North Attleboro, 5 @ Attleboro, 6 – Final – Attleboro rallied with four runs in the bottom of the fifth to grab the lead and then held on for a non-league win over North. Alvaro Espinal started the rally when he was hit by a pitch and then came around to score on a Mason Houle double. Lorenzo Wilson plated Houle with a single, followed by a base hit from Robert Furtado. With two outs, Eoin Kelleher singled to bring in both runners and put Attleboro in front. Kelleher (seven strikeouts) also grabbed the win on the mound, retiring the final 10 batters he faced after giving up five runs, all in the fourth inning. North took advantage of a walk, two errors, and a catcher’s interference to put together thr fourth-inning rally, with Kyle Bolger providing the big hit on a bases-clearing double.
King Philip, 4 @ Canton, 3 – Final – King Philip earned its third win in the past four games, holding on for a one-run win on the road. The Bulldogs led 3-0 through four innings but the Warriors went ahead with four runs in the top of the fifth inning. David Morganelli went the distance on the hill, striking out three and allowing six hits, one walk, and just one earned run to pick up the win. Zach Zarba and Tim Crowley each had a pair of hits and each drove in a run for the Warriors, while Robbie Jarest had a hit and an RBI. Conor Cooke and Chris Sawyer each had two hits for KP. Canton’s Matt Pigeon went 3-for-3 and senior Paul Corcoran had an RBI for the Bulldogs.
Foxboro, 9 vs. Milton, 11 – Final – Foxboro jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second inning, and then scored three runs in the sixth to tie the game but Milton prevailed in the championship game of the third annual Steven J. Sullivan tournament. Senior Brian Duncan had a team-high three hits and a run scored, Anthony Mollica (three walks, triple, two runs, two RBI), Kyle McGinnis (two walks, two RBI, run, triple) and Adam Lanctot (run, RBI) each had two hits for the Warrior.
Mansfield, 6 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Mansfield held just a one-run lead through five innings of play before plating four in the sixth and one in the seventh to pull away from the Scarlet Hawks. Jake Gerraughty shined on the mound, allowing just one hit while talking two and striking out three in a complete game effort. Offensively, Dan Saraceno went 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored while Sam Nugent (run), Gerraughty (run), and Mike Hargadon (run, RBI) each had two hits for Mansfield. Milford starter Colby Pires scattered five hits and three walks with just one earned run over five innings of work.
Sharon, 1 @ Weymouth, 5 – Final
Attleboro, 1 @ North Attleboro, 10 – Final – Bella Erti struck out eight and walked none to earn the non-league win against Attleboro. Emily Nardelli powered the North offense with three hits, including a double and a two-run homer. Abby Gallagher had a pair of hits, including a solo homer, and Ashley Cangiano and Belle Clarkin also added two hits for the Rocketeers, who used a six-run sixth inning to break the game wide open. Annabelle Hebard, Katy Daby, and Emma Bailey each drove in runs for North. Attleboro’s run came on a solo homer by Makenzie Killough. Jenna Gittle also went 2-for-3 for the Bombardiers.
Canton, 2 @ King Philip, 15 – Final (5 Inn.) – King Philip’s offense came alive, belting out 14 hits in a win over visiting Canton. Meg Gorman led the way, hitting two home runs and a total of three hits, knocking in four runs. Kara McWhinnie added a home run and a double, and Faith Turinese, Paige Berdos and Reagan Simeone each had a pair of hits for the Warriors. Turinese was strong in the circle, allowing only three hits striking out eight and no walks in five innings. Liz Bickett and Steph Trendell each had solo homers for the Bulldogs.
Foxboro, 16 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final (5 Inn.) – Foxboro scored five runs in the top of the first and never looked back, taking control of the game with an eight-run third. Nicole Theriault had a big day with three hits and three runs scored for the Warriors. Chelsea Gibbons and Camryn Willis also scored three times in the win, while Alexandra Willis had a pair of hits and a pair of runs. Morgan Sylvestre scored twice and Maria Dunn drove in a pair. Grace Simone (RBI), Kayla Georgeu, Abbi Holmes (run) and Kalei Clark (two runs) each had hits for OA. Clark scored 2 runs, Holmes scored a run. Emma Varella added two RBI for the Tigers.
Stoughton, 1 @ Franklin, 13 – Final (5 inn.) – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. – Franklin got off to a strong start, scoring five runs in the first inning and four more in the second to beat Stoughton. Junior Sarah Jackson launched a two-run home run to highlight the Panthers’ big first inning. Ally Shea went 4-for-4 (courtesy runner Molly Collins scored three runs), Gabby Colace had three hits and two RBI, and Maddy White added two hits and two RBI. Jackie Cherry allowed just one run on two hits, walking two and striking out three in four innings of work to get the win. Nikki Coppola had a solo home run in the second inning for the Black Knights.
Milford, 0 @ Mansfield, 18 – Final (5 Inn.) – Sarah Cahill allowed only one hit and struck out eight to earn the five-inning shutout for the Hornets. Mansfield jumped out to a 6-0 lead after one, tacked on a run in the second, four in the third, and then seven in the fourth, while pounding out 11 hits as a team. Megan Letendre and Ashlyn Conley each had a pair of hits and each drove in a pair of runs. Nine Mansfield batters had at least one hit in the game.
Sharon, 0 @ Taunton, 18 – Final (5 inn.) – Taunton scored eight runs in the first inning and never looked back in a while over visiting Sharon. Sophomore Hanna Aldrich paced the offense with a pair of home runs and five RBI, sophomore McKenzie McAloon added a pair of hits and two runs scored, sophomore Tayah DaCosta had two hits, scored three runs, and two RBI, junior Abbie McDonough had a double and two RBI, and sophomore Skylar Rheaume added a hit and an RBI. Alexa White earned her second win of the year, allowing just one hit in three innings of work while striking out six. Freshman Olyvia Mendonca did not allow a hit in two scoreless innings of relief.
Attleboro @ Bishop Feehan, 10:00
Foxboro, 7 vs. Marshfield, 5 – Final – After falling behind 4-1 at the end of the first quarter, Foxboro’s defense put a lock on the Ram attack. The Warriors shut Marshfield out in the second quarter, cutting the deficit to 4-3 at halftime, and then allowed just one second half goal, scoring four of their own to get the victory in Chowda Cup action. The Warriors used a balanced attack with Pete Conley scoring twice and Charlie Baughan (assist), Aidan Stapleton (assist), Bobby Yerardi (assist), Shayne Kerrigan, and Nick Penders each scoring once. Foxboro coach Matt Noone said the Warrior defense played awesome in front of goalie Matt Tully (11 saves).
Franklin, 9 vs. St. John’s Prep, 10 – Final (2 OT) – Franklin had a lead and possession with under a minute to go but St. John’s Prep got the ball back after a save and scored with 16 seconds left and went on to win in double overtime. Owen Palmieri had three goals, Jake Davis added two goals and an assist, and Matt Lazzaro scored once and had two helpers. Will Davis made 17 saves in net for the Panthers while senior Jacob Alexander won 15-of-23 faceoffs.
King Philip, 9 @ North Attleboro, 7 – Final – Colin DeVellis scored four goals and recorded two assists to lead the Warriors to a non-league road win. KP also got two goals and an assist apiece from Andrew Sajdak and Sam Mattson. Robbie Tartaglia scored the other goal, Chris Longobardi won 12-of-17 face-offs, and Andrew McKinney made 12 saves for the Warriors.
Mansfield, 11 vs. Hanover, 10 – Final
Milford vs. Blackstone Valley Tech, 6:00
Oliver Ames, 16 @ Bellingham, 2 – Final – OA had seven different scorers, led by Hunter Costello’s five goals, to stay unbeaten through six games this season. Cullen Gallagher had a strong game defensively in his LSM role and also popped up with a pair of goals on the other end. The Tigers defense was led by Shane Murphy, Matt Saba, and Tyler Campbell, who held Bellingham to just two scores.
Sharon, 10 vs. Nipmuc, 8 – Final
Stoughton, 2 @ Dedham, 12 – Final
Attleboro, 6 vs. Bishop Feehan, 20 – Final
Canton, 13 vs. Quincy, 2 – Final
Foxboro, 9 @ Longmeadow, 16 – Final
Mansfield, 6 @ Hopkinton, 16 – Final – Mansfield fell behind early, trailing 9-1 at halftime, but battled back in a nearly even second half. Hornets coach Lauryn Wilkie said that the score didn’t reflect how well the Mansfield midfield and defense played against a good Hopkinton attack. Melissa Shanteler was highlighted for her marking of Hopkinton’s Lydia Rudden, holding the 200-goal scorer to just one for the game, and Wilkie said that Shealyn Sears also played well in the defense. Katie McCarthy made six saves for the Hornets who got three goals apiece from Katie Garvin and Lauren Whitman. Wilkie added, “The girls are really starting to hit their stride, we just need to find the net more.”
Sharon, 13 @ Oliver Ames, 9 – Final – It was a one-goal game at halftime, but the Eagles used a 7-4 second half to pull out the non-league road win and extend their win streak to five games. Emma Eberhardt scored six times for Sharon and also pulled down 15 draw controls. Mia Lappen scored three goals and Cass Barbera and Bridget McManus each tallied twice in the win. OA had five players score in the game, led by Olivia Piazza, who had four goals and three assists.
King Philip, 3 vs. Walpole, 15 – Final
Milford, 18 vs. Blackstone Valley Tech, 3 – Final – Milford took an early lead and never looked back, cruising to its third win of the season. Senior Sophia Bucal paced the offense with five goals while Emily Haley, Annie Flanagan, Riley Campbell and Elena Bon Tempo each scored three goals apiece. Senior Stella Amour scored her first career goal for the Hawks.
Milford, 1 vs. Hopedale, 4 – Final
Milford, 0 vs. Hopedale, 5 – Final
Attleboro @ North Attleboro, 2:00
King Philip, 0 @ Milford, 3 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. – Milford earned a 3-0 sweep over King Philip in the first ever meeting between the programs, winning 25-19, 25-17, 25-18. Milford senior Joao Boaventura was terrific all around, pounding down 18 kills, adding six aces, and finishing with 12 digs. Josh Orellana added 28 assists for the Scarlet Hawks. Jimmy Peterson and Max Armour had three kills apiece for King Philip while Kyle Desrochers finished with 10 digs.
Mansfield, 4 @ Franklin, 5 – Final – Franklin junior Liam Dailey shined in relief, tossing four shutout innings to help the Panthers edge visiting Mansfield. The Hornets scored four runs over the first three innings but Dailey was nearly flawless in his four innings of work, allowing no hits, runs, or walks, striking out one with one hit batter. Mansfield went up 1-0 in the top of the second but Franklin responded with two runs in the bottom half. Dan Markowski knocked in Cooper Ross (2-for-3, run) to tie it, and Brennan Rivera plated JB Floris (2-for-2, RBI, run) to make it 2-1. Dan Saraceno blasted a two-run home run in the top of the third, highlighting a three-run inning for the Hornets. But once again, Franklin had an answer with three runs of its own. Jake Macchi plated two with a double to tie the game, and Floris brought Macchi home with a sacrifice fly for the winning-run.
Attleboro, 4 vs. Bishop Feehan, 3 – Final – Bishop Feehan loaded the bases in the top of the sixth with the chance to take the lead but Attleboro senior Ryan Morry came on in relief and escaped the jam and set the Shamrocks down in order in the seventh to earn the save, securing the Bombardiers win. Junior Max Amaral pitched five innings for Attleboro, scattering three hits with one run allowed in his first varsity start. Senior Mason Houle paced the offense, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Troy Gamache (RBI), Bailey Camacho (double, run), Tim Callahan, and Robbie Furtado each had a hit for Attleboro.
Canton, 2 @ Franklin, 3 – Final (8 inn.) – Franklin senior Cooper Ross drove in the game-winning in the bottom of the eighth inning, his second RBI of the game, to give the Panthers a walkoff win over Canton. Ross singled in classmate Alex Haba, who singled and stole second to get in scoring position. Canton scored in the first inning off an RBI double from Matt Pigeon but Franklin took the lead away with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Scott Elliott drew a one-out walk and moved to third on a double from Haba. Jake Macchi brought the first run home with a sacrifice fly, and Haba scored when Ross reached on an error. Brennan Rivera earned the win for the Panthers, striking out eight in a complete game effort. Rivera walked just one batter (the first of the game) and scattered four hits.
Sharon, 0 @ Mansfield, 13 – Final – Leading 1-0 through two innings, Mansfield plated five runs in the third, three more in the fourth, and four in the fifth to earn a win over visiting Sharon. Hornet senior Jake Gerraughty had a pair of hits, two walks, three runs scored and an RBI to pace Mansfield’s offense, which totaled 11 hits. Dan Saraceno, Eric Longley, and Nick Dumouchel each knocked in two runs for Mansfield. Gerraughty earned the win on the mound, allowing just one hit and three walks in six innings of work, striking out five. Sharon sophomore Justin Brown reached base three times, getting one hit and walking twice
Attleboro, 0 @ Bishop Feehan, 13 – Final
Sharon, 11 @ Ursuline Academy, 10 – Final – Sharon freshman Trinity Payne launched a three-run home run to help the Eagles earn a win on the road.
Milford, 14 vs. Framingham, 2 – Final (6 inn.) – Milford’s April Swain made her season debut starting in the circle and also had a strong day at the plate to help the Scarlet Hawks break into the win column. Swain struck out five in a complete game effort, and then went 3-for-4 at the plate (double, triple) with four RBI and two runs scored. Lucy Creedon added three hits, including a double and a triple, and two RBI, Amanda Wenckus added a triple, an RBI, and two runs scored, and Elise Fauerbach went 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Oliver Ames, 3 vs. Brockton, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames freshman Kylah Ganesh prevailed in a tight match at first singles, earning a 6-4, 7-5 win to help the Tigers get their first win of the season. Junior Yusaf Hameed picked up a 6-0, 6-4 win at second singles for OA.
Milford, 1 vs. Medway. 4 – Final
Taunton, 4 @ Durfee, 1 – Final – Taunton picked up a non-league win on the road over Durfee. Brett Beaulieu won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles while Charlie Fiske earned a comeback win at second singles, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4. The team of Ryan Hebert and Alex Pugh didn’t lose a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first doubles while Barrett Hodgson and Tyler Goddard prevailed 6-1, 7-6 at second doubles.
Franklin, 4 @ Canton, 1 – Final – Franklin swept doubles play and won two more matches in singles action to pick up a win on the road. Sophomore Liam Marr won 6-3, 6-2 at first singles and junior Rohan Herur won 6-2, 6-1 at second singles. The team of Saketh Saripalli and Vayshnav Malhotra won 6-0, 6-0 at first doubles while Shoumik Sompally teamed up with Shoyaib Shaik for a 6-2, 6-0 win at second doubles. Canton’s Ethan Nguyen 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 at third singles.
Mansfield, 3 @ Sharon, 2 – Final – Mansfield earned one win in singles action and swept doubles play to stun a shorthanded Eagles squad. Luke Nickerson won 4-1, injury/ret. at first singles, the team of Max Bank and Sethu Odayappan won 6-1, 6-3 at first doubles, and Nilay Pangrekar and Sam Donellan earned a 6-3, 6-3 win at second doubles. Sharon’s Rueman Bhattacharyya won 6-0, 6-1 at second singles and Max Brody picked up a 6-4, 7-5 win at third singles.
Taunton, 5 vs. Durfee, 0 – Final – Taunton won all five matches in straight sets, defending home court against Durfee. Jillian Pagliuca won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles, McKenzie Lucie earned a 6-2, 6-1 win at second singles, and Jocelyn Pagliuca emerged with a 6-0, 6-1 win from third singles. Sam Martin and Brian Fevrier picked up a 6-1, 6-0 win at first doubles while Ogechi Ariguzo and Cayeesha Charles-Marc secured a 6-1, 6-3 win at second doubles.
Canton, 5 @ Franklin, 0 – Final – Canton lost a total of just one game in singles action on its way to a sweep on the road over Franklin. Rachel Kuperfman (first singles) and Natalie Keppler (second) each won 6-0, 6-0 while Sarah Hernandez earned a 6-1, 6-0 win at third singles. The team of Stelina Michaelidis and Jamie Cree pulled out a 6-3, 3-6, 12-10 win at first doubles while Alexis Newton and Simela Donovan won 6-0, 6-1 at second doubles.
Sharon, 5 @ Bishop Feehan, 0 – Final – The Eagles dropped just four games total in the entire match, dominating the Shamrocks for a win. Nupur Shukla (first) and Valeria Barajas (second) each won 6-0, 6-0 in singles action while Charlie Martinez earned a 6-0, 6-1 win at third singles. The team of Sophia Fein and Sachi Basin won 6-0, 6-1 at first doubles, and Lauren Glass and Makaila Cheung teamed up for a 6-2, 2-0 (ret.) win at second doubles.
Boys Outdoor Track
Oliver Ames, 78 @ Taunton, 58 – Final – Zane Reservitz and Aaron MacDonald each had a pair of first place finishes to pace Oliver Ames to a win over Taunton. Reservitz took first in the 800M (2:05.0) and the 1 Mile (4:58.0) while MacDonal crossed first in the 400M (52.0) and won the long jump (20’3′). Other first place finishes for the road Tigers included Sean Flaherty (110M hurdles, 17.8), Kyle Sarney (2 mile, 10:34.8), Ryan Hilliard (triple jump, 41’0″), Jared Mileika (javelin, 139’0″), and Anthony DeCosta (discus, 108’1″).
Girls Outdoor Track
Oliver Ames, 57 @ Taunton, 79 – Final
Taunton, 2 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip rallied from an 0-2 deficit to stun the visiting Tigers with a 3-2 (23-25, 20-25, 25-19, 25-17, 15-12) win. “It was such a great game to watch I’m so proud of the boys,” said KP head coach Emily Tkowski. “The team had great chemistry and never gave up, as a coach I couldn’t ask for anything else.” Max Armour had 14 digs and added five kills while Kyle Desrochers paced the defense with 19 digs.
Mansfield, 10 vs. Foxboro, 3 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. – Mansfield held a 2-1 lead through four innings of play but scored eight runs in the final three innings to pull away from Foxboro. The Warriors scored in the first inning as Anthony Mollica walked, advanced to second on a passed ball, took third on a ground out, and scored on an RBI triple by Joe Cavaleri. Mansfield answered back with two runs in the top of the second. Kyle Moran led off with a double and Eric Longley reached on an error. Both advanced on a wild pitch and Moran scored on a groundout from Nick Dumouchel. Longley scored on a double from Connor Smith.
In the fifth, Sam Nugent reached on an error, stole second and third, and scored on a sac fly from Dan Saraceno. Jake Gerraughty, who walked and stole second, scored on an RBI single from Moran to make it 4-1. Tim Rockett (John Carney single), Doumouchel, Chris Jenkins (3 RBI), and Nugent scored in the sixth inning while Will Giffen and Brandon Kemp came around for runs in the seventh inning.
Moran got the win for the Hornets, allowing three hits and one walk over five innings of work, striking out eight eight one earned run allowed. Foxboro sophomore Cam Prescott had a solid outing, allowing five hits and one walk in five innings of work, striking out three with five runs allowed but just one of them earned.
King Philip, 3 vs. Sharon, 2 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. – Sharon loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh but could only push across one run as the Warriors escaped the new Taunton turf field with a win. Junior Alec Filipkowski brought in a run with a sacrifice fly but KP starter Terry Murray (CG, 5H, 1BB, 2R, 0ER, 5K) got his fifth strikeout to end the game. KP sophomore Jake Silveria singled and took third on an error and scored on a double from Zach Zarba to make it 1-0 in the second inning.
KP added two more runs in the top of the fifth. Tom Weir reached on an error, stole second and third, and scored on an RBI single from Robbie Jarest. Jarest stole second and took third on a pop up, then came home when a throw from the catcher back to the pitcher got away. Sharon got on the board in the sixth as Filipkowski got to second on a two-base error and then came in to score on an infield error on a hit by Jared Reef.
Sharon junior Max LeBlanc pitched a complete game, striking out six while allowing four hits and two walks. He allowed a total of three runs but just on earned.
North Attleboro, 4 @ Taunton, 6 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. – In a back and forth contest, Taunton scored three runs in the top bottom of the fifth and added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth to get the win. North jumped out to a 2-0 lead, scoring in the first inning (Evan Melo walk, stolen base, to third on Danny MacDougall fly ball, scored on Josh Lajoie’s RBI groundout) and in the third inning (Lucas Martins walk, to second on Gavin Leahy grounder, and scored on an infield error).
North cut the deficit in half with a run int he top of the fifth (Russell Dunlap walked, took second on a wild pitch, to third on Shawn Watters sac bunt, scored on two-out single from Jake Palmer). Taunton had an immediate answer, plating three runs in the bottom of the inning. Martins walked and stole second. Leahy reached on an error and Melo hit an infield single to load the bases. Lajoie was hit by a pitch to bring a run in and Logan Lawrence drove in a pair with a single.
North Attleboro made it a one-run game with three run in the top of the sixth. Kyle Briere walked and came around to score on a single from Dennis Colleran, and Watters drove in two with a two-out single to make it 5-4. Taunton added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when pinch runner Curt Marshall (running for Colby Lariviere after a double) came home after a throw from home sailed into the outfield when Martins stole second. Lajoie got the win, striking out nine in six innings of work, scattering five hits and two walks with four runs allowed. Justin Rollo earned the save with a perfect seventh inning. Colleran (5.2 IP, 5H, 3BB, 6K, 6R, 2ER) was solid in his season debut.
Mansfield @ Holliston – Postponed to TBD.
Stoughton junior George Currier broke onto the scene last year, earning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year honors after a strong first season in the Black Knights’ starting lineup. Currier played right field last season and really impressed with his consistent defense. Head coach Mike Armour boasts that Currier can play anywhere defensively and that certainly gives the Black Knights flexibility. He also was strong at the plate, batting .328 with four doubles, 14 runs, and 13 RBI. With a year of experience under his belt, Currier will certainly be a leader for the Black Knights this year.
First-year Attleboro head Steve Dunlea put it perfectly when talking about senior Alvaro Espinal: “He’s the type of player that you don’t want to be at the concession stand when he’s up to bat.” Espinal really impressed during his first year in the Bombardier starting lineup last season. He’s got a quick bat and lightning speed that puts a lot of pressure on opposing defenses. Once he gets on base, he can certainly find his way into scoring position with his legs. That speed is also on display defensively as Espinal showed last year that he can cover a lot of ground and make tough catches look routine.
The Franklin Panthers have had a lot of success over the past two seasons, and one constant in that time period has been shortstop Alex Haba. Haba burst onto the scene as a sure-handed shortstop during his sophomore year and has been one of the best defensive players at any positions since then. At one of the most important spots on the field, Haba routinely makes difficult plays look easy. And over the past two years, he’s really improved on the offensive end. Last season, Haba batted .328 during the regular season with 22 hits, 12 RBI and 15 runs scored. Haba will be a leader for the Panthers this year, both on and off the field, and could be one of the best overall players in the league.
Milford had a bit of a down year in 2018 but the Scarlet Hawks have a lot of players back this year that are looking to make a run to the state tournament. One of those players is senior captain Nick Marcolini, who was one of the strongest players for the Scarlet Hawks. Last year, Marcolini hit .386 with 17 hits, eight runs scored and three RBI. He provided the Hawks with some timely at-bats and will be a leader, both on and off the field this season. He will also see some time on the mound and gives the Hawks a left-handed option. With a solid group of experienced players, such as Marcolini, Milford should be in contention for a playoff spot.
King Philip senior David Morganelli has had a terrific career for the Warriors in both football and baseball, and he will be looking to have another strong season before graduating. He posted a 2-3 record last year on the mound, striking out 43 in 38.2 innings of work. His ability to use multiple pitches, including a good slider, keeps batters off balance. He ranked in the top 10 last season for strikeouts and was among the league leaders in ERA, posting an impressive 1.99 mark. “David has an opportunity to be one of the best pitchers in the Hock,” said KP coach Greg Kessler. “He is competitive and has improved a lot in terms of accuracy.” The Warriors will look for Morganelli to anchor a strong pitching staff this year.
One of the top all-around players in the league, Chris Pearsons is definitely one of the preseason favorites for Player of the Year. Defense seems to come easily to Pearsons, who started at third base last year but will make the switch to shortstop this year. Having such an experienced player patrolling shortstop will bolster the Tigers’ defense, which is strong every single year. He really improved last year at the plate, batting .448 in the regular season, sixth best in the league. He had 30 hits, 17 runs scored and 11 RBI. Expect more of the same this year from Pearsons, who will likely be in the heart of the lineup for the Tigers.
Taunton’s Josh Lajoie proved to be one of the toughest at-bats last season. While sometimes prone to walks, Lajoie showed some really good stuff at times that had batters guessing. He throws very hard and keeps batters off balance. The important thing this year will be pounding the strike zone for Lajoie, who is committed to St. John’s University. He will form arguably the top 1-2 starting pitching combinations with classmate Jack Moynihan. On top of being one of the best pitchers in the league, Lajoie is a key piece of the Taunton offense. He was third on the team last year with a .366 batting average. He had 15 hits with five runs scored and five RBI. Expect Lajoie to have a big impact for Taunton this season.
Taunton’s Jack Moynihan enters his fourth year on the Tigers and will look to orchestrate a memorable season for his final year. Moynihan impressed during his freshman year but injuries slowed him during his sophomore season. He bounced back nicely last year, emerging as one of the top pitchers in a league full of great hurlers. He picked up wins over both Mansfield and Franklin, the two Hock teams in the Super 8, including a 15-strikeout performance against the eventual champion Panthers. He went 4-2 in the regular season with an impressive 0.97 ERA, striking out 40 in the process. He has a great fastball and can mix in offspeed pitches when needed to keep hitters off balance. Moynihan, who is committed to Sienna College, is a preseason favorite for Player of the Year.
One of the most consistent offensive weapons for the Kelley-Rex division champion Hornets last season is back again this year: senior Dan Saraceno. The outfielder spent the majority of the season atop the leaderboard for batting average, finishing the year with a .364 clip. He had 20 hits and tied for third in the league with 21 runs scored and added 14 RBI. The Hornets were first in the Kelley-Rex in runs scored last year and Saraceno’s consistency near the top of the order helped put Mansfield in position to score. He will also be a valuable member of the Hornets outfield defensively. He will return alongside Sam Nugent as starters, giving Mansfield a leg up defensively.
North Attleboro had a tremendous season last year by winning the D2 State Championship, the first in program history. A lot of attention went to the Rocketeers’ relentless offense as well as ace Nick Sinacola. But senior Matt Wanless quietly put together one of the best seasons among all players in the league. He went a perfect 5-0 in the regular season in 31.1 innings pitched. He wasn’t one of the most flashy pitchers, striking out 17 total but he was certainly one of the most effective pitchers in the league. He posted a 0.90 ERA in the regular season, giving the Big Red a chance to win every single time he was on the mound. With Sinacola graduated, Wanless will be a very important piece of the Rocketeer’s pitching staff in 2019.
2018 Record: 9-11 2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Steve Dunlea
After missing out on the playoffs by just one game last season, the Bombardiers are hoping to their experience will help them reach the state tournament this year.
Attleboro has experience in its pitching staff, behind the plate, and both in the infield as well the outfield. The Bombardiers pitching was a strength last season and should be again this year. Eoin Kelleher, the 2017 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, returns for his senior season and will be the anchor on the staff. Junior Ryan Morry impressed during his outings last season and lefty Camden Fitzpatrick will be in the mix as well.
The Bombardiers will be very strong on the left side of the infield. Senior captain Mason Houle will man third base while junior Tim Callahan, a starter last season, takes over at shortstop. Junior Lorenzo Wilson is slated to take the job at first base while Morry and junior Nick McMahon will split time at second base. While it’s a strong group defensively, all four will be relied upon to step up offensively. Attleboro had just 80 runs total last year, least in the Kelley-Rex division.
Another big part of the offense will be center fielder Alvaro Espinal. Espinal is arguably the best fielding outfielder in the league and will also bring a spark to the Bombardiers lineup at the plate. Senior captain Robbie Furtado will fill in at left field while Sam Larkin and Troy Gamache will both see time in right as well as designated hitter. Behind the plate, Troy Van Vliet gives the Bombardiers some experience while sophomore Bailey Camacho gives first-year head coach Steve Dunlea some flexibility at the position.
“The strength of this team is its senior class leadership and team chemistry,” Dunlea said. “We really have a well-balanced team that is strong in all phases of the game. It’s going to be a fun group to watch this year.”
2018 Record: 5-15 2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Ben Shuffain
A strong core of returning players along with some young talent should make for a fun season for the Bulldogs in 2019.
After losing a few key pieces from 2018, there is a good mix of experienced players and talented youth for first-year head coach Ben Shuffain to work with. The Bulldogs will look to three senior captains to the lead the way: Matt Pigeon, Paul Corcoran and Robert Sullivan. Pigeon is a three-year starter behind the plate who batted .368 last season. Corcoran and Sullivan will anchor a deep pitching staff that has looked solid in the preseason.
The pitching staff will also include seniors Kevin McGonigle, Nick Murray, and Joe Bates. Along with them Shuffain will also lean on junior Chris Rota and sophomores Nate Hewitt and Matt Connolly on the mound.
The infield has a double play duo that has shown to work well together featuring senior Mike Konzal and returning second baseman Nathan Quan. Offensively Canton will look to senior Max Macort along with juniors Owen Lahane and Lucas Bryant, and sophomore Steven Burbank.
“We have been very fortunate to have a lot of work outside so far this spring and I think it is going to help us start off on a positive,” Shuffain said. “The team is coming together and we have a great group of kids who really want to turn this program around.”
2018 Record: 5-16 2018 Finish: Reached D3 South First Round Coach: Derek Suess
Foxboro graduated 10 seniors from last year’s squad but there are 12 Warriors returning with varsity experience looking to make another trip to the state tournament.
The Warriors will be relying on their pitching staff this year to lead the way. There is a lot of optimism surrounding the rotation with senior Anthony Mollica and sophomore Sean Yoest each possessing plenty of varsity experience. Those two will be the top guys in the rotation while sophomore Cam Prescott has impressed during the preseason and could fit into the third starting spot. Seniors Guy Quartarone, Brian Duncan, and Philip Thomas as well as juniors Michael Devlin and Joe Cavaleri will be in the mix as well.
When he isn’t on the mound, Mollica will be the anchor of the defense from the shortstop position. He will be joined by sophomore Michael O’Toole at first base, Cavaleri will man third, and Thomas will take over at second base. Senior Adam Lanctot will also see time at second base this season for the Warriors.
In the outfield, Duncan — a senior captain that missed all of last season — will be the anchor, with Devlin handling center field duties and junior James Kaeser rounding out the Warrior outfield. Junior Zach Jenkins will also be in the mix for time in the outfield while junior Kyle McGinnis takes over behind the plate and will be relied upon as a key piece of Foxboro’s offense.
“Mentally, we have to have the same focus, energy, and intensity every single game,” said Foxboro coach Derek Suess. “There are no easy games in the Hockomock League. We must be consistent in our everyday approach in order to have a chance to compete for a league title.”
2018 Record: 21-5 2018 Finish: Division 1A (Super 8) State Champions Coach: Zach Brown
Coming off the program’s first-ever Super 8 state championship, Franklin is going to have a big target on its back — and the Panthers know it.
Franklin lost its top three pitchers in Jake Noviello, Bryan Woelfel, and Jason Ulrickson. Those were the only three pitchers to play during the Panthers’ Super 8 run. This season, the Panthers will turn to the experience of Ben Guzman, Brennan Rivera, and Will Pacheco. All three made appearances a year ago with Guzman and Pacheco registering wins. Guzman is currently recovering from an injury suffered in the preseason but the Panthers are excited for his contributions when he returns. Juniors Liam Dailey and Cody Trotin will also be in the mix after starting for JV last season.
While the pitching staff gets settled in, the Panthers will rely on its defense and offense. After an up-and-down regular season last year offensively, Franklin will be trying to carry over the success it had in the state tournament. Senior Alex Haba is back at shortstop and is one of the best two-way players in the Hockomock. Jake Macchi had a terrific postseason and will be looking to carry that over into his final year starting at catcher for Franklin. Scott Elliott will be the veteran in the outfield for the Panthers as well as a top offensive weapon. All three players — Haba, Macchi, and Elliott — are committed to playing baseball at Merrimack.
Cooper Ross is coming off a strong postseason and will start at third base while junior Jack Nally had a standout sophomore campaign in center field and will move up to the top of the order to set the table for the Panther offense. JB Floris will move from the designated hitter spot to first base and brings an experienced bat with him. Senior Joe Lizotte should see time in the outfield while senior Shane O’Neil’s versatility gives Franklin a lot of options defensively.
“We know this isn’t last year, this is a totally different team with different dynamics,” said Franklin head coach Zach Brown. “We like the makeup of our team, with guys working hard and the seniors being good leaders. I think we could be pretty good defensively, and we’ve shown at times in the preseason to be pretty versatile on offense.”
King Philip is returning a lot of experienced players from last year’s squad and is hoping that will turn into an improved season and berth in the state tournament.
One big reason for optimism is a seasoned pitching staff, which features seniors David Morganelli and Terry Murray. Morganelli posted a 1.99 ERA last season along with 43 strikeouts in 38.2 innings pitched. Murray will be the second starter for the Warriors while juniors Chris Sawyer and Robbie Jarest are expected to factor into the rotation as the season progresses.
“David’s size, strength, and velocity make him a formidable pitcher,” said KP’s second-year head coach Greg Kessler. “His slider and ability to locate his fastball are one of the best in the league. David has an opportunity to be one of the best pitchers in the Hock. He is competitive and has improved a lot in terms of accuracy.”
Sawyer and Jarest will handle the left side of the infield again this year, with Jarest returning as the starting shortstop and Sawyer back manning third base. Both players will be key pieces at the top of KP’s batting order. Senior Ian Zimmerman returns at second base while senior Jake Anderson and sophomore Conor Cooke will both see time behind the plate.
Timmy Nault (.311 last year) will lead the way in the outfield while Zachary Zarba will figure in as well. There is a lot of competition for some open spots in the KP lineup as well.
“We have a lot of work to do this season, we need to improve on our hitting and driving the ball,” Kessler said. “We have a great group of seniors who are dedicated and excited to compete for a Hock Title. This senior group is a collection of great student-athletes and really represent KP well. They are leaders on and off the field”
2018 Record: 19-5 2018 Finish: Super 8 First Round Coach: Joe Breen
Mansfield had a very successful 2018 season that saw the Hornets win the Kelley-Rex division and earned a berth into the Super 8 tournament. But the Hornets enter the 2019 campaign hungrier than ever.
After seeing an early exit from the Super 8, Mansfield is aiming to get back and make some noise in the tournament this year. There will certainly be holes to fill after graduating two top pitchers in Tyler Dalton and Kevin Dow, as well as the steady bat of Justin Pena and the terrific defense of catcher Cullin Anastasia. However, there are 11 players due back from last year’s team and a handful of new faces ready to make an impact of their own.
Junior John Carney and senior Kevin Moran will anchor the rotation; the Hornets unfortunately lost ace Connor Sheehan for the season to an injury. Both Carney and Moran have experience though, and Mansfield is looking to seniors Jake Gerraughty, Matt Scibilia, Aidan Angland, Connor Smith, and sophomore Greg Coyle to fill the relief and spot start roles.
Mansfield brings back two of its three outfielders from last year with centerfielder Sam Nugent and right field Dan Saraceno both returning. Speedy shortstop Mike Hargadon is also back so the Hornets have three key pieces from the top half of the lineup back to pace the offense this year. Look for Eric Longley, Jenkins, Smith, Gerraughty, and Scibilia to also factor into to the Hornet lineup this year.
“It’s been a wild offseason here between losing some of our top guys and coming down with the injury bug but we have a great group of self-motivated returning players that we will look to keep our program going in the right direction,” said Mansfield head coach Joe Breen. “There are a lot of positional battles and innings on the mound to be sorted out, but the staff is excited to see the boys compete over the first couple weeks of the pre-season to get ourselves ready for [the first game]. While we had some great success last season, the boys know that we are 0-0 and they are ready to carve their own path.”
2018 Record: 5-15 2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Alex Dion
After having a relatively young, inexperienced group in 2018, the Scarlet Hawks have flipped the script, bringing back six starters and eight total players and will be looking to ride that experience to an improved 2019 campaign.
Half of the returning starters are the three starting pitchers from last year, including senior Danny Corsini and juniors Colby Pires and Luke Rosa. Despite a 1-3 record last year, Rosa had a solid 2.97 ERA in 30.2 innings of work with 19 strikeouts. Corsini logged over 35 innings while Pires had over 24, so there is plenty of experience in the Hawk’s rotation.
Senior captain Matt Shaver returns to his shortstop position and will anchor the infield. Corsini and Pires will both see time at third base when they aren’t pitching, Justin Applebee is back for another season at second base, and Tyler Almeida continues his duties as the starting catcher for the Hawks. Senior captain Nick Marcolini gives the Hawks a left-handed option on the mound. Sophomores Carter Scudo (outfield) and Mario Lee (first, pitcher) will also factor in this year.
“I’m looking forward to the 2019 baseball season and am excited about the players that are on our team,” said Milford head coach Alex Dion. “This is a tough league with a lot of good teams and good coaches. I think we have an opportunity to be very competitive this year. I will lead on our returning seniors and captains to push this team in the right direction and I am excited about the young players we have in our program.”
2018 Record: 22-2 2018 Finish: Division 2 State Champions Coach: Mike Hart
North Attleboro is looking to replicate its success from last season, the best year in program history that resulted in the D2 State Championship. And with a solid group of returning players, there is optimism but the Rocketeers know it certainly won’t come easy.
“We are a team with a decent amount of returning players, but we will need everybody contributing to be successful,” said North Attleboro coach Mike Hart. “We are looking for guys to be more consistent, especially on the offensive side of the game.”
The Rocketeers have three returning starters in the infield, so that will certainly be relied upon as the season gets underway. Senior Nick Raneri started at third last season but will move over to first this year while seniors Shawn Watters and Ryan Warren will take care of business up the middle. Hart says there is a lot of competition for the final spot in the infield with a handful of players possibly seeing time. Brendan McHugh returns as the starting left fielder while Kyle Bolger, Russell Dunlap, and Kyle Briere are all in the mix.
Behind the plate, senior Todd Robinson and junior Owen Harding are battling for the starting spot.
While the Rocketeers look to get the offense going, they will rely on their pitching staff early on. Matt Wanless had a very strong junior year and will be counted on heavily this season while seniors Matt Seavey, Jake Palmer, Jake Carroll, as well as Dunlap and Briere, should be in the mix for innings. Sophomore Dennis Colleran will see an increased role this season and could emerge as a top option for the Big Red.
“We will rely heavily on our pitching staff to lead us, and with smart, mistake-free defense, we will be able to win some games,” Hart said. “I really like the competitiveness our team brings every day. If we can learn from our failures and grind through the tough parts of the season that are sure to come, I believe we can win some ball games.”
2018 Record: 16-8 2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Final Coach: Joe Abarr
Oliver Ames is coming off one of its most successful seasons, reaching the D2 South Final last year. The Tigers graduated some key pieces but there is a lot of players back that gives OA hopes at replicating last year’s success.
Senior Chris Pearsons will be a leader on and off the field for the Tigers, moving over from third base to take over the starting shortstop spot. Pearsons is one of the top players in the league, earning HockomockSports.com First Team honors last year after belting out 30 hits for an impressive .448 average. Not only is he a dangerous offensive player, he’s one of the top defensive players in the league as well.
Another key returner for the Tigers is catcher Jake Erlich, who will begin his third year starting behind the plate. Erlich is one of the top defensive catchers in the region and OA is looking for him to have a breakout season at the plate. Junior Jacob Levine showed flashes last season with some timely hits as a pinch hitter. This year, Levine takes over at first and the Tigers will be looking for him to bring a consistent bat to the lineup.
Reid Latham, who went 2-1 last season with a 2.85 ERA, focused heavily on pitching this offseason and will take over as the top starter in the Tigers’ rotation.
“We have an established lineup of varsity hitters with a handful of underclassmen that will be filling in gaps for us,” said Oliver Ames coach Joe Abarr. “Our pitching rotation should be solid as long as everyone stays healthy. Last year, the Hock proved to be one of the best leagues in the state. We need to show up and compete every day if we want to be successful.”
After a couple of seasons of being on the outside looking in, the 2019 Sharon Eagles are looking to make strides towards a state tournament berth.
Although it will be a relatively young group, there is strong senior leadership. Head coach Kee Arguimbau is hoping that a nice mix of veterans and new faces will result in a successful season.
Tarlin was also the ace of the staff for the past couple of seasons but senior Noah Kamens should be ready to step into the top spot after some real strong outings last year. A lefty, Kamens does a nice job mixing up his pitches and will be a key part of Sharon’s defense. Kamens will be complemented by 6’6 righty Max LeBlanc, who burst onto the scene a year and had some impressive outings. Jared Reef returns behind the dish and the Eagles are looking for him to have a breakout year offensively.
Junior Alec Filipkowski is moving in from the outfield to second base while sophomore Justin Brown returns to shortstop after picking up valuable experience last season as a freshman. Noah Martinez, who recently returned to Sharon after living in Florida, could be a key piece of the offense while playing the hot corner defensively.
Seniors Dairell Martinez and Matty Jacobsen will be doing their part for the Eagles in the outfield while = senior Ben Reinbold looks to have an impact for Sharon on the mound.
“This year’s team is young. Luckily, what we lack in experience, we make up for in solid leadership,” Arguimbau said. “The seniors have done a phenomenal job in establishing the culture for the team this season. The young guys in the program have followed their lead and have been working hard in the offseason and are ready to continue to put the work in every day.
2018 Record: 10-9 2018 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Coach: Mike Armour
Stoughton had a solid season a year ago, but an early exit from the state tournament has left the Black Knights hungry for more in 2019.
It starts with the two co-captains for the Black Knights: senior Zak Paquette and senior Robert Seaman. Paquette emerged as Stoughton’s top option on the mound last season and will be counted on to take on a lot of innings again this season. Paquette isn’t the most flashy pitcher but he helps put Stoughton in position to win games. Seaman will start at shortstop and the Black Knights are looking to him for a big bat in the middle of the lineup.
Last year’s HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year George Currier is looking to pick up where he left off last season, giving the Black Knights flexibility with his ability to play anywhere on the field defensively. Seniors Cian Swierzewski, Kevin Dixon, and Kyle Gagnon are all experienced outfielders, James Genest III gives Stoughton a nice presence at the plate offensively, and Mike Nazzaro will handle catching duties.
Newcomers Clayton Rahaman and Jacob Kaplan should log some innings in the outfield, along with Cam Dirosa in the infield and Brady Conlin in the infield and on the mound. Senior pitcher Evan Jackman has impressed so far this preseason and will be a key piece of Stoughton’s starting rotation.
“The goal this season will be to compete every time we set foot on the field, playing sound fundamental baseball and doing the little things to put us in a position to win some ballgames,” said Stoughton head coach Mike Armour. “The boys have been working hard and I expect us to have some fun this year and play the game the right way.”
2018 Record: 1 2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Blair Bourque
There is a lot of excitement in Taunton with its new turf field, but the Tigers are hoping it’s their performance on that field that will have people talking by the end of the year.
It all starts with pitching for Taunton this year. With two DI commits in Jack Moynihan (Siena) and Josh Lajoie (St. John’s), the Tigers will certainly be boasting one of the top pitching groups for another season. Moynihan posted a 1.44 ERA with 43 strikeouts while Lajoie fanned 36 batters and had a 1.52 ERA.
Both Moynihan and Lajoie provide a lot of offense as well, but the Tigers will need others to step up to fill some voids from graduation. Tyler Medeiros (.375) and Trevor Pietrzyk (.373) both graduated some Taunton’s offense so head coach Blair Bourque will be looking for some new faces to step up.
The Tigers will be looking to senior Evan Melo to give the offense a spark. Melo will patrol center field and set the table to the offensively from the leadoff spot. Junior Logan Lawrence impressed last year batting .336; Taunton will need his bat to provide pop in the middle of the lineup in 2019.
“We’re certainly excited about having the opportunity to showcase our new turf field,” said Taunton head coach Blair Bourque. “It’s really a dream come true. There’s something special about this year’s team, the senior leadership and camaraderie are substantial.”
Below are the official 2018 Hockomock League Baseball All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Tyler Dalton, Mansfield
Hockomock League All Stars
Jon Candiales, Attleboro
Matthew Casamento, Canton
Chad Bearce, Foxboro
Alex Haba, Franklin
Jake Macchi, Franklin
Jake Noviello, Franklin
Bryan Woelfel, Franklin
Jeremy Rhines, King Philip
Tyler Dalton, Mansfield
Kevin Dow, Mansfield
Daniel Saraceno, Mansfield
Aidan Wilde, Milford
Zach DeMattio, North Attleboro
Brendan McHugh, North Attleboro
Nathan Pearce, North Attleboro
Nick Sinacola, North Attleboro
Mitch Goulet, Oliver Ames
Matthew Muir, Oliver Ames
Chris Pearsons, Oliver Ames
Ruben Gonzales, Stoughton
Robert Seaman, Stoughton
Tyler DaSilva Medeiros, Taunton
Jack Moynihan, Taunton
Alvaro Espinal, Attleboro
Matthew Pigeon, Canton
Joseph Freitas, Foxboro
Colby Fitzgibbons, Franklin
David Morganelli, King Philip
Justin Pena, Mansfield
Matthew Shaver, Milford
Peter Cohen, North Attleboro
Michael Mulrean, Oliver Ames
Max Tarlin, Sharon
Evan Gibb, Stoughton
Josh Lajoie, Taunton
BROCKTON, Mass. – It was a roller coaster ride for the Mansfield Hornets on Friday night at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton.
Trailing 7-2 and just one out away from elimination, Mansfield orchestrated an improbable comeback. Seven straight Hornets reached safely, including six hits, resulting in five runs that tied the game and sent the game to extra innings.
But as quickly as the Hornets got back into the game, the roller coaster ride came to a screeching halt.
Walpole bounced right back in the top of the tenth, scoring three runs on three straight hits with two outs, taking a 10-7 decision over the Hornets. With the loss, Mansfield is eliminated from the Super 8 tournament.
“When you get to a certain point to the game, and you’re trailing and you know there’s a lot to be done in order to get back in the game, you stay positive and just take it one pitch at a time,” said Mansfield head coach Joe Breen. “These guys just kept battling, that’s the type of team we had. Our motto over the last couple of weeks has been ‘empty the tank’ and while we lost tonight, the boys definitely emptied the tank tonight and I’m so proud of them.”
Walpole scored a run in the fifth, two more in the sixth, and broke the game wide open with a four-run seventh inning to take a 7-2 lead over the Hornets with just two innings to go.
It looked as though the Rebels were ready to celebrate with a 1-2-3 ninth inning when starting pitcher Matt Donato got the first two outs in just five pitches.
Breen called upon Chris Kelleher for a pinch-hit attempt and the senior delivered, giving Mansfield a chance with a single.
“I think Chris has probably six at-bats this year but he’s just a guy that has hits in key situations,” Breen said. “I knew he’d go out there and put a good swing on something. Fortunately, it came with two outs and sparked a rally. That’s just a senior doing the job for his team.”
Junior Mike Hargadon followed up by sending the second pitch he saw over the wall in left field for a two-run home run – the first of his career – to bring Mansfield within three runs with two outs.
“Nothing surprises me when it comes to Michael Hargadon,” Breen said. “He’s one of the hardest working guys we have on the team. He’s a ‘heat and soul’ kind of guys. He’s never played a game where he hasn’t left everything he has on the field and tonight was no different.”
Leadoff hitter Sam Nugent kept the rally going with a single and junior Dan Saraceno followed with his first hit of the game to put runners on first and second. The Hornets executed a double steal and senior Kevin Dow launched the next pitch he saw into left-center field for a two-run double, making it a one-run game.
Walpole elected to walk senior Tyler Dalton (two hits) but senior Justin Pena cashed in with his chance, driving the ball up the middle to bring Dow in for the tying run. With a Dalton at third, Donato finally got the third out with a fly ball to right.
“It starts and ends with our seniors,” Breen said. We had incredible senior leadership this year, especially out captains (Tyler Dalton, Kevin Dow, Cullin Anastasia). Those guys set the tone and the whole team follows. Kevin did a great job on the mound and Cullin has been the best defensive catcher in the state, he’s been incredible with our pitching staff. But it starts with our seniors, they led us the whole way.”
Walpole responded in the top of the 10th with its own two-out magic. Matt Falvey drew a one-out walk but a fly ball to center gave the Hornets the second out. Tyler Page picked up his first hit with a single that got by the Mansfield outfielder, allowing Falvey to score and Page to take second. Bryan Kraus and Chris McLean followed with RBI doubles to give the Rebels a 10-7 advantage.
Kyle Moran reached on an error to lead off the bottom of the 10th inning but Rebels reliever Matt Chamoun got three straight outs to seal the win for Walpole.
“It was an amazing comeback by Mansfield,” said Walpole coach Chris Costello. “Two outs, nobody on and I think it was seven hits in a row against a pretty good guy [Donato]. They weren’t cheapies either, they can hit, they are a hell of a team. But it just really speaks to our mental toughness. We’ve really grown mentally as a team as the year has progressed. We challenged ourselves and put ourselves in stressful situations for just this reason, so it would pay off in situations like this.”
After four scoreless innings, Walpole took the lead with a run in the top of the fifth. Brett Lavanchy battled to a leadoff walk, took second on a sac bunt, moved to third on a groundout, and scored when Falvey was called safe at first for an infield single.
Mansfield responded right away in the bottom half to tie the game. Cullin Anastasia beat out an infield single to lead off and took second on a groundout. With two outs, Hargadon got a blooper to fall in shallow left-center to plate Anastasia.
Walpole added to its lead with two runs in the top of the sixth. A double from Kraus preceded a triple from McLean that was ruled to have just landed in fair territory. McLean scored on a squeeze play to make it 3-1.
Dow (no decision) finished with five strikeouts, two walks, six hits, and three earned runs in six innings of work.
The Rebels’ bats came alive in the seventh inning. Aidan Murray singled and a triple from Falvey made it 4-1. Falvey scored on a hit from Hanifan while Page reached (and Hanifan took third) on an outfield error. After a hit batter, a McLean sac fly made it 6-1. Lavanchy came through with a two-out RBI single to make it 7-1.
“The defensive side, unfortunately, was kind of the key with these last two games,” Breen said. Mansfield made a total of seven errors in its two Super 8 games. “We just played probably two of our worst defensive games of the season at the worst time. Unfortunately, and it’s no excuse, but playing one game over the last week and a half…we were playing eight games in 12 days, we had a great rhythm, and then we had the break and I think it threw us off our rhythm. But in the end, no excuses, we have to come out and make the plays for our pitchers.”
Mansfield cut the deficit to five with a run in the bottom of the seventh. Hargadon got things started with a two-out single and went to third on a double from Nugent and came home to score after the ball got by the outfielder.
Sophomore John Carney pitched three innings in relief with five hits, five strikeouts and three earned runs allowed.
“We came in four years ago and we knew there was a lot of talent coming through the pipeline,” Breen said. “We wanted to put these guys in the best position possible to be at the top of the Massachusetts high school baseball food chain. And these guys earned the right to be here. While we didn’t come out with the results we wanted, no Mansfield team has been in this spot. It’s arguably the best regular season in program history. We have a lot of guys going to play college ball so this isn’t the end for them and we have a lot of guys coming back and I know they are going to remember this feeling.”
Baseball Super 8
#5 Mansfield, 3 @ #4 Central Catholic, 8 – Final – Central Catholic used two hits and two Mansfield errors to score five unearned runs in the first inning in a first-round Super 8 matchup. The Hornets cut the deficit to three (6-3) with three runs in the fifth inning but CC added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth for insurance. Tyler Dalton let up three hits and walked three with six unearned runs allowed in four innings of work. Sophomore Chris Jenkins had two hits on the day while Dan Saraceno, Justin Pena, and Dalton each had an RBI for the Hornets.
#7 Franklin, 8 @ #2 Wachusett, 5 – Final – Wachusett erased a four-run deficit in the seventh inning to tie the game but Franklin responded by scoring in each the eighth and ninth innings to prevail in the program’s first-ever Super 8 game. Wachusett tied the game on a sacrifice fly in the seventh but Franklin was able to get a runner out at third trying to advance to erase any further damage. Bryan Woelfel earned the win in relief, allowing one run on four hits while striking out two. Jake Noviello had a strong outing on the mound, scattering five hits, four walks, and six strikeouts over six innings of work. Franklin’s offense had a strong day with Cooper Ross leading the way with three hits and two RBI. Colby Fitzgibbons (run), Scott Elliott (double, four RBI), Alex Haba (triple, two runs, two stolen bases), Jake Macchi (RBI, run) and Evan Wendell (two runs) all had two hits apiece for Franklin.
Boys Tennis D1 South
#4 Sharon, 1 vs. #13 Wellesley, 4 – Final
#6 King Philip, 0 vs. #11 Needham, 5 – Final
#9 Franklin, 0 @ #8 BC High, 5 – Final
#14 Taunton, 0 @ #3 Brookline, 5 – Final
#12 Foxboro, 0 @ #5 Duxbury, 5 – Final
Girls Tennis D1 South
#3 Sharon, 5 vs. #14 Braintree, 0 – Final
#6 Taunton, 2 vs. #11 North Quincy, 3 – Final
#10 North Attleboro, 0 @ #7 Brookline, 5 – Final
#12 Oliver Ames, 2 @ #5 Weymouth, 3 – Final – One match went to three sets and another a second set tiebreaker but Weymouth won both to edge Oliver Ames. OA’s Rachel Stryke and Olivia Groebe won 6-1, Def. at second doubles for the Tigers.
#5 Foxboro, 5 vs. #12 Falmouth, 0 – Final – Foxboro opened its 2018 playoff campaign with a sweep of visiting Falmouth. Sophia Prinos won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles, Pamela Nelson didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at second singles, and Julia Muise earned a 6-2, 6-2 decision at third singles. The team of Kayla Prag and Sarah Prag won 6-3, 6-4 at first doubles while Olivia Dantona and Kendell Milender won 6-0, 6-0 at second doubles.