By Joe Clark, HockomockSports.com Student Reporter
BROCKTON, Mass. – Throughout Franklin’s run in the 2018 MIAA Super 8 Tournament, every game has come down to the late innings.
That held true on Monday night, as Franklin scored the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning to beat Central Catholic, 3-2, and win the 2018 Super 8 title, the program’s first state title since 1986.
“This is the most resilient team I’ve ever seen”, said Franklin starter Bryan Woelfel. “Somebody punches us, we go down a couple of runs, it’s happened every game we’ve had, then people just step up in big spots and just get us right back to where we need to be.”
One of those spots came in the bottom of the eighth, as after a superb performance from Woelfel (7 IP, 7 H, 7 K), Jake Noviello entered the game in relief with runners on second and third, no outs, and the game tied up at 2-2.
Noviello struck out Sean Thompson looking and followed by punching out Mike Lefebvre. Joey Sanchez was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Noviello bounced back and struck out Dante Pistone looking to strand the runners and give Franklin a chance to take the lead n the top of the ninth.
“I pitched against them the other day and got hit around one inning, so I knew to just come out and come after them,” Noviello said. “I just tried to give them my best stuff, and tried to gas them up.”
“There’s no other guy in the state that’s going to go into that situation and strike out three straight batters like Jake Noviello did, that’s unbelievable,” Woelfel said about his teammate.
Franklin (21-5) took advantage of the momentum a half inning late in the top of the ninth when Steve Luttazi led off with a single.
With Noviello at the dish, Central Catholic tried to backpick Luttazi, but the throw ended up in right field and Luttazi was able to advance to third. After a groundout, the stage was set for Evan Wendell.
“Coach told me to bunt when I first got up there, he gave me the sign for the squeeze, and then they met at the mound and conferenced, so he called me over he said ‘you know what, they’re probably talking about this exact situation, so we’re gonna call it off for the first one,’ we did that,” Wendell said.
“They definitely thought it was a squeeze, he threw me a dirt ball, so then we did it the next pitch, and it worked. We practice that every day, so big kudos to coach right there, that was great coaching to call it off on the first pitch and then do it the second one.”
“He’s tough as nails, and I just had a feeling he was going to find a way, find a way for us, senior veteran, and I just wanted to give him an opportunity to knock it in a run, and to his credit, he executed the play to perfection,” said Franklin coach Zach Brown on Wendell.
In the bottom of the ninth, Noviello had to face the heart of the Central Catholic order, with Dominic Keegan, Steve Hajjar, and Mike Borrelli due up.
Keegan gave the Franklin faithful a scare with a bomb down the right field line, but it was a couple yards to the right of the foul pole. He ended up walking to lead off the inning, but Noviello got Hajjar to fly out to center and struck out Borrelli.
Mike Pierro hit a single into right to put the winning run on first, but Noviello struck out Noah Lucier to end the game and give Franklin their first baseball state championship in 32 years.
Franklin’s seniors were the ones came through in the late innings, with Woelfel, Noviello, Luttazi, and Wendell all playing huge parts in the win.
“It’s just a really special class, a really special group of kids, I love them, they know I love them, we talk about a lot more than just baseball,” Brown said about his seniors. “The thing I’m most happy with this group is now they’re going to be forever connected because of this state championship, and years from now when they see each other they’ll always have this moment together.”
Franklin’s offense got started in the top of the first when Colby Fitzgibbons singled on the first pitch of the game and was hit home when juniorJake Macchi homered to left field to give Franklin a 2-0 lead, a lead they held until the fourth inning.
Macchi almost had extra bases again in the top of the third, but a spectacular catch by Central Catholic left fielder Sean Thompson robbed Macchi of at least a double.
In the top of the fourth, Franklin loaded the bases, but Aidan Abernathy, who came on in relief of starter Noah Lucier after a Luttazi double, was able to get out of the jam.
In the bottom of the fourth, Pierro led off with a walk and came around to score on a double by Thompson. Thompson advanced to third on an error and scored on a groundout by Joey Sanchez to tie the game at 2-2.
With the win, Franklin baseball becomes the fourth team to win a baseball Super Eight title (Newton North, Braintree twice, St. John’s Shrewsbury). Franklin was also the last team selected for the tournament this year, and as the #7 seed, is the lowest seed to ever win the tournament. Franklin did not lose a game in its tournament run.
BROCKTON, Mass. – In the bottom of the eighth inning in Monday night’s Super 8 final at Brockton’s Campanelli Stadium, it looked like Central Catholic had finally figured out Franklin starter Bryan Woelfel. A single and a double put two runners in scoring position with nobody out in a tie game.
Franklin coach Zach Brown decided that he needed to make a change and called in third baseman Jake Noviello. The Fairfield University-commit had been warming up during the Panthers at-bats just in case and was now called on to try and get out of the ultimate high-leverage situation.
“We had a shot,” said Brown about how he felt bringing in his ace in that situation. “I felt like it was a spot in the order and just knowing Jake and knowing his competitiveness I thought we had a shot.”
Noviello explained, “I pitched against them the other day and I got hit around in one inning, so I knew to just come at them tonight and just try to gas them up.” He added with a shake of his head, as the accomplishment settled in, “It’s unbelievable, unbelievable.”
He struck out the first two batters he faced in the eighth. He hit the third batter to load the bases but then closed out the inning with another strikeout in an impressive relief appearance. The first player out of the dugout to greet Noviello as he stalked off the field was Woelfel, his best friend since kindergarten.
“It’s happened a couple of times in big games and big spots,” Woelfel said about Noviello coming in to close out games for him. “There’s nobody we else we want on the mound for those final outs than Jake.”
Noviello said of Woelfel, “I owe him. I owe him big time. He’s been freaking nails all year. I love him like my brother, we’ve been friends forever and I’m just so freaking proud that we’re going out this way…as champions.”
A squeeze bunt put the Panthers ahead in the top of the ninth and Noviello was back on the mound to try and seal the win. A lead-off walk gave the Raiders hope and Central Catholic would put two on in the ninth but Noviello closed the door with another strikeout.
Franklin, the last team chosen for the Super 8 field and the No. 7 seed overall, was the champion and had done it without losing a game in the tournament. The Panthers leaned on their senior pitchers throughout the tournament with Noviello and Woelfel appearing in all four games and managing to shut down some of the top lineups in the state.
Despite having thrown a few innings of relief against Central Catholic in the winner’s bracket final, Woelfel never doubted that he would be ready to go against the Raiders again on Monday.
“I told coach yesterday, he was toeing the line between me and Jason [Ulrickson] who was going to pitch, and I told him I want the ball, my arm feels great,” Woelfel said. “Honestly, if my arm didn’t feel great I was going to say the same thing. I wanted the ball.”
Brown said of Woelfel, “He’s been an animal. He’s really been this way his whole career. He’s really selfless. I used to say that he’s the most underrated player in the Hock, I think I can kind of put that one to bed. He’s just nails.”
If there was any sign of tiring, Woelfel overcame it as he gutted out seven-plus innings before handing the ball over to his best friend. “It’s time to return the favor,” Brown joked about Noviello coming into get Woelfel out of a jam.
“Jake’s unbelievable and deserves everything he gets in terms of accolades,” Brown added, “Bryan has done a lot of dirty work over the years for him and it was just fitting to watch those two guys today.”
The two friends combined to throw 35-1/3 innings (all but 1-2/3 innings) over the course of four games. Woelfel won two, beating St. John’s Prep and Central Catholic (in relief), and Noviello won the others, including the opener against Wachusett and Monday’s final (in relief).
“We’re definitely going to celebrate this one,” said Noviello. “It’s something we had talked about as captains. Obviously you have goals and some of them you think might be unattainable but for some reason this team just never gave up and kept fighting to the end.
Below are the official 2018 Hockomock League Baseball All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Tyler Dalton, Mansfield
Hockomock League All Stars
Jon Candiales, Attleboro
Matthew Casamento, Canton
Chad Bearce, Foxboro
Alex Haba, Franklin
Jake Macchi, Franklin
Jake Noviello, Franklin
Bryan Woelfel, Franklin
Jeremy Rhines, King Philip
Tyler Dalton, Mansfield
Kevin Dow, Mansfield
Daniel Saraceno, Mansfield
Aidan Wilde, Milford
Zach DeMattio, North Attleboro
Brendan McHugh, North Attleboro
Nathan Pearce, North Attleboro
Nick Sinacola, North Attleboro
Mitch Goulet, Oliver Ames
Matthew Muir, Oliver Ames
Chris Pearsons, Oliver Ames
Ruben Gonzales, Stoughton
Robert Seaman, Stoughton
Tyler DaSilva Medeiros, Taunton
Jack Moynihan, Taunton
Alvaro Espinal, Attleboro
Matthew Pigeon, Canton
Joseph Freitas, Foxboro
Colby Fitzgibbons, Franklin
David Morganelli, King Philip
Justin Pena, Mansfield
Matthew Shaver, Milford
Peter Cohen, North Attleboro
Michael Mulrean, Oliver Ames
Max Tarlin, Sharon
Evan Gibb, Stoughton
Josh Lajoie, Taunton
By Joe Clark, HockomockSports.com Student Reporter
BROCKTON, Mass. – Once Franklin scored the tying run in the top of the 9th inning during Thursday’s MIAA Super 8 semi-final against Central Catholic, and got two quick outs in the bottom of the inning, the game seemed primed for extra innings.
But Central Catholic’s next batter, Vanderbilt-commit Dom Keegan, had other ideas, as he sent a ball high off the wall in left-center field before coasting into third with a triple. Steve Hajjar was hit by a pitch, which set the stage for Mike Borrelli.
Borrelli grounded to shortstop, but the throw was wide and looked like it would get by Franklin first baseman Steve Luttazi and give Central a walk-off win. Instead, Luttazi made an incredible pick and held the bag, retiring Borrelli and keeping Franklin alive.
The Panthers capitalized, scoring two runs in the top of the tenth, and winning 6-5, to advance to the Super Eight Final.
“Steve’s been a rock for us defensively over there all year,” said Franklin manager Zach Brown. “Honestly, I think he gives our infielders tremendous confidence to get the ball in the air and get it around him and he’s going to take care of the rest,”
“We had two outs, it was a tie game, looking good, then Keegan gets on third which was a little bit scary, then the play was just a grounder, simple pick, I’ve been doing it for awhile, it was just reactionary, I didn’t feel any pressure, just got the play done and I was excited we got the out,” Luttazi said.
In the top of the 10th, Jack Nally led off with an infield single and advanced to second on a sac bunt from Luttazi. JB Floris was hit by a pitch, and Evan Wendell drew a walk which loaded the bases for Colby Fitzgibbons.
Fitzgibbons’ grounder to third was mishandled which allowed Nally to score to give Franklin a 5-4 lead. In their next at-bat, Franklin got a very important insurance run, as Scott Elliott’s sac fly scored Floris to put the Panthers up 6-4.
In the bottom of the 10th, Bryan Woelfel got two quick outs before walking Sean Thompson and then hitting Mike LeFebre to put the winning run at the plate in Joey Sanchez. Sanchez singled home Thompson from second, but Woelfel battled back to strike out Jake Delaney and give Franklin a 6-5 win.
“I love closing,” Woelfel said. “I was a closer my sophomore year and most of last year, I just started starting this year. I’m pretty used to that situation and I just love having the pressure in my hands going into the last outs of the game.”
Woelfel’s been one of Franklin’s best pitchers all year, and that was no different on Thursday night, as he went four innings to earn the win in relief, allowing just two hits and striking out three.
“He’s just a tremendous competitor. He’s a fiery, fiery kid, and when he has the ball in his hand, we feel really good,” Brown said about Woelfel
Franklin scored their first three runs of the game in the top of the second inning, with Nally and Luttazi both hitting singles, while Floris reached on a bunt single. With the bases loaded, Evan Wendell hit a two-run single to center, and Fitzgibbons’ sac fly scored Floris. Franklin had 16 hits in the game, all of which were singles.
The Panthers had the chance to break the game open in the top of the third, loading the bases with no outs. But a grounder allowed a throw home for the force out and then another infield grounder was turned into a double play.
“We were putting good swings on it, we were giving ourselves chances, and we just weren’t able to get that one big hit to kind of break it open for us, but to our guys’ credit, they just keep grinding, they keep believing, they’re really resilient,” Brown said.
Central Catholic had their offensive breakthrough in the bottom of the third with Sanchez leading off the inning with a double and later coming around to score on a two-out double by Hajjar. Borrelli singled home Hajjar, and a walk by Mike Pierro set up Central with runners on first and second. Noah Lucier and Sean Thompson hit back-to-back RBI singles to put Central up 4-3, a lead that would hold until the top of the ninth.
In the top of the ninth, Fitzgibbons reached on an error, but a fly out and a strikeout brought Franklin down to their last out.
Jack Macchi singled to put runners on first and second for Cooper Ross, who hit a blooper into left field that hung in the air long enough to allow pinch runner Joe Lizotte to score from second. Macchi went to advance to third on the throw home, but the throw to third was wide and went into left field which gave Macchi the opportunity to head towards the plate, but he was cut down on the relay from Central Catholic and tagged out at home.
With the win, Franklin baseball moves to the Super 8 final, where they will play the winner of Central Catholic and BC High. Whoever wins that game will have to beat Franklin twice to win the Super 8, as Franklin is the only unbeaten team remaining in the tournament. The date and time for Franklin’s next game has yet to be announced.
“We’re fired up, we’re ready to go for the next one,” Woelfel said about Franklin’s mentality. “It feels nice to get there, but we’re not satisfied.”
BROCKTON, Mass. – Franklin has come into the Super 8 with a chip on its shoulder. The last team selected for the elite tournament field, the Panthers are not out to prove that they belong but that they should be one of the teams to beat.
After knocking off second seed Wachusett in the opening round, Franklin squared off with perennial power St. John’s Prep, the third seed, at Brockton’s Campanelli Stadium. It came down to the last out, as these games so often do, but after Jake Noviello induced a weak grounder to second, the Panthers walked away with a 7-6 victory and a spot in the semifinal.
“We were the last team into this tournament, so we’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain,” said Franklin coach Zach Brown about playing the underdog in the Super 8.
Bryan Woelfel closed out the win against the Mountaineers just three days earlier, but he was given the ball to start against Prep and it looked as though his start was going to be a short one after the Eagles plated three runs in the third to take the lead for the first time.
“They got to me a little bit in the third, it was just a matter of getting it clicked down in the zone, slowing myself down,” Woelfel explained. “We have a hell of a field out there and we’re going to make the plays out there, so I just had to get it down in the zone, let them hit the ball.”
After that inning, Woelfel held Prep to just three hits (one an infield single) and no runs over the next four and picked up the win. It was a resilient outing for the senior, but one that his coach has come to expect from his pitcher.
“Bryan has been doing this his whole career,” said Brown. “My concern, honestly, wasn’t about him having a rough inning, it was, is he tired. Did the opportunity the other day take something out of him. He said, ‘I feel great, I’m just a little off…I need to be better and I will be,’ and he went out the next inning and he was.”
The Panthers could have been crushed by that three-run burst by Prep in the third. Franklin took the lead in its first at-bat, after back-to-back walks to Scott Elliot and Alex Haba and a bobbled grounder put runners at second and third with two outs. Cooper Ross provided the big hit with a single to right-center that scored both.
In the bottom of the first Prep got one back with an unearned run. A two-out error allowed Alex Lane to reach and Mike Yarin (4-for-5, three RBI) brought him home with a single to right. Franklin had two runners on in the second and had a runner at third with one out in the third, but failed to score in either inning.
In the bottom of the third, a walk, an infield hit, a walk, back-to-back singles (including a two-RBI hit from Lane) and a sacrifice fly by Jacob Bolger made it 4-2 and seemed to swing the momentum to the Catholic Conference side.
But, Steven Luttazi led-off the top of the fourth with a towering blast to right that cut the lead in half and instantly changed the mood on the Franklin bench.
“You never want to spit the bit with the lead and give a team like the Prep, which is absolutely loaded, an opportunity to get back in the game and take the lead,” Brown said. “Steven coming right back to put one on the board and make it a one-run game really kind of put the dugout at ease and we felt we were in striking distance.”
“That fires us up,” Woelfel added. “That got us going. I don’t think the game would’ve ended the same way if he didn’t do that.”
Woelfel followed up that homer by getting Prep in order to keep the energy high. In the fifth, Haba started a rally with a double that one-hopped the fence in left center. Jake Macchi moved him over with a sac bunt and two batters later Jack Nally made it pay off with a sac fly to left that tied the game at 4-4.
In the bottom of the seventh, Woelfel closed out his outing by getting the side in order, although the final out was a loud one, as Yarin pushed Nally all the way to the wall in right center. The Franklin centerfielder reached up with his back against the wall to pull in a long out.
Luttazi drew a one-out walk to start a rally in the eighth. J.B. Floris pinch-hit for Noviello and was hit on the arm. After an infield pop up that was dropped off the bat of Evan Wendell, both runners were able to move into scoring position with two outs. Colby Fitzgibbons drew a walk to load the bases for Elliot and he cleared them, driving a ball into center for a triple that put the Panthers back in front.
Brown said, “It was just an awesome at-bat. He stayed within himself, great approach, got a fastball that was a little up and put a great swing on it and really backspun it and it came at a huge time for us.”
Reliever Jason Ulrickson gave up a pair of hits in the eighth, but was able to escape a first-and-third, one-out jam. In the ninth, facing the top of the Prep lineup, Ulrickson got a comebacker, a single, and a fielder’s choice to get within one out of the save. Yarin made sure that there was some drama to the finish, crushing a ball to right and cutting the lead to just one.
“We have a ton of confidence in Jason Ulrickson,” Brown explained. “We also knew we had this opportunity with Noviello where we had him hot and had him ready just in case the tying run was going to come to the plate.”
Noviello, the Fairfield University-commit, had warmed up a little between innings and moved from third to the mound to close it out. He allowed a single but then got the grounder to Fitzgibbons that keeps the Panthers in the winner’s bracket.
While Franklin is relishing its underdog role in the Super 8, Brown knows that his team is capable of playing at this level.
He said, “These aren’t guys who are doing something they haven’t been doing all year, they’re just guys that are doing what they’ve been doing and continuing to do it on a bigger stage.”
Franklin (19-5) will face Central Catholic in the semifinal on Wednesday at Campanelli Stadium at 7:00.
Today’s games are listed below.
#5 Mansfield, 3 @ #4 Central Catholic, 8 – Final – Central Catholic used two hits and two Mansfield errors to score five unearned runs in the first inning in a first-round Super 8 matchup. The Hornets cut the deficit to three (6-3) with three runs in the fifth inning but CC added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth for insurance. Tyler Dalton let up three hits and walked three with six unearned runs allowed in four innings of work. Sophomore Chris Jenkins had two hits on the day while Dan Saraceno, Justin Pena, and Dalton each had an RBI for the Hornets.
#7 Franklin, 8 @ #2 Wachusett, 5 – Final – Wachusett erased a four-run deficit in the seventh inning to tie the game but Franklin responded by scoring in each the eighth and ninth innings to prevail in the program’s first-ever Super 8 game. Wachusett tied the game on a sacrifice fly in the seventh but Franklin was able to get a runner out at third trying to advance to erase any further damage. Bryan Woelfel earned the win in relief, allowing one run on four hits while striking out two. Jake Noviello had a strong outing on the mound, scattering five hits, four walks, and six strikeouts over six innings of work. Franklin’s offense had a strong day with Cooper Ross leading the way with three hits and two RBI. Colby Fitzgibbons (run), Scott Elliott (double, four RBI), Alex Haba (triple, two runs, two stolen bases), Jake Macchi (RBI, run) and Evan Wendell (two runs) all had two hits apiece for Franklin.
#13 Mansfield, 7 @ #4 Franklin, 13 – Final – Click here for a recap of this game.
#15 King Philip, 4 @ #2 BC High, 19 – Final
#6 North Attleboro, 12 vs. #11 Belmont, 3 – Final – Click here for a recap of this game.
#4 Sharon, 1 vs. #13 Wellesley, 4 – Final
#6 King Philip, 0 vs. #11 Needham, 5 – Final
#9 Franklin, 0 @ #8 BC High, 5 – Final
#14 Taunton, 0 @ #3 Brookline, 5 – Final
#12 Foxboro, 0 @ #5 Duxbury, 5 – Final
#3 Sharon, 5 vs. #14 Braintree, 0 – Final
#6 Taunton, 2 vs. #11 North Quincy, 3 – Final
#10 North Attleboro, 0 @ #7 Brookline, 5 – Final
#12 Oliver Ames, 2 @ #5 Weymouth, 3 – Final – One match went to three sets and another a second set tiebreaker but Weymouth won both to edge Oliver Ames. OA’s Rachel Stryke and Olivia Groebe won 6-1, Def. at second doubles for the Tigers.
#5 Foxboro, 5 vs. #12 Falmouth, 0 – Final – Foxboro opened its 2018 playoff campaign with a sweep of visiting Falmouth. Sophia Prinos won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles, Pamela Nelson didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at second singles, and Julia Muise earned a 6-2, 6-2 decision at third singles. The team of Kayla Prag and Sarah Prag won 6-3, 6-4 at first doubles while Olivia Dantona and Kendell Milender won 6-0, 6-0 at second doubles.
Noviello allowed one earned run on five hits and one walk, striking out 11 in eight innings of work while Sinacola struck out 12, allowed four, four walks and one earned run in 7.1 innings.
It wasn’t until the top of the ninth when the Panthers finally cashed in, exploding for five runs in the top half of the inning to prevail with a 6-1 win over the Rocketeers.
“We knew we’d face Sinacola and he’s a great pitcher, and we knew it’d be a great game,” said Franklin head coach Zach Brown. “So we talked about competition, and I think sometimes people forget that competition is back and forth — they answer, then you answer, back and forth. So that was the message prior to the game. We knew there’d be a lot of swings, we just had to stay the course and trust each other. North Attleboro is a great baseball team, they made it really difficult for us today, so hats off to them.
“I thought Jake did a great job just setting the tone. Each time we needed him to settle us back down, he was able to do that.”
North Attleboro’s Zach DeMattio connected on a two-out solo home run in the bottom of the first inning to put Big Red ahead 1-0.
But Franklin sophomore Jack Nally answered in the top half of the second, ripping a line drive solo shot down into the bleachers in left field to make it 1-1.
“[Nick] pitched his tail off, there’s not much more to say,” said North Attleboro coach Mike Hart. “He did everything we asked him to. The kids have been behind him all year. He’s a great leader for us too. We knew scoring chances would be tough to come by for both teams. You have to take them when you have the opportunity.”
Those would be the only runs that the starting pitchers gave up, though each team had a golden chance to take the lead late in the game.
North had its best chance in the bottom of the seventh when Nick Raneri reached on a one-out single, and pinch runner Nolan Buckley went all the way to third after an errant pickoff attempt. The Rocketeers tried for a suicide squeeze to bring the winning run in, but Franklin’s defense was prepared.
Noviello purposely pitched high and junior catcher Jake Macchi fired down the third base line. Shortstop Alex Haba made a nice play to get back to the bag, took the throw, and then ran down the runner for the second out. Noviello struck out the next batter to end the inning.
“We had talked about it and how we wanted to defend it,” Brown said. “We decided that if they were going to do it, it’d be the first pitch so we went pitch out there and we were fortunate enough to get it done. And our shortstop did a great job coming over the top of that play, because that’s not an easy play. The guys did a great job executing it.”
“We’ve been aggressive all season, I’m not going to make any excuses for doing it,” Hart said about the decision. “I thought it was the time to do it…that’s the way we play the game and that’s how we’re going to continue to do it.”
That momentum carried into the top of the eighth for the Panthers. Evan Wendell (walk) and Scott Elliott (single) reached and then advanced a base on a throwing error. After going up 3-0, Haba was intentionally walked to load the bases.
That put an end to Sinacola’s day but senior Ben Arrighi came in and got the job done. The senior made a nice play on a grounder near the first base line to get the force out at home and got a swinging strikeout for the third out to escape the inning without any damage.
“That’s his spot right there,” Hart said of Arrighi. “His innings are down because our starters have been able to go deep into games. I give him a lot of credit. He came in with some serious guts and got the job done for us in that inning.”
Noviello didn’t slow down in the bottom of the eighth, sandwiching a pair of strikeouts around a pop up to keep the momentum on the Panthers’ side.
Nally got things started in the top of the ninth with a leadoff single and then stole second. Shane O’Neil laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Nally over, and the sophomore scored on a base hit from senior Michael Langmeyer to make it 2-1.
Langmeyer stole second, took third on a groundout, and crossed the plate on an RBI single from Colby Fitzgibbons. Elliott followed with a walk to put runners on first and second and then Haba — who had a two-run home run taken away by a leaping grab from North’s Nathan Pearce in the sixth inning — delivered the knock out blow with a three-run bomb over the press box at Community Field to give Franklin a 6-1 lead.
“[Alex] has been real steady for us,” Brown said. “He really stepped up big and delivered in a big spot for us. We really needed those insurance runs to beat a team like that because North is capable of scoring in bunches.”
Franklin senior Bryan Woelfel needed just 10 pitches to set North down in order in the ninth inning to close the door.
Franklin baseball finishes the regular season 17-5 overall and 12-4 in the Hockomock. If King Philip defeats Mansfield on Thursday, the Panthers will share the Kelley-Rex title with the Hornets. Franklin will find out its postseason fate June 3rd (Super 8) or June 5th (D1 South). North Attleboro (16-2 overall, 12-2 Hock) is back in action on Wednesday against Milford.
Today’s games are listed below.
Stoughton, 4 @ Attleboro, 5 – Final – Attleboro’s Tim Callahan drove in the winning run with a two-out hit in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Bombardiers a walk-off win. Senior Gavin Wildrick earned a one-out walk, senior Brian MacDonald (2-for-2, run, RBI) singled, both advanced on a passed ball, and Waldrick scored on Callahan’s hit. Jon Candiales pitched a complete game for the win, striking out three without issuing a walk. Evan Gibb had two RBI for the Black Knights while Ruben Gonzalez added an RBI triple.
Mansfield, 15 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final (6 Inn.) – Mansfield’s offense continued to roll, collecting 18 hits and scoring double-digit runs for the second straight game. Thirteen different Hornets collected a hit, with Tyler Dalton (3-for-4, four RBI, two runs), Kevin Dow (two RBI, three runs), Justin Pena (RBI, run), and Kyle Moran (RBI) each having multiple hits. John Carney earned the win, scattering six hits over six innings of work with eight strikeouts and just one walk. JT Burke had two hits for Foxboro.
Franklin, 4 vs. Lincoln-Sudbury, 1 – Final – Senior Colby Fitzgibbons and juniors Scott Elliott and Cooper Ross each had two hits to help the Panthers pick up a win over the Warriors in the first round of the Pedroli tournament. Fitzgibbons had two doubles and scored a run while Elliott had a triple, a run scored and an RBI in the win. Evan Wendell (hit) and Alex Haba (RBI) each added a run scored. Bryan Woelfel earned the win, scattering eight hits, striking out six, walking one and allowing just one run in 5.2 innings of work. Jason Ulrickson earned the save with 1.1 perfect innings of relief.
Milford, 3 vs. Hopedale, 0 – Final – Milford senior Andrew Fauerbach allowed just three hits in a complete game effort to earn his first career win. Senior Matt Nickerson went 2-for-3 and knocked in all three of the Hawks’ runs.
Sharon, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 9 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Matt Muir collected three hits and drove in three runs to help the Tigers defend home field against rival Sharon. Chris Pearsons added two hits and also had three RBI while Jacob Levine added a hit and an RBI for the Tigers. Tom Parker tossed a complete game one-hitter, striking out seven to pick up the win. Ben Schwartz went 1-for-3 with an RBI for Sharon.
Attleboro @ Stoughton, 3:45
Foxboro, 21 vs. Medway, 9 – Final
Franklin, 0 @ Milford, 12 – Final (6 inn.) – Milford senior Kelley Reichert fired a no-hitter to lead the Hawks to a win over Franklin. Reichert struck out eight without issuing a walk for the Hawks. Offensively, Kate Irwin (two runs, stolen base), Sabrina Haarstick (double, two runs, RBI) and Antonia Bonina (two runs) had three hits apiece for the Hawks while Jess Tomaso (two doubles, four RBI) and Maddy Bonvino (two-run home run, three RBI, two runs) each recorded two hits.
Oliver Ames, 12 @ Sharon, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames had four players record three hits on the day as the Tigers picked up their second win in the last three games. Lexie Campbell (three runs), Caroline Mahoney (three RBI), Katie Mills (three RBI), and Rachel Han (RBI, three runs) each had three hits in the win. Campbell pitched five innings with five strikeouts and no earned runs allowed while freshman Emma Varella struck out one in two innings of work. Rebecca Clayman had a triple for Sharon.
Taunton, 10 vs. Dighton-Rehoboth, 4 – Final – With the game tied 1-1, Taunton’s offense exploded for nine runs in the fifth inning to pick up a big win over a top team in the state. Mackenzie Handrahan went 4-for-4 with a double and two RBI while Liana Duarte added three hits, including a triple, and had two RBI. Kya Enos (double, two RBI) and Alexa White (RBI) each added two hits for the Tigers. Freshman Kelsey White (complete game) earned the win in the circle, striking out five with three earned runs allowed on 11 hits.
Attleboro, 7 @ Norton, 0 – Final
Foxboro, 21 @ Milford, 5 – Final – Foxboro’s Louis Piccolo scored three goals and had four assists to pass the 100-point mark on the season.
Attleboro, 12 vs. Norton, 11 – Final – Attleboro’s Kyra Lyons scored just as time expired to give the Bombardiers the close win over Norton.
Milford, 0 @ Foxboro, 16 – Final
Franklin, 8 vs. Notre Dame Academy, 15 – Final – Franklin cut the deficit to just three late in the first half but the visitors scored three goals inside the final minute to push the lead to six, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the way. Erin Walsh had three goals and an assist and Katie Jones scored twice and had an assist. Head coach Kristin Igoe Guarino said Annie Walsh (seven draw wins) played well in the midfield and Grace MacCallum had a strong game defensively.
King Philip, 10 vs. Medway, 7 – Final
Oliver Ames, 8 @ Milton, 18 – Final – Chloe Kilkelly scored three goals while Olivia Piazza scored two goals but the Tigers fell on the road to Milton. Sofia Masciarelli, Emalyn Duvall, and Ella Hogan each found the back of the net once.
Mansfield, 5 vs. Westwood, 0 – Final – Mansfield picked up a sweep at home, though three matches were forced to either a third set or a tiebreaker. Luke Nickerson earned a comfortable 6-1, 6-2 win at first singles, Max Bank prevailed 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (5) at second singles and Luke Devine emerged from third singles with a 6-2, 4-6, 10-5 win. Sethu Odayappan and Jalaj Singh won 6-0, 6-2 at first doubles and Danny Radev and Ben Salden notched a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 win at second doubles.
Milford vs. Medway, 3:30
Sharon, 3 @ Bishop Feehan, 2 – Final – Sharon showed off its depth with a 3-2 win on the road over Feehan. Andre Olivei earned a 6-3, 6-0 win at second singles and junior Danujan Thirumavalavan had a strong performance with a 6-2, 6-0 win at third singles. The team of Ashwin Sreevatsa and Arie Chinnappan moved up to first doubles and recorded a 6-0, 7-5 win for the Eagles.
Foxboro, 5 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Foxboro’s three singles players combined to drop just one game as the Warriors went on the road and swept Taunton. Sophia Prinos won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles, Pamela Nelson earned a 6-0, 6-0 win at second singles, and Julia Muise picked up a 6-1, 6-0 win at third singles. The team of Kayla Prag and Sarah Prag earned a 6-1, 7-5 win at first doubles and Olivia Dantona and Kendall Milender prevailed 6-4, 7-5 at second doubles.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – In a rematch from earlier this week, Oliver Ames prevailed with another win by the same score. The Tigers picked up wins at third singles (Maura Kiernan, 6-0, 6-1), first doubles (Kristin Bloumbas and Emily Yu, 6-4, 6-0), and second doubles (Olivia Groebe and Rachel Stryke, 6-2, 6-2). Mansfield’s Sarah Doyle won 6-0, 6-3 at first singles and Elizabeth Elsner earned a 7-6 (4), 6-3 win at second singles.
Bishop Feehan, 0 @ Sharon, 5 – Final – Sharon defended its home court with a sweep over visiting Bishop Feehan. Lulu Yuan completed her second straight undefeated regular season with a 6-1, 6-0 win at second singles. Seniors Katie Merport and Emily Wen won 6-1, 6-0 at first doubles and Rithika Neti and Sophia Fein notched a 6-2, 6-0 win at second doubles.
Taunton, 3 @ Milford, 0 – Final – In a clash between conference champions, undefeated Taunton prevailed with a 3-0 sweep of Milford (25-15, 27-25, 25-23). Lens Esquil (12 kills) and Lance Law (11 kills) paced the offense while Malik Charles added nine kills and Collin Hunter chipped in with seven kills. Ricardo DaFonseca finished with 37 assists.
Today’s games are listed below.
Attleboro, 1 @ Franklin, 2 – Final (8 Inn.) – Franklin senior Colby Fitzgibbons laced a two-out single into left center field to drive in Shane O’Neil as the Panthers walked off with a win over Attleboro. Fitzgibbons had two hits on the day, Steve Luttazi had an RBI, and Jake Macchi had a hit and a run scored for Franklin. Bryan Woelfel struck out 10, walked one, and scattered six hits in 6.1 innings of work. Attleboro threatened with runners on first and third in the top of the seventh but Jason Ulrickson (1.2 IP, win, 2 K) made an appearance in relief, getting a strikeout and then Attleboro was caught trying to steal home. Attleboro’s Matt Callahan (two hits) reached base four times, Alvaro Espinal had two hits and an RBI and Ryan Morry had a hit and a run scored. Eoin Kelleher allowed just four hits while striking out six.
Canton, 5 @ Foxboro, 10 – Final – Foxboro exploded for six runs in the fourth inning to break open a 3-3 game and never looked back to beat the visiting Bulldogs. Robert Theriault had a big day for the Warriors, going 3-for-4 with three RBI while Joe Freitas (RBI, two runs) and Joe Cavaleri (run) each had two hits. Chad Bearce added a double and an RBI for Foxboro. Steve McLaughlin struck out four, walked four, and allowed six hits in four innings of work while Sean Yoest struck out four and allowed five hits in three innings of relief. Canton’s Matt Pigeon went 3-for-3 with two runs, Nate Quan had three hits and two RBI, and Jake Aronson had two hits and an RBI.
King Philip, 1 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final – Mansfield was limited to just one hit but cashed in on its opportunities to beat King Philip. Sophomore Chris Jenkins drew a walk in the third inning, stole second and came around to score on two passed balls. Jenkins reached on an error in the fifth and came around to score after a throwing error on Michael Hargadon’s bunt. Sam Nugent executed a safety squeeze to bring Hargadon home from third. Connor Sheehan earned the win, striking out seven with one walk and six hits allowed in a complete game effort. KP’s David Morganelli was the tough-luck loser, allowing just one hit with seven strikeouts and four walks in a complete game. Liam Rohan had a hit and a run scored for KP.
North Attleboro, 6 @ Milford, 2 – Final – North Attleboro went on the road and clinched at least a share of the Davenport division title with a win over Milford. Big Red’s offense got off to a strong start with two runs in the first inning behind a Nick Sinacola RBI double (Brendan McHugh single, run) and a Zach DeMattrio triple and passed ball. Sinacola added another RBI in the third with a single that plated Aidan Harding. Milford cut the deficit to two with a run in the bottom of the third when Justin Applebee scored on a single from Matt Shaver. North responded with two runs in the top of the fourth when Nate Pearce drove in a pair with a double. Big Red added an insurance run in the sixth when Sinacola (three hits) singled and eventually scored on another double from Pearce. Aidan Wilde added an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh for Milford. Peter Cohen pitched a complete game for North, scattering six hits while striking out three.
Oliver Ames, 5 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames did all of its damage offensive during the second inning, plating all five of its runs in the frame. Jacob Levine (2-for-4) and Mitch Goulet each had two RBI hits in the inning while Jake Erlich had two hits and had a strong game behind the plate for the visiting Tigers. Michael Mulrean struck out nine with just two walks in 5.2 innings of work without allowing an earned run. Jakob Roberts was 2-for-3 with an RBI and Logan Lawrence added two hits for Taunton.
Stoughton, 7 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Stoughton’s Zak Paquette needed just 80 pitches for the complete game shutout, allowing four hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Evan Gibb (2-for-3, three runs, stolen base) and Mike Nazzaro (2-for-3, RBI) led the Black Knights’ offense.
Franklin, 4 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Franklin junior Jackie Cherry struck out nine in a complete game shutout to lead the Panthers to a win on the road. Franklin scored a pair of runs in the first, built a 3-0 lead in the second and tacked on an insurance run in the seventh inning. Ally Shea went 2-for-2 with an RBI and Maddy White reached base twice, scored once, and had an RBI. Franklin’s Peyton Arone helped end an Attleboro threat in the fourth, making a catch in left and getting a double play at second.
Foxboro, 10 @ Canton, 5 – Final
Mansfield, 0 @ King Philip, 12 – Final (6 inn.) – King Philip’s Jess Bonner launched a pair of home runs and Faith Turinese threw a no-hitter as the Warriors blanked Mansfield. Bonner finished with five RBI, Allison Kuchy had a three-run home run, and Hailey McCasland contributed three hits for KP. Turinese didn’t issue a walk and struck out seven in a complete game effort.
Milford, 5 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – Milford junior Emily Hartman had a day to remember at the play and senior Emily Piergustavo set a new program record in a win on the road at North. Hartman went 3-for-4 with a double and a three-run home run, finishing with five RBI. Piergustavo had two hits, including the 144th of her career to set a new Scarlet Hawk record. Kate Irwin (double, triple) and Maddie Bonvino each added two hits. Kelley Reichert earned the win, allowing just five hits with four strikeouts in a complete game. North scored its lone run in the fifth inning when Olivia Capobianco drove in Andrea Miceli with a single.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Taunton, 9 – Final – Jaime Brown had two hits and knocked in three runs and Kya Enos added two hits and an RBI to lead Taunton past OA. McKenzie McAloon also had two hits, including a double, while scoring two runs. Jaylin Couto struck out nine with two walks and five hits allowed in seven innings of work. OA scored three runs in the first inning with Caroline Mahoney (1-for-3, RBI, run) knocking in Lexie Campbell (2-for-4, run) on a double to right center. Katie Abreu and Rachel Han each knocked in a run in the first inning as well.
Sharon, 0 @ Stoughton, 12 – Final (6 Inn.) – Stoughton’s offense belted a season-high 19 hits while Gina Carafa allowed just two hits in six innings of work for the Black Knights. Jordan Lyons led the offense by going 4-for-4, Brianna Ferrandiz was 3-for-4 with an RBI, Karly Estremera had a two-run double, and Val Whalen and Sarah McGrath each had two hits and an RBI.
Sharon, 9 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final
Taunton, 0 @ Canton, 17 – Final
Franklin, 6 @ Foxboro, 7 – Final (2 OT) – Click here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.
Milford, 4 @ King Philip, 14 – Final
Mansfield, 3 @ North Attleboro, 11 – Final
Stoughton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 20 – Final – Oliver Ames’ Eric LeBlanc was one of nine Tigers to find the back of the net in a win over Stoughton. LeBlanc scored his 100th career goal in the win while Nick Gillis recorded the shutout.
Canton, 11 @ Taunton, 10 – Final – Maggie Connolly and Leah McClellan both had hat tricks for the Bulldogs, as Canton pulled out a second straight one-goal win. Connolly also had an assist. Kaitlyn Goyetch scored twice and assisted on two other goals, while Molly Colburn and Caroline Tourgee both scored twice and Alexa Maffeo had a goal and an assist.
Attleboro, 3 @ Sharon, 17 – Final – Sharon coach Shara Ginthwain said that the Eagles “played great as a team” with six different goal scorers and assists on eight of the goals. Rose Wald made eight saves in the Sharon goal.
Foxboro, 5 @ Franklin, 11 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.
King Philip, 18 @ Milford, 2 – Final – Lauren Anderson paced the Warriors with four goals and Caroline Klim had a hat trick and an assist. KP also got a pair of goal from Ali Wilson and single goals from Claire Lawler, Callie Sullivan, Victoria Tormey, and Christina Hathaway.
North Attleboro, 17 @ Mansfield, 19 – Final – Katy Garvin scored seven times and Hannah Sternburg made 15 saves as Mansfield pulled out an important win on senior night. Olivia Murray scored a hat trick and Ann Maher, Hayliegh Crawford, Lauren Whitman, and Emily Vigeant all scored two goals for the Hornets. Maggie Danehy also scored in the win. Katie Lindstrom scored nine goals for the Rocketeers in the loss.
Franklin, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Franklin freshman Liam Marr didn’t lose a game in his match and the Panthers won all five in straight sets to pick up a win on the road. Marr won 6-0, 6-0 at second singles, Rohan Herur recorded a 6-2, 6-0 win at first singles, and Saketh Saripalli won 6-1, 6-1 at third singles. The team of Tony Calderone and Shoumik Sompally prevailed 6-2, 6-1 at first doubles and Tyler DiPalma and Tyler St. Marie lost just one game in a 6-1, 6-0 decision at second doubles.
Foxboro, 5 @ Canton, 0 – Final
Mansfield, 1 @ King Philip, 4 – Final – King Philip’s Sean Desroches and Nate Ihley rallied from a one-set deficit to pick up a win at first doubles in KP’s 4-1 win over Mansfield. Desroches and Ihley won 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 while Nick Ihley and Aidan Ignatius prevailed 6-2, 6-2 at second doubles. Nick Putney dropped just two games in a 6-2, 6-0 win at second singles and Jack Cannon earned a 6-2, 7-5 win at third singles for KP. Mansfield’s Luke Nickerson won 6-1, 6-4 at first singles.
Milford, 1 @ North Attleboro, 4 – Final – North Attleboro’s Alex Rinaldi and Sam Gallagher didn’t drop a game in their match at second doubles to help the Rocketeers beat Milford. Rinaldi and Gallagher won 6-0, 6-0 while Ben Pfeffer and Vikram Senthilakumaran won 6-2, 6-1 at first doubles. Richard Bermudez and Jonah Manso both won 6-0, 6-0 at first and second singles, respectively, for North. Milford’s Zach Austin won 6-3, 6-4 at third singles.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Taunton, 5 – Final – Taunton lost just two games total between its five matches to move within a game of qualifying for the state tournament. Francois Hennaux won 6-1, 6-1 at first singles while Brett Beaulieu (second), Mike Briggs (third), Charlie Fiske and Dylan Kullas (first doubles) and Kyle Dennehy and Trevor Hart (second doubles) all won 6-0, 6-0.
Sharon, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Sharon senior Andre Olivei prevailed in a tiebreaker to pick up a win over Stoughton freshman Waseem Sablon to complete the Eagles’ sweep. Danujan Thirumavalavan won 6-0, 6-1 at second singles and Ashwin Sreevatsa didn’t lose a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at third singles. Max Brody and Russell Rapaport won 6-0, 6-0 at first doubles and Alex Aspel and Jake Ross won 6-2, 6-0 at second doubles for Sharon.
Attleboro, 3 @ Franklin, 2 – Final
Canton, 0 @ Foxboro, 5 – Final – Freshman Pamela Nelson prevailed with a 6-3, 6-4 win at second singles over Canton freshman Natalie Keppler in a battle of two of the best young players in the league to help Foxboro earn the win. Sophia Prinos won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles and Kayla Prag won 6-1, 6-3 at third singles. The team of Sarah Prag and Julia Muise earned a 6-1, 6-2 win at first doubles and Olivia Dantona and Kendall Milender picked up a 6-1, 6-3 victory at second doubles.
King Philip, 5 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final – King Philip won all three singles matches in straight sets in a sweep at Mansfield. Erin Regnier won 6-1, 6-1 at first singles, Meghan Sepich picked up a 6-0, 6-1 win at second singles, and Caitlin Gonser was victorious (6-2, 6-2) at third singles. Grace Ely and Mia Valencia prevailed with a 6-2, 7-6 (4) win at first doubles and Lucy Barnard and Katarina Schneider won 6-2, 6-0 at second doubles.
North Attleboro, 5 @ Milford, 0 – Final – North Attleboro earned its third straight 5-0 sweep, this time taking down Milford on the road. Jordan Willis won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles, Emily Chiasson didn’t lose a game at second singles, and Tara Nair won 6-1, 6-2 at third singles. Azka Siddiq and Shurobhi Nandi teamed up for a 6-2, 6-0 win at first doubles and Leah Marceau and Samantha Martino won 6-2, 6-2 at second doubles.
Taunton, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Taunton’s second doubles team of Amanda Pugh and Brianna Fevrier emerged with a win in a three-set thriller to help the visiting Tigers pick up a win. Pugh and Fevrier won 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-2 to help Taunton win. McKenzie Lucie and Samantha Martin won 6-2, 7-5 at first doubles and Jillian Pagliuca picked up a 6-2, 7-5 win at first singles. OA’s Tate Hadges lost just two matches in a 6-1, 6-1 win at second singles and Maura Kiernan picked up a 6-2, 6-1 win at third singles for the host Tigers.
Stoughton, 0 @ Sharon, 5 – Final – Sharon’s Alysha Posternak played in her first varsity match, teaming with with Lauren Glass to pick up a 6-2, 6-2 win in doubles play. Emily Wen won 6-2, 6-0, at first singles, Katie Merport earned a 6-0, 6-0 victory at second singles, and Sachi Bhasin didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 decision at third singles for the Eagles.
Milford @ Catholic Memorial, 6:00
Taunton, 3 vs. Dighton-Rehoboth, 0 – Final