance. Four goals in just 76 seconds put Mansfield in front 12-3 at the break.
“That impressed hell out of me,” Frias said. “Four goals in one minute was a quick flurry that they didn’t think was coming and that really helped us to put it away.”
In the third quarter, the teams traded goals. McCarthy got a man-up goal for the Panthers but Smith responded with a leaping finish on the other end. Joe Concannon added one in transition for the visitors but from the ensuing face-off Nico Smith got the ball to Sullivan and he had plenty of time to wind up and fire.
After a DeGirolamo save on one end, Mansfield raced down and Sacco got another one in transition. Mansfield led 15-5 after three.
Sullivan, Tommy Smith, Burnham, and Gordon each scored in the fourth quarter to put the Panthers away.
Defensively, the Hornets continued to be strong. Liam Barry, Nolan Bordieri, James DeGirolamo, Thomas Gormley, and LSMs Ben Hoopis and KJ Mahoney helped hold the Panthers to single digits. It’s the 15th game this season where the Hornets held a team under 10 goals.
“It’s all Ryan D right there,” Frias explained. “Having a goalie like Ryan always telling the defense where to be, always talking, and having the save percentage that he has is just phenomenal. We wouldn’t be where we are without Ryan DeGirolamo.”
Mansfield (14-5) will be on the road to face No. 8 Walpole on Wednesday at 4:00.
Baseball Photos: King Philip vs. Agawam
King Philip Rolls Past Agawam Into Round of 16
WRENTHAM, Mass. — Having not played an actual game in two weeks, it was fair to wonder if the King Philip baseball team would show any signs of rust in its playoff opener against Agawam.
The third-seeded Warriors quickly erased that notion with some early offense and cruised to a comfortable 12-1 win over the 35th-seeded Brownies in a Division 2 Round of 32 clash at Lombard Field.
KP pushed across three runs in the first inning, created a big lead with five more runs in the second, and reached double digits with a pair in the third.
Meanwhile, senior ace Rudy Gately worked around some early threats from Agawam, stranding runners at second and third in the first inning with one out, and then again in the second inning after allowing back-to-back hits to lead off. Gately earned the win, striking out six with four hits and one walk allowed in three innings.
“Having two weeks, we really tried to stay fresh at practice,” said King Philip head coach Jeff Plympton. “We brought some past guys in and had our own guys throw live, so I was happy with how the bats responded today. I think that was one of the better hitting performances we’ve had this year. It was good to get all those guys, all those arms in, and get them an inning.”
KP’s big lead allowed Plympton to get Gately out with under 65 pitches thrown. It also set the stage for four KP relievers to get an inning in relief: sophomore Nate Pennini struck out one and had one walk, junior Tommy McLeish was charged with an unearned run and had one strikeout, junior TJ Ahern only needed six pitches to get through a quick sixth inning, and junior Ian Knott struck out one in a scoreless seventh inning. Freshman Leo Dowling caught all seven innings for KP.
“We have depth, and we were throwing them in practice but it’s better to get them in live game situations,” Plympton said. “To be able to get Rudy out of this one, you know if we go on a run here, having him at 60 pitches in the first game is fantastic.”
Junior Max Robison set the table with a leadoff walk and senior Matt Kelley dropped a one-out single into shallow center to put a second runner on. Senior Tommy Martorano sliced an opposite field double that just fell fair for a two-run double to get the Warriors on the board. Sophomore Aiden Astorino followed with a dribbler that got by the pitcher, and Martorano scampered all the way home to make it 3-0.
A leadoff double from McLeish started things for KP in the second inning, and sophomore Cameron Hasenfus (walk) and Robison (singled) both reached to load the bases.
Senior Brendan Sencaj had a bloop single drop into shallow left to bring McLeish in but Hasenfus was tagged out at third after having to wait halfway. Kelley lined an RBI double for another run and sophomore Drew Herlin smashed a monster double to right to score two more. After advancing on a passed ball, Herlin scored on Martorano’s sac fly to center to make it 8-0 after just two innings.
“We have a good lineup, and some games it would flash and some games it wouldn’t but today, it all clicked together and it’s infectious,” Plympton said. “I think that playoff run last year really helps, and the familiarity of being in this situation. They are a confident bunch. We had a really good practice yesterday, probably the best of the season, which is good because of the long break since our last game.”
Gately worked around a one-out double in the third, getting his sixth strikeout to end the inning. KP kept the momentum going in the bottom half when Hasenfus brought Gately (walk) home with a sac fly, and Robison’s RBI ground out plated McLeish (single) to make it 10-0.
Pennini recorded an RBI with an infield single that scored Martorano in the fourth inning, and Ahern reached on an error that allowed Herlin (walk) to come home to make it 12-1.
King Philip baseball (14-7) will meet a familiar foe in the Round of 16 as the Warriors will host Hockomock rival North Attleboro (8-13) on Wednesday at 3:45. The 19th-seeded Rocketeers upset #14 Duxbury, 2-1, on Monday.
Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 06/05/23
Today’s games are listed below.
#32 Lexington, 1 @ #1 Franklin, 5 – Final – Franklin jumped out to an early lead and Alfred Mucciarone took care of the rest as the Panthers started their postseason run with a win over Lexington. The Panthers plated a pair in the bottom of the first inning and tacked on three more in the second inning. Mucciarone allowed just one unearned run on five hits and two walks, striking out 10 in a complete game effort for the win. A two-out walk from Eisig Chin sparked the hosts in the first inning; Chin stole second and came home to score after a single from junior Henry Digiorgio, who made it all the way to third after an error. Ben Jarosz followed with a base hit of his own to bring Digiorgio home for an early 2-0 lead. After Mucciarone retired the side in order in the top of the second, Franklin cashed in with two outs once again in the bottom half. Rex Cinelli singled and Ryan Gerety singled, and after a wild pitch and a stolen base helped moved the runners along, Jase Lyons delivered a clutch hit with a two-run single. Chin was hit by a pitch, Digiorgio singled to load the bases, and Jarosz brought another run in with a walk. Top-seeded Franklin will host #17 Walpole on Wednesday at 7:00.
#31 Durfee, 4 @ #2 Taunton, 9 – Final – A five-run second inning helped the Tigers establish an early advantage and Taunton went on to earn its third win over the Hilltoppers this season. Dwayne Burgo smacked a two-out, two-run single to center to hand Taunton a 2-0 lead after an inning, and after sophomore Johnny Escobalez worked around a two-out single in the top of the second, the Tigers erupted for five runs in the bottom half. Braden Sullivan tripled in Andrew Cali (leadoff single) and then came home to score on Brayden Cali’s sacrifice fly to make it 4-0. Ryan MacDougall kept the inning alive with a two-out single, AJ Lewis followed with a walk, and courtesy runner Jared Spencer came home to score on another RBI single from Burgo. Sean Murphy was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Shawn Cali was also hit, bringing a run home. A passed ball brought Burgo home to make it 7-0. Escobalez pitched well in a no decision, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks, striking out six in 3.1 innings of work. Brady Morin earned the win in relief, allowing one run on five hits in 2.2 innings, striking out one. #2 Taunton will host the winner of #15 Natick and #18 Springfield Central.
#22 Beverly, 0 @ #11 Milford, 2 – Final – Milford senior Evan Cornelius dazzled on the mound, leading the Scarlet Hawks to a shutout win over visiting Beverly. Cornelius was close to untouchable on the night as he allowed just one hit — a one-out single in the second that was erased at second — and didn’t issue a walk, striking out 13 for the win. The Hawks cashed in for two runs in the first inning and that was all the run support Cornelius needed. Damien Carter had a one-out walk and scored on a big double from Keith Lee. After Beverly got the second out, Louis Consigli came through with a clutch hit to right to bring Lee home to make it it 2-0. #11 Milford will travel to #6 St. John’s Shrewsbury on Wednesday at 4:00.
#35 Agawam, 1 @ #3 King Philip, 12 – Final – Click here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.
#18 Westboro, 3 @ #15 Mansfield, 4 – Final – Junior Drew Urban delivered the big hit in the sixth inning as the Hornets secured a close win over upset-minded Westboro. Mansfield jumped ahead 3-0 with a big fifth inning but the momentum didn’t last as the visiting Rangers rallied for three runs in the top of the sixth to tie the game. In the bottom of the sixth, senior Will Lund kept the inning alive with a two-out walk and then came scampering home when Urban launched a double deep to left field to make it 4-3. Connor Curtis (7 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) worked around a leadoff walk in the top of the seventh to get three straight outs to close the game out. Lund and Urban helped ignite Mansfield’s big fifth inning as Lund had a one-out walk and Urban doubled. Aiden Jones drove in the first run of the game with a single up the middle, Jake Maydak scored courtesy runner Kyle Marnikovic after reaching on an error, and Sam Martin made it 3-0 with a two-out single to left to bring Conner Zukowski home. #15 Mansfield will travel to #2 Leominster on Wednesday at 6:30 at Doyle Field.
#19 North Attleboro, 2 @ #14 Duxbury, 1 – Final – North Attleboro’s Jordan Paradis and Dillon Harding combined to deliver a strong pitching performance as the Rocketeers landed an upset on the road against Duxbury. Paradis allowed one run on just two hits, walking five and striking out six in five solid innings to earn the win while Harding tossed two shutout innings in relief, issuing just two walks with no hits against. Offensively, North scored once in the third and once in the fourth; the Dragons’ lone run came in the bottom of the fourth. Paradis got it done on the offensive end as well, smacking a solo home run to right field in the third to hand North the lead. In the fourth, Jack Munley and Chris Hanewich had back-to-back singles and Nate Kelly walked to load the bases. Reed Collins grounded into a fielder’s choice with the force out at second but Munley came home to score to make it 2-0. Duxbury put the tying run on with a two-out walk in the seventh but Harding induced a grounder to Zach Corsetti at short for the final out. #19 North Attleboro returns to familiar territory as they will travel to Wrentham to take on Hock rival #3 King Philip on Wednesday at 3:45.
#38 Watertown, 0 @ #6 Foxboro, 1 – Final – Foxboro’s first inning run proved to be enough for the Warriors in a tight 1-0 win over visiting Watertown. Tyler Prescott led off the bottom of the first with a walk and made his way to third after a pair of outs from the Warriors. That set the stage for sophomore Ryan O’Leary, who delivered the biggest hit of the game with an RBI single to center. O’Leary took care of business from there as he allowed just four hits, walking one with five strikeouts in five scoreless innings on the mound. Senior Sean O’Leary came in and tossed a scoreless seventh inning for the save, working around a one-out single with back-to-back strikeouts to end it. #6 Foxboro will host #22 Archbishop Williams on a date and time to be announced.
#35 Wellesley, 1 @ #3 Taunton, 13 – Final (5 Inn.) – Taunton started its playoff run with a bang, earning a mercy-rule win over visiting Wellesley. The Tigers scored three runs in the first, four more in the second inning, five more times in the fourth, and plated one in the fifth. Mia Torres led the offensive charge as she went 3-for-3 with two RBI and a run, Bella Bourque (2 RBI, 2 runs) and Morgan Fitzgerald (RBI, run) each added two hits, and Ava Venturelli drove in a pair and scored twice for Taunton. Sam Lincoln was strong once again in the circle, allowing one unearned run on two hits and no walks, striking out 12 in five innings. #3 Taunton will host Hock rival #19 Franklin, who upset Westford Academy, on Wednesday at 7:00.
#19 Franklin, 12 @ #14 Westford Academy, 2 – Final – A six-run second inning set the tone as Franklin upset Westford Academy in convincing fashion with a 12-2 win. The Panthers had five of their 17 hits in the second inning, resulting in an early 6-0 lead over the Grey Ghosts. Reece Allen (double) and Katy Liberman (error) both came to score on a one-out double from Dana Stott, who came home to score on an RBI from Avery Chalk. Sarah Boozang delivered a big two-out single to bring another run home and Carly Johnson-Pellegri followed with a two-run home run to center to stake a 6-0 lead. Westford Academy got on the board with a run in the bottom half, and tacked on another in the third, but Franklin scored once in the fourth, pulled away with four runs in the fifth, and tacked on another insurance run in the fifth. Boozang finished 4-for-5 with three RBI and a run, Kiera Kotwicki (two runs) and Chalk (four RBI, run) each chipped in with three hits, and Allen (two doubles) and Stott (two RBI, two runs) each had two hits. Kotwicki allowed two runs (one earned) in the start, scattering six hits and one walk, striking out three in three innings. Sophia Sacramone closed the door with four scoreless innings in relief, allowing three hits and no walks while fanning five batters. #19 Franklin takes on a familiar foe in the next round as the Panthers will travel to #3 Taunton on Wednesday at 7:00.
#28 Milford @ #5 Peabody – Postponed to Tuesday, 6/6 at 5:00.
#28 Norwood, 0 @ #5 North Attleboro, 5 – Final– Click here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.
#30 Stoughton, 1 @ #3 Tewksbury, 9 – Final
#29 Methuen, 0 @ #4 Franklin, 20 – Final – Franklin came out flying in its playoff opening, finding the back of the net 13 times in the first quarter on its way to a convincing win over Methuen. Tyler Sacchetti had three goals and three assists in the Panthers’ big first period while Luke Davis scored a hat trick. Jayden Consigli (one assist) and junior Dylan McEvoy (three assists) each chipped in with a pair of goals for Franklin. #4 Franklin will host the winner of #13 Needham and #20 Natick, who are playing on Tuesday, on Thursday at 6:00.
#24 Whitman-Hanson, 6 @ #9 Mansfield, 19 – Final – Click here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.
#27 Oliver Ames, 5 @ #6 Scituate, 17 – Final – Oliver Ames kept it close in the first half and trailed by just three at the break but the hosts pulled away with a strong second half. Ben Reardon had a hat trick for the Tigers while Shaun Teehan and Victor Romeiro each scored once.
#20 Canton, 7 @ #13 Plymouth South, 9 – Final
#17 Tantasqua, 8 @ #16 Sharon, 11 – Final
#19 North Attleboro, 10 @ #14 Westwood, 18 – Final
#19 Holliston, 4 @ #14 Foxboro, 12 – Final – Foxboro picked up where it left off, finishing off a game started last week and landing a 12-4 win over visiting Holliston. Jon Sachetti led the charge offensively with four goals and one assist, Tony Sulham netted a hat trick, Conor Noone added three points with two goals and one helper, and freshman Cam Deleskey found the back of the net once. Adam Addeche made eight saves in the win. #14 Foxboro will travel to #3 Newburyport on Tuesday at 5:00.
#18 King Philip, 6 @ #15 North Andover, 11 – Final – King Philip’s tournament run was cut short as the Warriors fell on the road to North Andover. Makenzie McDevitt, Nikki McDonald, and Abby MacDonald each scored twice while Kelly Holmes played well on the draw and registered two assists for KP. Senior Ilah Weiblen had a strong game on defense and Emily Campbell played well in net.
#28 Oliver Ames, 8 @ #5 Leominster, 18 – Final
#18 Canton, 5 @ #15 Billerica, 14 – Final
#22 Nauset @ #6 Sharon – Postponed to Wednesday, 6/7 at 3:45.
#13 Mansfield, 0 @ #4 Hingham, 5 – Final
#14 Foxboro @ #3 Dover-Sherborn – Postponed to Tuesday, 6/6 at 3:00.
#18 Wilmington @ #15 Foxboro – Postponed to Tuesday, 6/6 at 3:00 at the Woburn Racquet Club.
Softball Photos: Attleboro vs. Andover
Attleboro Lineup Lifts Off and Powers Past Andover
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – During the regular season, Attleboro hit only one home run as a team. On Sunday morning at the Drummond St. Field, the Bombardiers started their playoff run by hitting three, including the first two homers of the season from senior Lauren Eby.
The power surge at the plate helped overcome and upset-minded Andover, which took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. Attleboro scored 13 straight runs and rolled to a 17-4 victory in five innings, advancing to the Div. 1 Sweet Sixteen for the second year in a row.
“Obviously there is a little concern there,” said Attleboro coach Mark Homer about falling behind early. “In the first couple of innings we’ve had trouble getting going sometimes. A lot of it is nerves. I’ve got a freshman on the mound pitching her first state game, you’ve got to believe she’s a little nervous, but she settled in once our offense made a statement there.”
When asked about responding to a three-run deficit, Eby added, “We’ve done it before, but it’s definitely not something we let get us down. We definitely come back from it, rebuild from it.”
Andover showed no fear at the start of the game and a bench that was already fired up got even louder when Kate Walsh blasted a three-run homer over the fence in right center.
With two outs in the bottom half of the inning, Attleboro answered. Lily Routhier got things started by beating out an infield single to deep short. Eby stepped in and smashed her first homer of the day, in almost the exact same spot as Walsh, to cut the lead down to just one.
It was the perfect response from the home team and a big confidence boost to freshman pitcher Jenna Callahan, who was making her first postseason start. After giving up the homer in the first, Callahan would give up only one more hit and unearned run over the next four innings.
“She was stoic out there today,” Homer said about Callahan. “You don’t see too much expression on her face when things are good or things are bad and that’s self-taught. For her to go out there and work through that situation, that’s what I like about her. Never mind her pitching and her ability to throw the ball, it’s what’s up here.”
Andover got a runner to third in the second, but a fly ball to Sarah Maher in center ended the threat. Callahan started the bottom of the inning with a single to left and Paige Quaglia drew a walk. The runners advanced into scoring position on a ground out, but the Golden Warriors escaped the jam by picking a runner off at third and getting a bouncer back to the circle.
Callahan pitched around a leadoff walk in the third and Attleboro’s bats came alive in the bottom half to take control of the game.
With one out, Rylie Camacho beat out an infield single, drilling a liner off the third baseman’s glove, and stole second. Routhier followed with her second infield hit of the game. Eby put the Bombardiers in front. She hit a towering fly ball up into the breeze, carrying it over the fence in center for her second homer of the day and her fifth RBI.
“It was definitely a good day to hit those, but when I went up there I really was just looking to hit anything,” Eby explained. “Any little hit would’ve helped us, just to get us started. It was such a great feeling. Everyone’s so supportive.”
Homer noted, “About four or five games ago, we moved Lauren down in the order. She was struggling. Today, I went back to the original from the beginning of the season. I don’t know if that had anything to do with it but it might have made her a little more comfortable being back in that No. 4 spot. To see her do that, and hopefully that continues going forward, we’re going to need that.”
Everything seemed to click for the Attleboro lineup. Emily Eby lined a single to get things started again. Callahan was hit by a pitch and Quaglia drove in one with a single to center. Madison Moran followed with a double to right center, driving in another, and fellow sophomore Lilly McGilvray hit a sac fly to right that scored Quaglia and made it 8-3.
Suddenly pitching with the lead, Callahan looked more comfortable and seemed to be throwing harder. Maher hauled in a deep fly ball to start the fourth and then Callahan struck out the next two batters.
“This season, she’s blown me away,” Eby said about Callahan. “I’ve seen her since she was little and to see her out here on the mound and playing with her, I’m really proud of her.”
Camacho led off the fourth by crushing one over the fence in left. Routhier reached on an error and Lauren Eby this time stayed in the park, lining a single to right center. A walk to Emily Eby loaded the bases and Callahan drew a walk to bring in a run. A low throw on a play at the plate allowed Lauren Eby to score and Emily followed right behind on a single by Moran. McGilvray made it 13-3 with a single of her own.
Andover kept pushing and got a base runner with a one-out error. A double would bring the run across, but Callahan stranded one in scoring position by getting a pop up to Routhier at short.
The Bombardiers put the game away in the fifth. Routhier walked to reach base for the fourth time and Eby got her fourth hit of the day on a single to center. Callahan plated one with a single, Quaglia did the same, and then Moran brought in a pair (her third and fourth RBI of the day) with a double to right.
Homer said, “Finally, we got around the second time through on their pitcher. Everyone responded today.
Eby remarked, “I think we’re all really connected. We’ve known each other for so long and we’ve grown up with each other and I think once one person gets it started we build from it and just keep it going.”
Attleboro (13-8) will wait to see who it faces in the next round. The Bombardiers will face the winner of No. 7 Bishop Feehan and No. 26 Braintree.
Sunday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 06/04/23
Today’s games are listed below.
#29 Attleboro, 4 @ #4 Central Catholic, 12 – Final
#23 Andover, 4 @ #10 Attleboro, 17 – Final (5 Inn.) – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.
#40 HS of Commerce, 0 @ #25 Oliver Ames, 22 – Final (5 Inn.)
#26 Andover, 8 @ #7 Franklin, 19 – Final
#28 Oliver Ames, 1 @ # Minnechaug, 4 – Final