2022 Hockomock League Boys Tennis All Stars

Below are the official 2022 Hockomock League Boys Tennis All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Max Kupferman, Canton

Hockomock League All Stars

Tyler Rocchio, Attleboro
Kyle Neuendorf, Attleboro
Max Kupferman, Canton
Suraj Ramanathan, Canton
Garrett Spillane, Foxboro
Vayshnav Malhotra, Franklin
Thomas Broyles, Franklin
Tim O’Keefe, Franklin
Jonathan Cohen, King Philip
Kailash Elumalai, Mansfield
Neema Khosravani, Mansfield
Will Folan, North Attleboro
Brody Carter, North Attleboro
Raphael Vache, Oliver Ames
Matthew Lally, Sharon
Alex Budovalcev, Sharon
Jacob Slavsky, Sharon
Mitch Weiss, Sharon
Ruemon Bhattacharyya, Sharon

Honorable Mentions
Luke Hinton, Attleboro
Brady Rosen, Attleboro
Kevin Moltenbrey, Canton
Raj Jetty, Foxboro
Drew Mahoney, Franklin
Jackson Horn, King Philip
Iniyan Karuppusamy, Mansfield
Tyler Andreotti, Milford
Pedro DeSouza, Milford
Griffin Rodden, North Attleboro
Kylash Ganesh, Oliver Ames
Sava Kassev, Sharon
Hyojae Park, Sharon
Anish Sinha, Stoughton
Michael Kimmer, Taunton

Below are the official 2022 Hockomock League Boys Tennis All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Tennis All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Tennis All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Tennis All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Tennis All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Tennis All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Tennis All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Tennis All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Tennis All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Tennis All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Tennis All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Tennis All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Tennis All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. 2022 Hockomock League Boys Tennis All Stars

2022 Hockomock League Girls Outdoor Track All Stars

Below are the official 2022 Hockomock League Girls Outdoor Track All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Kiyanni Simas, Milford

Hockomock League All Stars

Elayna Marinelli, Attleboro
Emilia Smith, Attleboro
Syriah McCruse, Canton
Talya Degraw, Canton
Katherine Oliver, Canton
Kiley Hanlon, Canton
Sarah Dumas, Franklin
Lily DeForge, Franklin
Elizabeth Hopkins, Franklin
Sydney O’Shea, King Philip
Katharine O’Neil, King Philip
Caitlin Dumouchel, Mansfield
Brooke Penney, Mansfield
Norah Puleo, Mansfield
Anna Darlington, Mansfield
Anna Buckley, Mansfield
Katie Miller, Mansfield
Chloe Guthrie, Mansfield
Anna Moore, Mansfield
Kiyanni Simas, Milford
Sarah Brogioli, Milford
Kay Wheelock, Milford
Marissa Daley, North Attleboro
Megan Burns, North Attleboro
Katie Sobieraj, Oliver Ames
Emily Meyers, Oliver Ames
Johanna Holmes, Oliver Ames
Jenna Gilman, Oliver Ames
Julia Maclaine, Oliver Ames
Amelia Andre, Oliver Ames
Simone Dunbar, Sharon
Daphne Theiler, Sharon
Shayla Ford, Stoughton
Analisa Marckmann, Stoughton
Maya Ashu, Stoughton
Nia Mainer-Smith, Taunton
Caelen O’Leary, Taunton
Emersyn DePonte, Taunton

Honorable Mentions
Jahela Douglas, Attleboro
Emma Massih, Canton
Grace Preston, Foxboro
Lily Duffy, Franklin
Danielle Lomuscio, King Philip
Caitlin Garrahy, Mansfield
Maren Halpin, Milford
Sydney O’Connor, North Attleboro
Sarah Hilliard, Oliver Ames
Olivia Nau, Sharon
Taylor Doherty, Taunton

Below are the official 2022 Hockomock League Girls Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. 2022 Hockomock League Girls Outdoor Track All Stars

2022 Hockomock League Boys Outdoor Track All Stars

Below are the official 2022 Hockomock League Boys Outdoor Track All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Jake Wall, Mansfield

Hockomock League All Stars

Ethan Sylvia, Attleboro
Adrian Rivera, Attleboro
Ethan Gattoni, Attleboro
Favor Ugah, Canton
Dan O’Malley, Foxboro
Tyler Powderly, Franklin
William Klawson, Franklin
Noah Hurd, King Philip
Nathan Gebhard, King Philip
Luca Giardini, King Philip
Colin Mahoney, King Philip
Dylan Woods, King Philip
Jake Wall, Mansfield
Chris Leonard, Mansfield
Dylan Buchanan, Mansfield
Evan Rawlings, Mansfield
Marco Monteiro, Milford
Sam Borst, Milford
Brodie Clemente, North Attleboro
Mark Etienvre, North Attleboro
Nathan Shultz, North Attleboro
Andrew Nobrega, North Attleboro
Joseph Beckett, North Attleboro
Ryan Sarney, Oliver Ames
Owen McMorrow, Oliver Ames
Aidan Dupill, Oliver Ames
Brendan Thomas, Oliver Ames
Fabrice Fouron, Oliver Ames
Collin Williamson, Oliver Ames
Alex Gong, Sharon
William Tinkham, Stoughton
Matthew Singletary, Stoughton
Cashmere Mathurin, Stoughton
Alex Huynh, Stoughton
Dmitrius Shearrion, Taunton
Jonathan Trinh, Taunton
Andrew Jean-Louis, Taunton
GJ Mualis, Taunton

Honorable Mentions
Zyeem Charles, Attleboro
Kyle Downing, Canton
Nic Olson, Foxboro
Brendan O’Leary, Franklin
Degen Granese, King Philip
Chamberlain Guthrie, Jr., Mansfield
Samuel Bush, North Attleboro
Alex Pierce, Oliver Ames
Elijah Wisdom, Sharon
Noah DeSousa, Taunton

Below are the official 2022 Hockomock League Boys Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Outdoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. 2022 Hockomock League Boys Outdoor Track All Stars

OA Grad MacKinnon Records First MLB Hit, RBI

David MacKinnon
@Angels/Twitter

By HockomockSports.com Staff

Oliver Ames grad and former Hockomock League MVP David MacKinnon record his first career hit and first career RBI for the Los Angeles Angels in a win over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night.

MacKinnon, who was the league MVP in both soccer and baseball during his senior year, made his MLB debut over the weekend in Seattle after the Angels purchased his contract earlier in the day. He started in the game, and then made an appearance in the first two games against the Royals as a pinch hitter in the following two games.

He started at first base on Wednesday evening and his first career RBI gave the Angels the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. With the bases loaded, MacKinnon hit one deep enough to right field for a sacrifice fly to score Taylor Ward to make it 1-0.

“It’s so awesome to help the team and get two RBIs,” MacKinnon told the LA Times’ Mike DiGiovanna. “It’s wild that I’m in the Show. It’s just crazy to me. I’ll probably be awestruck for the rest of my career that I’m here, because I’ve dreamed about this forever.”

MacKinnon got his first career hit in the bottom of the seventh, coming through two outs and a runner on second. On a 2-2 count, he got just enough of a 95.3 fastball from Royals reliever Amir Garrett, sneaking a ground ball through the right side to bring the run in for a 3-0 lead. The Angels won the game, 5-0, behind a career-high 13 strikeouts from star pitcher Shohei Ohtani.

He was a 32nd round pick in the 2017 draft (955 overall) out of the University of Hartford and went on to play for a handful of teams in the minor leagues, including the Rocket City Pandas last year and the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate the Salt Lake Bees this season. He was named the Pacific Coast League Player of the Month for May after hitting .344 with 33 hits, 25 RBI, seven home runs, and 16 walks. He was also selected as the PCL Player of the Week on May 23.

Player of the Week: Kaysie DeMoura, Taunton Softball

Kaysie DeMoura
 
By HockomockSports.com Staff

Taunton junior Kaysie DeMoura has been selected as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for June 13 through June 19. DeMoura is the 34th player chosen as Player of the Week for the 2021-22 school year and the 10th of the spring season.

DeMoura stepped into a bigger role this season, as the starting catcher for the Tigers, and helped Taunton retain its Div. 1 state title. With a home run in the Elite Eight, two homers in the state semifinal, and an RBI in the final against Peabody, DeMoura provided the offensive punch for the Tigers during their postseason run, while also handling her duties behind the plate. It was Taunton’s second straight state title, third in the past four seasons, and seventh since 1997.

In the quarterfinal round against Central Catholic, DeMoura smacked a solo homer to get the scoring started in a 6-2 win. In the semifinal at Worcester State’s Rockwood Field, DeMoura came through again with a pair of homers and three RBI. She put the Tigers in front in the first with a towering fly ball to left that kept carrying all the way to the fence, clipping the top of the wall on its way over to make it 2-1. After Methuen got back within one at 3-2, DeMoura answered by crushing a solo shot to left for what turned out to be the game-winning run. Against Peabody in the final, DeMoura, who was DP on last year’s title-winning team, got the Tigers off and running with a sac fly in the third.

Click here for a photo gallery from Taunton vs. Metheun.

The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.

Kaysie DeMoura
Kaysie DeMoura The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Kaysie DeMoura The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Kaysie DeMoura The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Kaysie DeMoura The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Kaysie DeMoura The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Kaysie DeMoura The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Kaysie DeMoura The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Kaysie DeMoura The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.

MacDougall Produces MVP Moment in State Title Game

Ryan MacDougall
The Taunton bench joins Ryan MacDougall (34) at the plate after his sixth inning homer put the Tigers in front for good against Franklin in the D1 state title game. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


LOWELL, Mass. – In 2019, Taunton made a run to the Div. 1 state title. On the bench, called up to the postseason roster but limited to doing the book, was an eighth grader already being touted as a potential star. On Saturday night at LeLacheur Park, Ryan MacDougall, now a junior first baseman and recently voted Hockomock League MVP, was able to experience it is like to get on the field in a state championship.

Four years ago, he was all potential. On Saturday, against league rival Franklin, MacDougall was the hero.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Facing an 0-2 count with one out in the top of the sixth of a tie game, MacDougall got a fastball from Franklin ace Jacob Jette (who had allowed only two hits to that point) and he turned on it, lifting a deep drive to right that landed just above the yellow line denoting a home run.

MacDougall paused at second looking for the signal that the ball was gone and when he got confirmation from the umpire on that side of the field he raised his arms and set off for home plate to be mobbed by his teammates. It turned out to be the winning run in a 2-1 victory for the Tigers, who earned their second state title in three seasons.

“It just means everything,” MacDougall said about winning it all. “Eighth grade didn’t mean as much because I didn’t get to play. Obviously it still meant a ton but this year has just felt a little bit different than last time. I love this team.

It was a moment that came as no surprise to Taunton coach Blair Bourque, who has seen MacDougall come through time and again this spring.

“Ryan puts a lot of pressure on himself,” he explained. “We as a team, we tend to get on his back and he’s a big boy so he can carry us and he was able to get ahold of one today. We knew with Evan (Cali) pitching we needed to put some good at bats together and fortunately for us Ryan was in the right place at the right time.”

He has been in the right place a lot this season. MacDougall was tied for the league lead with two homers this season, was second in average (behind only teammate Braden Sullivan) at 0.476, tops in hits with 30, and finished with 19 RBI. He was also tied for the league lead with seven wins as a pitcher, recording an ERA of 1.47 and striking out 45 batters in 47-2/3 innings.

MacDougall recorded the first hit for the Tigers in the final, leading off the fourth inning with a single. Jette had been dominant for most of the game but Taunton was able to strike for a run in the fifth that tied it, setting up MacDougall’s heroics an inning later.

“He’s got a little bit of that clutch gene,” said Franklin coach Zach Brown. “It was one of those balls you wish you could have back, but there’s another guy on the other side. Jacob is a tremendous competitor and did a great job but Ryan MacDougall is good too and he put a charge into that and it had just enough to get out of here.”

When asked about the game-winning swing, MacDougall responded, “Down 0-2, just trying not to get out at that point, saw a fastball, took a good swing on it and put it over the fence. I got a good piece of it.”

It was a moment that meant a little more because of the opponent. Taunton and Franklin split during the regular season and have been battling each other for the league title for several seasons.

“When we play each other, we just come with unmatched energy, so it just feels great to win,” MacDougall said. “It just felt great to hit the home run. I’m a little speechless right now. It was just unreal.”

In 2019, MacDougall’s older brother Danny (who won MVP last year) was the team’s starting shortstop going into the playoffs, but a hand injury in the opening game of the playoffs effectively ended his season. Danny wasn’t able to be on the field in the state championship game. Four years later, Ryan put his stamp on the final.

He found it hard to put the experience into perspective. “I’m speechless,” he said with a smile. “It’s unreal.”

“Can’t say enough about him,” Bourque said about MacDougall and what he means to the team. “He’s a hard worker, he’s a great kid, and I’m really happy for him. He’s got a lot of talent, he’s got a bright future ahead of him, and I’m really happy we have another year with him.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Taunton Rallies Past Franklin, Secures D1 State Title

Taunton Baseball
Taunton players celebrate a 2-1 come from behind win over Franklin in the Div. 1 state championship game at LeLacheur Park. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


LOWELL, Mass. – The two teams, which were the top two seeds in Div. 1, were on a collision course all postseason. They split a pair of games during the regular season, both winning on their home fields, and it was only fitting that Saturday night’s rubber match at LeLacheur Park would determine not only who would win the season series but who would win the state championship.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Taunton (22-3) was held without a hit until a leadoff single in the fourth, but scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings and got a stellar, complete game effort from Evan Cali to secure a 2-1 victory over league rival Franklin (23-4). The victory earned the Tigers their second D1 title in three seasons.

“They’ve got great hitters one through nine, so for him to come out and only give up one run was more than you could ask for,” Taunton coach Blair Bourque said when asked about Cali’s performance. “I was hoping to get a couple innings out of him and next guy up, and for him to come out and throw a complete game, what a great culmination of his senior year.”

Even before the season started, Taunton was searching for an ace of its staff. The Tigers relied on their full complement of pitchers to work through games, but Cali delivered one of his best performances in the final game of his high school career. He allowed only one infield single after the second inning, allowing just the one run and out-dueling Franklin starter Jacob Jette.

“I don’t think I’ve cried like this in a long time,” Cali said after the game, smiling despite his eyes being wet from tears and shaking in the cold after getting a Gatorade bucket dumped on him by his teammates. “I thought about everyone that’s helped me and it fueled me through that entire game.

When asked what was going through his mind at the final out, Cali admitted with a laugh, “I have no idea. I threw the pitch and I prayed he didn’t get a base hit because if he did I was getting taken out.”

While the final pitching line looked stellar for Cali, things were far from easy in the opening two innings. Jack Marino singled with one out in the first and took second when Cali’s pick-off attempt was wayward. A wild pitch would move him to third and Evan Raider drew a two-out walk. Cali induced a pop up to end the threat.

In the top of the second, a walk and an error put two on for Taunton but Jette got a groundout to keep it scoreless. Franklin would grab the lead in the bottom half.

Jase Lyons got things started with a single and Eisig Chin followed by crushing a ball off the wall in right, narrowly missing a home run. With two runners in scoring position, semifinal hero Ben Jarosz singled to right center to make it 1-0. Chin was held at third and Jarosz would move up to second after almost being picked off.

Cali hit the corner to get a strikeout for the first out of the inning. A pop up in foul ground and a grounder to Dawson Bryce at short would allow the Tigers to escape the second down by only a run. It felt like a win for Taunton.

Jette was cruising for the Panthers. A perfect third dented any momentum that Taunton may have carried to the plate. He gave up a leadoff single to Ryan MacDougall to start the fourth but struck out back-to-back hitters and got a fly ball that Chin caught in foul territory in right to end the inning.

“Jacob Jette has been everything you could ask for,” said Franklin coach Zach Brown. “He’s been so important to our team and our team’s success. You have to go back six games to find a team who scored a run off him before today. He’s an amazing competitor, just a tremendous leader, does everything right, really threw well today, and gave us a chance to win a state title.”

Taunton finally struck in the fifth. Shawn Cali smashed a ball over the head of Ryan Gerety in center for a leadoff triple. After a pair of failed bunt attempts, Evan Cali put the ball in play with a grounder to short. The infield was back and Henry Digorgio’s only option was to go to first to get the out.

“I saw that our team lost for hope for a second,” Cali said about Taunton’s rally. “Once Franklin gets a run, their whole energy turns around. They’re fired up. I noticed that we were down and I talked to my coach and said, we get them in and we do a huddle and we win this game.”

In the top of the sixth, Jette got a liner to Chin in right for the first out and got two strikes on MacDougall, but the Hockomock League MVP turned on an 0-2 fastball. He sent it seemingly off the wall in right, but the ump put up his hand to indicate the ball hit above the yellow line and was a home run, putting the Tigers ahead 2-1 and sending the bench streaming out to home to meet the junior first baseman.

“We as a team, we tend to get on his back and he’s a big boy so he can carry us and he was able to get ahold of one today,” Bourque said about MacDougall. “We knew with Evan pitching we needed to put some good at bats together and fortunately for us Ryan was in the right place at the right time.”

After another perfect inning for Cali, the Tigers had the chance to add to the lead in the seventh. Senior catcher Colby DeCouta ripped a double to left and, after Franklin turned to closer James Kuczmiec, who started off with a wild pitch allowing courtesy runner Xavier Spencer to take third. Kuczmiec then chose the perfect time to attempt a pickoff attempt behind the runner, with Jarosz firing a strike to Joe Tirrell at the plate for the out.

Shawn Cali came right back with a double to center, but Kuczmiec got a hard line drive to first that Raider snagged and quickly fired to Digorgio at second for an inning-ending double play.

Franklin was fired up after getting out of the jam down by just one run. Cali quickly quelled the energy. He got a grounder to third baseman Braden Sullivan and then robbed Tirrell by getting a piece of a bouncing ball up the middle and making the throw to first while sitting on the mound.

Through the disappointment of the result, Brown was proud of his team’s season and the way the team came together this spring, “We hit a little speed bump early in the year and these seniors did a great job just bringing everyone together and staying the course. Twenty straight wins later, we’re sitting here with one game for a state title. Nothing to hang your head on, we wish the outcome was different but that’s baseball.”

Brayden Cali squeezed a pop up at second base for the final out, sparking celebrations and a dog pile on the mound. Taunton had knocked off the top seed and league champions and clinched just the second state title in program history.

“It’s not something that we harp on,” Bourque replied when asked about title aspirations coming into the season. “We can be successful without winning a state championship. Obviously it’s great to win, but we’re looking to develop young men. Seeing these guys in the community and how they represent Taunton baseball, that’s what I’m most proud of.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

King Philip Falls To Milton In Division 2 State Final

King Philip baseball Brendan Weddleton
King Philip senior Brendan Weddleton catches a throw on a pickoff attempt at second base in the Division 2 state championship against Milton. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 WORCESTER, Mass. — King Philip’s quest for a state championship came up just short.

The Warriors’ great run in the postseason came to a close in the Division 2 state championship on Saturday, falling to top-seeded Milton, 4-2, at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field on the campus of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester.

“Coming in, with their bats and their pitching, I thought we were going to have to play perfect,” said King Philip head coach Jeff Plympton. “We came up a little short but I’m proud of the way the guys played. They’re a pleasure to be around all the time.

“We stuck around, which is kind of where we wanted to be. It was alright if we weren’t ahead, but as long as we were in striking distance we thought with our bats in the lineup we could make up for it, but it just didn’t happen tonight.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Walks, errors, and aggressive base running became the difference in the game as the Warriors actually recorded more hits (five) in the game than the Wildcats (four). And Milton senior Charlie Walker, who is committed to play at Northeastern next season, was on his game with seven strikeouts and no walks.

Rudy Gately had a strong showing on the mound with four runs allowed, but none of them were earned. He scattered four hits and four walks, striking out three in 5.1 innings of work. Sophomore Tommy McLeish got the final two outs in the sixth, holding an inherited runner at third with a ground ball and a pop-up.

“I had all the confidence in the world in Rudy, he’s been a hell of a pitcher for us for the past two years and I’m excited for him to come back,” Plympton said. “And then Tommy McLeish coming in in that tough spot, and as a sophomore, that’s not easy. And he showed his composure and did a fantastic.”

An infield error (on a tough hop) allowed Milton’s leadoff man to reach in the bottom of the first, a walk pushed him to second, and a single up the middle brought the run home for an early 1-0 lead. Gately got a strikeout and an infield pop-up to strand runners at second and third.

Milton’s Ryan Kelley battled back from an 0-2 count to draw a one-out walk in the second, moved to second on a single, took third on an error, and then scored after a hard grounder got the force out at second but couldn’t be turned into a double play.

King Philip got a boost from the bottom of its lineup, starting with a one-out line drive double from the No. 9 hitting Eli Reed in the top of the third, the Warriors’ second hit of the day. Sophomore Max Robison followed with a hard-hit single to center and Reed scampered all the way home to cut the deficit in half.

Gately hit a batter with one out in the bottom half but induced a 6-4-3 double play with shortstop Shawn Legere hitting second baseman Brendan Weddleton, who fired over to first where Robison made a great scoop to hold on to end the inning.

Legere was hit by a pitch to put the leadoff runner on in the top of the fourth for the Warriors, but Walker got back-to-back strikeouts against the heart of the order, and then an infield pop-up for the third out.

“He threw a lot of curveballs and has a heck of a fastball, sitting around 90 [miles per hour],” Plympton said of Walker. “That’s probably the best curveball our guys have seen this year, it’s next level and he’s going to Northeastern so that’s what you’re going to see in Division 1 baseball, and I thought we gave him a pretty good bid.”

Meanwhile, the Wildcats proved to be dangerous with two outs. An infield error put Marcus Ollivierre on, who promptly stole second, and a second error allowed Jimmy Fallon to reach and Ollivierre to take third. A wild pitch bounced past the catcher and just like that, the Wildcats had another run without a hit.

Sean Sullivan had a one-out single in the top of the fifth and moved into scoring position after an errant pick-off attempt from the catcher, but the Warriors couldn’t push him any further as Walker got a ground out and then a pick-off.

Gately erased a leadoff walk with a pickoff and then worked around a single and a walk to keep the deficit at 3-1 through five innings, but Walker was in a groove on the mound and quickly retired the side in the top of the sixth. Milton added a key run in the bottom of the sixth with a one-out single from Fallon to score Kelley, who reached on an error to start the inning.

That ended Gately’s outing and McLeish took over with a runner on third. After falling behind 3-0 in the count, McLeish induced a ground to shortstop where Legere looked the runner back before firing to first for the second out. Four pitches later, McLeish got Walker to pop up to right for the third out.

King Philip battled to the end as junior Brendan Sencaj smacked a hard-hit grounder up the first base line, and it took a friendly bounce off the wall in right as Sencaj hustled his way to a triple. A ground out to the right side from Gately brought Sencaj in, cutting the deficit to 4-2 with two outs.

But that was all the damage the Warriors would do as Walker got a strikeout and a liner to second for the final out.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“The program wasn’t in a great spot a few years back and this group of seniors has led the charge with the turnaround,” Plympton said. “We had a pretty decent season last year too. They played a little bit of an underdog role all season and I couldn’t be happier where we are as a program now and the future looks bright for next year.

“They are a resilient group and they’re able to let things go. We had a bad loss to Franklin but they were back in practice the next day ready to move on like nothing happened, which is huge. Baseball is mental…so if you’re dwelling on things, it won’t be good so I definitely learned what a resilient bunch they were.”

King Philip baseball finishes the season at 16-9.