Football: 2018 Davenport Division Preview

Davenport
Canton’s Gersom Rivera and the Bulldogs will try to compete for the Davenport title this season. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2018 Davenport Football Preview

Canton

2017 Record: 5-6
2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Dave Bohane

Key/Returning Players: Brendan Albert, Sr., HB/LB; Johnny Hagan, Jr., QB; Kyle Fitzgerald, Jr., HB/FS; Ben Seaman, Sr., OL/DL; Gersom Rivera, Jr., RB/HB; Jack Connolly, Jr., OL/DL; James Murphy, Jr., LB; Brian Campagna, Sr., OL/DL; David Allen, Jr.,SE/DB;

Outlook: After playing plenty of sophomores last season, the Bulldogs will be looking to boast a balanced, experienced team aiming to compete for the Davenport division title in 2018.

Canton brings back six starters on offense and seven starters back on the defensive side of the ball. The Dogs are one of the few teams with their starting quarterback returning as junior Johnny Hagan continues under center after a solid sophomore season. He showed the ability to pass and run with the ball, and he has almost all of his running back options back to work with. Gersom Rivera had a terrific sophomore year and will be counted on to be a big piece of the offense during 2018. Rivera’s athleticism and speed will be complemented by the hard nose running and blocking of junior Kyle Fitzgerald and senior Brendan Albert.

Junior Jack Connolly will anchor the offensive line and will be joined by senior Brian Campagna and junior Lucas Bryant at the center position. Ryan Lentol, who came on strong at the end of last year, picked up right where he left off and will be a top option at split end.

The strength of Canton’s defense is its linebacker group, which is full of experience and talent. Albert is back at one of the outside spots after earning Hock All Star last year while senior Ben Seaman is back on the other side. Junior James Murphy will fill in the middle after impressing last season and junior Robbie Gallery has impressed early on as the other inside option. Canton will also rely on a seasoned secondary with Fitzgerald and David Allen returning as starters. Ryan Colby should see time in the secondary and Owen Lehane is in the mix for the defensive line.

“We’re very excited for the season,” said Canton head coach Dave Bohane. “The kids have put the work in, we think we can play with anyone in the league but its a very good league so you have to be on your ‘A’ game every night. Every team is well coached and competitive so any time you can win in the Hock, its a success. We have to take it game by game, do the best we can, and keep plugging.

Foxboro

2017 Record: 5-6
2017 Finish: Reached D5 South Semifinal
Coach: Jack Martinelli

Key/Returning Players: Tom Cullen, Sr., OC; Andrew Longa, Sr., OT; Liam Foley, Sr., QB; Hunter Williams, Sr., OG/LB; Mike Luong, Sr., RB; Aidan Dow, Jr., OG; Shawn Teixeira, Sr., DT; Bill McNeil, Sr., DT; Martin McElroy, Sr., LB; Russell Neale, Sr., K; Pat Stapleton, Sr., SE;

Outlook: The Warriors are aiming to make it two straight years in the postseason and will use a mix of returning players and new faces to try and get it done.

Foxboro graduated 35 seniors last year so there are some spots that need to be filled, but the Warriors are off to a good start with Liam Foley back in the fold at quarterback. The senior saw time under center last season along with Devin Hassett. And Foley will be in good shape as the Warriors have a lot of experience on the offensive line. Senior Tom Cullen is back in the middle of the line as the center, senior Andrew Longa and sophomore Sean Ferguson take on the tackle positions, and senior Hunter Williams and junior Aidan Dow will fill out the interior of the line.

Mike Luong got touches as a junior out of the backfield last season and will be a main part of the offense this season. Pat Stapleton is a returning split end, classmate Rob Fay will step into the same role, and junior Shayne Kerrigan will a top target for Foley.

The Warriors have experience and good size up front on defense, led by returning starting tackles Shawn Teixeira (6’4, 260) and Bill McNeil (6’0, 265). Senior William Ogbebor and Anton George will be called upon to fill out the defensive line on the ends while Williams and Martin McElroy will be joined by Mike Sheehan at linebacker. Russell Neale is back as the place kicker after a strong junior season.

Milford

2017 Record: 5-6
2017 Finish: Reached D3 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Anthony Vizakis

Key/Returning Players: Brendan White, Sr., WR/S; Ryan Pearl, Sr., QB; Josh Ligor, Sr., OL/DL; Kevin Pyne, Sr., OL/DL; Hugo Lopes, Sr., RB/S; Shapel Feaster, Sr., WR/CB; Sean Lehane, Sr., WR/K; Colby Pires, Jr., QB; Luke Rosa, Jr., RB/LB; CJ Cerella, Jr., OL/LB;

Outlook: After reaching the quarterfinals last season, the 2018 version of the Scarlet Hawks are aiming for a deeper run into the postseason. And not just that, the Hawks are looking to be serious contenders for the Davenport crown.

Milford has a strong core of returning players back, a group of eager new faces looking to make an impression, and big new piece on the line. Kevin Pyne (6’8, 280) transferred to his hometown high school and will anchor what looks to be a big, physical line. Pyne is rated as the top recruit for his class and holds D1 offers from over a dozen schools including Notre Dame and Michigan. Senior Josh Ligor returns as a starter on the line while sophomore Nick Yohn will also be a two-way lineman.

The Hawks bring back both their quarterbacks: senior Ryan Pearl handled the team’s ‘WAR’ package while junior Colby Pires stepped in when Milford spread it out. Junior Luke Rosa will step in as an option at halfback along with sophomore Dominic Schofield. Brendan White (WR/S) brings toughness to both sides of the ball for the Hawks.

Shapel Feaster is one of the most experienced defensive backs in the Hockomock League and should be an important piece of the 2018 Hawks’ defense. Junior CJ Cerella will step in to anchor the linebacking group. On special teams, Sean Lehane is one of the strongest kickers in the area and will try to give Milford a spark at wide receiver this season.

“The goal of the 2018 football season for the Milford Scarlet Hawks is simple: start fast, play physical, and be the toughest team on the field on Friday nights,” said Milford head coach Anthony Vizakis.

North Attleboro

2017 Record: 11-2 (Davenport Division Champions)
2017 Finish: Reached D3 State Final
Coach: Don Johnson

Key/Returning Players: Ryan Clemente, Sr., OL/DL; Nicholas Raneri, Sr., QB/RB/LB; Jonathan James, Jr., OL/DL; Jack Puccio, Sr., OL/DL; Brendan McHugh, Sr., RB/DB; Omar Jasseh, Sr., SE/DB; Ryan Gaumond, Sr., SE/DB; Ryan Boyle, Sr., RB/DB;

Outlook: The target on North Attleboro’s back continues to grow. Coming off their third straight league title, including two straight Davenport titles, the Rocketeers made it all the way to the D3 State Final before falling, 35-33, to St. John’s Shrewsbury.

Big Red is hopeful it can continue its string of success but knows it will be tested with a difficult schedule, including a non-league game with two-time defending state champion King Philip. The biggest challenge will be finding a replacement for three-year starter Chad Peterson, who graduated with a handful of program records and three Hock titles as the starter. Seniors Nick Raneri and Luke LaBonte are both in the mix, and both saw time last year throughout the season. Raneri started all 13 games at tailback but also filled in at QB at times.

Whoever ends up getting the nod at quarterback will have one of the best offensive linemen in the entire state with senior Ryan Clemente anchoring the protection unit. Clemente is joined by senior Jack Puccio as returning starters on the line while seniors Joe Larkin and John Nally, and juniors John Kummer, Ethan Friberg, Trevor Hewitt, Montrel Jackson, and Ethan Mottinger are all competing for time. The Rocketeers also have solid skill options back with senior Brendan McHugh (14 total touchdowns) back at the starting slot back. Omar Jasseh offers size and speed at split end while Ryan Gaumond’s quickness gives the Rocketeers another option down field.

North Attleboro returns six starters on the defensive end, including McHugh, Gaumond, and Jasseh in the secondary. Clemente will be a big piece of the defensive line while Raneri and captain Jonathan James, who will also see time at tight end, will lead the linebacker unit. Russell Dunlap, Puccio, Mike Carty, Friberg and Jackson are all in the mix for defensive end spots while Ryan Boyle, Tom O’Neill, Duane Bryant, and Owen Harding are competing for time at linebacker.

“We expect a very challenging schedule, opening with KP on our new turf field and then an improved Bishop Feehan team in Week 2,” said North Attleboro head coach Don Johnson. “The Davenport division will be extremely competitive this year, with several teams able to beat anyone on any given night. We have a nice core, but if we are going to compete at a championship level, then we are going to need several new faces to mature very quickly. There’s a lot of work still to be done, and not a lot of time to do it.”

Sharon

2017 Record: 6-5
2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Dave Morse

Key/Returning Players: Chris Gong, Sr., WR/DB/KOR; Coleman Loftus, Sr., OL/DL; Aaron Strong, Sr., RB/DB; Jeremy Ruskin, Sr., QB; Alec Filipkowski, Jr., WR/DB/KOR; PJ McManus, Jr., WR; Kiran Chandrasekaran, Jr., DB; Nic Marrero, Jr., LB;

Outlook: For the first time in Sharon, there will be football on Friday nights.

With the installation of lights at the high school field, the Eagles will be hosting teams on Friday nights instead of Saturday afternoons. And the 2018 Eagles are hoping to put a show under those lights. Sharon brings back a handful of key returning starters on both sides of the ball, and with one more year experience under their belts, will be looking to compete in what is shaping up to be one of the most competitive seasons top to bottom in the Davenport.

Sharon averaged nearly 20 points per game in its six non-league games last year and is hoping to carry that over into Davenport play this season. Senior quarterback Jeremy Ruskin (six total touchdowns) is back under center to lead the offense and last year’s starting running back Aaron Strong (three touchdowns) also returns to give the Eagles a solid 1-2 punch on offense right away. Coleman Loftus’ size and strength will be a vital part of the line on both sides of the ball while Chris Gong and Alec Filipkowski return as Ruskin’s main two targets.

Not only goes Gong give Sharon options on offense because of his speed, he is one of the most dangerous kick returners in the state. He had an 80-yard punt return touchdown and a 99-yard kickoff return last season so opposing special team units will have to pay a lot of attention.

Despite the numbers, the Eagles had a strong defense last season. This season, Sharon boasts a lot of speed (on both sides of the ball) and is looking to use that to be more aggressive. Juniors Kiran Chandrasekaran will step in to be a big part of the secondary while classmate Nic Marrero will be relied on to anchor the linebackers.

“With a lot of returning starters and a sprinkle of new talent, I am expecting this team to take a huge step forward from last year’s inexperienced team,” said Sharon head coach Dave Morse.

Stoughton

2017 Record: 6-5
2015 Finish: Reached D3 South Semifinal
Coach: Greg Burke

Key/Returning Players: Jeff Grier, Sr., RB/DB; Cian Swierzewski, Sr., WR/SS; Alex Iverson, Sr., RB/LB; George Currier, Jr., QB; Matt Piana, Sr., OL/DL; Ajahn Rue, Jr., WR/DB; Josh Cocchi, Sr., CB/K; Ali Awad, Sr., OL/DL; Evan Jackman, Sr., OL/DL; Frank Derbes, Sr., TE/DL; Malachi Green-Hightower, Sr., RB/LB; John Burke, Soph., QB;

Outlook: It feels like a fresh start for the Black Knights after graduating a bunch of players that had multiple seasons of experience under their belts.

But the focus remains the same for the Black Knights, who are aiming to be in contention for the Davenport title and make another appearance in the state tournament. Similar to previous seasons, Stoughton will have talent in the backfield and that will be the focal point of the offense. Jeff Grier is one of the fastest players in the league and will make defenses pay when there is space. Alex Iverson is a shifty option out of the backfield, Malachi Green-Hightower brings power to the run game, and sophomore Chris Ais could emerge as a playmaker for the Black Knights.

Junior George Currier and sophomore John Burke will battle it out for the starting quarterback position while Matt Piana, Ali Awad, and Evan Jackman have solidified spots on the offensive line. Frank Derbes will factor into the offense as a tight end and junior Ajahn Rue is back as a receiver.

Defensively, Iverson and Green-Hightower will be right in the heart of the lineup as linebackers while Grier will help as a member of the secondary. Cian Swierzewski has impressed throughout the offseason and the preseason and will be a key piece of the defense from the safety spot. Stoughton is looking for other names to step up and help anchor its hard nose defense.

Black Knights Bow Out With Loss To Raiders

Stoughton baseball
Stoughton’s Ruben Gonzalez appeared to slide in safely at home in the first inning but was ruled to be tagged out. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
STOUGHTON, Mass. – If not for the perfect relay throw, Stoughton very well could have been looking at a different outcome against #9 Somerset-Berkley.

Trailing by a run in the bottom of the seventh, senior Ruben Gonzalez, one of the fastest players in the area, hit an RBI triple that rolled to the edge of right field at Noviello Field at Stoughton High School.

Gonzalez sped around third and nearly made the turn home but the perfect relay throw forced Stoughton head coach Mike Armour to hold Gonzalez at third with two outs. At the next at-bat. SB pitcher Chase Stafford induced a chopper down the third base line and the throw to first was just in time for the final out, giving the Raiders a 3-2 win over the Black Knights.

Stoughton entered the bottom half of the inning facing a two-run deficit, down 3-1 after the Raiders scored twice in the second and once in the fourth. Stafford got the first two outs – a 6-3 groundout and an F8 – before Stoughton senior Zak Paquette battled his way to a walk.

Gonzalez smacked the first pitch he saw into right, the ball rolling all the way to the edge of the playing field to bring pinch runner Cameron DiRosa home to make it a one-run game.

“Ruben…I expect nothing less, coming through there,” Armour said. “If they don’t the cut there, then he’s still going and tying it up. He is such a special player, I think he showed what he’s about today. But we just came up a little short.”

Gonzalez nearly stole home, but on a 2-2 count, Matt Hadley was forced to put the ball in play and the senior came inches away from legging out the infield single to tie the game.

“We couldn’t string enough hits today on offense,” Armour said. “You have to tip your cap to Somerset-Berkley. Their pitcher was hitting his spots but we weren’t really squaring them up that well today. They had that one big inning, they got some bloop hits. But that’s baseball…..if you only score two runs, chances are you’re not going to win that game.”

It was a bright start for the Black Knights. Gonzalez led off with a single in the bottom of the first and went to third on a single from Evan Gibb. With sophomore James Genest at the plate, the ball got behind the catcher and Gonzalez took off for home, but the umpire called the speedy shortstop out at home.

Gibb moved to third on the same ball and Genest singled into left field to give Stoughton a 1-0 lead.

Somerset-Berkley loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the second inning. Kyle Vieira singled into center for a run before Paquette got the first out with an infield fly. Jacob Rebello hit one deep enough to center allowing the run to just beat Cian Swierzewski’s throw for a sacrifice fly and a 2-1 advantage.

The Raiders tacked on a run in the fourth inning. Vieira and Rebello had singles and Matt Shea reached on a bunt and overthrow. That same overthrow allowed Vieira to come around and make it 3-1.

After an intentional walk, Paquette got a pop up to right field and sophomore George Currier fired to first for a double play. Paquette followed up with a strikeout.

“Zak has been heart, guts, everything for us all year,” Armour said. “He plans to go seven [innings] every time he’s out there. He makes it very difficult to not have that come to fruition. He was falling behind a couple of times but he kept coming back and getting the outs in the later innings so you tip your cap to him.”

Stoughton had a chance to strike back in the bottom of the fourth but uncharacteristic errors hurt the Black Knights. Genest singled and Currier followed with a one-out base hit of his own to put runners on first and second.

But a ground ball not only got the force out at second, Stoughton’s pinch runner accidentally overran third and the Raiders capitalized, firing to third and getting the tag.

Swierzewski was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the fifth but a sac bunt attempt turned into a double play when Stafford caught the bunt and fired to first.

“We had a couple base running errors, we had that sac bunt turn into the double play so it was just little things. And at the same time, George made that nice play in right and doubled them up. It was a good game…[Somerset] got their three runs early and we just couldn’t get enough to overcome.”

Stoughton baseball, which had just two players back from the 2017 squad with varsity experience, finishes the season at 10-9 overall. Six of the nine Black Knight starters are set to return next season.

“I’m proud of these guys,” Armour said. “Two of them played varsity baseball last year…so to qualify, get a game at our home field. The town has been going through a lot, I think that’s what I’m most upset about because we really wanted to give Stoughton something to smile about, something to get behind. But we just came up a little short and I think that hurts more than anything else.”

Stoughton Picks Up Emotional Win Over Canton

Stoughton baseball
Stoughton’s Matt Hadley (1) greets Ruben Gonzalez (right) after his inside the park home run. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
STOUGHTON, Mass. – It has been a long week for students at Stoughton High School.

On Friday morning, the Black Knights baseball team were among the hundreds of students that attended the funeral of classmate David Bell, one of four Stoughton High students, along with Nick Joyce, Eryck Sarblah, and Christopher Desir, who tragically passed away in an accident this past Saturday.

On Friday afternoon, the Black Knights took the field for the third time this season and came away with a 14-5 win over rival Canton, their second win over the Bulldogs this week.

“There wasn’t a doubt in my mind they’d want to play today, I’m just so proud of these young men,” said Stoughton head coach Mike Armour. Many of the players on the team were teammates with Bell for football or basketball.

“Going back to Monday, tip of the cap to Canton. They had ribbons and everything when we got there, and then over to Attleboro, it was their senior day but their parents were all wearing orange ribbons and they had stuff hanging up for us. The support we’ve felt from the rest of the league has been amazing. Just to see everyone come out and pick us up has been great. You’re OK one minute and then it kind of hits you, the kids and coaches included. These kids lost four friends. We were at one funeral today. It was a long day, it was a long week, but unsurprisingly these kids dug down and I was proud of them.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Stoughton’s offense had its best game of the season, scoring a season-high 14 runs on 16 hits. The Black Knights scored in every inning except the third, scoring at least three runs in the second, fifth, and sixth innings.

Senior Ruben Gonzalez, who was teammates with Bell in both football and basketball, earned the win on the mound with two strikeouts in five innings of work. He walked four and allowed just three hits and three runs.

Matt Hadley got Stoughton’s offense going in the bottom of the first with a one-out single. A pickoff error allowed Hadley to get to third and he scored on a groundout from sophomore James Genest for a 1-0 lead after one.

The Black Knights had their best inning in the bottom of the second. Will Eckhart (walk), Cian Swierzewski (single) and Zak Paquette (error) all reached to load the bases with one out. Gonzalez and Hadley reached on back-to-back infield singles, each driving a run in to make it 3-0.

Evan Gibb drove in a run on a fielder’s choice to make it 4-0 and then a single from James Genest turned into two runs. Genest’s line drive to center was misplayed, allowing both Hadley and Gibb to score but Genest was thrown out at home on a nice relay throw from shortstop Nate Quan.

Canton stuck back for two runs in the top of the third. Niko Donovan singled and then scored on a two-out inside the park home run from Matt Pigeon to cut Stoughton lead to 6-2.

Stoughton loaded the bases in the fourth inning but Canton reliever Ryan Hickey limited the damage to one run. Gonzalez (double), Hadley (single), and Gibb (walk) were on base with one out. Gonzalez scored on a sacrifice fly from Genest to make it 7-2 but Hickey got the final out to escape further damage.

Quan helped Canton cut into Stoughton’s lead with a run in the top of the fifth. Quan had a leadoff walk, took second on a walk to Tommy DiLello and scored on an RBI single up the middle from Hickey to make it 7-3.

But Stoughton was quick to respond, scoring three runs in the bottom half. Swierzewski (fielder’s choice) and Paquette (single) were on first and second with two outs before Gonzalez ripped a shot to right-center field. Gonzalez used his speed to round the bases for a three-run inside the park home run, his third, fourth, and fifth RBI of the day.

“Ruben didn’t have any RBIs coming into this week,” Armour said. “He got his first one on Monday, got another against Attleboro and then the big day today. He’s been due, he’s a heck of a ballplayer.”

Mike Konzal led off with a triple for Canton in the top of the sixth and scored on an RBI groundout from sophomore Owen Lehane. An error allowed Rob Sullivan to reach, and a throwing error brought him to third and Lucas Bryant to second. Matt Casamento drove Sullivan in with an RBI single up the middle to make it 10-5.

But the Black Knights put the game out of reach with four runs in the bottom of the sixth, all with two outs. George Currier got things going with a single and scored after a triple from Robbie Seaman. Eckhart followed up with an RBI triple of his own and scored on a single from Ryan Semler to make it 14-5.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

With the win, Stoughton qualifies for the postseason by securing a 0.500 record or better. The Black Knights were already headed to the playoffs because of a second place finish in the Davenport division.

While the offense has been a constant throughout the season, Armour is excited about the progress of the pitching.

“More important our pitching is coming along,” Armour said. “Ruben’s developed into a starter for us, Evan [Gibb] has been throwing, Will [Echkart] is getting back in the mix, and Zak [Paquette] is eating a ton of innings for us. We feel we have four guys that can man the mound and that puts us in a good position for the postseason. We’re looking forward to competing.”

Stoughton baseball (9-6 Hockomock, 9-8 overall) will finish the regular season with a visit from Sharon on Wednesday. Canton finishes the season 4-15 in the Hock and 5-15 overall.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/02/18


Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Attleboro, 2 @ Milford, 3 – Final (8 Inn.)Milford junior Nick Marcolini earned the win on the mound and scored the game-winning run as the Hawks took down visiting Attleboro in extra innings. Marcolini led off the eighth with a walk, stole second, and advanced to third. He came in to score the winning run on a sacrifice fly from Colby Pires. In a relief appearance, Marcolini tossed three scoreless innings with two strikeouts to get the win. Luke Rosa was the starter for Milford, allowing two runs in five innings with four strikeouts. Matt Swanson added two hits, including a double and a run scored, for the Hawks.

Oliver Ames, 13 @ Foxboro, 4 – FinalFoxboro held a 4-2 lead after an inning of play but OA chipped away and used five runs in the third inning to seize an 8-4 lead and never looked back. Jack Erlich went 3-for-3 with three runs and two RBI and Mitch Goulet had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and four RBI. Nick Zwerle and Tom Parker combined for 6.1 innings of scoreless relief for the Tigers. Foxboro’s Chad Bearce was 2-for-4 with a triple while Joe Cavaleri and JT Burke each drove in a pair of runs.

Taunton, 7 @ Canton, 0 – FinalTaunton’s Trevor Pietrzyk (two doubles, triple) set the tone, going 3-for-4 from the leadoff spot with an RBI and a run scored as the Tigers notched a win on the road. Jakob Roberts added two hits and two RBI while Ben Joyce drove in a pair of runs. Tyler Medeiros and Jacob Crawford each had a hit, an RBI and two runs scored for the Tigers. Medeiros got the win on the mound, scattering three hits over five innings of work with five strikeouts. Brendan Bignar and Logan Lawrence each tossed a scoreless inning in relief.

Franklin, 14 @ Stoughton, 10 – FinalFranklin scored five runs in the top of the seventh inning to break a 9-9 tie and emerge from Stoughton with a win on the road. JB Flores went 4-for-4, including a double and an RBI while scoring a pair of runs. Evan Wendell also had a strong day for Franklin with a pair of doubles, runs scored and four RBI. Jake Macchi added three hits and three RBI for Franklin while both Scott Elliott and Colby Fitzgibbons had two RBI apiece. Ben Guzman got the win in relief, allowing three hits and one run over three innings of work. Stoughton’s Matt Hadley and James Genest both went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored while Geroge Currier and Cian Swierzewski each drove in two runs for the Black Knights.

King Philip, 8 @ Sharon, 4 – FinalKing Philip tied the game in the fifth, took the lead in the sixth, and then tacked on three insurance runs in the seventh inning to complete a comeback from at Sharon. KP took a 3-0 lead in the second before Sharon pulled ahead with four runs in the third. Pat Limerick had three hits and one RBI, sophomore Chris Sawyer had two hits and two RBI, and Tyler Nault delivered with an RBI pinch-hit single for the Warriors. Terry Murray earned the win in relief, throwing three scoreless innings with one strikeout.

Mansfield, 3 @ North Attleboro, 1 – FinalMansfield senior Kevin Dow had a dominating performance on the mound, throwing a complete game with just two hits allowed and no walked and one unearned run allowed to lead the Hornets to a win over previously unbeaten North Attleboro. Dow struck out nine and didn’t issue a walk to get the win. Offensively, Dow went 2-for-4 and had an RBI triple in the third inning that put Mansfield up 2-0. Dow then scored on an RBI single from senior Tyler Dalton. Mansfield took the lead in the top of the second when Cullin Anastasia scored. Zach DeMattio and Brendan McHugh (run) each had a hit for Big Red.

Softball
Milford, 12 @ Attleboro, 3 – FinalMilford plated six runs in the sixth inning to break open what was a two-run game to grab a win on the road. The Hawks took a 5-3 advantage into the sixth before exploding for six runs. Jess Tomaso (2-for-4, three RBI) hit a home run in the sixth for her 100th career hit. Emily Piergustavo added two hits, two runs, and four RBI, Maddy Bonvino went 3-for-4 with a double, triple, and two-run home run and Kate Irwin had three hits, three runs, and an RBI for the Scarlet Hawks. Kelley Reichert got the win in the circle, striking out nine. Attleboro leadoff hitter Jordyn Lako went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and MacKenzie Killough blasted a two-run home run in the third inning.

Canton, 0 @ Taunton, 13 – Final (5 Inn.)Taunton sophomore Jaylin Couto struck out 10 while allowing just two hits and one walk to help the Tigers notch a win over visiting Canton. Couto improved to 3-0 with five scoreless innings. Offensively, Kelsey White went 3-for-4 with three runs, two RBI, and a stolen base, Kya Enos had two hits including a double, a run scored and an RBI, Abbie McDonough recorded two hits, scored three runs, stole a base, and had an RBI, and freshman McKenzie McAloon drove in three runs for the Tigers.

Foxboro, 4 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final Foxboro senior Mandy Ryan had an RBI single in the top of the seventh to help the Warriors come up with a win on the road. Hannah Davis and Chelsea Gibbons each had two hits while Emma Rohan earned the win in the circle, striking out four. Oliver Ames’ Caroline Mahoney went 2-for-4 with RBI, Katie Mills was 2-for-3 with an RBI, Marissa Guarino had two hits and an RBI, and Alexis Campbell had two hits and a run scored for OA. Freshman Emma Varella pitched a complete game for OA, striking out three.

Stoughton, 2 @ Franklin, 12 – Final

North Attleboro, 7 @ Mansfield, 1 – FinalNorth Attleboro broke open a two-run game with four runs in the last two innings to make it two wins in two days for the Rocketeers. Bella Erti struck out 11, allowing only four hits and no walks to pick up the win. Abby Warren and Olivia Capobianco paced the North offense with three hits apiece, while Ashley Cangiano and Katie Daby each had two hits. Katherine Munley came through with a couple of nice grabs in the field, according to North coach Bill Wallace, and Cangiano threw out her third runner attempting to steal in two days. Mary Muldoon drove in the lone Mansfield run in the second, singling in Caty DeMassi. Kara Bendanillo went 2-for-3 for the Hornets.

Boys Lacrosse
Canton, 11 @ Attleboro, 4 – FinalCanton raced out to a 5-1 lead at half time and never looked back to beat Attleboro. The Bulldogs, who never trailed in the game, had seven different goal scorers including senior Joey Vaughan.

Foxboro, 11 @ Sharon, 5 – Final

Stoughton, 0 @ Franklin, 20 – Final

King Philip @ Taunton, 3:45

Mansfield, 9 @ Oliver Ames, 12 – FinalOA goalie Nick Gillis had a huge game in the cage and Frankie Ireland netted three goals to help the Tigers score a big win over Mansfield. Eric LeBlanc and Sam Stevens added two goals each in the win.

Milford, 3 @ North Attleboro, 17 – FinalFor Milford, Josh Ligor, Andrew Gallagher, and Mike Demko each scored once while Cullen Burns recorded an assist.


Girls Lacrosse
Attleboro, 6 @ Canton, 15 – FinalCaroline Tourgee had four goals, Molly Colburn scored three goals and had a pair of assists, and Maggie Connolly had two goals and four assists for the Bulldogs. Leah McClellan and Kaitlyn Goyetch each added two goals and an assist, while Alexa Maffeo scored once and had a pair of helpers. Rachel Beatty scored once for Canton and Vicky Revanche made 12 saves in the Bulldogs net.

Taunton, 2 @ King Philip, 19 – FinalKP used nine different goal scorers to put an end to it two-game losing streak. Alli Meehan (one assist), Caroline Klim, Mackenzie Mazur, and Ali Wilson all recorded hat tricks for the Warriors, while Jess Sullivan scored a pair. Izzy Agricola, Jenna Hitchen (one assist), Olivia Tormey, and Dana Truini also scored for KP.

Sharon, 8 @ Foxboro, 19 – FinalSabrina Robbins and Emma Eberhardt both had hat tricks for Sharon in the loss. Robbins added eight draw controls, while Eberhardt also had two assists and four draw controls. Maxine Gordon and Abbi Solomon scored the other goals for the Eagles and Taylor Kim scooped four ground balls.

Franklin, 15 @ North Andover, 10 – Final

Oliver Ames, 9 @ Mansfield, 19 – FinalThe Hornets won for the second time in three days to get back to .500 on the season and move into a third-place tie with OA in the Kelley-Rex division. Mansfield had six different goal scorers in the game, led by Katy Garvin’s six and Maggie Danehy’s four. Hannah Sternburg made six saves in the Mansfield goal.

North Attleboro, 15 @ Milford, 2 – FinalNorth Attleboro had its passing game working on Wednesday, getting an assist on all 15 of its goals. Freshman Maggie O’Brien notched her first varsity goal in the win and also had four assists on the day. Julia Tolfa chipped in with six draw controls for the Rocketeers.

Boys Tennis
Milford, 2 @ Attleboro, 3 – FinalAttleboro swept doubles play and picked up one win in singles to get a win over visiting Milford. Jared Cooper won 6-3, 6-1 at third singles while the team of Ryan Gordon and Estrada won 6-1, 6-1 at first doubles and Luis Sandoval and Eli Araujo didn’t lose a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at second doubles. Milford’s Brendan Shaughnessy won 6-3, 6-3 at first singles and classmate Cam Doherty took a 7-5, 6-3 decision at second singles.

Canton, 0 @ Taunton, 5 – FinalTaunton picked up its second straight win by sweeping visiting Sharon, taking all three singles matches in straight sets without dropping a game. Francois Hennaux (first singles), Brett Beaulieu (second singles) and Mike Briggs (third singles) all won 6-0, 6-0. The team of Charlie Fiske and Dylan Kulas won 6-3, 6-2 at first doubles while Kyle Dennehy and Alex Pugh prevailed 5-7, 6-4, 10-1 at second doubles.

Foxboro, 5 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final

Stoughton, 0 @ Franklin, 5 – FinalFranklin’s doubles teams combined to drop just one game total in a sweep over visiting Stoughton. Tony Calderone and Derek Wu won 6-0, 6-0 at first doubles while Shournik Sompally and Saket Gandham won 6-0, 6-1 at second doubles. Rohan Herur won 7-5, 6-3 at first singles, Liam Marr dropped just two games in a 6-0, 6-2 win at second singles, and Tyler DiPalma won 6-0, 6-1 at third singles.

Sharon, 3 @ King Philip, 2 – FinalKing Philip pushed Sharon to the edge but the Eagles prevailed, keeping their lengthy league win streak alive. Senior Andre Olivei won 6-2, 0-6, 6-4 at first singles and sophomore Alberto Olivei recorded a 6-2, 6-3 win at third singles. Sharon’s third win came from Ashwin Sreevatsa and Arie Chinnappan, who won 6-4, 6-2 at second doubles. King Philip’s Nick Putney won 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (4) at second singles and the team of Sean Desrochers and Nate Ihley picked up a 6-3, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4) win at first doubles.

North Attleboro, 4 @ Mansfield, 1 – FinalNorth Attleboro swept singles play in straight sets and took another win in doubles play to record a win on the road at Mansfield. Richard Bermudez won 6-1, 6-1 at first singles, Christian Bermudez notched a 6-2, 6-0 win at second singles and freshman Jonah Manso took care of business with a 6-1, 6-0 win at third singles. North’s second doubles teams of Alex Pfeffer and Sam Gallagher won 6-4, 6-4 at second doubles. Mansfield’s Jalaj Singh and Sethu Odayappan won 6-3, 7-5 at first doubles.

Girls Tennis
Taunton, 3 @ Canton, 2 – FinalTaunton’s first doubles pairing of McKenzie Lucie and Samantha Martin overcame a one-set deficit to record the third and final point to help the Tigers beat Canton. Lucie and Martin won 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 while Taunton’s second doubles team of Amanda Pugh and Brianna Fevrier won 6-0, 6-3 at second doubles. Freshman Jocelyn Pagliuca won 6-4, 6-3 at third singles for Taunton. Canton freshman Natalie Keppler won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles and classmate Rachel Kupferman didn’t lose a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at second singles.

Attleboro, 4 @ Milford, 1 – Final

Oliver Ames, 0 @ Foxboro, 5 – FinalFoxboro’s Sophia Prinos and Pamela Nelson won their singles matches in straight sets to help the Warriors earn a victory. Prinos won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles, Nelson notched a 6-0, 6-0 win at second singles, and Kayla Prag emerged with a 6-2, 4-6, 10-4 win at third singles. The Warriors’ team of Sarah Prag and Julia Muise won 6-1, 5-7, 11-9 while Olivia Dantona and Kendall Millender recorded a 6-1, 6-4 win at second doubles.

Franklin, 4 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final

King Philip, 1 @ Sharon, 4 – FinalSharon picked up a pair of wins in singles play and two more in doubles to get a win over King Philip. Nupur Shukla won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles while Lulu Yuan emerged with a 6-1, 6-2 win at second singles. Katie Merport and Emily Wen won 6-2, 6-1 at first singles and Sophia Fein and Rithika Neti recorded a 6-4, 6-3 win at second doubles.

Mansfield, 1 @ North Attleboro, 4 – FinalNorth Attleboro swept singles play, taking all three matches in straight sets, to defend home court against Mansfield. Jordan Willis won 6-1, 6-1 at first singles, Emily Chiasson took a 6-4, 6-0 decision at second singles, and Azka Siddiq didn’t lose a game in a win at third singles. North’s team of Leah Marceau and Tara Nair won 6-2, 6-1 at second doubles. Mansfield’s first doubles team of Tessa Garufi and Hannah Podolske won 5-7, 6-4, 10-7 for the Hornets.

Boys Volleyball
Milford, 3 @ St. John’s Shrewsbury, 1 – Final

Taunton, 3 @ New Bedford, 0 – FinalTaunton went on the road and returned with a 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-17) win over New Bedford. Lens Esquil notched 11 kills and four blocks, Collin Hunter added five kills and four blocks, Malik Charles chipped in with four kills and a pair of blocks, and Alex Tavares notched four kills and a block. Freshman Tyler Stewart recorded his first two career kills in the win.


2018 Hockomock League Baseball Preview

2018 Hockomock League Baseball Preview

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2018 Hockomock League Baseball Preview

Attleboro

2017 Record: 6-14
2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Matt Bosh

After missing out on the postseason a year ago, Attleboro head coach Matt Bosh believes his team’s depth and versatility will help the Bombardiers get back there.

Junior Eoin Kelleher is back to lead the pitching staff after a stellar sophomore season in which he earned HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year honors. Kelleher posted a 1.00 ERA in 35 innings of work, including throwing a no-hitter against rival North. Senior captains Jason Weir and Jon Candiales, senior Drew Pagano along with junior Sam Larkin will all see time on the mound for Big Blue as well.

Candiales and Weir also anchor the offense with the former patrolling shortstop and the latter seeing time in both the outfield and first base. Candiales gives the Bombardiers power from the left side of the plate while Weir is a three-year starter that gives Bosh flexibility in the lineup. Larkin will be in the outfield when he isn’t pitching and can use his speed to hurt teams. Corey McKenna returns as the starting second baseman while senior Dakota Kirby is back behind the dish after a year off. Kirby will add pop to the lineup as he hit 0.425 as a sophomore with 10 RBI.

“The biggest improvement that I see from last year is our team speed and athleticism,” Bosh said. “We have a lot of guys that can play multiple positions and we’re very athletic. We have a high number of kids who can play anywhere.”

Canton

2017 Record: 6-12
2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Greg Digirolamo

A strong core of returning players and a good amount of depth will be keys for the 2018 Canton Bulldogs baseball team.

After losing just four players from last year’s team, there is a good mix of experienced players and talented youth for head coach Greg Digirolamo to work with. The Bulldogs will look to three senior captains to the lead the way: Matt Casamento, Robbie Wilkinson, and Tommy DeLello. Casamento is a three-year starter in center field, DeLello will man first base and Wilkinson will try to carry over the momentum from an impressive junior year into 2018. Wilkinson went 3-1 last year with a 1.58 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 31 innings pitched.

Wilkinson will be joined in the pitching staff by seniors Austin Maffie, Niko Donovan, and Ryan Hickey, along with juniors Paul Corcoran, Robbie Sullivan, and Kevin McGonigle. Freshman Matt Connolly will also figure into the mix on the mound.

Casamento anchors the defense from the center field spot while junior catcher Matt Pigeon and sophomore shortstop Nate Quan bolster the defense up the middle.

“It’s a good group of kids that like to compete every day, what else can you ask for as a coach?” Digirolamo said. “For us the biggest thing will be seeing live pitching. If we’re to have any success this year we’ll need to do a better job at the plate.”

Foxboro

2017 Record: 7-14
2017 Finish: Reached D3 South First Round
Coach: Derek Suess

New Foxboro head coach Derek Suess sees a little bit of the past in his first team as head coach. Suess, a former Warrior himself, said the 2018 version of Foxboro reminds him of a team that won 15 games during his senior year just over a decade ago.

“This team is hungry to put the program back on the map,” Suess said. “I couldn’t ask for a better senior group to lead us. They remind me of the senior group I was a part of in 2007 in which we won 15 games. With a good mix of underclassmen, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s hard work pay off on the field.”

After losing a painful eight games by just one run a season ago, including a near upset of third-seeded and D3 South Finalist Norton in the playoffs, the Warriors will be looking to turn those losses into wins this time around.

“We need to make more winning plays to put those tallies in the win column,” Suess said.

Junior Anthony Mollica will spearhead the offense after leading the Warriors with a 0.367 batting average a year ago. Senior Chad Bearce and sophomore Joe Cavaleri will bolster the middle of the lineup, freshman Sean Yoest has shown flashes early on at the dish, and seniors Joe Freitas, Matt Rongione, and Jack Franceschelli provide the Warriors with some speed.

Senior Steve McLaughlin returns after an impressive 2017 season. Despite posting an 0-6 record, McLaughlin struck out 24 batters in 32.2 innings of work and posted a 1.73 ERA. McLaughlin will be joined by Cavaleri, Yoest, and junior Guy Quartarone in the rotation while senior Robert Theriault returns behind the dish after getting a year of experience last season.

Franklin

2017 Record: 18-6
2017 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Zach Brown

Focusing on pitching and defense, the Panthers will be looking to get better each and every day as they try to replicate the success from a season ago.

Franklin won the Kelley-Rex division last year, its first league title since 2012. And the mix of pitching and offense put the Panthers in some conversations for Super 8, but the Panthers ended up in the D1 South and bowed out in the quarterfinals after being forced to play on back to back days.

The arms that helped the Panthers have so much success last year as almost all back, starting with staff ace senior Jake Noviello. The Fairfield-commit struck out a Hockomock-best 61 batters a year ago, going 6-2 with a 1.65 ERA in 55.1 innings of work. Noviello is complemented by lefty Jason Ulrickson (7-0, 0.80 ERA, 35 K), Bryan Woelfel (3-2, 0.91 ERA, 4 SV, 31 K) and senior James Leofanti.

The defense will be anchored by a pair of returning starters in junior shortstop Alex Haba (0.360, 12 runs) and junior catcher Jake Macchi.

“While we are returning a number of experienced arms we are also turning over a number of positions last season,” said Franklin head coach Zach Brown. “So, we will be young or inexperienced at a number of positions. Offensively, my hope is that as the season progressing we will be able to develop an identity and find a way to manufacture runs.”

King Philip

2017 Record: 10-11
2017 Finish: Reached D1 South Preliminary Round
Coach: Greg Kessler

After just squeaking into the postseason a year ago, first-year KP head coach Greg Kessler is hoping his team will be in contention for a Kelley-Rex division title in 2018.

One reason for that is the senior class and the handful of returning players that have plenty of experience at the varsity level. Ben Furfari returns as a key piece of the Warriors’ outfield and lineup. He hit 0.298 last season and will provide the power on offense. Senior Pat Limerick, committed to play at St. Joseph’s (ME), will set the tone as the leadoff hitter.

On the mound, senior Jeremy Rhines (2-1, 1.45 ERA) and junior David Morganelli will be the main options while hard-throwing senior Liam Rohan will also be in the mix. Nolan Bradley returns behind the plate as one of the top catchers in the league while sophomore Robbie Jarest will step in to take over at shortstop.

“We have a great group of senior this year,” Kessler said. “They have been dedicated to the weight room and leading our underclassmen. They continuously strive to build a team that will compete for the Hock championship. They deserve to have a great year. I guarantee that will be the most vocal and most energetic team in the Hock. We pride ourselves on being positive and enthusiastic every pitch.”

Mansfield

2017 Record: 14-8
2017 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Joe Breen

There is a lot of optimism surrounding the Mansfield baseball program this season. And with the arms they have back, there’s good reason for it.

Senior Tyler Dalton, a UMass Amherst commit, returns after missing the majority of his junior year with an injury. Dalton was tremendous during the 2016 season as a sophomore, posting a 6-2 record while striking out 35 batters and posting a 1.78 ERA. He will be joined on the Hornets’ staff by senior Kevin Dow (UMass Amherst commit, 4-1, 1.93 ERA), junior lefty Connor Sheehan (2.82 ERA, 28 K), and junior Kyle Moran (three saves). Sophomore John Carney will also likely see time on the mound for the Hornets.

Senior catcher Cullin Anastasia returns after being named to the 2017 HockomockSports.com Second Team. Anastasia had 19 hits a year ago, knocking in 10 runs and scoring 10 runs as well. Sam Nugent will give the Hornets a spark in center field and on the base path with his speed, Moran picked up plenty of experience at third base last season, and Eric Longley will provide Mansfield with some pop in the middle of the lineup.

“We will rely heavily on our pitching staff this season to keep us in games and look to make the plays behind them and be aggressive with our offensive and baserunning approach to get those guys a few runs per game,” said Mansfield head coach Joe Breen. “As always, we will turn to our senior class to set the tone and for our underclassmen to blossom under their leadership.”

Milford

2017 Record: 12-10
2017 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Alex Dion

Milford baseball starts a new chapter in its historic history as longtime assistant Alex Dion takes over the reigns of the program.

Dion’s first challenge will be having to overcome the loss of a dozen seniors, including team ace Alex Macek, reliable infielders Zack Tamagni and Anthony Arcudi, and hard-hitting outfielder Ryan Goncalves. However, the good news is that Dion has one of the best players at his disposal in Stonehill-commit Aidan Wilde. Wilde had 59 hits between his freshman and sophomore years and added 21 more in the regular season a year ago. After seeing time as a catcher last season, Wilde will mainly man the corner infield positions in 2018.

Wilde will be complemented by junior Matt Shaver, who picked up some experience a year ago at both shortstop and on the mound. The Hawks will rely on Shaver to anchor the defense from short and give the offense a spark from the leadoff position. Junior Tyler Almeida will step in behind the dish and will provide some offense from the left side of the plate. Sophomores Luke Rosa and Colby Pires look to be in the mix as well as junior Nick Marcolini, who will pitch and patrol the outfield.

“We graduated a strong senior class this past year and are now in a situation where we have a lot of new players who we will look to take advantage of new opportunities,” Dion said. “I am excited about the athleticism that we have on our roster and the energy that these guys bring to practice each day. I think our philosophy is simple, but we preach a team-first mentality to our guys and strive to get quality pitching, play clean defense and get timely hits to win games.”

North Attleboro

2017 Record: 8-10
2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Mike Hart

North Attleboro didn’t have to go far to find its new coach. Mike Hart takes over for Paul Tobin and Hart truly bleeds Big Red – a graduate from the school and three-sport coach.

And expectations are high for the Rocketeers after just missing out on the postseason a year ago. Senior captain Nick Sinacola returns after having an MVP-caliber junior season. Big Red will rely on Sinacola on both sides of the plate, leading the offense (he batted 0.415 last year with 15 runs scored) and being the ace of the staff (48.1 IP, 49 K, 2.01 ERA). Senior captain Zach DeMattio is also back after being named to the 2017 HockomockSports.com First Team, batting 0.333 with 15 RBI and three home runs. Big Red also gets senior Nate Pearce (0.371) back after a strong junior year.

Senior Peter Cohen (24 IP, 0.29 ERA) will look to build upon a superb junior year while Nolan Buckley and Jeff Gale bring experience to the outfield. Aidan Harding also has varsity experience and will be in the mix to get innings on the mound along with juniors Matt Wanless, Jake Palmer, Matt Seavey, Nick Raneri, and Ben Arrighi.

“We have a truly industrious group of players,” Hart said. “We’re going to keep moving guys around until we find the lineup that works for us. Some may have to play multiple positions, depending on whose pitching on any given day. We had a decent season last year, with many guys getting some varsity time, but we’re still unproven. We need to continue to improve every day and only worry about the things we can control. Guys will be competing every day all season, which will only make us better. We will approach each day, with a great attitude, high effort, and a steadfast approach.”

Oliver Ames

2017 Record: 14-9
2017 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinals
Coach: Joe Abarr

A lot of the players that helped Joe Abarr have a successful first season as head coach last year are back, which means the Tigers are aiming to replicate that success.

Despite finishing in a tie for third in the Kelley-Rex, the Tigers put together the best playoff run of any Hock team, knocking off #2 Dighton-Rehoboth on the road to reach the sectional semifinals. Junior Matt McCormack is back after earning a spot on varsity late in the season this year, and along with classmate Tom Parker, should give OA a solid 1-2 punch. With a handful of capable arms in the mix, the third spot in the rotation is still up for grabs.

Abarr won’t have to worry much about anything hit to the left side of the infield as the Tigers return third basemen Chris Pearsons and shortstop Matt Muir, two of the top defensive players at their positions. Both are capable hitters as well and will provide some pop to the lineup. Another returning starter is senior Mitch Goulet. Goulet had a breakout junior campaign in center field (0.347, 7 RBI), catching fire in the second half of the year. Abarr is hoping that momentum will carry over to this season.

The Tigers have a battle for the spot behind the plate as both junior Jake Erlich and junior Reid Latham are back, both with experience behind the dish.

“We have a great core of returning players that will be the backbone of the program,” Abarr said. “We have to fill positions in the outfield and at first. If we have some guys step up in that role we should have a decent lineup from top to bottom.”

Sharon

2017 Record: 6-14
2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Kee Arguimbau

Sharon is aiming to improve on its six-win season in 2017, and will be looking to ride its senior leadership to do so.

Senior captains Max Tarlin and Drew Naisuler are two of the most experienced players in the league and will be spearheading the Eagles’ offense and defense this year. Tarlin (5-4, 46 K, 1.11 ERA) is the anchor of the pitching staff, picking up five of Sharon’s six wins last season. When he’s not on the mound, expect to see Tarlin patrolling shortstop. Naisuler returns as the team’s No. 4 hitter to provide some pop to the lineup and will be a key defensive piece at both center field and first base.

The Eagles will also rely on senior Ben Schwartz, who will mainly be catching this year as well as being a major offensive contributor. Junior Noah Kamens will be a major piece of the pitching puzzle after impressing during his sophomore year. Similar to Tarlin, Kamens will be a major player in the offensive lineup and will see time off the mound spent in the outfield. Spencer Singer is transitioning to the outfield and will continue to be one of the players the Eagles look at for offensive production.

“I have a lot of guys who are multifaceted baseball players and I can foresee a lot of games being played with straight nine in the lineup,” Arguimbau said. “We have great senior leadership and some very promising sophomores that are going to play a major role in our season’s success.”

Stoughton

2017 Record: 15-6
2017 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Mike Armour

There are a lot of questions to be answered for this year’s Stoughton baseball team, but head coach Mike Armour is excited for his players to rise to the challenge.

The Black Knights graduated nearly their entire team (10 of its 13 rostered players), which won its second straight Davenport division title. So not only will Armour be leaning heavily on his three returning players, he is looking for new faces to seize the opportunity.

“This is an exciting year for our program,” Armour said. “It’s an awesome opportunity for our younger guys. The JV and freshmen teams both over 15 or more games last year, so we’re looking for them to carry that winning attitude into this season. I expect our team to play with heart and execute the fundamentals to make us a competitive team.”

2017 HockomockSports.com First Team selection and senior captain Ruben Gonzalez returns as one of the top players in the league, both defensively at shortstop and offensively at the plate. Senior Matt Hadley and junior Evan Gibb, both captains, are the other two returning players for the Knights. Gibb has plenty of varsity experience behind the plate and Hadley, although he will miss some time with injury, will be key piece in the outfield.

Meanwhile, Armour is looking for sophomores James Genest (first base) and Michael Nazzaro (third base/catcher) to step up and play important roles both offensively and defensively this season. Juniors Kyle Gagnon, Kevin Dixon, and Cian Swierzewski will see time in the outfield and classmate Robbie Seaman will be in the mix for middle infield.

For pitching, Gibb will see time on the mound as well as behind the play. Senior Will Eckhart has some varsity experience and junior Zak Paquette will likely log some meaningful innings for the Knights. Seniors Tim Kellogg, Talyor Atkinson, and Mike Anderson provide infield depth and Jack Brown and Ryan Semler will be in the mix in the outfield.

Taunton

2017 Record: 12-10
2017 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Blair Bourque

There are a lot of good pitchers in the Hockomock League this year, and it looks like the Tigers’ staff could be right near the top of the list.

Taunton returns senior Tyler Medeiros, who had a terrific junior campaign and will get junior Jack Moynihan back on the mound. Moynihan was impressive during his freshman year two seasons ago but an injury limited his action on the mound last season. Medeiros fanned 68 batters in 56.1 innings of work, posting a 1.98 ERA to anchor the staff. Look for senior Trevor Pietrzyk and juniors Griffin Tomaszycki and Josh Lajoie to get some meaningful innings on the mound as well.

“Tyler clearly emerged as our top pitcher last year,” said second-year head coach Blair Bourque. “Fortunately, he’s a big kid and was able to put us on his back and carry us. Hopefully, we’re able to provide more support for him this year.”

Moynihan will also play a big role in Taunton’s offense this year. While patrolling third base, Moynihan will try to provide some pop in the middle of the lineup. The Tigers also get their top two batters back with senior shortstop Jacob Crawford (0.350, 15 runs) and senior Christian Simoes (0.340, 12 RBI).

Taunton will carry nine seniors and eight juniors this season so experience will be key.