Below are the official 2022 Hockomock League Baseball All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Ryan MacDougall, Taunton
Hockomock League All Stars
Christian Dame, Attleboro
Jack Digirolamo, Canton
Andrew Butler, Canton
Sean O’Leary, Foxboro
Nolan Gordon, Foxboro
Evan Raider, Franklin
Jacob Jette, Franklin
Christian Goode, Franklin
Alfred Mucciarone, Franklin
Shawn Legere, King Philip
Brendan Sencaj, King Philip
James Gilleran, Mansfield
Anthony Sacchetti, Mansfield
Evan Cornelius, Milford
Tyler DeMattio, North Attleboro
Daniel Curran, North Attleboro
Tyler Bannon, North Attleboro
Jake Waxman, Oliver Ames
Daniel Okstein, Sharon
Anthony Tilton, Stoughton
Ryan MacDougall, Taunton
Dawson Bryce, Taunton
Braden Sullivan, Taunton
Owen Taber, Attleboro
Sean Sullivan, Canton
Ryan LeClair, Foxboro
Jack Marinox, Franklin
Quin Garstka, King Philip
Aaron Blinn, Mansfield
Grant Scudo, Milford
Derek Maceda, North Attleboro
Nathanial Lewis, Oliver Ames
William Hippler, Sharon
Jonah Ly, Stoughton
Colby DeCouta, Taunton
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.”
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) June 23, 2022
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.
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) June 23, 2022
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
“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.
BROCKTON, Mass. — Coming into the season, King Philip junior Tommy Martorano had high expectations but an injury in his first start of the season back in early April derailed his plans, forcing him to watch the entire regular season from the sidelines.
After two relief appearances earlier in the tournament, Martorano earned the start in the Division 2 state semifinals against rival Mansfield, and the left-handed pitcher delivered.
He tossed a complete game shutout, allowing just one hit and a pair of walks while striking out 12 as the Warriors edged out the Hornets, 1-0, for a spot in the D2 state championship game this weekend.
“We knew it wasn’t too serious of an injury early on but he was going to need the whole season to get back into form,” said King Philip head coach Jeff Plympton. “We wanted to get him into some games early on [in the tournament] and he was pumping, he was doing well so I just asked him, and I said do you want the ball for the semis and he lit up like a Christmas tree.
“We watched him in practice, he was painting those corners so we wanted to give him a chance and put him out for a game. I was hoping for at least four [innings] and then go from there but he was electric today, just the one hit. He had a few curveball strikes but he really had that fastball going. We were planning on going with him until he couldn’t go anymore.”
Martorano was on from the get-go, retiring the Hornets in order on 15 pitches in the top of the first order, his first strikeout coming on the third out. He didn’t retire the side in order again until the final inning, striking out all three Hornets to end the game, but he also didn’t let a runner advance past second.
“I felt pretty good in the relief appearances so I was telling coach that I was ready for a start, I was ready to go,” Martorano said. “I love being out there with my guys and now we get to play for a state championship.
“I was pumped to get back. I had a timeline to get back for the playoffs and when I was ready to come back, I made sure I was ready to help the team out and go as far as we could. We really wanted this game and now we’re ready to roll for the next one.”
Martorano’s counterpart, Mansfield senior Aaron Blinn, also had a stellar performance on the mound backed up by solid defense from the Hornets in the field and Aiden Jones behind the dish. He scattered eight hits over six innings of work, striking out four without issuing a walk.
After a clean first inning from both, Martorano worked around a leadoff walk with back-to-back strikeouts and a fly ball in the top of the second. Juniors Brendan Sencaj and Rudy Gately had the first two hits of the game, and mixed in with a balk and a stolen base, the Warriors had runners on second and third with no outs but Blinn bunkered down with a strikeout and two shallow fly balls.
The third inning presented both teams with a chance to break through on the scoreboard, but only the Warriors were able to cash in.
In the bottom half, sophomore Max Robison had a one-out single, but after Matt Kelley followed with a single, the Hornets got Robison at third after a heavy round of the bag. The rundown did allow Kelley to move to second to keep a runner in scoring position, and with two outs, senior Shawn Legere came through in the clutch with an RBI single up the middle for a 1-0 lead.
“Shawn’s great…honestly, probably the best hitter to probably come through the King Philip program,” Plympton said. Legere was third in the Hock this regular season in average and was third in the league in hits as a junior. “He was just a little short for the best average in team history but he’s so confident, whatever the count is, doesn’t matter if it’s a fastball, a curveball, a changeup, a 3-2 count… he’s ready to go whenever.”
Mansfield got the leadoff runner on in Jake Maydak in the top of the fourth after an infield throwing error but Martorano quickly fielded the sac bunt in the next at-bat, and Robison alertly saw the runner taking off for an extra base at third and fired it over to Sean Sullivan, who applied the tag just before the slide. Another strikeout gave KP the third out.
Eli Reed had a one-out single in the bottom of the fifth, stole second, and took third on a ground out from Robison but Blinn didn’t allow him to go any further with a strikeout to end the inning.
“When you’re playing in the state tournament, every game is going to be close,” said Mansfield head coach Chris Hall. “We knew it was going to be a battle, already playing each other twice this year, and that’s exactly what it was. Martorano came out and pitched his tail off and I thought Aaron Blinn pitched incredibly on the mound and we played a clean game. But it comes down to that one run and they got it and we didn’t.
“But that can’t take away from what we achieved this year. I don’t think anyone in the state had us making it to the Final Four in Division 2, especially after starting off 1-4, but we’re here. I can’t say enough great things about this team. I’m very proud of this senior class for how they competed today and all year, such a huge positive. As far as I could find, I think this is the farthest any Mansfield team has gone so I’m just so proud.”
The Hornets got a final base runner on after an error in the top of the sixth, but once again Martorano came up with a strikeout to end the inning. Sencaj had one-out single in the bottom half to try and extend KP’s lead but was forced out at second on a fielder’s choice on a grounder from Gately. With the hit-and-run on, Travis Crawford drove one to center for a single from Mansfield center fielder Jared Fraone came firing and hit third baseman Jimmy Gilleran and he got the tag down to get the third out.
“The Hockomock League in general is tough, I think it’s the best league in the state,” Plympton said. “Blinn was fantastic, he dealt a good game. He shined, and he’s accurate and does a good job keeping guys off balance. Getting him for a third time, I was hoping that we’d be on him a bit more but he came out ready to go and he wanted it just as much as we did, it made for a good game.”
The Warriors, who won just three of its final eight games, have seemed to rediscover their form from the beginning of the season (seven wins in the first eight games) and now head into the D2 state championship against top-seed Milton riding a four-game winning stream.
“They’re a fun group to be around,” Plympton said. “There’s never a dull moment at practice and there’s a lot of talent on the team too. They can hit the heck out of the ball. I just have a smile on every time I’m with them, it’s great to come this far because they’re great to be around.”
King Philip baseball and Milton are scheduled to face off on Saturday at Fitton Field on the campus of Holy Cross with the first pitch scheduled for 6:00.