DeMattio Caps Career With MVP Performance

Zach DeMattio
North Attleboro’s Zach DeMattio looks to throw a runner at first against Beverly. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
LOWELL, Mass. – Zach DeMattio gave the Rocketeers the lead with his bat, and he made sure they didn’t relinquish it with his arm.

The North Attleboro senior captain put an exclamation point on a terrific senior season and impressive career with an MVP performance in the Division 2 State Championship, a 4-3 win for his Rocketeers over Beverly.

Offensively, DeMattio drove in all four of the Rocketeers’ runs. And on the defensive end, the senior catcher played a big role in erasing the tying run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“He is an unbelievable player,” said North Attleboro starting pitcher and fellow captain Nick Sinacola. “I think he’s the team MVP, the best player, and it shows. He drove in probably half our runs all season and he’s a beast behind the plate. He’s an incredible player and incredible leader, I give him all the credit. He works hard for everything.”

DeMattio and Sinacola worked to keep the Panthers off balance for the majority of the game. The latter allowing just five hits — three coming in the fifth inning resulting in three runs. Outside of that, the pair worked together as well as they usually do with Sinacola striking out nine batters and allowing just four base runners in the other six innings.

“We’ve been on their backs pretty much the whole season,” said North Attleboro head coach Mike Hart of DeMattio and Sinacola. “They are our leaders and there are a lot of guys that have stepped up big time. But tonight, stick with your strengths and those two guys are our strength right there.

North wasted little time to take a lead in the game and unsurprisingly, it was off of the bat of DeMattio. Sinacola singled with one out and stole second. On a full count, DeMattio hit a hard groaner through the right side to bring Sinacola home for a quick 1-0 lead.

“I trust my guys day in and day out,” DeMattio said. “I just did what I could do, I just looked for the pitches I could get. This is just insane right now.”

The senior was back at it again just two innings later, helping the Rocketeers extend their lead. Junior Brendan McHugh was hit by a pitch to lead off the top of the third, stole second, and went to third on an infield single from Sinacola.


Despite falling behind 0-2, DeMattio roped the third pitch he saw into the gap in left-center field to bring both runs in and give the Rocketeers a 3-0 lead in the top of the third.

“They deserve all the credit,” DeMattio said of the two players before him in the order. “I get all my RBIs because of them, they are such pure hitters. McHugh gets on and uses his speed, Sinacola is always getting base hits. It’s just a snowball effect from there.”

The next time DeMattio came to bat was the top of the fifth inning where he delivered his fourth, and what turned out to be, his most important RBI of the day.

McHugh was the catalyst again, opening the frame with a leadoff walk. He once again stole second, one of six stolen bases for the Big Red, and alertly tagged up on Sinacola’s deep hit to left to get to third with one out.

Although DeMattio didn’t come up with a hit, he drove the ball deep enough in shallow right field that McHugh had enough time to race home for the sacrifice fly and a 4-0 lead.

“He tells me before every game ‘Just get on and we’ll get you in’ and it almost always come true, he finds a way to get me in,” McHugh said.

“Going up to the plate I knew that anything outside of the infield in the air, [McHugh] had the speed to get home,” DeMattio said. “I was just looking to get a ball and drive it up. I got the right pitch and put it to right field. You have to give him all the credit, he hustled home.”

The fourth run driven in by DeMattio proved huge as the Panthers rallied for three runs in the bottom half. Sinacola stranded the tying run at third by getting a strikeout to end the inning.

Although DeMattio drove in all four of the Rocketeers’ runs, and the South champs led by just one run, the senior was saving his best play for last.

Sinacola breezed through the bottom of the sixth inning, needing to just pitches and a nice play from right fielder Jeff Gale to set the Panthers down. But Sinacola’s counterpart, Beverly starting pitcher Spencer Brown tried to get the momentum back for his side by retiring North Attleboro in order in the top of the seventh.

Beverly’s No. 8 hitter Ryan Munzing battled his way to a full count and eventually ball four, giving the North champions some hope with the tying run aboard with no outs.

The Panthers sent a pinch hitter to the plate with the idea of moving Munzing over with a bunt. The Rocketeers, however, were ready. Sinacola fired a curveball and the sac bunt missed.

DeMattio, alert to the situation, quickly threw a bullet down the first base line to Aidan Harding. Munzing was caught between bases and the Rocketeers got the out, getting the momentum back. Three batters later and Sincola induced a ground ball up the middle where Ryan Warren flipped to Shawn Watters at second, clinching the win.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“Me and Aidan always work on those after practice,” DeMattio said. “Being able to throw it down, especially in that situation where he’s looking to bunt and the runner is looking to go when it’s on the ground. We work on those all the time and give Aidan credit, he was ready for it and made the play.”

“The kid bit and Zach has a great arm and threw it down, and we played the pickle perfectly,” Sinacola said.

“I think that was just a good read by [Zach],” Hart said. “Zach has been catching for three years, he’s done it a lot, so he has a lot of confidence in his throwing ability. He’s an incredible player.”

It’s safe to say Wheaton College is getting a heck of a player next year.

North Attleboro Edges Beverly For First State Title

North Attleboro baseball
North Attleboro’s Nick Sinacola (left) and Aidan Harding celebrate after recording the final out to win the D2 State Championship. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
By Brian Hines, HockomockSports.com Contributor

LOWELL, Mass. – North Attleboro head coach Mike Hart knew he was going to get one ring this year.

Now he’ll get two.

Just days before the first-year head coach says ‘I do’ at his wedding, he celebrated a Division 2 State Championship after his Rocketeers prevailed over Beverly, 4-3, at LeLacheur Park in Lowell.

“It sounds great, it has a very nice ring to it,” Hart said.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

In the win, the Red Rocketeers followed the same formula that won them 20 regular season games: riding the right arm of pitcher Nick Sinacola, the bat of catcher Zach DeMattio, solid defense, and a relentless aggressive approach.

“We’ve been on their backs pretty much the whole season,” Hart said of Sinacola and DeMattio. “They’re our leaders, there are a lot of guys that contribute and have stepped up big time, but tonight, stick with your strengths and those two guys are our strengths right there.”

The Rocketeers jumped out to an early start, as they have done all postseason. After Sinacola singled and stole second, DeMattio gave North a 1-0 lead in the first after hard hit ground ball took a crazy hop through the right side and plated Sinacola.

After Sinacola (7 IP, 0 ER, 9 K, 5 H, 2 BB) and Beverly pitcher Spencer Brown (7 IP, 4 ER, 10 K, 6 H, 1 BB) exchanged scoreless second innings, DeMattio and North struck again.

Leadoff hitter Brendan McHugh started the rally, getting hit by a pitch then stealing second. Sinacola then followed with an infield single to the left side to put runners on the corners. DeMattio laced a double into the left field gap scoring both runners and increasing North’s lead to 3-0.

“The first thing is getting [McHugh and Sinacola] on base, and that’s more important, but when they get on base, Brendan’s got great speed, Nick is a contact hitter and then you got Zach,” Hart said.

“I trust my guys every day, day in day out and I just did what I can do,” DeMattio said. “I looked for a pitch that I can get.

“They get all the credit. All my RBI’s come from [McHugh and Sinacola], there are just such pure hitters. McHugh gets on, speed, Sinacola always is getting base hits then it’s just a snowball effect.”

North followed a similar pattern just two innings later. After a McHugh leadoff walk and steal, he was then pushed to third on Sinacola’s fly out. DeMattio recorded his fourth RBI of the night on a shallow sacrifice fly into right field. McHugh raced home to beat the throw.


“We’re just going play aggressive and that’s what it comes down to,” Hart said. “I think it was a point in the game where if we could get extra one, go for it. Brendan is extremely fast, so that makes us feel more comfortable about it too.”

“Going up to the plate I knew that anything outside of the infield in the air, [McHugh] had the speed to get home,” DeMattio said. “I was just looking to get a ball and drive it up. I got the right pitch and put it to right field. You have to give him all the credit, he hustled home.”

Even with a 4-0 lead, North knew Beverly was more than capable of making a comeback, and that’s exactly what the Panthers did.

“We were expecting Beverly to make some sort of comeback,” Hart said. “They’re an incredibly great team and we’d expect nothing less in this game. Our guys, they’ve been through things like this before.”

The Panthers rally started with Ryan Munzing’s double, which was just Beverly’s second hit. An infield single by Tim McCarthy (on a close play at first) and walk by Matt Collins loaded the bases for Brown, who helped his own cause with a bases-clearing triple off the wall in left field.

But the Beverly rally didn’t seem to rattle the Rocketeers or Sinacola, who bounced back by striking out the next batter and stranding a runner at third. He continued that momentum with strong sixth and seventh innings.

“I picked up my pace a little bit more, worked a bit little quicker,” Sinacola said. “I thought that was my best inning, the sixth inning, coming after that tough inning which shut them down with their momentum and picked us back up where we had to be.”

“We have had a couple tight wins and some losses but I think all of that just builds and builds,” Hart said. “We just still stay confident with it through thick and thin we’re still going to keep pushing it… we’re still going to play our game despite what the score is.

“And Nick trusts his stuff, he’s a very, very skilled pitcher and we believe in him… he doesn’t let things bother him. I can’t say enough about him… He’s one of the top pitchers in this entire state, we had absolute confidence in him to finish it out.”

Drama was still to be found, however, as Beverly had the tying run on base in both the sixth and seventh innings. A strong pair of defensive plays from the Rocketeers allowed Sinacola to avoid any more damage.

Senior outfielder Jeff Gale fielded a Beverly single in right field with two outs in the sixth inning and gunned down the runner trying for second base to end the inning. Then in the seventh after a leadoff walk, DeMattio fired a relay to first baseman Aidan Harding, who caught Beverly’s runner in a pickle.

“That’s huge,” Hart said. “That was an incredible play and in these games, in this spot in the tournament, that’s where you win or lose.

“It was a good read by Zach, he’s been catching for three years, he’s done it a lot. He has a lot of confidence in his throwing ability. He’s an incredible player.”

“Me and Aidan, after practice, we always work on those because being able to throw it down,” DeMattio said. “Especially in that situation where they bunt and he’s looking to go when it’s on the ground. We work on those all the time and he was ready for it, got to give [Aidan] credit for it, he made the play.”

Sinacola got the second out with a strikeout, and after a two-out single, the senior induced a ground ball up middle and second baseman Ryan Warren flipped it to shortstop Shawn Watters for the force out at second, clinching the win.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The win marks North Attleboro’s first-ever baseball state championship. The Rocketeers (22-2) came into the South Section as the No. 1 seed and outscored their opponents 46-7 on their way to a title.

“It’s just insane, insane,” DeMattio said.

“This means everything,” Hart said. “These kids will remember this for the rest of their life’s. It’s such a great opportunity that they’re able to be here in the first place and then able to take home the win. It means a lot.”

2018 Hockomock League Girls Lacrosse All Stars

Below are the official 2018 Hockomock League Girls Lacrosse All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Sophia DiCenso, Foxboro

Hockomock League All Stars

Kyra Lyons, Attleboro
Maggie Connolly, Canton
Sara Addeche, Foxboro
Caroline Boudreau, Foxboro
Meghan Curran, Foxboro
Sophia DiCenso, Foxboro
Christina Rogers, Foxboro
Gianna Cameron, Franklin
Grace MacCallum, Franklin
Annie Walsh, Franklin
Erin Walsh, Franklin
Katie Crowther, King Philip
Christina Hathaway, King Philip
Caroline Klim, King Philip
Dana Truini, King Philip
Kathryn Garvin, Mansfield
Ann Maher, Mansfield
Alaina Mello, North Attleboro
Mackenzie Rosenberg, North Attleboro
Olivia Piazza, Oliver Ames
Ariana Waldorf, Oliver Ames
Emma Eberhardt, Sharon
Sabrina Robbins, Sharon
Alana Tavares, Taunton

Honorable Mentions:
Graycen Cassidy, Attleboro
Colleen Boucher, Canton
Molly Murphy, Foxboro
Kelsey MacCallum, Franklin
Alli Meehan, King Philip
Lauren Whitman, Mansfield
Emily Haley, Milford
Katie Lindstrom, North Attleboro
Chloe Kilkelly, Oliver Ames
Bridget McManus, Sharon
Lorna Li, Taunton

2018 Hockomock League Boys Lacrosse All Stars

Below are the official 2018 Hockomock League Boys Lacrosse All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Jake Addeche, Foxboro

Hockomock League All Stars

Trevor Koppy, Attleboro
Griffin Roach, Canton
Jake Addeche, Foxboro
Pete Conley, Foxboro
Patrick Kaveny, Foxboro
Louis Piccolo, Foxboro
Patrick Stapleton, Foxboro
Brendan Tully, Foxboro
Jacob Alexander, Franklin
Nitin Chaudhury, Franklin
Eric Civetti, Franklin
Jake Davis, Franklin
Pat Morrison, Franklin
Connor O’Rourke, Franklin
Trevor Raffin, Franklin
Chase Tanner, Franklin
Michael Curtin, King Philip
Colin DeVellis, King Philip
Thomas Donnelly, Mansfield
Hunter Ferreira, Mansfield
Max Fontes, North Attleboro
Tom Lindstrom, North Attleboro
Eric LeBlanc, Oliver Ames

Honorable Mentions:
Kyle Henry, Attleboro
Dan Cohen, Canton
Bobby Yerardi, Foxboro
Kyle McEniry, Franklin
Nate Minkwitz, King Philip
Daniel DeGirolamo, Mansfield
Andrew Gallagher, Milford
Jason McNeany, North Attleboro
Shane Kilkelly, Oliver Ames
Johnathan Greenberg, Sharon
Thomas Ratcliff, Stoughton
Dylan Nichols, Taunton

Quick Start, Strong Pitching Power Taunton to Final

Taunton softball
Taunton freshman Kelsey White retired the first 12 batters she faced and allowed only five hits and one run in the state semifinal against Newton North. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


LOWELL, Mass. – It is a long trip from Taunton up to Martin Field in Lowell through late afternoon traffic, but the Tigers apparently arrived on their coach bus ready to go for Tuesday night’s state semifinal.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Taunton scored six runs in the opening two innings, Kelsey White had a perfect game into the fifth and allowed only five hits, and the Tigers ended an 11-year wait to get back to the state championship game with a 6-1 win over North champion Newton North.

“It doesn’t even feel real,” said junior Jaime Brown, a four-year starter for the Tigers, about having the chance to play for a state championship. “We’ve worked so hard and it’s just falling at our feet. It’s crazy, but it just feels so good.”

White was masterful in the circle again for Taunton. Just a freshman, experiencing the postseason stage for the first time, White has not been awed by the moment and she retired the first 12 batters that she faced on Tuesday before Mia Bueno singled to lead-off the fifth.

“She pitches real tough,” Taunton coach Dave Lewry said of White. “She had everything going today, all her pitches, she was hitting her spots. I know they can hit, I know they can put the ball in play, but I’ve got to give all the credit to Kelsey. She just did a fabulous job for us.”

White admitted, “I was very nervous at first but going out there and knowing that I have the best defense behind me makes me more comfortable.” She also got help from Brown and the other upperclassmen. She said, “They pick me up every time I get down and make sure I go and get the next batter.”

Taunton helped out its freshman pitcher with some early runs. The Tigers have been strong with two outs in the postseason and they managed to rally again in the first. Kya Enos lined a single through the hole on the left side for a two-out baserunner. The senior catcher stole second and then came around to score the opening run on a base hit by classmate Mackenzie Handrahan.

The Tigers broke the game wide open in the second. This time they did not wait until there were two outs to get started, instead scoring six times before committing one.

Kelsey White was hit by a pitch to lead off and her older sister Alexa White followed by drawing a nine-pitch walk. Paige Silvia dropped down a bunt and White hustled into third to beat the throw and load the bases. The hero from the South final, sophomore Rylie Murphy, brought in the first run with a grounder to the left side, reaching on a fielder’s choice to keep the bases full.

Brown, Taunton’s lead-off hitter, emptied the bases, drilling a pitch into the gap in left-center for a triple that scored three. The throw to third bounced off Brown and to the fence in front of the Tigers’ dugout, allowing her to come home too.

“That’s always across you mind, you want the big hit, but honestly I was just looking for a single to bring a run in and chip away and getting them all in was just a bonus,” said Brown.

Lewry added, “That puts a lot of pressure on the other team. They can’t play for one run, they’ve got to be swinging the bats and I don’t think that’s their game. They like to bunt and run and get runs here or there. That was a key for us.”

The Tigers also threatened in the third and seemed to have Newton North on the ropes. Alexa White singled to start the inning and moved into scoring position on a Silvia sac bunt. Murphy singled to left to put two on and was pinch-run for by Abbie McDonough, who promptly stole second.

Newton North pitcher Mia Patriacca got Brown and Liana Duarte looking to escape the jam. Taunton did not put another batter on base, as Patriacca retired the final 11 hitters she faced.

“We kind of deflated after that and never got back to hitting the ball,” Lewry explained. “I think that kind of took our momentum away from us. They let up a little with a six-run lead, but we did what we had to do.”

Newton North finally got something going in the fifth. Bueno singled to left to start the inning, the first baserunner of the night for the North champs. Kira Flegenheimer followed with a single but was forced at second on a grounder to Hanna Aldrich. With runners at the corners, Ciara Gillen hit a weak fly ball into shallow right field that dropped just in front of McDonough and allowed the run to score.

White needed to bear down, as momentum seemed to be shifting to the suddenly loud visiting side. She got a grounder to second and then a strikeout to end the inning and preserve a five-run lead.

“They got runners on base,” White said, “but I knew we just had to get the outs and not worry about them. We just needed to get all the outs that we could.”

“Is she only a freshman?” Lewry joked. “She doesn’t act like it, I’ll tell you that. She is the calmest, coolest, most collected person on the mound that we’ve had in a long, long time. She didn’t fall apart at all, she stuck with it, threw her pitches and got us out of it.”

The visitors got a one-out hit in the sixth, but Brown made a nice play on the run to field a short grounder down the third base line and White showed her ability to field her position as she managed to move to her left to snag a tricky grounder.

In the seventh, Newton North again got a one-out hit to put the pressure on Taunton, but White induced a grounder to her sister at second to force the lead runner and then struck out the final batter looking to set off another raucous celebration.

“It’s the best experience,” said White. “It’s very nerve-wracking, but it’s the best experience. I’m very happy for [the seniors] and all I want it for is them and the team.”

Lewry was asked if he was surprised at all to see the Tigers in this position of playing for a state championship. He replied, “I envisioned this team being capable of being in this position, so I’m not surprised by it. It’s not an easy road, of course, but there’s a lot of talent here and I think the heart has shown through. Especially in the tournament, they’re in it for each other and that really makes a huge difference.”

Taunton (25-2) will face the Central champ Wachusett in the state title game at Worcester State on Saturday at 6:00. Wachusett (much like Newton North in the semifinal) was also at this stage last year and lost to Milford in the championship game.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

2018 Hockomock League Girls Outdoor Track All Stars

Below are the official 2018 Hockomock League Girls Outdoor Track All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Nicole Clermont, Franklin

Hockomock League All Stars

Lexi Quinn, Foxboro
Nicole Yeomans, Foxboro
Nicole Clermont, Franklin
Julia Fenerty, Franklin
Ella Gutkowski, Franklin
Katherine Hartnett, Franklin
Jessica Kroushl, Franklin
Brandi Osborne, Franklin
Ally Rizoli, Franklin
Abigail Dunne, King Philip
Makayla Griffin, King Philip
Abigail McKeown, King Philip
Gabrielle Devlin, Mansfield
Kerina Geminiani, Mansfield
Julia Harrison, Mansfield
Amanda Mangano, Mansfield
Emily Quitzau, Mansfield
Margaret Riley Mansfield
Leanna Kibbee, Milford
Kerry O’Connor, Milford
Christina Speliakos, Milford
Julia Feid, North Attleboro
Samantha Hawkins, North Attleboro
Celine Ibrahim, North Attleboro
Amanda Kaiser, North Attleboro
Angela Kaiser, North Attleboro
Rachel LaBonte, North Attleboro
Julia Mechlinski, North Attleboro
Brianna Gibson, Oliver Ames
Abigail Hodges, Oliver Ames
Liz Peckham, Oliver Ames
Jada Johnson, Sharon
Shira Stoller, Sharon
Veronica Wallace, Sharon
Olivia Dias, Taunton
Victoria Gravel, Taunton
Samantha Tichelaar, Taunton

Honorable Mentions:
Jenna Berg, Attleboro
Sarah Collins, Canton
Malaysia Cabral, Foxboro
Bella Pierre, Franklin
Allí Beltramini, King Philip
Madison Haughey, Mansfield
Aaidaliz Perez, Milford
Delaney Sherman, North Attleboro
Gabi McLaughlin, Oliver Ames
Angela Wallace, Sharon
Taleah Gandy, Stoughton
Nia Mainer-Smith, Taunton