FRANKLIN, Mass. – The Franklin baseball team came up just short in the D1 South Sectional Final against Xaverian, but it sure wasn’t for a lack of effort.
The Panthers rallied to get within one run twice and had the tying run in scoring position in the bottom of the seventh but couldn’t get over the hump, falling 5-4 to the visiting Hawks.
Franklin had a hit in five of the seven innings, putting a runner in scoring position in four of those frames. The Panthers pushed across three runs in the bottom of the fourth and made it a one-run game again with a run in the sixth, but Franklin also left the bases loaded in two innings and left a runner in scoring position in two other frames.
“It was a great game, both teams competed hard and both teams had opportunities…they just made a few more plays than we did today,” said Franklin head coach Zach Brown. “We certainly applied pressure and had our chances, even right there to the end. But unfortunately, some walks, some miscues…and they had two big blows. I’m just really proud of this team, especially the seniors.
“Having that gap year, you wonder and worry about if the culture is going to change. When I say they’ve done everything I’ve asked them to, and they’ve done it with tremendous attention to detail, passion, and effort. It’s a great group and I’m really sad to see this season at times.”
Franklin sophomore Alfred Mucciarone worked around a pair of errors in the top of the first inning, getting a soft grounder back to the mound to strand a Xaverian runner at third. Franklin also put a runner in scoring position in the first on hits from Chris Goode and Nate Cooke, but the former was stranded at second.
The Hawks broke open the scoreless game in the top of the third inning on a one-out single from Liam Foley, who moved to second on a walk to Matt Brinker. Foley came around to score on an infield error as the ball got through on the left side to make it 1-0. On the next at-bat, Xaverian’s John Connolly launched a three-run blast over the fence to give the visitors a 4-0 lead.
Franklin junior lefty Ethan Voellmicke came on in relief and got back-to-back fly balls to get out of the inning without further damage.
Voellmicke gave up one hit in the top of the fourth but quickly bounced back to get out of the inning and Franklin’s offense got them back in the game with a big bottom of the fourth.
Jack Marino kept the inning alive with a two-out single, Eisig Chin followed with an infield hit, and CJ Jette walked to load the bases. Junior Jacob Jette, fresh off a 12 strikeout performance in the semifinals, came in and delivered a huge two-out RBI pinch-hit up the middle to get the hosts on the board.
Sophomore Ryan Gerety kept the momentum going by smacking a line drive to left to score both Chin and CJ Jette to get the Panthers within a run. Goode walked to load the bases again for Franklin but Xaverian starter Ryan Douglas got a pop-up in foul territory to the catcher to keep the lead.
Franklin got two quick outs to start the fifth inning but Connolly struck again, this time with a solo shot over the left field fence to give the Hawks a two-run cushion.
Junior righty James Kuczmiec took over on the mound for the Panthers and retired the Hawks in order to give the Panthers some momentum going to the bottom half.
“Those guys have been just nails for us all year out of the pen,” Brown said of Voellmicke and Kuczmiec, who combined to allow just two hits in 4.2 innings of work. “We do it a little bit differently, we pass the baton and trust those guys to do their job. And thankfully, they’ve really embraced that role. They aren’t questioning me about being a starter. Their role is equally as important and they are out there throwing those critical innings at the end of the game. And we have all the confidence in the world to go with them.
“Ethan did a great job settling it down and this team answers, they really do. We’ve talked a lot about being frontrunners or competitors, and frontrunners kind of go away when it gets tough and these guys don’t. They keep fighting, keep competing, keep clawing and keep applying pressure so I’m really proud of them.”
CJ Jette and freshman Henry Digiorgio earned back-to-back one-out walks and Gerety smacked a single into right field but Brinker fielded the throw from right fielder Justice Ciampa on the bounce and applied the tag at home to cut down a runner.
Goode had a two-out single to load the bases for Franklin and Digiorgio came in to score on a wild pitch. With first open, Xaverian elected to intentionally walk Jake Fitzgibbons to load the bases, and Connolly, who came on in relief, got a big strikeout to end the threat and the inning.
Marino came up with a big one-out hit in the bottom of the seventh, representing the tying run on base. Connolly got another strikeout for the second out but Marino stole second to get into scoring position. Franklin put the ball in play but it was a line drive right at the shortstop for the final out.
“A lot of times we try to use this game as a vehicle to try and teach those life lessons,” Brown said. “Sometimes it doesn’t go your way but I’m really proud of how they handled it. Some teams come unglued and there’s finger-pointing, but that’s not this group. They stay together, they fought to end because they really care.”
FRANKLIN, Mass. – It looked like Franklin and BC High were headed to extra innings when Panther junior Chris Goode flared a high fly ball into foul territory down the right field line with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Instead, the ball eluded the right fielder and dropped harmlessly in foul territory. Goode made the most out of his second chance.
With a runner on third, Goode hit a slow roller to the left side of the infield and raced down the first base line, beating the throw from the shortstop for a walk-off infield single as CJ Jette crossed the plate for the winning run, giving the top-seeded Panthers a 2-1 win over 13th-seeded Eagles.
Franklin will host Xaverian on Monday night in the D1 South Sectional Final.
“After I popped it up, and my approach for every at-bat, I just take a deep breath and erase everything that happened before and focus on the next pitch,” Goode said. “I worked the count to 3-2, saw the outside pitch and put it on the ground, put it in play and the second I saw it on the ground I was going to beat it out with the shortstop playing deep.”
CJ Jette was the catalyst behind the winning run, recording his third hit of the game out of the eighth spot in the lineup to lead off the bottom of the inning. Head coach Zach Brown went to his bench next, bringing in senior Jon Turner, who laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Jette over to second.
Sophomore Ryan Gerety grounded out to short but Jette advanced to third on the play. Goode overcame the foul ball early in the at-bat to work the count full before putting it in play for the game-winning hit.
“He’s been one of our best guys all year,” Brown said of Goode, who was without a hit to that point. “It felt like he had just missed a couple of pitches [in previous at-bats]. He was on time, just a little under. He made the adjustment after he hit the foul ball and got above it and it worked out for us.”
“It was exactly what we thought it was going to be. Just two really good two baseball teams locking together. We had a feeling it was going to come down who could execute in the late innings. I’m just proud of the guys. CJ Jette is an animal at the bottom of the lineup, and Jon Turner, a senior coming off the bench, hasn’t really played much this year and was in a big spot, and he had ice water in his veins. Just really proud of the guys.”
The Panthers were in position to win largely due to a stellar pitching outing from junior Jacob Jette, who tossed a complete game with 12 strikeouts for the win. In the final four innings, he allowed just one hit (a single in the fourth but stranded the runner at second) and one walk (stranded the runner at second after a stolen base). He retired the side in order in the fifth and seventh, giving the Panthers some momentum heading into the home half of the final inning.
“Unbelievable performance by Jette,” Goode said of his classmate. “We couldn’t pick him up with the run support but it ended up working out. He pitched his ass, he was having more kids swinging swords than I’ve ever seen in my entire life.”
Franklin didn’t waste much time grabbing the lead, pushing across a run in the bottom of the first. Jacob Jette worked around two walks in the top half, getting back-to-back strikeouts and a pop-up to center to give the Panthers energy heading into the bottom half.
Gerety was hit by a pitch, stole second, moved to third on a fielder’s choice by Nate Cooke, and came home to score on a wild pitch as Franklin seized a 1-0 lead.
CJ Jette reached on a two-out bunt in the bottom of the third and Jake Fitzgibbons drew a two-out walk in the third, but neither advanced past first. BC High scored a run in the top of the third to tie the game. Tim Wagner smashed a two-out double off the fence in right-center field to bring Chris Capozzi (leadoff single) home to make it 1-1.
After being retired in order in the fourth by BC High starter Josh Sunderland (CG, 2ER, 5H, 3BB, 8K), Franklin’s offense had a big opportunity to take the lead back in the bottom of the fifth. CJ Jette singled, freshman Henry Digiorgio was hit by a pitch, and Gerety was intentionally walked to load the bases with no outs.
Sunderland got a big out with a strikeout and then got a huge assist from his defense as first baseman Andrew Manning made a diving catch on a hard-hit line drive from Fitzgibbons and quickly got back to his feet to tag first for a double play to escape the inning without any damage.
Wagner walked to open the top of the sixth but Jacob Jette got back-to-back strikeouts (both looking) and a grounder to first to halt any momentum the Eagles possibly picked up.
“They’ve just been really resilient all year,” Brown said. “They’re a confident group and they believe in each other, and that’s been on display. You can’t fake that stuff. You feel the emotion swing and then you feel the resolve. A lot of that had to do with Jacob. He went out and had a good inning and gave us another chance to come back and execute.”
It marks Franklin’s first appearance in the D1 South final since 2011, when they also beat BC High in the semis and played Xaverian in the finals, earning a 6-5 win that year.
First pitch between the Panthers and Hawks is scheduled for Monday at 7:00 PM at Franklin High.
Baseball D1 South
#16 Durfee, 1 @ #1 Franklin, 15 – Final (5 Inn.) – Franklin exploded for 12 runs in the fourth innning, turning a two-run game into a blowout against visiting Durfee. The Panthers built a 3-1 lead over the first three innings but the offense was nearly unstoppable in the fourth, recording nine hits and three walks to put the game out of reach. Junior Chris Goode (double, run, three RBI), sophomore Ryan Gerety (double, three runs, two RBI) and freshman Henry DiGiorgio (three runs, RBI) all smacked three hits to lead the way for the Franklin offense. CJ Jette added two hits and two runs, Jack Marino drove in two runs and scored twice, Jake Fitzibbons hit a double, had a walk and drove in two runs, Nate Cooke reached twice with an RBI, and Ben Jarosz had a hit, two walks, a run scored and an RBI. Jacob Jette earned the win on the mound, allowing one run on three hits and a walk in four innings of work while striking out six. Franklin will host #8 Norwood on Wednesday at 7:00PM.
#10 Walpole, 4 @ #7 Taunton, 6 – Final (8 Inn.) – Taunton senior Danny MacDougall launched a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth as the Tigers survived a scare from visiting Walpole. The Timberwolves got off to a strong start with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning but Taunton was quick to respond, plating four runs in the bottom of the first. Ty Cali, Dawson Bryce, and Danny MacDougall all singled to load the bases and sophomore Ryan MacDougall cleared them with a three-run triple to put the hosts ahead. A wild pitch allowed Ryan MacDougall to score to make it 4-2. Walpole cut the deficit to one with a run in the top of the second and then tied the game with a single in the top of the seventh. Bryce managed a two-out single in the bottom of the eighth to keep the inning alive and Danny MacDougall launched his third home run of the year to win it. Conor Quinlan shined in relief for the Tigers, taking over to start the third inning. Quinlan allowed just one run on five hits, striking out eighth to get the win. Taunton will travel to #2 seed Bridgewater-Raynham on Wednesday at 4:00.
#12 Mansfield, 0 @ #5 Wellesley, 1 – Final – Mansfield went pitch-for-pitch with Wellesley but couldn’t push across a run, falling 1-0 on the road to the Raiders. Aaron Blinn allowed just one run on three hits without issuing a walk, striking out nine in five innings of work. James Gilleran struck out two in a scoreless inning of relief. Mansfield was limited to just two hits between two Wellesley pitchers, putting on five baserunners via walk but couldn’t get a run home.
#22 Attleboro, 4 @ #6 Braintree, 14 – Final
#14 King Philip, 3 @ #3 Xaverian, 8 – Final
#9 Oliver Ames, 11 @ #8 North Attleboro, 12 – Final – North Attleboro’s Gavin Wells singled up the middle with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Rocketeers a walk-off win over Oliver Ames in an epic back-and-forth battle at Community Field. Oliver Ames jumped ahead with five runs in the first two innings and a two-run home run from Jake Waxman helped push the Tigers’ lead to 7-4 in the top of the fifth innings. The Rocketeers responded with six runs in the bottom half as Christian Bates smacked a two-run double to tie the game and Derek Maceda put North ahead with a two-run double for a 9-7 advantage. Wells added an RBI single in the sixth to make it a three-run game and Dennis Colleran launched a solo home run to make it 11-7 going into the last inning. Down to their final three outs, the Tigers rallied to tie the game as Nate Fulford blasted a three-run home run to make it 11-11. Jared Penta led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and stole second. North loaded the bases with no outs after an intentional walk and Wells brought in the game-winner with a base hit. Penta and Wells each had three hits for the Rocketeers while Colleran and Tyler Bannon each had two hits. For OA, Will Whiteside went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs while Jadon Ricci (two RBI, two runs), Waxman, and Patrick Finnerty (run, RBI) each had two hits. North Attleboro will travel to #1 seed Nauset on Wednesday with first pitch scheduled for 1:00PM.
#11 Canton, 0 @ #5 Plymouth South, 4 – Final – Plymouth South scored twice in each of the first two innings and that was all the offense the Panthers needed to knock off visiting Canton. The Bulldogs were limited to just three hits total with Nate Hewitt recording a pair of them, including a double. Matt Quan also reached base twice with one hit and one walk.
Softball D1 South
#16 Stoughton, 0 @ #1 Taunton, 17 – Final (5 Inn.) – Taunton opened its playoffs with an offensive explosion. The Tigers had 17 hits as a team, including three homers, and rolled to a big win. McKenzie McAloon led the way, going 4-for-4 with two doubles and a triple, four runs scored, and five RBI. Hayley Krockta went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and four RBI and bashed a home run. Angie Lynch (2-for-4) added a homer, drove in two, and scored twice, while Tayah DaCosta had Taunton’s third homer, part of a 3-for-4 day where she drove in three and scored two runs. Kelsey White dominated in the circle, allowing only one hit and striking out 11 over five innings. Nicole Baker had the lone hit for the Black Knights. Taunton hosts Walpole on Wednesday in the quarterfinal.
#13 Milton, 3 @ #4 King Philip, 6 – Final – King Philip overcame an early three-run deficit to fend off an upset big from Milton. An infield single, a bunt single, and a home run in the top of the first gave the Wildcats an early 3-0 lead but KP scored in four straight innings between the third and the sixth to get the lead for good. Paige Berdos got the hosts on the board in the third inning, leading off with a single, stealing a base and scoring on a sac fly from Charlotte Raymond. Patience at the plate helped the Warriors bring two more runs in during the fourth inning to tie the game. Maddie Paschke walked, Ava Kelly singled, and Taylor Regan walked to load the bases before Jordan Bennett drew a walk to bring a run in. Berdos was then hit by a pitch to bring in another run to make it 3-3. In the bottom of the fifth, sophomore Sarah Cullen smacked a two-run home run to put KP ahead for the first time and the Warriors added a key insurance run in the sixth when Raymond drove in Berdos with a single. Bennett settled in nicely after the first inning, allowing just one base runner after the third inning which was a walk in fifth that was erased on a double play. King Philip will host #5 seed Plymouth North on Wednesday at 6:30 at the Plainville Athletic League complex.
#18 Mansfield, 5 @ #2 Natick, 4 – Final (8 Inn.) – Mansfield pulled off the upset of the tournament so far, going on the road and beating the number-two seed in extra innings. Natick came from behind to tied the game in the seventh and force extras, but Jill Koppy led off the top of the eighth with a triple and she came in to score the game-winning run on a two-out single from Ashlyn Conley. Natick had a 2-0 lead after four innings, but the Hornets responded with a four-run fifth. Ashlyn Conley singled to start the rally and Nicole Kobasa followed with a hit of her own. Alanna Conley drove them both in with a single. After an error moved Conley to third, she was brought home on a bunt by Olivia DeTrolio that led to another defensive mistake. Callie Lake bunted and heads up base running from DeTrolio turned it into Mansfield’s fourth run. Mansfield will travel to Silver Lake in the D1 South quarterfinal.
#14 Attleboro, 3 @ #3 Bishop Feehan, 4 – Final
#11 Bridgewater-Raynham, 3 @ #6 North Attleboro, 2 – Final (9 Inn.) – North faced extra innings for the second playoff game in a row, but the Rocketeers couldn’t find a way past the defending South champions. The Rocketeers got off to a great start with a run in the first. Mandi Hanewich doubled and was bunted to third by Emily Nardelli. Zoey McDonough drove in the go-ahead run with a single. North doubled its lead in the fourth. Ally Levine reached on an error and pinch runner Emma Hanwell scored on a Shaelyn Burns double. B-R tied the game in the fifth with a two-run inning. The game stayed tied until the top of the ninth when a solo homer put the Trojans in front. McDonough allowed only one earned run and struck out seven in the loss. North also flashed the leather, with two double plays, one initiated by Belle Clarkin and the other started by Kelly Colleran.
#12 Foxboro, 18 @ #5 Diman, 6 – Final – The top three in the lineup drove in 13 combined runs and the Warriors rolled to a win in Fall River. Foxboro scored 10 runs in the first four innings and scored at least once in every inning but the sixth. Leadoff hitter Peyton Feldman set the table for Foxboro, as she went 3-for-3 with three walks, but she also added punch with a double, a triple, three runs scored, and five RBI. Emma Callahan had a pair of hits and drove in four and Morgan Sylvestre went 2-for-5 with four RBI. Jillian Slattery continued her strong playoffs with two hits, three runs scored, and two RBI from the nine-hole. Fiona Dunn scored four times and Nicole Theriault scored three times for the Warriors. Callahan had seven strikeouts and got better as the game went on, retiring the final 11 hitters that she faced to pick up her second postseason win. Foxboro will travel to Notre Dame Academy in the D2 South quarterfinal.
#22 Canton, 6 @ #6 Plymouth South, 18 – Final – Canton cut an 8-0 deficit to just three in the fourth inning, but Plymouth South scored eight times over the fifth and sixth innings to seal the win and a place in the quarterfinal. Brogan O’Leary sparked the fourth inning rally with a single and Taylor Reynolds and Olivia Mackwell both drove in runs. Amanda Vrabel had the big hit, a two-RBI triple. Reynolds added another RBI in the fifth.
Boys Lacrosse D1 South
#16 Mansfield, 3 @ #1 Franklin, 16 – Final – Franklin’s Justin Alexander only lost one faceoff as the Panthers rolled to their third win over Mansfield this season, this one in the state tournament. Sophomore Luke Davis led the attack with three goals and six assists, Matt Lazzaro added three goals and four assists and Jayden Consigli netted five goals in the win. Owen Kielty added a pair of goals and Joe Consigli notched a goal and four assists. Franklin will host #9 seed Wellesley on Wednesday at 6:30.
#10 King Philip, 2 @ #7 Duxbury, 16 – Final
#8 Nauset, 11 @ #1 Canton, 15 – Final
#8 North Attleboro, 3 @ #1 Medfield, 16 – Final
#7 Walpole, 12 @ #2 Foxboro, 9 – Final
Girls Lacrosse D1 East
#9 Acton-Boxboro, 10 @ #1 Franklin, 15 – Final – Franklin jumped ahead of Acton-Boxboro early and never surrendered the lead to advance to the next round. The Panthers took a 5-1 lead after the first quarter and pushed the advantgae to 11-1 by halftime. Franklin held a 13-4 advantage going into the final quarter where A-B pumped in some goals to tighten the score. Katie Jones scored three goals and had two assists while Katie Peterson accounted for a pair of goals and a pair of assists in the win. Jamie Tanner played well on defense and in the midfield, notching six draw controls and three caused turnovers. Brigid Earley made eight saves in the win for Franklin, who will host #5 seed Lincoln-Sudbury on Wednesday at 4:00.
Boys Tennis D1 South
#8 Needham, 3 @ #1 Franklin, 2 – Final – Franklin took wins at first and second singles but lost both doubles matches and third singles, falling to Needham to end the season. Senior Liam Marr emerged from a battle at first singles with a 6-4, 4-6, 14-12 win while Vayshnav Malhotra recorded a 6-3, 2-6, 10-5 win at second singles for the Panthers.
#11 Plymouth North, 0 @ #3 Sharon, 5 – Final – Sharon won all five matches in straight sets to get past Plymouth North and advance to the D1 South Semifinals. Freshman Mehul Bhattacharyya secured a 6-1, 6-1 win at first singles, junior Ruemon Bhattacharyya added a 6-4, 6-3 win at second singles, and junior Max Chen battled to a 6-0, 6-3 win at third singles. Sharon’s first doubles team of freshmen Matthew Lally and Alex Budoraclev won in straight sets while the Eagles also were victorious at second doubles. Sharon will travel to #2 seed Brookline on Wednesday at 3:00 at Waldstein Park.
#5 Bishop Feehan, 3 @ #4 Canton, 2 – Final
Girls Tennis D1 South
#8 Sharon, 2 @ #1 King Philip, 3 – Final
#8 Monomoy, 2 @ #1 Foxboro, 3 – Final – Foxboro dropped a total of four games between its three singles matches and that was enough to take down Monomoy and advance. Athena Li rolled to a 6-1, 6-0 win at first singles, Pam Nelson continued her hot streak with a 6-0, 6-0 blanking at second singles, and Sarah Prag clinched the win with a 6-1, 6-2 victory at third singles. Foxboro will host the winner of #4 seed Martha’s Vineyard and #5 seed Medfield on Thursday.
Wrestling D2 South
#3 Hingham, 33 @ #2 North Attleboro, 45 – Final
Oliver Ames, 2 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames scored one run in each the fourth and fifth innings and that was enough offense for junior pitcher Jack Richardson. Richardson didn’t allow an earned run in a complete game effort, striking out seven to get the win. Offensively, Will Whiteside went 2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI and Ryan McKenney added a hit and an RBI.
Canton, 4 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final (8 Inn.) – Canton erased a one-run deficit in the top of the sixth and then tacked on three runs in the top of the eighth to earn a win in extra innings on the road. The Bulldogs totaled eight hits on the day with Cam Sanchez (run) chipping in with two and six others registering one. Sawyer Julier-Albert drove in a pair of runs and scored once while Matt Chafin and Andrew Middleton each had one RBI. Zach Peters allowed just one unearned run on two hits and one walk with a pair of strikeouts in five innings of work. Matt Quan, Andrew Butler, and Nico Bonanno each tossed a scoreless inning in relief.
Foxboro, 6 @ Milford, 12 – Final – Milford took advantage of eight hits and nine walks to score 12 runs and get a win at home over visiting Foxboro. Mario Lee drove in three runs for the Hawks while Evan Cornelius (run) and Grant Scudo (two hits, run) each had two RBI in the win. Carter Scudo added a pair of hits, a pair of runs, and one RBI for Milford, who scored six runs in the second inning to take a 7-2 lead and pulled away for good with four runs in the sixth. Ryan LeClair went 2-for-4 with three RBI and a run for Foxboro while Sean O’Leary added three hits and an RBI.
Sharon, 1 @ Franklin, 4 – Final – Franklin erased an early one-run deficit, scoring once in each the second and third with two big insurance runs coming in the fourth inning. Ethan Voellmicke tossed 4.1 innings of shutout ball with just two hits allowed, striking out nine to get the win. James Kuczmiec came in to get the save with 1.1 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit with a pair of strikeouts. Offensively, CJ Jette had a pair of hits including a double, and drove in one run, Marcus Baker slapped a pair of hits, Jake Fitzgibbons drove in a run, and Jack Marino had a hit, a walk, and scored a run.
North Attleboro, 2 @ Taunton, 9 – Final – Taunton scored once in each of the first four innings, tacked on two more in the fifth, and pulled away for good with three runs in the sixth to knock off visiting North Attleboro. Ty Cali (run, RBI) and Colby DeCouta (run, RBI) each had two hits for the Tigers while Danny MacDougall had four stolen bases, three runs, and two RBI in the win. Matthew Ferrara got the win on the mound with two runs allowed on 10 hits and one walk, striking out two in 6.2 innings of work.
Stoughton, 2 @ King Philip, 9 – Final – Junior Shawn Lagere and senior Conor Cooke hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning and King Philip never trailed in a win over Stoughton. Stoughton cut the deficit in half with a run in the top of the third but KP answered with four runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth inning. Cooke finished with three runs and a pair of stolen bases while Lagere had two stolen bases and two runs.
Attleboro, 11 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final – Lindsey Perry picked up her fourth win of the season, tossing a one-hit shutout on the road to lead the Bombardiers. Perry carried a no-hitter in the final inning before OA registered its first hit. Perry struck out seven and issued just one walk in the win. Attleboro played solid defense throughout and offensively the Bombardiers had 17 hits as a team with Hailey Perry accounting for three hits and Brenna Morse and Meghan Gordon each with two. Taylor Lake had the hit for OA while Katie Melendy allowed five earned in a complete game effort.
Milford, 0 @ Foxboro, 10 – Final
Franklin, 13 @ Sharon, 2 – Final – Franklin found its offense late in the game, pulling away to pick up its fourth win of the season. The Eagles kept it close early, trailing by just four after four full. Sophomore pitcher Ally Foulsham had four strikeouts for Sharon.
Mansfield, 8 @ Canton, 7 – Final – Mansfield jumped out to an early need, Canton rallied to jump in front in the fifth inning, but the Hornets were able to come back and scored two runs in the top of the seventh to secure the win. After taking a 1-0 lead in the second, Mansfield scored four times in the third. Jill Koppy got it started with a lead off single, followed by hits from Ashlyn Conley, Alanna Conley, and Abby DeCoste. The Bulldogs answered back with four runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth to go up 6-5. Hits from Casey Moussette and Molly Kucharski led to the tying run for the Hornets in the sixth. In the seventh, DeCoste, Callie Lake, and Moussette each had hits to plate the game-winning runs. Canton got one back in the bottom of the seventh but the Hornets held on. Lake, Moussette, and Kucharski each finished with three hits for Mansfield, which had 17 as a team.
Taunton, 4 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – Taunton scored a pair of runs in each the second and seventh innings while Kelsey White was lights out in the circle as the Tigers passed their toughest test to date. White allowed just two hits and issued one walk while striking out 14 batters. McKenzie McAloon drove in two with a base hit in the top of the third to give the visitors the lead. Taunton tacked on two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh with Angie Lynch and Kylie Thorpe coming in to score their second runs of the game. North Attleboro sophomore Zoey McDonough had a strong showing in the circle with four runs allowed (three earned) on six hits and four walks, striking out five.
King Philip, 10 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – King Philip set the tone early with three first inning runs and never looked back in a win on the road. The Warriors added four runs in the third and three more in the fourth. Sophomore Sarah Cullen belted out a team-high three hits (including a triple) along with three RBI and one run scored while Mia Bennett also drove in three runs on a pair of hits. Sophomore Charlotte Raymond (two RBI, two runs), freshman Ava Lanza (two runs), and freshman Maddie Paschke each had two hits in the win. Junior Emma Sheehan earned the win in the circle, allowing one run on three hits and one walk, striking out five in a complete game effort. Sydney Menz hit a triple for Stoughton while Nicole Baker and Julie Powers each hit a double.
Attleboro, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames won all three singles matches in straight sets to secure a win over visiting Attleboro. Junior Kylash Ganesh picked up a 6-0, 6-3 win at first singles, junior Rapheal Vache earned a 6-1, 6-2 win at second singles, and freshman Nick Westerbeke prevailed 6-1, 6-1 at third singles to give the Tigers the win at home. Attleboro’s Alejandro Jimenez and Malachi Jefferson emerged with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 win at first doubles while the pairing of Kyle Neuendorf and Tyler Rocchio didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at second doubles.
Mansfield, 2 @ Canton, 3 – Final – By sweeping all three singles matches, Canton defended home court with a 3-2 decision over visiting Mansfield. Suraj Ramanathan earned a big win at first singles with a 6-1, 6-4 score, Max Kupferman added a 6-2, 6-2 win at second singles and Minh Duong prevailed 6-2, 7-5 at third singles. Mansfield won both doubles matches with Kai Schirmacher and Nikhil Lankipalle taking a 6-4, 6-2 win at first doubles while Adam Elsner and Jonah Fine won 6-4, 6-3 at second doubles.
Milford, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Foxboro swept all three singles matches and added another point from doubles play in a 4-1 win over visiting Milford. Garrett Spillane was victorious 6-2, 6-1 at first singles, Justin Neale earned a 6-1, 6-1 win at second singles, and Jason Kandula walked away with a 6-0, 6-1 win at third singles. The team of Bo Canfield and Visruth Chavalam took care of business at first doubles with a 6-2, 6-4 win. Milford’s second doubles team of seniors Connor MacLeod and Mike Tersarotto secured a 7-5, 6-2 win.
Franklin, 3 @ Sharon, 2 – Final – Franklin’s Vayshnav Malhotra emerged from a three-hour marathon match at second singles with a three-set victory to give the Panthers a 3-2 decision over Sharon. Malhotra won the first set in a tiebreaker, dropped the second set, and then prevailed in a back-and-forth third set, the score finishing 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-5. Liam Marr (6-2, 6-2) added a win at first singles while the team of Thomas Broyles and Jay Gorgas (7-5, 6-4) battled to a tight win at second doubles.
Taunton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 5 – Final – North Attleboro dropped just one total game in a clean sweep against visiting Taunton. Jonah Manso, Sam Gallager, and Will Folan all won in straight sets in singles action while both of North’s double teams — Connor Willis and Sayf Siddiq at first doubles and Brody Carter and Niteesh Saravanan at second doubles — won 6-0, 6-0.
King Philip, 3 @ Stoughton, 2 – Final – King Philip won both doubles matches in straight sets and junior Jon Cohen emerged with the deciding point for the Warriors in a win on the road. Cohen picked up a 6-3, 6-2 win at third singles to give the match to the visitors. The team of Diego Nieto and Jackson Hom dropped just one game in a 6-1, 6-0 win at first doubles while juniors Adam Gousie and Connor Connor Sachleben earned a 6-2, 7-6 (1) win at second doubles. Stoughton’s Waseem Sablon battled to a 3-6, 6-2, 10-4 win at first singles while Rayan Sablon secured a 6-3, 6-0 win at second singles.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Attleboro, 4 – Final – Attleboro defended home court with a singles sweep and one more win in doubles in a victory over visiting Oliver Ames. Ella Lynch Bartek (6-3, 6-1), Lauren Anthony (6-1, 6-4), and Tina Lam (6-2, 6-3) all won in singles action while Maddie Fulscado and Kyra Johnson emerged with a 7-6 (6), 6-2 win at second doubles. OA’s first doubles team of Caroline Peper and Morgan Vasiliou recorded a 6-0, 6-2 win for the Tigers.
Canton, 3 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – Canton picked up a close win on the row, scoring points with a pair of singles wins and one from doubles action. Rachel Kupferman didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first singles, Laura Correal rallied for a 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2 win at second singles, and the first doubles pairing of Lily Hazam and Olivia Durham notched a 6-2, 6-1 win at first doubles. For Mansfield, Alexis O’Keefe was victorious at third singles 6-4, 6-2 while Ally McDavitt and Alexis Togue teamed up for a 6-1, 6-1 win at second doubles.
Foxboro, 5 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Foxboro’s second doubles team of Sara Brennan and Emily Stow rallied from a one-set deficit to earn a win to complete the sweep on the road over Milford. Brennan and Stow picked up a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 win while the team of Abby Costa and Alyssa Cloherty notched a 6-2, 6-0 win at first doubles. Athena Li (first singles) and Sarah Prag (second singles) each won 6-0, 6-0 while Maggie McAuliffe earned a 6-0, 6-1 win at third singles.
Sharon, 4 @ Franklin, 1 – Final
North Attleboro, 3 @ Taunton, 2 – Final – North Attleboro freshman Lauren Hunt emerged from a back-and-forth evenly matched first singles match with a tiebreaker win in the third set to clinch the deciding point for the Rocketeers in a win over Taunton. Senior Haley Strom rolled to a 6-1, 6-1 win at third singles while Kyna Sha and Lauren Consentino battled to a 6-1, 7-6 (3) victory at second doubles. Hunt prevailed with a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (11-9) win at first singles to clinch the match. For Taunton, Kayla Parrett secured a 6-4, 6-4 win at second singles and the team of Brooke Bell and Sam Parrett battled to a 7-6 (4), 6-4 win at first doubles.
Stoughton, 2 @ King Philip, 3 – Final
Boys Outdoor Track
North Attleboro, 88 @ Canton, 48 – Final – Canton’s Deyontai Dennis took first place in four different events: the 400M hurdles (58.3), the 110M hurdles (16.3), the long jump (20’9.5″), and the triple jump (44’9.5″).
Franklin @ Milford, 5:00
King Philip, 39 @ Mansfield, 97 – Final – Mansfield took first place in 14 of the 16 events to earn a big win on senior day. Seniors Trevor Flint took first in the 1 Mile (4:44.2), Ryan Rispoli won the 2 Mile (11:01.6), Stephen Saba added a first place finish in the javelin (118’6), and DaSean Peters-Wolfe clocked a new PR with a first place time of 22.8 in the 200M. Jake Wall qualified for nationals and broke his own school record with a leap of 23’2 in the long jump.
Girls Outdoor Track
North Attleboro, 80 @ Canton, 56 – Final – For Canton, Tayla Mendez-DeGraw broke the school record in the 100M (12.5) and anchored the winning 4×400 team (52.0).
Franklin @ Milford, 5:00
King Philip, 63 @ Mansfield, 73 – Final – Mansfield took first place in both relays and swept the javelin for key points in a close win over visiting King Philip. Caitlin Dumouchel won the javelin for the Hornets with a throw of 109’9″, Kelsey Hubler was second at 69’8″, and Aimee Cowles took third at 68’4″. In the 4×100 relay, Abbie Scott, Meghan Driscoll, Brooke Penney, and Anna Buckley teamed up to cross first in 51.1 while the Mansfield 4×400 relay team of Katie Miller, Norah Puleo, Caitlin Dumouchel, and Anna Darlington won that event in 4:11.6. Dumouchel picked up her third win with a first-place time of 67.2 in the 400M hurdles.
North Attleboro, 48 @ Taunton, 30 – Final
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Through seven games this season, the Franklin baseball team hasn’t faced too much adversity, outscoring opponents 71-18 in dominating fashion.
So when head coach Zach Brown looked up at the scoreboard after 3.5 innings and saw a three-run deficit — the first time the Panthers had trailed by that much all season — he knew he was going to learn something new about his team.
Six straight singles and four runs later, the Panthers were back on top, an advantage they would hold the rest of the way in a 4-3 win over the Tigers.
“We talk about it all the time, adding another tool to the toolbox,” Brown said after his team improved to 9-0 on the season. “So knowing that you can come back in a game against a good team is important. The message to the players was that we were going to learn a lot about us as a team. The game doesn’t go according to a script as much as we’d love it to. Taunton is a really good team, they’re the defending state champs so expect nothing less than a really good fight.”
Taunton took the lead with a run in the top of the third and added onto its advantage with two more in the top of the fourth.
Sophomore Ben Jarosz led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a single through the left side and junior Jack Marino followed with a base hit through the right side. Sophomore Eisig Chin joined the hit parade with a hit up the middle to bring Jarosz home to get the Panthers on the board.
CJ Jette battled back from an 0-2 count and hit one to the left side that was knocked down by the third baseman but without a play at first, there was no throw which loaded the bases. Freshman Henry DiGiorgio smacked a hard ground back to first that was knocked down but no play could be made and a run crossed to make it 3-2.
“I was a little disappointed yesterday because I felt like we struck out too much,” Brown said. “I felt like we needed to get back to shortening up a little bit, just finding a way with a better two-strike approach. I really do feel like that inning was a pretty good example of that. CJ Jette’s at-bat really stands out to me, he was down two strikes, shortened up, found a way, and hit a hard buy in the five-six hole to keep the inning alive for us. There were a lot of good at-bats there but that one stuck out to me.”
Franklin baseball Taunton baseball
Ryan Gerety then connected on Franklin’s sixth straight single, this one up the middle that plated both Chin and Jette to put the hosts ahead 4-3. Taunton starter Danny MacDougall (6IP, 9H, 1BB, 4ER, 4K) prevented any further damage by getting three straight pop-ups from the heart of Franklin’s lineup to strand runners at second and third.
Franklin turned to the bullpen to replace starter Jacob Jette (5IP, 6H, 2BB, 3ER, 3K), bringing in junior James Kuczmiec to close the door. Kuczmiec and classmate Ethan Voellmicke have been steady, reliable options for the Panthers so far this season.
Kuczmiec got the job done on Tuesday night, retiring the side in order in the top of the sixth. Taunton’s Ty Cali stroked a two-out single to put the tying run on base but Kuczmiec induced a grounder for the final out to get the two-inning save.
“The back end of our bullpen has been really, really good, it’s been a strength for us all year and those two guys (Kuczmiec and Voellmicke) have been really sharp,” Brown said. “They’ve given us great effort and I’m really proud of them both. We’re going to keep relying on them to do those things for us. Anytime they have the ball, we feel pretty good about our chances.”
There wasn’t much happening offensively for either side between the first two innings. Franklin junior Chris Goode drew a one-out walk in the first and made it to third after Nate Cooke reached on an error but MacDougall stranded the runner on third.
The Panthers put runners in scoring position again in the second on a single from Chin and a bunt single from CJ Jette but sophomore Ryan MacDougall got an unassisted out at first and Bretton Heggs made a nice catch in left to keep the game scoreless.
Taunton took the lead in the top of the third when Colby DaCouta ripped a ground-rule double over the field in left field. Cali had his first single of the day to move DaCouta to third and he scored on a wild pitch to make it 1-0. Jacob Jette prevented further damage by getting a strikeout and a ground to strand Cali at second.
In the top of the fourth, junior Dawson Bryce led off with a single up the middle and moved to second on a fielder’s choice for the second out. Sophomore Shawn Cali connected for a double to bring Bryce home to double the lead and Jack Gobin followed with a base hit to bring Cali home for a 3-0 lead.
“It feels like we’re one play away, one inning away,” said Taunton coach Blair Bourque. “We need someone to step up and make a play or make a pitch in those situations. We’re right there we just have to eliminate those big innings, stop the bleeding somehow. We have a great team so we’ll figure it out but it’s a short season so we don’t have as much time. But we’re excited to get back at it again tomorrow and try to figure things out.”
Franklin baseball (6-0 Kelley-Rex, 9-0 overall) is in action on Thursday with another home game, this time against Sharon. Taunton (3-3, 5-4) returns to host North Attleboro on the same day.
2019 Record: 14-10 2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Final Coach: Steve Dunlea
Two years ago, Attleboro made a run to the Div. 1 South final, only to run into league rival and eventual state champ Taunton. While the Bombardiers only return three players with varsity experience, Attleboro will be looking to replicate some of that momentum and challenge the top teams for the Kelley-Rex division title this spring.
2021 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
Senior catcher Bailey Camacho caught half the innings during his sophomore season and will be the starter this spring, as well as an important presence in the lineup. Seniors Jake Gorman and Matt McMahon will both be part of the rotation and play corner infield spots when they’re not on the mound building off the experience they got two years ago. Senior Cam Foster adds speed at short and will be the closer, while juniors Billy Saltmarsh and Cian Kelleher, and sophomores Dillon James and Danny Johnson are part of what should be a deep staff for the Bombardiers. Speed should also be a strength for Attleboro, including outfielders Ben Hochwarter, Nate George, Hayden Hegarty, and Packer Sackett, and middle infielders Owen Taber and Evan Houle. Junior Christian Dame is a versatile player who can step in at multiple positions.
“We’re excited to get our players out there to see what we can accomplish,” said Attleboro coach Steve Dunlea. “Our guys have worked very hard during the off-season and have come a long way in the past few years. We are particularly proud of our senior leadership. It’s been a tough year and we are so grateful to the MIAA and ADs for making this season happen for our seniors.”
2019 Record: 6-14 2019 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Ben Shuffain
Canton had a great start to the 2019 season under then first-year head coach Ben Shuffain, including an impressive win over Wellesley. But almost all of the Bulldogs’ wins came in the first half of the season. Now Canton will look to start strong and continue that throughout the year as they look to challenge for the Davenport division title.
The Bulldogs are one of the teams that have a good number of players that played back in 2019 so there is a lot of optimism surrounding the experience on the roster this season. Canton has four starters back for this year’s campaign: shortstop/right-handed pitcher Steve Burbank, outfielder Cam Sanchez, catcher/outfielder Sawyer Julier-Albert, and right-handed pitcher Nate Hewit. Both Burbank (0.328) and Julier-Albert (0.395) were among the league leaders in batting average as sophomores so they will be key pieces for the offense this year. Shuffain will also look for contributions from outfielders Andy Butler and Zach Peters, infielder Nico Bonanno, and utility option Matt Quan — all four could also see time pitching.
Burbank will also see time on the mound and Hewit will be an important piece of the pitching staff this year. Junior Andrew Middleton, who tossed a perfect game in the season-opener, will obviously be a major part of the rotation as well, giving the Bulldogs solid depth. Behind the pitching staff, there will be a lot of players who have experience at the varsity level so Shuffain hopes mistakes will be at a minimum.
“We are lucky to have a good number of players who have varsity experience from 2018 and 2019,” Shuffain said. “They have been preparing for 18 months for this season and this group has tremendous leadership and a ton of talent. I am excited to see what they can do on the field.”
For the 2021 season, it all starts with pitching for the Foxboro Warriors. The 2019 squad graduated six players, and there were nine juniors on that team that missed out on their senior season a year ago. That means Foxboro has four players coming back for this spring, and almost all picked up a lot of valuable experience the last time out.
2021 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
Seniors Cam Prescott and Sean Yoest will headline the Warriors’ rotation, bringing a lot of experience to the staff. Prescott logged over 26 innings as a sophomore, allowing just four walks with a 1.86 ERA. Yoest had a lot of success at the plate as a sophomore and will be looking to replicate that on the mound this year. Sophomore Sean O’Leary will likely be a key piece on the mound when fully healthy and the Warriors will look to seniors Dylan Quinn, Mike O’Toole, Ryan Jacobs, and Sebastian Ortiz, as well as juniors Liam Mulkern and Tom Marcucella to provide pitching depth.
Yoest will patrol the outfield when he’s not on the mound and will be a key piece offensively after hitting 0.346 as a sophomore with 11 runs scored and 11 RBI. Yoest will be joined in the outfield by junior Jack Watts, a three-sport athlete who has excelled in golf and hockey, and sophomore Kenny Mello. Marcucella will also see time in the outfield while senior Griffin Morse is a solid depth piece that can play all three spots in the outfield.
Prescott will see time at either third or shortstop when he’s not pitching. Beyond Prescott, the Warriors will have some inexperience around the infield with freshman Tyler Prescott (second base) and sophomore Ryan LeClair (shortstop) impressing early on. Mulkern and O’Toole will provide the infield with some senior leadership from first while Marcucella and Ortiz providing depth. Mulkern will also be an option behind the plate while junior Mike LaVita will step into the starting role at catcher.
“We are excited for the opportunity to get back on the field and compete every day,” head coach Derek Suess said. “Having our top two arms still here is comforting, but we will need contributions from many different guys. We have a good mix of seniors and underclassmen who have bought in to our vision for the season.”
2019 Record: 22-3 2019 Finish: Reached Super 8 Coach: Zach Brown
While Franklin won’t be able to make it three straight appearances in the Super 8 with the tournament not happening this year (and possibly for a couple of years), there is something the Panthers can do: defend their Kelley-Rex division title.
2021 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
The Panthers were nearly perfect in league action during the 2019 season (15-1) and will be one of the favorites for the title again this year. But it will be almost an entirely new cast of players doing so. Franklin had 10 seniors on that team plus another seven juniors that graduated last year, meaning just a handful of players from the roster are back. Of that group, just one starter is back in senior Jake Fitzgibbons, who played second base at the time.
Now Fitzgibbons moves behind the plate and will be in charge of handling a pitching staff that is new to the varsity level. Having him behind the plate should make it easier for the likes of junior Jacob Jette and sophomore Alfred Mucciarone, who figure to be two of the key components of Franklin’s rotation this season. And when needed, Fitzgibbons will switch out from behind the plate and take the mound himself.
Seniors Nate Cooke and CJ Jette serve as captains alongside Fitzgibbons and will provide leadership both on and off the field. Cooke is slated to start at first base and will bring a big bat to the lineup while Jette will see time both in the outfield and at designated hitter. Seniors Luc Boudreau (outfielder) and Nick Quinn (right-handed pitcher) have impressed early on as well.
“As always the cornerstone of our program is pitching and defense,” said head coach Zach Brown. “We believe we have the right mix of athletes and arms to compete daily this season. Offensively, we believe that our line-up can be pretty athletic. Obviously, we are all in the same boat missing last season so it will be an exciting season to get back out onto the field. I know the players and our coaching staff are really excited for the games to start up.”
2019 Record: 8-12 2019 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Jeff Plympton
There will be a lot of new faces on the mound, in the field, in the batter’s box, and even on the bench for the King Philip Warriors this season. Looking back at the 2019 season, only one name is back in action for the Warriors this season. And on top of that, there’s a new coach in the dugout in Jeff Plympton.
2021 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
Both Conor Cooke and Jack Silveria saw plenty of action during their sophomore seasons but Silveria will miss his senior campaign after undergoing Tommy John surgery. That means that Plympton and the rest of the Warriors will lean heavily on Cooke, a three-year starter who will guide KP from behind the plate. Cooke, who is committed to play at Brown University, is a rock behind the plate and that will be important as KP deploys a pitching staff that is new to the varsity level. That rotation will feature junior Nick Viscusi and sophomore Rudy Gately, with seniors Jack Mullen, Grayden Lawrence, Harry Brown, and Jake Burns all providing depth.
Cooke will be a key part of the offense as well, slated to hit from the clean up spot. Viscusi will set the tone from the leadoff spot and can cause some damage on the base paths with his speed. Junior Shawn Lagere will start at shortstop and bat third in the lineup, providing the Warriors with some power while Gately will see time at third when he isn’t on the mound. Seniors Ethan Hurwitz and Mikey Malatesta provide outfield depth and Plympton has 10 juniors on the roster to help fill out the lineup.
“Looking forward to getting the season going and watching the team play together,” Plympton said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had high school baseball and most of our guys, like many teams, are new to the varsity level. We have some good talent on our team. Plenty of good throwing arms to get us through the new pitching restrictions. The infield is solid with very dependable fielders around the diamond. The outfield is fast and does a great job tracking fly balls. I believe defense will be our best strength this season. The players have been putting in a lot of hard work during practices.”
2019 Record: 18-7 2019 Finish: Reached Super 8 Coach: Chris Hall
Joe Breen had a very successful run at the helm of the Hornets, and his successor is one that the program is very familiar with. Chris Hall, who served as Breen’s assistant, takes over and is aiming to continue the success that Mansfield has had in recent seasons.
Coming off one of their best seasons in program history that culminated in a second straight Super 8 appearance, the Hornets will try to rebuild their lineup with a strong core of seniors. Eric Sullivan will move into the starting role behind the plate and will be a vocal leader both on and off the field for the Hornets. Three-sport athlete Jack Colby is slated to take over at first base, Luke Urban looks to take over at second base, Ben Mintz can slot into a variety of roles, including in the field or on the mound, and Greg Coyle, the lone returner from the 2019 team, will be an option on the mound for the Hornets. Juniors Jared Fraone and Liam Anastasia will help round out the lineup.
Coyle will be joined by juniors Aaron Blinn, Anthony Sacchetti, and Jimmy Gilleran on the Hornets’ staff. That group brings a lot of baseball experience and a range of knowledge, and Hall is hoping all of that will translate to the varsity level. Mintz, Colby Geddis, and Brayden Purtell will look to provide additional innings in relief.
“With two years off due to COVID-19, and few players having varsity experience, I expected tryouts to be exciting,” Hall said. “Our players knew they had to come in and earn everything to gain a spot in the starting lineup. There continues to be daily position battles daily and it pushes players to improve. The talent we have in the program is consistent from top to bottom. The team brings energy and enthusiasm to everything they do and it truly makes the atmosphere on the field second to none. We cannot wait to get out on the field and compete against some of the best competition in the Hockomock League.”
2019 Record: 11-11 2019 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Quarterfinal Coach: Alex Dion
Milford will be the new kids on the block this season in their first year apart of the Kelley-Rex division, which features two teams that went to the Super 8 last time out and another that won the D1 State title.
The Hawks are going to rely on their pitching as they compete for the division title. Senior right-hander Mario Lee and classmate Wes Solomon, another righty, both picked up valuable experience as sophomores during the 2019 season and will anchor the Milford pitching rotation. Lee, who is committed to playing both football and baseball at Wesleyan, pitched in 10 games out of the bullpen in 2019 while Solomon appeared in five games with a 2.33 ERA.
Sophomore Evan Cornelius is a “big, physical kid” according to head coach Alex Dion, and he will round out the Hawks’ rotation this season. When he isn’t on the mound, Cornelius will be behind the plate and the same goes for Solomon, who could also see him in the middle infield. Lee will also be in the lineup when he’s not on the mound, playing at either first or third. Senior Carter Scudo burst onto the scene as a sophomore, hitting 0.352, and will be the catalyst to the offense this year, batting in the leadoff spot. He will anchor the outfield defense from center field.
“I’m excited to start our 2021 season,” Dion said. “It has been great to get back out on Fino Field for the first time since 2019. I have a good group of young men this year with players from all four classes making the varsity roster. This is a great league with quality teams, players, and coaches throughout. We will go out and compete to the best of our ability on a daily basis. I am optimistic about what this group has to offer this year and in the future.”
2019 Record: 11-10 2019 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South First Round Coach: Mike Hart
North Attleboro head coach Mike Hart has the best arm in the Hockomock League in senior Dennis Colleran and the 2019 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year Jared Penta as the catalyst for the offense so the Rocketeers will certainly be in the mix for the Davenport title this season.
2021 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
Colleran, who is committed to pitch at Northeastern, has been a member of the Rocketeers since his freshman year, making his first appearance in North’s D2 South Semifinal win over Dartmouth back in 2018. He logged 37.1 innings as a sophomore, posting a 3-4 record with a 2.63 ERA during the 2019 season. Since then, Colleran has honed his skills on the club scene and is poised to lead the Rocketeers this year. Senior Joe Hartnett and junior Danny Curran look to fill out the rotation while the Rocketeers have plenty of depth pieces including Tyler Bannon, Dan Pedro, Derek Maceda, and Aidan Weir.
Penta will hit from the leadoff spot and set the tone for the offense. Weir and classmate Justin Vecchiarelli will anchor the infield Maceda, a sophomore, could be poised for a breakout season at shortstop. Curran will also see time in the outfield when he isn’t pitching while senior Evan Vigorito, and juniors Brody Rosenberg, and Gavin Wells will be in the outfield mix. Bannon and Nik Kojoian will be options behind the dish for the Rocketeers.
“Just like other teams in the league, we are curious how our players will make the jump to varsity baseball,” Hart said. “We will do our best to be fundamentally sound and keep things simple. Our pitching staff has a handful of competitive guys who are looking for an opportunity to help the team. The boys are excited about the season and hope we can bring a consistent approach to all our opportunities this year.”
2019 Record: 12-13 2019 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Semifinal Coach: Joe Abarr
After reaching the D2 South Sectional Final in 2018, the Tigers fielded basically an entirely new squad during the 2019 campaign. Two years later, Oliver Ames looks to be in the same boat as there minimal varsity experience on the roaster.
Senior Nate Fulford is one of the few players that did see varsity action two years ago, emerging as a go-to option offensively as a pinch-hitter as a sophomore. Now Fulford will be a key piece in the lineup each game, manning third base and bringing a big bat to the heart of the lineup. Senior Jadon Ricci will take over at shortstop and is slated to hit near the top of the lineup.
Junior Jack Richardson was a part of the Tigers’ varsity squad as a freshman and is now in position to anchor the rotation. He’ll be in the lineup even when he’s not on the mound, patrolling the always tricky outfield at Frothingham Park for the Tigers. When it comes to new faces on the squad this year, junior Jake Waxman brings a big bat to the lineup and can bring some pop to the offense; he will start at first base defensively. Junior Joe Cicchetti has impressed early on in tryouts and the preseason both offensively and defensively, and he is slated to start in center for the Tigers.
“We should have a solid lineup,” said OA head coach Joe Abarr. “We have depth at most positions and decent options on the mound. With so little practice time prior to the first game, there are still a lot of questions to be answered, but we have a great group of guys that are really looking to compete this year.”
2019 Record: 2-18 2019 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Andrew Poliferno
The last time the Eagles hit the field, they had one of the youngest teams in the Hockomock League. Now that means there is a lot of returning players back in the dugout this year and Sharon should be one of the most experienced groups in terms of baseball played.
2021 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
Sharon has a new head coach in alum Andrew Poliferno, who is no stranger to the program after coaching at each level over the past few seasons. Poliferno takes over for Kee Arguimbau, who had been with the program as a coach for nearly 20 years including the last four as head coach. Poliferno has 10 seniors at his disposal this year including two of the most experienced players in JD Rittenberg and Justin Brown, who both started as sophomores in 2019. Playing at second and short, respectively, the Eagles will have solid defense up the middle of the field. Sharon expects strong defense to come with the experience it has.
Junior Dylan Labbe pitched some innings as a freshman so the Eagles will lean on him as one of the anchors of the pitching staff. Senior Justin Nault and junior Ryan Baker will also see time on the mound while freshman Luke Meixel is slated to be a part of the starting rotation right away. Offensively, Rittenberg and Brown will lead the way once again. Baker and classmate Nate Yaffe should slot into the lineup in their first year on varsity, playing third and outfield, respectively. Poliferno is also looking for contributions from Damien Bonner and Daniel Zagoren offensively.
“After a missed season, it’s wonderful to see our players back out on the field,” Poliferno said. “Despite the year off, I was impressed with the growth and progress our players made since they last played high school baseball. It was clear to me we have a program of players who work hard during the off-season and I look forward to seeing their hard work translate to wins this season.”
2019 Record: 14-9 2019 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Semifinal Coach: Mike Armour
Like most schools, Stoughton has a limited number of players with varsity experience on the roster this season. It will be baptism by fire for a lot of new faces as head coach Mike Armour will look to get the most out of his lineup to try and compete for the Davenport division title.
The players that do have any varsity experience will be key, especially early on in the season as the rest of the Black Knights get used to the varsity level. Senior Brady Conlin will anchor the Stoughton staff on the mound this year and also hit in the heart of the lineup. Conlin has experience both pitching and at the plate and could be one of the most dangerous all-around players in the league. Senior captain Kyle Doolin will anchor the infield and is an option to pitch as well. He is slated to hit near the top of the lineup and could also see time behind the plate defensively.
Jake Queeney, another senior captain, will patrol center field for the Black Knights and hit from the leadoff spot. Queeney’s speed has been on display on both the basketball court and football field, so his legs could cause some damage on the base paths. Senior captain Brandon Mantilla-Mercado will take care of the pitching staff this year as the starting catcher and will bring some power to the plate offensively. Junior infielder Anthony Tilton has impressed early and figures to be a top bat in the lineup, juniors Jonah Ly and James Price will both see innings in the infield and on the mound, and junior Brad Franey is slated to take over at second. Seniors Joe McNulty, Colby Andrews, Andrew Scardina, and junior Colin Alessi provide lineup depth. Freshmen Hunter Malkin and Ben Zola will likely make an immediate impact for Stoughton.
“The kids are excited to play baseball,” Armour said. “They have brought a positive attitude and willingness to work to practice, which is all I can ask for as a coach. We are excited to get a little bit better every day, and put ourselves in a position to win some ballgames this season.”
2019 Record: 21-7 2019 Finish: Won Div. 1 State Championship Coach: Blair Bourque
It seems like just yesterday the Tigers were celebrating their Division 1 State Championship at LeLacheur Park in Lowell. Yet at the same time, it somehow also feels like a lifetime ago.
2021 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
The Tigers are one of the teams that will “what if” when it comes to the 2019 season, as they were set to have eight starters back to try and defend their first-ever state championship. Now for the 2021 season, there is just one Tiger starter back from that regular season. That is senior pitcher/infielder Danny MacDougall, who will anchor the pitching staff and also return to his shortstop position. Ty Cali, who took over for MacDougall after an injury sidelined him for the postseason, is also back to give Taunton a solid 1-2 punch up the middle of the field. Cali can also slide over and play short when MacDougall, who is committed to playing at the University of Hartford next year, is on the mound.
Sophomore Ryan MacDougall is set to finally make his varsity debut this year. A verbal commit to the University of Dayton, Ryan MacDougall was on the playoff roster for the state championship team as an eighth-grader. Not only does he bring a big bat and power to the lineup, head coach Blair Bourque described his plate discipline as “well beyond his years.” If the Tigers want to compete at a high level, Bourque noted the importance of senior pitchers Conor Quinlan, Bretton Heggs, and Matthew Ferrara. In total, Taunton boasts a dozen seniors on the roster.
“My expectation for this season is for us to compete as a team and individually every day as best we can, but ultimately, I will be grateful I get to spend time on the field with my players,” Bourque said. “It is always about the relationships formed with your players throughout the course of a year, you don’t always appreciate how good you have it until it’s gone. Losing last season really made me appreciate my role as the head coach for the Taunton High baseball program.”
Mansfield, 0 @ Canton, 2 – Final – Sophomore Vincent Sica and junior Eamon Kelly each scored as the Bulldogs skated to a non-league win over Mansfield. Sica scored in the first and Kelly doubled the lead with a goal in the second.
Oliver Ames @ Foxboro – Postponed to TBD.
King Philip, 1 @ Franklin, 6 – Final – Franklin scored three times in each half to pick up a key two points in the Kelley-Rex division title race. CJ Jette scored the opening two goals, the first assisted by Justin Magazu and Dom Lampasona, and the second by Patrick Dolan and Will Sheehan. Magazu then scored just before the end of the half on an assist from Justin Abely. Ben Jarosz (JT Dwyer), Declan Lovett (Dylan Marchand), and Ryan Sicchio (Aiden Hunt, Christian Shabbick) scored second half goals for Franklin while Jack Paterson made 27 saves in net.
Canton, 8 @ Stoughton/Sharon, 1 – Final – Lizzie Tassinari scored three time to power Canton to its third straight win to open the season. Tess Khoury and Ellie Bohane both scored twice and Payton McDonough added one for the Bulldogs. Jillian Parker had the lone goal for the Black Knights, assisted by Ava Buckley.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 4 vs. Bishop Feehan, 2 – Final
Swimming (Virtual Meets)
Mansfield vs. Bridgewater-Raynham, 3:30
Mansfield vs. Plymouth, 3:30
BOURNE, Mass. – The Franklin boys hockey team had a sizable advantage in shots on goal, chances in the offensive end, and time in the attacking zone, but the Panthers walked away from Gallo Ice Arena with nothing to show for it.
Despite outplaying the 14th-seeded Bishops of Archbishop Williams for most of the game, the Panthers came up empty-handed. Archies scored a pair of power play goals and added a shorthanded one to skate to a 3-0 decision over the 10th-seeded Panthers.
“The seedings, you can throw them away,” said Franklin head coach Anthony Sarno. The D1 South Semifinals featured 9, 10, 12, and 14 seeds. “It’s about who comes to play, who wants it more. You’ve got to be on the right side of the puck and tonight, we had our chances we just couldn’t put it away. I thought we carried a lot of the play in the first and second periods, we just couldn’t put on behind the goalie.
“You can’t put your finger on one single thing, but it just wasn’t our night. I told the seniors, don’t hang your heads. We tried to do the best we could tonight, we just didn’t have it tonight. But it’s a great group of boys and they worked hard from start to finish.”
Franklin peppered the Bishops’ net with 30 shots, plus a handful of good bids that went just wide or high, and at least a dozen chances blocked down by the Archies defense, but couldn’t solve sophomore goalie Nick Buccella.
What looked like a good opportunity to start the game ended up being a big boost for the Bishops. Franklin went on the power play just 1:09 into the game on a cross-checking call. The Panthers kept the puck in the offensive zone for the first 30 seconds before a shot from the blue line was blocked.
Archies junior John Riley quickly pounced on the puck that he just blocked and raced into the attacking zone with Franklin’s Declan Lovett going stride for stride with him. Riley unleashed a shot that was turned aside by Ray Ivers but Riley batted in the rebound to give the Bishops a 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.
“In all honesty, I felt like we were on our heels the whole first period,” said Archbishop Williams head coach Derackk Curtis. “We got that lucky bounce and John Riley worked his ass off on that first goal, we’ve been working on that banging in the rebounds. Franklin had the momentum, they were on us a lot and we weathered the storm. I thought it kind of evened out after that. [Franklin] is a good team, they are a hard-working group but my team worked hard too.”
“We knew they were aggressive on their penalty kill,” Sarno said. “From that point on, we were chasing them. You have to tip your hat to Archies, they played hard. They kept picking up our sticks, they were playing through our sticks, they were pesky. And we didn’t make the most of our power plays either. We weren’t moving it quick enough knowing they’d be aggressive. “
The Panthers still had time left with the man advantage and nearly tied the game when Kyle Hedvig redirected a shot from Will Sheehan but Buccella squeezed the pads to prevent the puck from going five-hole.
Franklin spent the majority of the period in the offensive zone but didn’t have a ton of quality chances to show for it. Archies nearly doubled its advantage late in the period in a similar fashion to its first goal as Christian Koylion blocked a shot at the blue line and raced into the offensive zone but Franklin defenseman Paddy Dolan recovered well and swept the puck clear.
Dylan Marchand’s battle in front helped draw a penalty on Archies with 10:39 left in the second period, giving Franklin its second man-advantage chance of the game. But Franklin had just one quality bid when Colin Hedvig blasted a shot that was saved and Kyle Hedvig’s rebound chance was stuffed.
The chances continued throughout the second, as Kevin O’Rielly settled a puck for a shot from Justin Abely that was saved. Minutes later, Domenic Lampasona connected with CJ Jette, but his shot from close was misfired. And the best opportunity came with just under five minutes to go as Colin Hedvig intercepted a clearance and rifled a shot that was off the iron and stayed out.
“We were just snakebitten, it seemed like everything we threw at the net he was there,” Sarno said. “We had plenty of chances, it just wasn’t our night. You can have 30 or 40 shots on net and sometimes it’s just not your net.”
Archies went on the power play with 2:08 in the period on a trip call, and a second tripping penalty 1:15 later gave the Bishops a 5-on-3 chance for 45 seconds. The Bishops made the most of the chance as Ivers denied a pair of shots in close but Archies sophomore Jackson Sylvester lifted the third chance over the sprawled out goalie to make it 2-0 with 28.2 seconds left in the middle period.
Starting the third period with the power play, Archies needed just eight seconds to tack on an important insurance goal. Thomas Page rifled a shot after striding over the blue line that went under the bar for a 3-0 lead.
Franklin pushed to get on the board but was unable to find the back of the net. Marchand and Colin Hedvig linked up but the latter couldn’t lift his backhand past Buccella. With nine minutes to go, Conor O’Neil blasted a high shot that Buccella had to fight off, and seconds later, Sean Connelly blasted a shot with O’Neil screening in front but it was saved.
Even with just under two minutes to go, the Panthers had a perfect play with Connelly finding Lovett in front for a one-timer but Buccella was in the perfect position and made the pad stop to preserve the shutout.
Franklin boys hockey finishes the season at 11-8-4.
Foxboro, 47 vs. Needham, 44 – Final – Foxboro outscored Needham 16-5 in the second quarter to build a double digit lead, kept that advantage heading into the fourth but had to hold on for the win after being limited to just seven points in the fourth quarter. Six Warriors contributed the the 16-point second quarter with Kevin Gallagher (nine points) hitting a pair of threes and Brandon Borde (12 points), Donald Rogers (13 points), Dylan Barreira (seven points), Ryan Hughes, and Liam Devlin each scoring a bucket. Rogers scored the rest of his points all in the second half, including five of Foxboro’s seven in the fourth. The Warriors will take on host Westwood in the championship game of the Westwood Holiday Tournament on Monday at 7:00.
Franklin, 76 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 51 – Final – A close game through three quarters, Franklin dominated the fourth quarter to earn a convincing win in the Larry Fisher Championship game at Bridgewater-Raynham. Franklin led by two after one quarter, just one point at 29-28 at halftime, and took a 51-47 lead into the final frame but the Panthers’ defense limited the Trojans to just two field goals, four points total in the fourth to pull away for the win. Steven Karayan hit half of his six triples in the final quarter on his way to a career-high 20 points to earn tournament MVP honors while senior Brayden Sullivan added 14 points and was named to the all-tournament team. Jack Rudolph scored seven of his 13 points in the open quarter while Chris Edgehill scored all nine of his points in the second half. Franklin connected on 12 three-pointers in the game.
Oliver Ames, 69 vs. Cardinal Spellman, 77 – Final – Oliver Ames took a three-point into the fourth quarter but couldn’t overcome a spectacular performance from Cardinal Spellman senior Craig Faria. Faria scored 16 of his 40 points in the final quarter to carry the Cardinals to a win in the Muscato Holiday Tournament final. OA senior Ryan Burkett scored a career-high 23 points and was named to the all-tournament team while Amari Brown added 18 points and Owen Friel chipped in with 13 points for the Tigers.
Milford, 38 @ Dracut, 56 – Final – Milford led 25-23 at halftime of the Edmund Murphy Winter Classic final, but the hosts turned the tables with a strong second half. The Middies outscored Milford 33-13 after the break to win the tourney title. Emma Lawrence had a strong game for the Hawks, scoring 20 points in the loss.
Sharon, 30 vs. Holliston, 31 – Final – The Eagles came up just short in a non-league game against Holliston. Sharon trailed by five heading into the fourth quarter of a defensive battle. The Eagles scored the first five points of the fourth to tie the game at 28-28 with under three minutes remaining, but the Panthers were able to do enough to grab the win. Nicole Teven and Leah Fandel each scored eight points and Trinity Payne scored seven for the Eagles.
Franklin, 6 vs. Fairfield Prep, 4 – Final – After falling behind 2-0 in the opening period, Franklin found the net five times in the second period to skate to a win over Fairfield Prep. “Fairfield was very talented team, I’m proud of my boys for working the system and working hard,” said Franklin head coach Anthony Sarno. Conor O’Neil (from Sean Connelly and Tom Tasker) and Kyle Hedvig (from Will Sheehan and Declan Lovett) scored to knot the score at 2-2. CJ Jette (from Colin Hedvig and Joe LeBlanc) put the Panthers ahead and Tasker (from Lovett and Colin Hedvig) and Kyle Hedvig (from Lovett, his third assist) scored back-to-back goals to put the Panthers up 5-2. Dylan Marchand (from LeBlanc) tacked on an important third period goal.
North Attleboro, 2 vs. Burrillville (R.I.), 1 – Final (OT)
Canton, 3 vs. Westwood, 2 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Lizzie Tassinari scored a power play goal with eight minutes left to play, lifting the Bulldogs to a win in a back-and-forth title game of the Pat Walsh Tournament. Olivia Maffeo scored twice for Canton, as the teams twice traded goals only seconds apart in the second period. After Westwood scored first, Maffeo blasted a shot under the bar to tie it and then she gave Canton the lead with a wrister from just inside the blue line only to have the Wolverines answer right back. Tassinari scored the winner with a shot from the right face-off circle that went through a screen and inside the far post.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 2 vs. Medway/Ashland, 3 – Final (SO) – Mansfield/Oliver Ames twice took a one-goal lead but settled for a tie against Medway. For holiday tournament purposes, the game went into a shootout where Medway earned the win but it registers as a tie for MIAA purposes. Alex Ledin (from Reese Pereira and Ella Waryas) put the Warriors up 1-0 in the first while Emma Pereira (from Emma Garland) gave the visitors a 2-1 advantage in the second.
Franklin, 133.40 @ Medway, 117.60 – Final