Canton, 7 @ Bishop Feehan, 3 – Final – Canton closed out the regular season with a big road win that gives the Bulldogs a chance of taking one of the last spots in the state tournament. Canton jumped ahead 2-0 in the first, but the Shamrocks answered back with three runs in the second. The visitors stole momentum immediately and regained the lead with a two-run third. Canton tacked on one in the fifth and two more in the seventh to seal the win. Hayden Rose picked up the win on the mound, going the distance and allowing only four hits and two earned runs, while striking out three. Rose also had two hits and an RBI at the plate. Jack Digirolamo scored twice and hit a solo homer. Matt Hart continued to swing a hot bat with three hits and two RBI and Owen Lane and Matt Chafin each had two hits and a run scored.
Mansfield, 0 @ Milford, 3 – Final – Milford senior righty Evan Cornelius was stellar on the mound in six shutout innings and the Hawks provided enough offense to deliver a 3-0 win over visiting Mansfield. Cornelius scattered four hits and three walks while racking up an impressive 16 strikeouts, including some key ones with the Hornets threatening. Cornelius stranded a runner at second with one out after back-to-back strikeouts, left runners on the corners in the third one one out again with consecutive strikeouts, and struck out three straight in the fourth after a leadoff walk. Mansfield senior Conner Zukowski gave Mansfield runners at second and third with a one-out single in the fifth but Cornelius bucked down with a strikeout and a grounder to second. The biggest chance for the visitors came in the top of the sixth when Matt DeShiro reached on an error, Wyatt Bolduc singled to left, and Will Lund earned a one-out walk to load the bases. But the Hornets didn’t cash in as Cornelius struck out two in a row — both looking — to end the threat. Milford scored once in the first after back-to-back errors from the Hornets allowed Brady Butler to score with two outs. In the fourth, sophomore Joey McGee (3-for-3) and junior Victor Martinez had back-to-back singles to lead off, and the former came in to score on a squeeze from Joe Butler. Junior Keith Lee delivered a key two-out single to bring in Milford’s third run. Ian Carter tossed a scoreless seventh inning for the save, striking out one. Sophomore lefty Luke Rogan (4.1 IP) pitched well in relief for Mansfield, allowing just two runs on five hits and three walks, recording three strikeouts.
North Attleboro, 2 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 3 – Final – North Attleboro jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning but the host Trojans chipped away, scoring once in the third, once in the fifth, and once in the sixth on a squeeze play to secure the win. Ayden Delaney had a one-out walk, Harrison Gagne kept the inning alive with a two-out single, Delaney scored on an error, and Zach Corsetti singled to right for an RBI to give the Rocketeers an early 2-0 lead. Dillon Harding pitched well in the loss, scattering nine hits and no walks for three runs (two earned) allowed.
Stoughton, 11 vs. Brockton, 3 – Final – Stoughton’s offense came alive to the tune of 11 runs on 11 hits and the Black Knights knocked out the Boxers, completing a season sweep of neighboring Brockton. Stoughton’s seniors led the charge as Sean Farley had a pair of hits, an RBI, and a run scored, Jeriel Cuello added two hits and two runs scored, Joseph Rush had a double, two walks, an RBI and a run scored, and James McCarthy had an RBI, two runs scored, and played sound defense in right field. Rush also earned the win on the sound, scattering seven hits and two walks for three runs (two earned), striking out eight in a complete game effort. “We had a great performance by all four seniors,” said Stoughton head coach Kevin Carty. Ben Shirey added two hits, two RBI, and two runs scored, Hunter Malkin had a hit, a walk, an RBI, and a run, Dom Belle collected a double and two RBI, Andrew Beder singled in a run, and freshman Drew Geaney collected his first career hit to go along with an RBI and a run scored.
Stoughton, 11 @ Brockton, 9 – Final
Taunton, 16 vs. Bishop Feehan, 2 – Final (6 Inn.) – Bella Bourque hit a pair of homers and Taunton pulled away with 15 runs over the final four innings to sweep the season series with Feehan. The Tigers got a run in the first to take the lead, but Feehan scored twice in the third and grabbed the lead. It was short-lived. Taunton scored six in the bottom half of the inning to take control. The Tigers added two more in the fifth and walked it off with a seven-run sixth. Bourque was 2-for-5, scored twice and drove in four. Leadoff hitter Kyleah Plumb set the table for the Tigers, going 4-for-5 with a triple, driving in four, and scoring twice. Kaysie DeMoura had three hits and scored twice and Mia Torres added two hits, two runs, and two RBI. Hayley Krockta, Brooke Aldrich, and Mia Fernandes all had hits and combined for five runs scored. Sam Lincoln allowed two runs over six innings and struck out 12 to get the win.
North Attleboro, 5 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final – Kelly Colleran struck out 17 and allowed just three hits to record her eighth shutout of the season. Maryellen Charette got the North offense going with a two-run single in the third inning, plating Arianna McDavitt and Colleran with what turned out to be the winning runs. In the fifth, Charette’s heads-up base-running allowed her to score from third on a passed ball to make it 3-0. Colleran helped her own cause an inning later with a two-run homer, scoring Maddie Bailey. Colleran, Charette, and Grace Simmons each had multi-hit games for North. Grace Forman had a hit and was key defensively at third, making several nice plays to cut out bunt attempts by the Tigers. Maddie Homer had a double and a stolen base, and Madison Monteiro and Katherine Farley each had a single for OA.
Franklin, 8 @ Milford, 9 – Final – Two days after suffering a one-run setback at Franklin, Milford extracted some revenge with a comeback win of their own, plating the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning to earn a series split. Both offenses picked up where they left off as the Panthers pushed across four runs in the first (highlighted by two-run singles from both Hailey Fales and Dana Stott) but Milford answered with five runs in the bottom half (highlighted by RBI doubles from both Cae Pellegrini and Ava Baglione). An RBI single from Avery Chalk tied the game and Carly Pellegri drew a bases-loaded walk to put the Panthers back in front, 6-5, in the fourth but Pellegrini drove one to center to bring Olivia Baglione home to make it 6-6. Chalk added another RBI single and Pellegri’s sac fly pushed the lead to 8-6 in the top of the fifth only for the Scarlet Hawks to once again answer in the bottom half; Grace Bonina doubled in a run and then scored on an error in the next at-bat. Maeve Williams’ RBI single in the bottom of the sixth proved to be the difference, putting Milford ahead 9-8. Maeve Driscoll retired the side in order in the top of the seventh to finish off the complete game.
Mansfield, 6 @ Canton, 0 – Final – Dani Jameson tossed a complete game shutout and the Hornets added four insurance runs in the seventh inning to pull away from Canton for the win. The Hornets took the lead in the third after Callie Lake singled, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a fielder’s choice. The lead lasted until the fifth when the Hornets were able to double their advantage as Lake singled in Reilley Slaney (single). In the seventh, Lake recorded a two-out RBI to bring in Molly Crowley (double), Molly Kucharski drove in Lake and Liv Madeira (single) with a base hit, and Jill Koppy brought in another run with a double. Jameson allowed six hits while striking out five for the win.
Attleboro, 7 @ Sharon, 13 – Final
Franklin, 16 vs. Lincoln-Sudbury, 10 – Final – Franklin built a six-goal edge by halftime and held that lead the rest of the way in an impressive victory over sixth-ranked Lincoln-Sudbury. Luke Davis led the way with seven points, scoring a hat trick and registering four assists while Tyler Sacchetti found the back of the net four times and Jayden Consigli scored three times. Senior Chris Drake (two goals, one assist) and junior Eddie O’Brien (one goal, two assists) each finished with three points in the win.
King Philip, 14 @ Ashland, 6 – Final – King Philip picked its third straight win to complete the regular season, taking down the Clockers on the road. Noah Minkwitz had a standout performance offensively with a team-high six points (five goals, one assist) while Donovan DeVellis added a pair of goals and a trio of assists and Hayden Schmitz found the back of the net four times. Pat Weiblen recorded a hat trick with one helper, and both Justin Kosh and Tommy Kilroy chipped in with an assist. James Boldy had another big day in net with 14 saves.
Mansfield, 16 @ AMSA, 6 – Final – Tommy Smith scored half of Mansfield’s goals, as the Hornets rolled to a big win in the regular season finale. Drew Sacco added a hat trick and Nico Smith had three points (two goals and an assist) and was perfect on face-offs for the Hornets. Andrew DeGirolamo had a hand in six goals, finding the back of the net once and setting up five, and Cody Gordon and Tommy Vallett each scored once. Ryan DeGirolamo made 15 saves and the defense, led by Nolan Bordieri, Liam Barry, and Thomas Gormley, shut down the AMSA attack for most of the night.
Sharon, 3 @ Attleboro, 15 – Final – The Bombardiers bounced back from a tough overtime loss earlier in the week with a convincing win over visiting Sharon. Attleboro’s five seniors all found their way onto the score sheet as Jordan Mooney scored a pair of goals along with one assist, Stella Kraweic recorded three assists, and Gigi Sprovieri, Meg Ferreira, and Ella Stromfors each scored once.
Milford, 12 vs. Bellingham, 5 – Final – A trio of four-goal bursts helped the Hawks land a win over visiting Bellingham. Milford opened the game with a 4-0 run, extended the lead back to 8-4 when Bellingham cut into the deficit, and then pulled away for good with a 4-0 run to make it 12-5. Emily Croteau led the way with seven points (five goals, two assists) while sophomores Alexa Landry and TJ Downing each had a hat trick in the win. Jordan Douglas added a goal and an assist and Erin Michelson chipped in with one assist; Caitlyn Bangert turned away 12 shots in the win.
North Attleboro, 8 @ Oliver Ames, 20 – Final
Franklin, 0 vs. Dover-Sherborn, 5 – Final
Franklin, 0 vs. Dover-Sherborn, 5 – Final
Mansfield, 1 @ Bishop Feehan, 4 – Final – Mansfield sophomore Neema Khosravani had the lone win for the Hornets in a good tune-up for the postseason against a talented Bishop Feehan squad. Khosravani secured a hard-fought 7-5, 6-1 win at first singles.
Milford, 0 vs. Medway, 4 – Final
Sharon, 0 vs. Duxbury, 5 – Final
Mansfield, 1 vs. Bishop Feehan, 4 – Final
Sharon, 2 @ Duxbury, 3 – Final
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames sophomore Hannah Farber picked up her biggest win of the season, landing a crucial win at first singles to help Oliver Ames earn its second 3-2 win over Foxboro this week. Farber played the best match of her season on her way to a 6-3, 6-3 win at first singles, Olivia Querzoli added a 6-2, 6-3 win at second singles for OA, and Stella Zachos rounded out the singles sweep with a 6-1, 6-2 win at third singles.
King Philip, 3 vs. Norton, 0 – Final
2022 Record: 5-15 2022 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Steve Dunlea
Attleboro returns a strong core from last year and will be aiming to make some noise in one of the toughest divisions in the state. The Bombardiers had three one-run losses last year and two more in extra innings, and despite their record, just missed out on the state tournament. A big reason for that is the challenges they face throughout the season as the Kelley-Rex division last year featured both Division 1 state finalists (Franklin and Taunton), the Division 2 state finalist (KP), plus Mansfield, who reached the Division 2 final four.
The Bombardiers boast a lot of returning players up and down the lineup, and on the mound as well. Although it’s a young rotation, Attleboro has some talented arms that picked up some invaluable experience a year ago. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Tyler Dunlea (3-3, 2.74) will anchor the rotation a year removed from striking out 23 batters in 23 innings of work as a freshman. Junior Jonny Pagano is another righty that gained key experience last year and senior Sean O’Hara will be a veteran presence in the rotation. Senior Owen Lombardo, juniors Matt Harvie, Braxton Levin, Tyson Forte, and freshman Ryan Landry are all in the mix to get some innings in relief.
Offense will be an area that Attleboro will look to improve on as they go against some of the best pitchers in the area. Senior Danny Johnson is in his third year as a varsity starter and will lead a talented outfielder group that features Harvie and classmate Brody McKenna. Seniors Casey Victorio and Ran Martin, along with junior Jackson Huntington, will look to provide an offensive punch as well. Senior captains Peter Delpozzo and Cooper Johnson (0.364 average last year) are back in the fold and will lead by example both offensively and defensively for head coach Steve Dunlea. Pagano, junior Andrew Gorman, and sophomore Jacob Bettencourt are all battling for time in the infield as well. Aiden Hochwarter resumes his role as the starting catcher for the Bombardiers.
2023 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
“I am very excited about this year’s team,” said Attleboro head coach Steve Dunlea. “We have excellent leadership in our three captains. Our pitching and defense will continue to be a strength for us. We also have a great mix of returning starters and new players on offense. These guys are well aware that we play in arguably the toughest division in Massachusetts and you have to be ready to compete every day.”
2022 Record: 9-12 2022 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Round of 32 Coach: David Walsh
Canton has a new head coach in David Walsh but the goals remain the same as the Bulldogs will be aiming to return to the state tournament again this year. With a talented core back in the fold from last year’s team, not only will the Bulldogs be in the mix to make the playoffs, they could contend for the Davenport division title.
The lineup will feature a lot of familiar faces from last year that is anchored by a seasoned senior class. Shortstop Matt Chafin is among the best players in the league and is committed to play at the next level at Brandies. He will be joined in the lineup by Jack Digirolamo, one of the most dangerous hitters in the league. Digirolamo led the team in average last season with a 0.446 batting average (29 hits), which was good for fourth in the entire league while Chafin finished at 0.350 with 16 runs scored. Senior Hayden Rose (Framingham State) is another familiar name that will play a lot of innings for the Bulldogs, coming off a season in which he hit 0.328 with a team-high 17 RBI.
Rose will anchor a pitching staff that will need to fill some holes this year. Rose was among the league leaders in terms of innings pitched last year, coming in second in the regular season in the Hock with 43.2 innings of working. He posted a 4-4 record with a 2.89 ERA, striking out 28. Andrew Butler and Zach Peters combined for over 50 innings last year but with both players graduated, there will be an opportunity for new faces to step up for Walsh. While the Bulldogs get the rotation set, Walsh is preaching fundamentals and having the team pride themselves on good defense.
“This will be a fundamentally sound group who is gritty, tough, and are not afraid of the everyday grind,” Walsh said. “We will rely on our pitchers to throw strikes, defense to be routine, and situationally hit. If we are able to do all three in each game we will be very competitive.”
2022 Record: 16-8 2022 Finish: Reached Div. 3 Final Four Coach: Derek Suess
Foxboro was one of the feel-good stories last season as the Warriors made a dramatic tournament run to the state semifinals before falling to eventual state champ Austin Prep. While the Warriors are strictly focusing on the road ahead, last season set a new standard for Foxboro.
There is a lot of optimism that the Warriors can pick up where they left off because they have almost their entire roster back for 2023. Last year’s squad had a lot of young and inexperienced players that matured quickly throughout the year. Foxboro won’t be sneaking up on anyone this year as they start the season as a serious contender for the Davenport division title. On the mound, Foxboro has six players back that tossed varsity innings including their top three: senior Sean O’Leary (UMass Lowell), senior Mat Sullivan, and sophomore Nolan Gordon. Senior Alex Stern and sophomores Danny Jacobs and Tommy Watts are also back in the fold and the Warriors have added junior Pradyu Gubbala and sophomore Ryan O’Leary to the mix. Ryan LeClair, a veteran in the group, could also see time on the mound this year.
Sophomore Mike Marcucella returns behind the dish after earning the starting role as a freshman last year. LeClair (Stonehill) returns to shortstop and is one of the best defensive players in the region and he’s complemented by Sean O’Leary, who will play third when he isn’t pitching. On the right side, junior Tyler Prescott will man second base and he will also be counted upon to set the table for the offense out of the leadoff spot. Ryan O’Leary will take over at first base this season. Stern, Sullivan, and Watts will add infield depth when not on the mound.
The outfield will also have a lot of familiar faces with veteran Louis Carangelo back in left field after a breakout junior season. Carangelo was one of the most consistent offensive players in the Hock, hitting 0.333 with 16 RBI. Sophomore Ben Angelini has had a strong preseason so far and will patrol center for the Warriors while junior Shane Henri will be in right field. Senior Kenny Mello was a solid contributor for Foxboro last year but will miss the season with an injury. Freshman Aidan Stow and Gordon will provide outfield depth.
“Despite last season’s success, this season provides new opportunities and challenges for our ballclub,” said Foxboro head coach Derek Suess. “We will be battle-tested, with an always difficult Hockomock League schedule, and a strong non-league slate as well. We need to compete each day, at a championship-level standard, to give ourselves the best opportunity to reach the goals we have set for the season. Our leadership and culture have never been stronger.”
2022 Record: 23-4 2022 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Final (Kelley-Rex champion) Coach: Zach Brown
Although Franklin has won three straight Kelley-Rex division titles, there is still plenty of motivation for these Panthers.
The Panthers are coming off a tough one-run loss in the Division 1 state championship to rival Taunton, but with a strong core returning it looks like Franklin will once again be among the top powerhouses in the state this year. One obvious strength will be the offense with five players back in the lineup from last year’s squad. Not only is it an experienced group (multiple players entering their third year starting), but it’s an incredibly talented one that features senior Ryan Gerety (Northeastern), senior Jase Lyons, senior Eisig Chin (Stonehill), senior Ben Jarosz, and junior Henry Digiorgio (Northeastern). Gerety and Chin will return to their spots in the outfield while Lyons (1B), Jarosz (3B), and Digiorgio (SS) are all back in the infield. Seniors Tyler Bellan, Luke Sidwell, and Ethan DePaolo also provide some experienced depth and newcomers Rex Cinelli, Ryan Carlucci, and Koen Bonetti will all try to contribute for head coach Zach Brown.
Pitching will be another strength with senior righty Alfred Mucciarone (UMass Lowell) back after going 5-1 during the regular season last year, posting a 2.33 ERA with 45 strikeouts in 42 innings. His experience gives the Panthers an ace to rely on as they navigate a difficult schedule. Junior lefty Austin Campbell could be the next breakout star for Franklin after some impressive outings last year, and juniors Jake Shaughnessy (LHP) and Matt Miller (RHP) fill out a strong core of pitchers. Both Chin and Lyons will also be in the mix while senior newcomers Dillon Cashin and Zach Ramaswamy are prepared to come on in relief when needed.
“We are returning a strong senior class and veteran core,” Brown said. “We are excited about how hard this group has been preparing for the upcoming season. The seniors have provided great leadership during the preseason and scrimmages.”
2022 Record: 16-9 2022 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Final Coach: Jeff Plympton, Jr.
King Philip is another squad that is coming off a tremendous season (a trend among most Hock teams) as they reached the Division 2 state championship, falling to Milton. The Warriors are also following another trend in the league as they have the majority of their lineup back in the mix this season as they look to challenge for the Kelley-Rex division title in a loaded field.
The Warriors have a strong pitching staff in the league, highlighted by senior Rudy Gately. Gately has been KP’s ace for the past two seasons and will resume that role again this year. During the regular season, he tossed 39 innings and struck out 37, posting a 3.41 ERA. He will be joined by lefty Tommy Martorano, who missed virtually all of last year with an injury. Junior Tommy McLeish emerged as a reliable option in relief last year, striking out 22 batters in 20.2 innings and he should be in line for an expanded role this year.
Offensively the Warriors will have a big void with the graduation of Shawn Legere, one of the best hitters in the state. But head coach Jeff Plympton Jr. has plenty of options to work with, including senior Brendan Sencaj, who is coming off a terrific season in which he hit 0.371 with 15 RBI and 21 runs scored. Gately, a middle infielder, is a strong two-way player that hit 0.344 last year with 16 RBI and senior Matt Kelley is a great all-around player that will make the switch to center field this season, and another weapon in the lineup. Junior Max Robison is coming off a breakout campaign (0.359 average) and is one of the best defensive first basemen in the Hock.
“We are excited to be bringing back a great core of guys from our team last year,” Plympton Jr. said. “We’re hoping to build off of our success last season and continue to build a winning culture. We will have a lot of new arms in the rotation and a few very good returning arms from last year.”
2022 Record: 17-8 2022 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Final Four Coach: Chris Hall
Mansfield lost some key contributors from a sizable graduating senior class that led the Hornets to the Division 2 Final Four a year ago, but the cupboard is far from empty for head coach Chris Hall.
The most experience back on the team comes on the offensive end with some key bats back in the lineup. Senior captains Sam Martin and Conner Zukowski look to man the left side of the infield while returning starters Matt DeShiro and Jake Maydak — both juniors — will hold down the right side. Zukowski had a great season at the dish, hitting 0.344 during the regular season with 15 runs scored while DeShiro had a breakout sophomore campaign, leading the Hornets in batting average with a 0.373 average and a team-high 25 hits, driving in 13 runs as well. Defensive wiz and captain Aidan Jones returns as the starting catcher for the squad.
There is a lot of competition in the outfield right now including junior Brian Butler, another returner from last year. Seniors Kyle Marnikovic and Will Lund are also in the mix along with juniors Wyatt Bolduc, Connor Curtis, Drew Urban, Dylan Saraceno, Anthony Saraiva, and Joey MacIntyre. Juniors Matt Tryon and Derek McGrath are versatile pieces that will bring some power to the lineup.
Mansfield lost its top three starters from a year ago in Jimmy Gilleran, Aaron Blinn, and Anthony Sacchetti, who combined to pitch over 100 innings during the regular season. Hall will turn to junior Connor Curtis, who didn’t allow an earned run in 16 innings of work in the regular season last year, recording three saves with 19 strikeouts. Maydak is also in the mix for an expanded role on the staff along with juniors Yuv Sakhalkar and Ryan Jeans, and sophomore Luke Rogan. Senior Nate Thibault will chip in as a reliever.
“Most teams who play in the Hockomock League have a chance to make a run at a state championship due to the competition you face every single game in the regular season,” Hall said. “I believe the makeup of our roster puts us in that conversation this year. This year’s team is a tight-knit, cohesive group that battles with one another at practice. They thrive off competition and work together to do whatever they can to best benefit the program. We are excited for the season and look forward to the challenges presented to us.”
2022 Record: 7-13 2022 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Alex Dion
Similar to Attleboro, the Scarlet Hawks were a victim of playing in a division that had three teams reach a state championship game and another reach the final four. With another year of experience, Milford will look to challenge those top teams and make a push for the postseason.
The roster features a lot of familiar names that are either in their third or second year in the lineup and head coach Alex Dion is hoping that experience will lead to competing with some of the state’s best teams. The pitching staff starts with three-year starter and right-handed pitcher Evan Cornelius. A top two-way play and multi-sport athlete, Cornelius leads by example both on and off the field for the Scarlet Hawks. He went 4-2 last year with a 2.31 ERA, ranking among the league leader with 48 strikeouts in 30.1 innings of work. Junior righty Damien Carter is also in his third year while senior Tyler Caldon and junior Anthony LaPierre logged a lot of work on the mound a year ago and return as starters this year. Senior Mason Baldic and sophomore Ian Carter are both in the mix for innings this year as well.
While pitching looks to be a strength for Milford this year, the Hawks will rely on a lot of the same names to deliver offensively as well. Cornelius will man first base when he isn’t on the mound and is a reliable offensive option. Damien Carter, junior Sean McGee, and freshman Joey McGee are options in the infield alongside Cornelius while Ian Carter, Baldic, and sophomore Nick Koch are in line for opportunities in the outfield. Junior Keith Lee is back behind the dish as taking on that role a season ago and junior Nate Scudo can be effective in a variety of positions. Seniors Brady Butler, Tony Fontes, Jacob Gove, Guy Saintyl, and Cam DelPrete will provide key depth while junior Victor Martinez will look to provide some pop in the lineup.
“Looking forward to competing in this great league again this spring,” said Milford head coach Alex Dion. “We have a number of guys that have been together for three years now. I have seen strong leadership from veterans early on, a group of guys that are competitive on the mound, and some athletes that are eager to learn and compete at a high level.”
2022 Record: 18-6 2022 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Final Four (Davenport champion) Coach: Mike Hart
The Hockomock League had so much success during last season’s tournament that the Rocketeers’ accomplishments almost get lost in the shuffle. North Attleboro went 13-3 in league play last year and reached the D2 final four, picking up wins over D1 state finalists Franklin and D2 state finalists KP in the process. Now the Rocketeers join a loaded Kelley-Rex division along with those two squads, defending state champs Taunton, and two improved squads in Attleboro and Milford.
That means North Attleboro has its work cut out for them as they not only try to navigate a difficult schedule but has a lot of holes to fill in the lineup after graduating nearly a dozen seniors from last year’s 18-win squad. Head coach Mike Hart has done a terrific job since taking over the helm of the program and he will be leaning on the handful of returners he does have to lead the way this year. Hart has a dozen more seniors this year led by veterans Derek Maceda, Dillon Harding, and Jordan Paradis. Maceda will patrol center field, Harding is at shortstop, and Paradis is a seasoned pitcher that had 18 strikeouts in 17 innings of regular season work. Maceda will also get some innings on the mound along with classmates Ayden Delaney Peter Santoro, junior Parker Abrantes, and sophomore Gio Martello, and Harding will be a go-to option to close games out.
Martello was a late-season call up to the varsity squad and made an impression in his short stint with the squad. He will complete the middle of the infield at second base and will be a key piece in the lineup offensively. Seniors Jack Munley, Mark Vogel, Delaney, and sophomore Bryce Kiser are also in the mix for spots in the infield. Along with Maceda and Paradis, seniors Kyle Conroy and Reed Collins, along with junior Chris Hanewich, will cycle throughout the outfield. Junior Nate Kelly and senior Harrison Gagne are competing for time behind the dish. Hart expects the defense to be a strength of this year’s squad.
“We are looking forward to a season of growth,” Hart said. “We have many quality players new to varsity baseball who are looking to take the next step in their development and continue the success we have been privileged to have over the last few seasons. Derek Maceda, Dillon Harding, and Jordan Paradis are three capable and proven players in all three phases of the game. We will look to our pitching staff to lead us. Our team has committed to getting better each and every day. We are excited to get out and compete!”
2022 Record: 11-11 2022 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Joe Abarr
After graduating one of the largest senior classes in the league, there is plenty of opportunity to go around for Oliver Ames and head coach Joe Abarr this season. After an up-and-down year that included a playoff win, the Tigers will be looking to challenge the likes of Foxboro and Mansfield in the division title race.
With a lot of pieces departed from last year’s lineup, Abarr will start the season leaning heavily on the handful of returning pieces that played key roles last year. Senior captain Patrick Finnerty will be a major part of the defense and offense this year, as the Bentley University commit will patrol the center field and anchor the offense. On the mound, the Tigers will turn to senior captain Andrew Zagami to lead a relatively young staff that will include juniors Ian Kelley and Lucas Riley, both returners from last year’s team.
Abarr noted that there is a lot of competition in the squad right now as they battle for spots in the lineup, and he’s hoping the first few weeks will allow for a consistent lineup to emerge. Senior Nathan Luke, another returner from last year’s roster, will play the corners in the outfield at Frothingham Park this year.
“Many players have been stepping up in early practices and inter-squads and will be counted on early in the season,” Abarr said. “If we consistently stay after hitters and throw strikes we will be a competitive club. We have the potential to hit well, but the Hock’s pitching will be top-notch again based on some of the stellar returners around the league.”
2022 Record: 3-17 2022 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Andrew Poliferno
The Eagles will have to replace some of the production lost from the 10 seniors that graduated from last year’s squad, but Sharon has some key pieces in key spots and will look to continue to improve.
One strength the Eagles will have early on is the return of almost all of its pitching staff back from last year, plus the addition of some more talented arms to create some strong depth at the position. Junior captain Luke Meixel was among the league leaders in innings pitched last season and will anchor this year’s staff. He had 33 strikeouts in 38 innings of work as a sophomore year and the Eagles are looking for him to take a big step this year. Senior Alex Coughlin will pair with Meixel to create a formidable 1-2 punch, and the Eagles will also get pitching contributions from Cole Arundale and Zach Loomis.
Senior Palash Raina is a captain alongside Meixel and Coughlin, and he will be a staple in Sharon’s lineup this season. He battled through an injury almost all of last season but is ready for a breakout final year on the diamond as he patrols center field. Head coach Andrew Poliferno believes there is a lot of depth — and internal competition — in the lineup, and that should improve production at the plate. Sophomore Drew Yaffe got his feet wet at the varsity level last season and will be looking to turn that experience into more production this year. Junior Liam Conway is back behind the dish after a strong defensive year in 2022.
“I’m really excited to see what this group of players accomplishes this season,” Poliferno said. “We have a large group of players on varsity and in the greater SHS baseball program who are hungry to compete and win games. My expectations for this team are high and that is a direct reflection of the level of talent and work ethic our players have exhibited since day one.”
2022 Record: 3-15 2022 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Kevin Carty
Although the Black Knights lost a lot of production from its eight-member senior class that graduated last Spring, there is a lot of opportunity for new faces to work their way into the lineup for Stoughton head coach Kevin Carty.
There are some key pieces back in the mix this season after getting some valuable experience a year ago. Carty will lean on senior captains Sean Farley and Joe Rush to lead the way, with Farley both patrolling center field and pitching while Rush will play first base when he isn’t on the mound, and potentially some time behind the dish at catcher. There is also a strong contingent of players looking to build off of last year, including seniors Jeriel Cuello, who will play in the infield, and outfielder/pitchers James McCarthy and Liam Dunn, and Andrew Beder, who can play both in the infield and outfield, as well as on the mound.
Juniors Hunter Malkin, Ryan Summers, and Dom Belle all factored into the lineup for the Black Knights a year ago as sophomores and are in line for bigger roles this year. Malkin will pitch and play at first, Belle can play at both corners of the infield, and Summers will see time behind the dish at catcher.
“So far I could not be more impressed with the hard work and attitude from all of our players in the program, especially the new players on the roster,” Carty said. “I am very excited to work with these guys on a daily basis and can’t wait to see them improve throughout the season.”
2022 Record: 22-3 2022 Finish: Won Div. 1 State Championship Coach: Blair Bourque
The defending Division 1 state champions enter this season with a massive target on their back, but Taunton has the majority of its talented lineup back in the mix and is ready to take on all challengers, including a very competitive and skilled Hockomock League.
Athleticism, competitiveness, and experience will all be strengths for this year’s Taunton squad which has a lot of familiar faces in it including last year’s league MVP Ryan MacDougall, who had the game-winning home run in the state final against rival Franklin. The left side of the infield might possess the best duo in the state in seniors Braden Sullivan, a UMass commit with a strong bat that plays third base, and Dawson Bryce, a slick-fielding shortstop with consistent offensive production that is also going to play at the D1 level at Merrimack. That trio makes up the heart of the lineup for the Tigers and will make life difficult for opposing pitchers. Junior Brayden Cali, who started at second in the championship game, will be another key piece offensively for Taunton.
MacDougall also led the Tigers in innings pitched during the regular season, and classmate Shawn Cali was right there with him, posting a 4-2 record with a 1.60 ERA, striking out 27 in 35 innings of work. That gives Taunton a strong 1-2 punch in its rotation, but there’s also room for opportunity with the graduation of Evan Cali, who went 3-0 in the regular season and started the state championship game.
“The majority of our guys are multi-sport athletes who love to compete,” said Taunton head coach Blair Bourque. “And since many of our starters from last season are returning, they know the challenges of playing in arguably the most competitive league in the state as well as how to manage playing in the high-stress environment that is the post-season. Taunton has never been in a position with such high expectations so as a coach, I’m excited to see how my kids respond. This is a close-knit group and even with all the talent, they have great camaraderie.”