Selfless Captain: Melo Delivers For Tigers In Tourney

Evan Melo
Taunton captain Evan Melo raises the trophy following the Tigers’ win in the D1 State Final. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
LOWELL, Mass. – Every championship team has a strong pitching staff with at least one ace, a handful of dangerous hitters, and a couple of defensive wizards in the field that will grab all of the headlines.

But every championship team needs a player like Evan Melo.

The Taunton senior captain wasn’t one of the team’s leaders offensively during the regular season and he doesn’t make any appearances on the mound, but the intangibles and leadership he brings to the table are irreplaceable.

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Those traits were on full display as Melo played a major role in Taunton winning six postseason games, the final one a 5-3 win over Shrewsbury at LeLacheur Park to win the MIAA D1 State Championship.

“We never give up, we went three and a half innings without a hit and then all of a sudden we just explode because we keep grinding,” Melo said. “We never give up one any pitch, any at-bat, any inning. This just brings to fruition everything we worked for. It’s unbelievable.

“I really can’t put it into words, it still hasn’t hit me that we’re state champions. I can’t believe it, especially after last year losing in the first round. That’s really where it started. We’ve been grinding since that day to make sure it didn’t happen.”

There were times when Taunton coach Blair Bourque toyed with the idea of replacing Melo in the lineup as the senior’s offensive numbers dipped throughout the year. But as a reliable center fielder and a true leader, Bourque couldn’t replace Melo.

“Evan is a great leader and he does whatever it takes for the team to win,” said fellow captain Jack Moynihan. “When it comes to sacrificing to move a guy over or get a guy in, everyone on the team can do it but Evan is 100% the type of guy you want there, he’s really important for us.”

Melo, who also captained the Tigers’ boys soccer team in the fall, rewarded his coach’s faith with a remarkable postseason. Not only did he provide the leadership as a captain, he delivered in the biggest moments on the field. He looked like a different player at the plate, hitting a team-best .429 in the postseason.

“Evan Melo, who struggled for most of the season offensively, has been phenomenal this postseason,” Bourque said. “The kid has been on fire, has been huge with bunting, base hits, stealing bases, great catches in the outfield. He almost lost his spot in the season but he worked his way back into the lineup and we’re really fortunate he did because he was big for us.

“He seemed to come up when guys are on and he knows what to do, he came up clutch,” Bourque said. “He battles, he fouls off a lot of tough pitches so he’s a tough out even though his batting average isn’t great. The little things, the intangibles that he brings to the table is off the charts. He plays a great center field, he’s usually the first one here and last one to leave, I’m extremely proud of here. This postseason he’s been nothing but phenomenal.”

He hit safely in five of the six playoff games and knocked in a run in five of the six tournament games as well. He scored five runs and walked three times, putting up a .529 on-base percentage.

When it mattered the most, under the bright lights on the biggest stage, Melo knocked in the game-winning run in the state final.

An inning after Shrewsbury scored three straight runs to tie the game, Melo came up and brought home the go-ahead score for the Tigers. Junior Jared Roderick reached on a fielder’s choice, moved to second on a wild pitch, and advanced to third on an error that allowed Andrew Gomes to reach.

With a runner at third and Melo at the plate, Bourque didn’t need to give any instructions to Melo. In fact, he didn’t even need to send a sign. Even as the team’s leading hitter in the tournament, Melo was ready to sacrifice his at-bat for a run.

Melo laid down a squeeze bunt up the first base line that ended up going for a single that brought in Roderick to put the Tigers ahead 4-3.

“I just want to get that run in,” Melo said. “A lot of times [Bourque] doesn’t call it, I just give him a nod and we both know. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s a single, as long as we get the win, that’s what matters.

“Our main goal this year was to keep everyone connected. We really do love each other like brothers. We just had to make sure that we took everything one step at a time…win a pitch, win an at-bat, win an inning. If you take it one step at a time, great things are going to happen like this.”

It was the second straight game that Melo brought in a run from third with a bunt. In the state semifinals with the Tigers trailing 5-4, Melo stepped up to the plate with runners on the corners with no outs.

While most players would want a chance to hit the ball and drive in the run, Melo said all that matters is that the team gets the run. Fellow senior captain Josh Lajoie said there’s no one better for that spot.

“We have all the faith in the world in him,” Lajoie said. “He’s the definition of a team player and he’s helped us out throughout the entire season, it was great to see him succeed in a big game.”

Of course, Evan Melo delivered in the semifinals as well, dropping down the sac bunt that also scored Roderick to tie the game. Taunton went on to win in nine innings to advance to the state final.

“That’s something we practice a lot on,” Bourque said of the bunting. Taunton scored another run on a squeeze earlier in the state final when Roderick brought in Nolan Melo. “We work on first and thirds, we work on our bunt defensively. We’re working on it offensively and defensively. We knew going into the postseason, if we had a chance to generate some offense, we would take advantage of it.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Melo was also responsible for another run earlier in the game. He led off the top of the fifth with a double and scored on the next at-bat on a single from Ty Cali that put Taunton up 3-0 at the time.

“Evan’s hard work and leadership that he’s exuded all year long has kept him in the lineup,” Bourque said. “He bought himself four or five extra starts, and he struggled at times, but he was a guy we looked to for leadership.”

And that’s why every championship team needs an Evan Melo.

Total Team Effort Lifts Taunton to First State Title

Taunton baseball Evan Melo Josh Lajoie Jack Moynihan
Taunton captains (L-R) Evan Melo, Josh Lajoie, and Jack Moynihan celebrate with the D1 State Championship trophy. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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LOWELL, Mass. – It was fitting that the final out bounced to sophomore shortstop Ty Cali. He jumped into the lineup in the playoffs after starter Danny MacDougall suffered an injury in the first game of the postseason. Cali had two hits and an RBI in Saturday night’s Div. 1 state championship game at Lowell’s LeLacheur Park and was an example of the way the whole Taunton program came together to send the Tigers on an improbable championship run.

That run came to a climax on Saturday, as Taunton (21-7) got four hits and a pair of RBI from the bottom three in its lineup, got four strong innings from senior Josh Lajoie, who was making his first start of the playoffs, and rallied with a pair of runs in the final two innings after seeing a 3-0 lead slip away.

The Tigers found a way to win, a common thread throughout the tournament, pulling out a 5-3 victory against Shrewsbury to secure the program’s first-ever state championship.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“We knew it was going to be another tough game,” said Taunton coach Blair Bourque. “That’s a great team over there and they gave us everything we could handle. We were able to put some at-bats together. It’s a team effort.”

Senior pitcher Logan Lawrence, who picked up the win with three innings of relief, said, “It almost feels too good. First time in history winning sectionals, never mind winning states.”

A state championship seemed farfetched in April. The Tigers stumbled out of the gates, going 4-4 in their opening eight games, but they stayed the course and eventually things turned around. Taunton finished the season by going 17-3 over its final 20 games. Its only losses in that span were to Super 8 participants Mansfield (twice) and Franklin.

“At the beginning of the year we all talked about it in the weight room about how nice it would be, but we also knew how difficult it would be and all the hard work it would take, and how much better we’d have to get throughout the year,” said senior Jack Moynihan.
“We knew we’d have to keep fighting and everyone in the program has busted their butts.”

Bourque said, “This season we had a lot of adversity early and I think that helped us down the road. Obviously, the Mansfields and the Franklins are the teams we want to compete with. This is a step in the right direction.”

On Saturday, the Tigers faced Shrewsbury ace John West. The 6-foot-8 junior has already committed to Boston College and he lived up to the billing the first time through the Taunton order. He struck out five, held the Tigers hitless, and allowed only one base runner over the first three innings.

West may have drawn the headlines prior to the game, but he was matched over the first three innings by Lajoie. The St. John’s University-commit got the ball for the final and allowed only two hits through four innings. An error and a walk gave Shrewsbury its only rally in that stretch, but Lajoie responded with a strikeout and induced a pop up to get out of the jam.

Taunton grabbed the lead in the fourth. Colby Lariviere drew a one-out walk and would come all the way around to score when Lawrence’s line drive skipped past the centerfielder and turned into a triple. Nolan Melo came in to run at third base and he would score on a perfectly placed safety squeeze by Jared Roderick.

The Tigers tacked on another run in the fifth. Evan Melo led off the inning by drilling a double into the corner in right and he was quickly brought home by a Cali single. Gavin Leahy drew a walk and Lucas Martins had an infield single to load the bases with one out but a double play ended the inning.

“It’s great because as a pitcher you look at the bottom of the order and you think just breeze through them,” said Lawrence about Taunton getting production from its full lineup. “When you know for a fact that other teams aren’t going to be able to breeze through the bottom of your lineup, that helps you a lot mentally. A lot of confidence comes from that.”

Shrewsbury did not go quietly. In the bottom of the fifth, the Colonials had three straight singles, including a bunt single to load the bases with no outs. Lajoie was pulled for Lawrence, who gave up an RBI-single on his first pitch.

The next batter hit a shot down the first base line but Lariviere made a diving stop and got the lead runner at home. The batter had slipped so a return throw to first turned into a double play. With a chance to get out of the inning with the lead, Lawrence gave up a single to West, which scored a pair and tied the game.

Rather than letting their heads drop, the Tigers got right back to the plate and promptly grabbed back the lead. Roderick reached on a fielder’s choice, moved to second on a wild pitch, and then took third on an error that allowed Andrew Gomes to reach. For the second time in the game, Bourque called for a squeeze and this time it was Evan Melo who dropped it down, pushing it up the first base line for a single and an RBI.

“We have confidence in ourselves and our ability to generate a couple of runs here and there,” Bourque explained. “There was no panic, we’ve been down before. Last game, we were down twice, so we had the confidence in our ability to generate some offense.

Taunton loaded the bases with one out for the second straight inning but both times failed to score a run. Lawrence made sure that it wouldn’t hurt too much by throwing a perfect sixth inning.

In the seventh, Taunton added an important insurance run. Nic Notarangelo, who’s inclusion in the starting lineup coincided with the Tigers’ improvement, started the inning by drilling a triple to the wall in right. Two batters later, Lariviere made it 5-3 with a sacrifice fly to left.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

As it turned out, the Tigers didn’t need the extra run. Lawrence got back to the mound for the seventh inning and threw another clean inning. He got a grounder to second, a strikeout, and then a grounder to short to seal the win and the championship.

“Nothing, just strictly adrenaline,” said Lawrence about what was going through his mind in the seventh. “When it was a 3-2 [count] and everyone was screaming, oh my god…” Lawrence shook his head, chuckled, and smiled.

Lajoie added, “It’s a dream come true. You dream of this at the beginning of the season and then you go through the season with your team, battling, and you see the pieces falling together…It’s unbelievable; I’m speechless.”

Walk-Off Win Over L-S Sends Taunton To State Final

Taunton baseball Nic Notarangelo
Taunton’s Nic Notarangelo (left) celebrates with Danny MacDougall and other teammates after his game-winning hit. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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LOWELL, Mass. – With the winning run standing at second base, Taunton juniors Logan Lawrence and Nolan Melo approached classmate Nic Notarangelo in the on-deck circle with a simple message.

“There’s no one better.”

Notarangelo, who has been the Tigers’ hottest hitter down the stretch, was 1-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, so Lawrence and Melo decided to deliver a vote of confidence right before he headed to the plate.

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Notarangelo delivered, smacking a hard hit double to right field in the bottom of the ninth inning to score Ty Cali from second and the Tigers walked off with a 6-5 win in over Lincoln-Sudbury in a D1 State Semifinal, sending Taunton to its first ever state championship.

“Nic came into the lineup about midway through the season and since then, he hasn’t stopped,” Lawrence said. “He knew he had a rough couple of at-bats, but we just wanted to let him know that we believe in him. He didn’t need us to do that but we wanted to show him support.”

It was Taunton’s only lead of the game as the Tigers trailed 3-0 after just a half inning and had to erase a two-run deficit in the sixth inning.

“They were telling me there was no one better,” Notarangelo said of the on-deck conversation. “The fact that they have confidence in me gave me confidence in the box. It’s a team game and we’re the most passionate team that I know. Whenever we’re down, you can’t count us out. We fight to the last out, the last pitch, you can’t count us out.

“I had seen the pitcher before and he wasn’t throwing anything funny so I was just waiting for one that was in my zone and luckily I got it.”


Sophomore Ty Cali legged out a one-out double and sophomore pinch hitter Alyjah Marshall earned a walk to bring Notarangelo to the plate. Three pitches later, Notarangelo delivered the game-winning hit to bring Cali in, sending the Tigers into a frenzy.

“They don’t quit,” said Taunton head coach Blair Bourque. “It’s something that from early on, we’ve played some really tough games and faced a lot of adversity. It’s tough to beat a team that doesn’t quit, and these guys don’t quit, they have each others backs. They work hard, they play hard, and I’m really proud to manage them. I can’t say enough about the camaraderie, hard work, and determination…you name it. It’s been there all year.

“Nic has been our guy, I was hoping he’d get a chance to swing the bat in the last inning. He had a difficult game so far so it was huge for him. It was only a matter of time until he broke out and put the barrel on the ball.”

While Notarangelo delivered the winning hit, the Tigers might not have been in position to do so without the work of Lawrence. Not only did Lawrence club a two-run home run in the first inning the stemmed the tide, he came on in relief and pitched four scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and escaping a bases-loaded situation in the sixth to earn the win.

“He saved us, he’s been great throughout the whole tournament, the whole year,” Notarangelo said of Lawrence. “I couldn’t be more proud of what he’s done this year.”

Lawrence came on after five innings of work for Tiger ace Jack Moynihan, who struck out six and allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits and one walk.

“Jack [Moynihan] has picked us up all season long, he’s picked me up if I had a bad game,” Lawrence said. “You have to reciprocate that energy. He does good for me all the time so I’m going to do my best for him.”

L-S, who had lost just two games all season on its way to a North sectional title, jumped on the Tigers with three runs in the top of the first inning. Connor Lachman doubled, Jesse McCullough and James Dillon singled, and an RBI groundout from Andrew Cahill put the Warriors ahead 3-0.

But the lead was short lived as the Tigers offense answered immediately. Lucas Martins drew a one-out walk, stole second, and then scored after a single from Colby Lariviere. Lawrence smashed the fourth pitch he saw over the left field fence for a two-run home run, tying the game 3-3 after one.

“Our plan was to just chip away,” Obviously you don’t want to go down but we have faith in Jack being able to keep us in the game. [Lincoln-Sudbury] hit the ball really well, that’s a good team over there. We knew we were in for a dog fight and we were hoping to keep the damage to a minimum and Jack did a great job of doing that for us. Logan came in and pitched phenomenal, that was a gutsy effort from him. His home run got us back in the game and kind of took the edge off. That let us know we could compete with them.

Moynihan settled in, striking out the side in the second inning but the top half of L-S’ lineup struck again in the third inning. Lachman doubled again, advanced on a ground out, and Dillon walked to put runners on the corner. Dillon attempted to steal second, forcing a throw but it ended up in centerfield, allowing Lachman to score. But Taunton limited the damage as Dillon tried to go from second to home. Evan Melo fired to Martins and he fired to Andrew Gomes at home for the tag.

Lachman surprised the Tigers with a bunt to lead off the fifth, advanced to second on a passed ball, stole third, and scored when the throw from home on the pickoff attempt got past the third baseman.

Taunton had momentum in the third when Martins singled and advanced to second on an error. Lawrence walked and the Tigers executed a double steal but Martins was then called out for supposedly coming off the bag at third.

In the top of the sixth, Milind Lele reached on an error, advanced to second on a ground out, Matthew Ray was hit by a pitch, the Tigers intentionally walked Lachman to load the bases but Lawrence induced a grounder to first to prevent any damage.

Lawrence reached second on a two-base error to start the bottom of the sixth and took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a passed ball that was also ball four for Jared Roderick. Roderick stole second, Nolan Melo was hit by a pitch, Roderick stole third, and then scored on a squeeze bunt from Evan Melo up the first base line to make it 5-5.

“Execution has been huge for us all year, and those are the fundamentals we practice day in and day out. It’s one of those things, when it works its great because we spend a lot of time on it. For Evan to come through was huge, it’s still difficult to execute and he came through.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“What’s happened before doesn’t faze these guys. They cheer for each other. Even when I told Gavin [Leahy], a senior, that’d he be pinch hit for [by Marshall in the ninth], he said OK. It’s fun to be able to coach a team that isn’t selfish and cheer for each other, even if they lose their spot. The bottom of the order has been different each game and it’s been someone different game.”

L-S had its lone hit against Lawrence to leadoff the seventh inning, but Gomes erased him at second on a steal attempt.

Taunton baseball (20-7) will play Central sectional champion Shrewsbury in the D1 State Final. Currently, there is no date or time listed on the MIAA website but it’s scheduled to be played at LeLacheur Park in Lowell.

“We’ve got one to go, might as well win it,” Notarangelo said.

Taunton Roars Past Attleboro For First Sectional Title

Taunton baseball Josh Lajoie Evan Melo Jack Moynihan
Taunton captains (L-R) Josh Lajoie, Evan Melo, and Jack Moynihan celebrate with the D1 South championship trophy. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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BROCKTON, Mass. – Taunton junior Nic Notarangelo joined the Tigers’ starting lineup on his birthday on May 16th in the City Championship against rival Coyle & Cassidy.

After going a perfect 3-for-3 that day, Notarangelo stuck in the lineup and hasn’t stopped doing damage since.

Notarangelo, patrolling left field for the Tigers since that game, had two hits and drove in three runs on Saturday, including the game-winner in the second inning with a triple, to pace fourth-seeded Taunton to a 6-1 win over #11 Attleboro in the D1 South Sectional Final at Campanelli Stadium.

It’s the first sectional title in program history for the Tigers.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“This feels great, it’s all my team, my team is always there to back me up, I always hear them cheering,” Notarangelo said. “It gives me adrenaline, it gives me confidence at the plate. We were great in the field, our pitching was outstanding but we had some trouble getting the hitting going at the beginning of the year. But it’s all about practice, we all feed off each other. Every day, we’ve been in the cages whether we’ve had practice or not and now it’s all paid off.”

Notarangelo, who has hit safely in all but two games since joining the lineup (with eight multi-hit games), smoked a two-out triple to deep left centerfield to bring in Sean Quinlan (single) and Evan Melo (single) and put Taunton up 3-0, a lead it never relinquished.

One game that Notarangelo didn’t have a hit was the Tigers’ playoff win over Xaverian. But instead of a hit, he had arguably the biggest play of the game with a diving catch in the first inning, stranding two Hawks on base. Taunton went on to win 2-0.

“Nic had that diving catch against Xaverian that really changed the momentum even it was the first inning,” said Taunton head coach Blair Bourque. “And then he came up huge again this game. Those were huge runs for us to get. He’s a kid that is quiet, does the right things, works hard, stays after. I’m really proud of him, he’s come a long way this year. He started to get some at-bats later in the season and was doing some damage and hasn’t looked back since.”

Three runs was plenty for right-handed pitchers Logan Lawrence and Josh Lajoie. Lawrence, a junior, earned the win by allowing one unearned run in four innings of work, allowing three hits and one walk while striking out six.

Lajoie, a senior, allowed just three bases runners (one hit, two walks) in three innings of work while recording four strikeouts. None of the three Bombardiers advanced past first against Lajoie.

“Logan was great, he came up big and executed pitches when he needed to, which was important,” Bourque said. “He was scrapping and thew the ball well, his location was a little off today that got him in some trouble. Then Josh did a phenomenal job coming in and shutting the door, making sure they didn’t get too many guys on.

“Last year we lost to Durfee in a playoff game after beating them twice in the regular season. We knew it’d be tough coming in today, especially the second game against Attleboro when we were able to hit the ball pretty good but they had played five games in five days so we kind of threw that game away. We knew they are a good team, they are here for a reason. We knew the challenge that was ahead of us and we met that challenge and I’m really proud of these guys.”

Taunton’s Jared Roderick, Andrew Gomes, Quinlan, and Melo all clubbed consecutive singles to lead off the second inning, with Melo’s hit bringing Gomes home (Roderick was picked off at second by Attleboro starter Ryan Morry [5IP, 8H, 2BB, 6ER, 2K). After Morry got a ground out, Notarangelo smacked his third triple of the season to bring in two more runs.

“I think early on, we might have been pressing, I’m not sure what it was exactly,” Bourque said the offensive turnaround this season. “But as the weather warmed up, so did our bats. I think there were some games we needed the offense when the pitching wasn’t there and it came through. It’s a team game and I think we’ve proven that.”

Attleboro had a chance to respond right away as they loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the third. Both Troy Gamache and Nick McMahon singled and Tim Callahan reached on an error after a bunt. It looked like the Bombardiers would bring at least one run in on a bloop single to shallow left, but Taunton sophomore shortstop Ty Cali, who joined the starting lineup for the playoffs after the Tigers lost Danny MacDougall to injury, sprinted and made the catch on the run to hold the runners in place.

“That was the play of the day there,” Bourque said. “He played in the New Bedford game when Danny pitched so he had a couple of innings of varsity experience but not much. We were just asking for him to make the routine plays and he’s done a great job stepping in for us.”

After the first out, Lawrence came back with back-to-back strikeouts against the heart of the Bombardiers’ lineup to escape without any damage done.

Lawrence’s momentum carried to the plate as he clubbed a one-out triple in the bottom of the inning, and beat the throw on Roderick’s squeeze bunt to make it 4-0.

The Bombardiers had another chance to cut into the lead in the top of the fourth but only managed to put a dent into it. Troy Van Vliet reached on a one-out error, Gamache singled with two outs, and McMahon was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A wild pitch allowed Van Vliet to score but Lawrence induced a ground ball up the middle that Cali fielded and fired to first for the third out.

“They were definitely lacking,” Attleboro head coach Steve Dunlea said of timely hits. “Part of that is on us, part of it you tip your cap because they made some good pitches.

“That’s a talented pitching staff [Taunton] has, really talented. I was just saying to the kids how this is the farthest an Attleboro team has been in quite some time. I’m proud of what they’ve accomplished this year, this senior group. None of them had played in a tournament game before and made it all the way to here, that takes leadership. We started 0-2, kind of a tough 0-2, but we pulled together as a family and that’s how they played the rest of the season.”

Taunton canceled that run with one of its own in the bottom half. Evan Melo drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a chopper to second, and Lucas Martins brought the run in, slicing a single to right field just fair to make it 5-1.

The Tigers tacked on another insurance run in the sixth inning as Gomes led off with a walk, ending Morry’s day. Eoin Kelleher, the Bombardiers’ ace, came on in relief on just two days rest. Kelleher got a fly out to left before Evan Melo’s single put two on. A fielder’s choice advanced Gomes to third and Notarangelo singled to bring in pinch runner Nolan Melo in to make it 6-1.

Cali erased a leadoff single in the top of the seventh by turning a double play and Lajoie got the last out on called strikes to send the Tigers into a big celebration.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“I don’t think its hit home yet but it’s something I’m really proud of the kids and what they’ve accomplished so far,” Bourque said. “You couldn’t ask for a better group of guys, of hard workers. The camaraderie they’ve had all season. The offseason weight room, the captain’s practices, you name it. They deserve everything they get.”

Attleboro finishes the season at 14-10, concluding a terrific postseason run that saw the Bombardiers knock off Barnstable on the road, Bridgewater-Raynham, and second-seeded Durfee.

“I think they are starting to figure what they’ve accomplished and obviously it hurts right now,” Dunlea said. “You want to continue on but for me, it was just a great experience with an unbelievable group of seniors. They really cared about the program, they had goals for this team, and it was just really fun to be a part of that.”

Taunton baseball (19-7) advances to the D1 State Semifinal and will take on North sectional champion Lincoln-Sudbury (21-2), the top seed in that bracket. The Tigers will take on the Warriors on Tuesday at Alumni Field in Lowell at 7:00.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 06/12/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Super 8

#7 Mansfield, 9 vs. #5 BC High, 10 – Final Mansfield erased an 8-1 deficit, even briefly taking a lead, but the Eagles of BC High earned a walkoff win to knock the Hornets out of the Super 8. Mansfield went up 1-0 in the top of the third but BC High plated eight runs in the bottom of the third to create a big lead. The Hornets scored three times in the fourth (highlighted by an RBI triple from Matt Scibilia) and then four times in the sixth inning, including a two-run double from Sam Nugent, to make it 8-8. Garrett Burke scored in the top of the seventh to put Mansfield ahead 9-8 but the Eagles responded with a run in the bottom half to tie it before getting the winning run two innings later. Burke and John Carney (run) each had two hits for the Hornets while Nugent finished with three RBI.

D1 South
#9 Xaverian, 0 vs. #4 Taunton, 2 – FinalTaunton senior Jack Moynihan tossed his third straight complete game shutout, and second straight in the postseason, to pace the Tigers to a win over Xaverian. Moynihan allowed just two hits while walking three, striking out seven to earn the win. Moynihan was aided by a huge defensive play by Nic Notarangelo, who made a terrific diving catch in left field to end the first inning with runners on first and second. Taunton scored twice in the fifth inning, starting with a single from Jared Roderick. Andrew Gomes then smacked an RBI triple to put Taunton up 1-0 and Evan Melo dropped down a bunt single to bring Gomes in to make it 2-0. Taunton will play Hockomock rival #11 Attleboro in the D1 South Final on Saturday at 1:00 at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton.

#11 Attleboro, 2 vs. #2 Durfee, 0 – FinalAttleboro senior Eoin Kelleher was masterful on the mound, allowing just three hits with no walks to lead the Bombardiers to an upset win over Durfee. Kelleher retired the first 11 batters he faced, didn’t allow a base runner past first base, had 17 first pitch strikes and struck out four in a complete game shutout. The Hilltoppers got their first hit in the fourth with two outs but the runner was gunned down at second on a great throw from Alvaro Espinal. Attleboro did its damage offensively with a run in the second and another in the third. in the second, Nick McMahon drove in Lorenzo Wilson with a sacrifice fly after Wilson singled, advanced to second on a single from Troy Van Vliet, and to third on a wild pitch. In the third, Tim Callahan walked, took second on a passed ball and scored on a double from Camden Fitzpatrick. Attleboro will play Hockomock rival #4 Taunton in the D1 South Final on Saturday at 1:00 at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton.

D2 South
#5 Stoughton, 1 vs. #1 Hopkinton, 12 – FinalHopkinton pushed across six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to turn a close game into a big win. Evan Jackman had a strong outing on the mound for the Black Knights.

#11 Oliver Ames, 2 vs. #7 Westwood, 6 – FinalOliver Ames erased an early 2-0 deficit, tying the game in the top of the fifth but the Wolverines responded with two runs in each the fifth and sixth innings to pull away for the win. Jared Spillane had two singles and an RBI for OA while Matt McCormick also drove in a run. Reid Latham had two hits offensively and had a strong outing on the mound for OA.

Girls Tennis
D1 South Final

#2 Wellesley, 3 vs. #1 Sharon, 2 – FinalClick here for a photo gallery of this match. – Sharon sophomore Charlize Martinez rallied in the second set, winning three straight to force a deciding third set, but Wellesley senior Sophia Arts grabbed a win in a tightly contested set to give the Raiders the sectional crown. Arts won the first set 6-2 and was up 4-3 before Martinez won three straight games to take a 6-4 decision. Martinez cut the deficit to 2-3 in the final set but Arts won three tight games in a row to get the win. Sharon senior Nupur Shukla shined in her final match, winning 6-2, 6-1. Freshman Valeria Barajas earned a 6-3, 6-1 win at second singles for the Eagles. Wellesley won both doubles matches in straight sets.

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 06/10/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Super 8

#2 St. John’s Prep, 4 vs. #1 Franklin, 1 – Final

#7 Mansfield vs. #5 BC High, 7:00 – Postponed to Tuesday, 6/11 at 4:00 at Campanelli Stadium.

D1 South
#12 Catholic Memorial, 3 @ #4 Taunton, 4 – FinalTaunton rallied from a 3-0 deficit, scoring twice in the fifth inning and then twice more in the bottom of the seventh to walk off with the win. Evan Melo got the Tigers on the board while Nic Notarangelo (2-for-3, walk) had a hit and scored a run in the fifth. In the seventh, Jared Roderick (walk), Andrew Gomes (error), and Melo (walk) loaded the bases with no outs. Gavin Leahy brought in the tying run with a sacrifice fly. After Notarangelo singled to load the bases again, Lucas Martins laid down a bunt to squeeze Nolan Melo in for the winning run. Junior Logan Lawrence earned the win on the mound, allowing three runs on seven hits and no walks, striking out eight. Taunton will travel to #9 Xaverian on Wednesday at 4:00.

#14 Bridgewater-Raynham, 7 @ #11 Attleboro, 8 – FinalAttleboro overcame an early deficit and then held off a late B-R charge to get the win and advance to the D1 South Semifinals. The Trojans raced out to a 4-1 lead over the first 1.5 innings, with Ryan Morry drawing a bases-loaded walk to score Tim Callahan (2-for-4, two runs). Morry (5.2IP, 6K) was strong in relief, which allowed Attleboro to get back into the game. Attleboro jumped in front for good with a five-run second inning. Sam Larkin (2-for-2) knocked in Troy Van Vliet with a single, Camden Fitzpatrick drove in both Callahan and Alvaro Espinal (two walks), and Lorenzo Wilson scorched a triple into the gap to bring two more runs in to make it 5-4. Larkin knocked in Van Vliet in the third, and Van Vliet scored his third run of the game on a sac fly from Espinal in the sixth inning. Attleboro will play #2 Durfee on Wednesday at 4:00 at Fino Field in Milford.

D2 South
#11 Oliver Ames, 3 @ #3 Dartmouth, 1 – Final (9 Inn.)Oliver Ames loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the ninth and pushed across two runs to pick up an upset on the road. Jake Erlich and Chris Pearsons (2-for-4, RBI) singled, and Jacob Levine was hit by a pitch in the top of the ninth before senior Reid Latham put the Tigers in front with a one-run single. Cam Perron brought a second run in with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-1. Pearsons was strong on the mound, allowing one run on seven hits and no walks, striking out five in seven innings of work. Latham got the win in relief, tossing two scoreless innings in relief. Latham got a pair of strikeouts in the bottom of the eighth to strand the winning run at third. Jared Spillane (two walks) was vital in the win, stealing second and scoring on an infield single from Pearsons to put OA up in the fourth. Spillane also started a double play in the bottom of the ninth to help secure the win. Oliver Ames will play #7 Westwood on Wednesday at 4:00 at Adams Field in Quincy.

#13 Milford, 1 @ #5 Stoughton, 7 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Softball
D1 South

#15 King Philip, 0 @ #2 Taunton, 4 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

#8 North Attleboro, 0 @ #1 Bridgewater-Raynham, 1 – FinalNorth Attleboro’s Bella Erti and Bridgewater-Raynham’s Julia Perry put on a show for those in attendance, going back-and-forth in a pitcher’s dual. The Trojans managed just six hits against Erti, who struck out three (including the 400th of her career), getting a bloop single in the bottom of the ninth for the win. Olivia Capobianco and Ashley Cangiano each had a hit for the Rocketeers, Abby Gallagher had a pair of walks, and Emily Nardelli shined defensively at second for North.

#11 Franklin, 0 @ #3 Bishop Feehan, 1 – FinalA strong pitching performance from Jackie Cherry and an outstanding defensive effort behind her kept the Panthers in contention for the entire game but the Shamrocks earned a walk-off win with a pair of hits in the bottom of the seventh inning. Tara Hartnett had the lone hit of the game for the Panthers.

Boys Lacrosse
D1 South

#6 Duxbury, 8 vs. #2 Franklin, 7 – FinalFranklin held the Dragons without a goal for nearly the entire fourth quarter but Duxbury scored its lone tally of the frame with 16.9 seconds left, finishing off a lengthy offensive possession for the game-winner. Franklin trailed 7-5 after three quarters but Jake Davis (three goals) scored twice in a two-minute span to knot the score 7-7 with three minutes to play. Duxbury scored on a close shot with 16.9 left for the winner. Ben Greco also had three goals for Franklin while Nitin Chaudhury scored once.

Girls Tennis
D1 South

#4 Hopkinton, 2 @ #1 Sharon, 3 – FinalSharon picked up two wins in singles action and another in doubles to nip Hopkinton and advance to the D1 South Final. Nupur Shukla earned a 6-4, 6-0 win at first singles, Valeria Barajas picked up a 6-3, 6-2 win at second singles, and the team of Lauren Glass and Makaila Cheung won 6-4, 6-2 at second doubles. Sharon (21-0) will play #2 Wellesley (19-0) on Wednesday at 4:00 at Somerset-Berkley. It’s the fourth time in the past five years the Eagles have reached the sectional final and third time they will take on the Raiders. Wellesley won in 2016 and Sharon won in 2017 – both teams went on to win the state title that season.

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 06/06/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
D1 South

#13 Marshfield, 0 @ #4 Taunton, 6 – FinalTaunton senior Jack Moynihan tossed his second straight complete game shutout, this time lifting the Tigers in their tournament opener against Marshfield. Moynihan scattered five hits and one walk across seven innings, striking out 12 to earn the win. Taunton scored three runs in the second inning and tacked on one more in each the third, fourth, and sixth innings. Nic Notarangelo (run), Logan Lawrence, and Evan Melo (run) each had a hit and an RBI for the Tigers. Lucas Martins, Colby Lariviere (two walks), Jared Roderick, and Andrew Gomes each had a hit for Taunton as well. The Tigers will host #12 Catholic Memorial, who knocked off #5 Plymouth North 1-0, on Monday at 4:00.

#11 Attleboro, 5 @ #6 Barnstable, 3 – FinalAttleboro raced out to a 4-0 lead over the first three innings and Ryan Morry (4.1 IP, 1ER, 4K) and Eoin Kelleher combined to tame Barnstable to earn the upset on the road. The Bombardiers scored once in the first, twice in the second, and once more in the third. After the Raiders got on the board with runs in the third and fourth, Attleboro pushed the lead to 5-2 with a run in the sixth. Barnstable loaded the bases in the sixth with one out but Kelleher limited the hosts to one run and pitched a 1-2-3 final inning to secure the win. In the first, Alvaro Espinal (1-for-2, two walks, stolen base) singled, stole second and scored on a single from Camden Fitzpatrick (two RBI). In the second, both Troy Gamache (two hits) and Tim Callahan scored, the latter driving in the former, who then scored on a sac fly from Fitzpatrick. Nick McMahon drove in Morry in the third to make it 4-0. In the sixth, Gamache drove in Mason Houle with a double. Attleboro will now host #14 Bridgewater-Raynham, who upset #3 Natick 5-1, on Monday at 4:00 at Hayward Field.

D2 South
#9 Milton, 7 @ #8 North Attleboro, 2 – FinalMilton raced out to a 4-0 lead over the first two innings and never looked back to knock off the defending D2 State Champions. Jake Carroll had a pinch-hit RBI to get the Rocketeers on the board in the seventh and Kyle Bolger launched a solo home run in the seventh for North. Rocketeers coach Mike Hart said Dennis Colleran had a tremendous relief outing.

#11 Oliver Ames, 1 @ #6 Duxbury, 0 – FinalOliver Ames senior Reid Latham pitched a gem, tossing a complete game shutout to lead the Tigers to an upset win on the road at Duxbury. Latham scattered five hits and two walks while striking out nine to earn the win. The Tigers were able to manufacture a run against Duxbury ace Charlie Coon (7IP, 3H, 3BB, 14K) in the fourth inning. Junior Jacob Levine reached on a walk, pinch-runner Justin Sarnecki stole second, and scored on an error. Jake Erlich, Nate Fulford, and Latham each had a single in the win. Junior Kyle O’Connor had the defensive play of the game for the Tigers, fielding the ball in right with his bare hand and gunning a runner at the plate in the bottom of the fourth. The Tigers will now travel to #3 Dartmouth on Monday at 4:00.

#13 Milford, 13 @ #4 Southeastern, 3 – FinalMilford’s offense exploded for 13 runs to earn an upset on the road at fourth-seeded Southeastern. Justin Applebee continued his strong season at the plate with three hits and a walk, scoring four runs while driving in a run. Tyler Almeida had two hits, a walk, a run scored and drove in three runs while Danny Corsini had two hits, a walk, and a run scored. Corsini earned the win on the mound, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits while striking out six in a complete game effort. Milford awaits the winner of #5 Stoughton and #12 Greater New Bedford, which is on Saturday at 11:00 AM at Stoughton High.

Softball
D1 South

#22 Wellesley, 0 @ #11 Franklin, 11 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

#17 Attleboro, 7 @ #16 Mansfield, 6 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

D2 South
#20 Foxboro, 5 @ #13 Dedham, 8 – FinalCamryn Willis pitched a “terrific game,” according to head coach Mark Maguire, striking out three and allowing just seven hits in the loss. The Warriors got two hits apiece from Peyton Feldman, Chelsea Gibbons, and Morgan Sylvestre.

Boys Lacrosse
D1 South

#7 Natick, 2 @ #2 Franklin, 10 – FinalThe Panthers put on a defensive clinic, limiting the visitors to just two goals on 10 total shots to advance to the D1 South Semifinals. Franklin’s defensive unit of Pat Morrison, Liam Arsenault, and Spencer Briggs, along with close D Will Harvey and Luc Sweeney limited Natick from getting many good looks throughout the night. Franklin led 5-1 at halftime and held the visitors to just one goal through three quarters. Nitin Chaudhury had three goals and an assist, Matt Lazzaro scored twice with two helpers, Jake Davis netted a pair of goals with one assist, and Ben Kolb and Harvey each scored once. Jacob Alexander won 13-of-16 faceoffs while Will Davis made seven saves in net. The Panthers await the winner of #3 Xaverian and #6 Duxbury, which will be played on Friday at 5:00. Franklin will play the winner on Monday.

D2 Central/East
#5 Westwood, 10 @ #4 Foxboro, 8 – FinalCharlie Baughan, Bobby Yerardi, and Aidan Stapleton each scored twice but the Warriors saw their lead slip away in the final minutes of the game. Foxboro held an 8-7 lead with 6:50 to go but Westwood scored twice to take the with just under three minutes to go. Foxboro had one final chance in the last minute but couldn’t convert its chance and the Wolverines added an empty net goal. Pete Conley and Brendan Tully each scored once while freshman Matt Tully made 11 saves.

Girls Lacrosse
D1 East

#7 Hopkinton, 11 @ #2 Franklin, 19 – Final
#8 King Philip, 9 @ #1 Walpole, 21 – Final

D2 East
#5 Weston, 14 @ #4 Foxboro, 15 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Boys Tennis
D1 South

#9 Franklin, 0 @ #1 Brookline, 5 – Final

Girls Tennis
D1 South

#5 King Philip, 1 @ #4 Hopkinton, 4 – FinalKing Philip sophomore Mia Valencia was the lone Warrior to grab a win, earning a 7-5, 6-4 decision at third singles.

D2 South
#10 Canton, 1 @ #2 Old Rochester, 4 – FinalCanton sophomore Rachel Kupferman ended the season with a 6-1, 6-1 win at first singles but the Bulldogs lost the match to ORR.

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/06/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Milford, 4 @ Attleboro, 5 – FinalAttleboro used a walk, a pair of stolen bases, and a base hit to bring in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh to walk off with a win over Milford in a back-and-forth battle. The Hawks took a 1-0 lead, Attleboro responded with two runs to go ahead, Milford answered with three runs for a 4-2 lead and the Bombardiers plated two with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth to tie it. In the bottom of the seventh, junior Alvaro Espinal walked, stole both second and third, and scored on the game-winning hit from junior Lorenzo Wilson. Attleboro took a 2-1 lead in the fifth when Tim Callahan knocked in Rob Furtado (walk) and Espinal singled in Camden Fitzpatrick (single). Trailing 4-2 in the sixth, Furtado was hit by a pitch and Fitzpatrick had a sac fly to knot the score. Ryan Morry was strong on the mound for Attleboro, tossing six innings with no earned runs allowed and three strikeouts. Eoin Kelleher pitched a scoreless seventh inning to earn the win.

Canton, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 6 – FinalOliver Ames scored three runs in the bottom of the second to take a lead, tacked on two more in the third and added an insurance run in the sixth to get the win over visiting Canton. Senior Reid Latham pitched 6.1 innings, allowing no earned runs while striking out four. He chipped in offensively as well, going 2-for-2 with a sac bunt. Chris Pearsons added two hits, including a double, scored a run, and earned the save on the mound with two strikeouts. Freshman Jack Richardson had a double and three RBI while Jacob Levine and Jared Spillane (two RBI) each had two hits for OA. Owen Lehane had two hits and two RBI for Canton.

Foxboro, 18 @ King Philip, 2 – Final (6 Inn.)Foxboro pounded out 16 hits, breaking the game open with a nine-run third inning and never looking back to earn a win on the road. Michael Devlin had team-high three hits while adding three runs and two RBI, and Brian Duncan (two RBI, two runs), Kyle McGinnis (two RBI, two runs), James Kaeser (four RBI, run), Sean Yoest (RBI), and Adam Lanctot (three runs) each recorded two hits for the Warriors. Joe Cavaleri earned the win, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits, three walks, and one strikeout in six innings of work.

Sharon, 0 @ Franklin, 15 – Final (5 inn.)Franklin senior Alex Haba drove in four runs and classmate Scott Elliot went 2-for-4, including a three-run home run, to pace the Panthers to a win over Sharon. Jack Nally added two hits, including a double, and scored three runs, Cooper Ross knocked in two runs and scored once, Jake Fitzgibbons had two RBI, and Joe Lizotte went 2-for-3 and scored twice. Junior Brennan Rivera allowed just two hits in four innings of work, striking out three with one walk. Cody Trotin tossed a scoreless inning in relief.

North Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final Mansfield seniors Jake Gerraughty and Matt Scibilia combined to throw a one-hitter and the Hornets used early runs to get by North Attleboro. The Hornets scored twice in the bottom in the first and added one more in the third but only had a total of three hits in the game. The Hornets took advantage of four walks and two Rocketeer errors. John Carney (run, RBI), Kyle Moran (RBI), and Scibilia each had a hit for the Hornets while Eric Longley (two walks) and Sam Nugent scored runs. Gerraughty allowed one hit, walked three and struck out three in five innings while Scibilia issued two walks and struck out four in two innings of work.

Stoughton, 2 @ Taunton, 6 – Final Taunton recorded 11 hits as a team on its way to a 6-2 win over visiting Stoughton. Evan Melo had three hits and knocked in two runs and Jared Roderick added a hit, a walk, an RBI, and a run scored for the Tigers. Jack Moynihan was strong once again on the mound, allowing four hits and one walk with no earned runs allowed, striking out 11 in a complete game effort.

Softball
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Canton, 8 – FinalCanton freshman Sophia Santos tossed a complete game, striking out four with two earned runs allowed to lead the Bulldogs to a win over Oliver Ames. Nikki Desjardins and Liz Bickett each hit a home run in the win. Oliver Ames sophomore went 2-for-4 with a triple, an RBI and a run scored. Katie Abreu had an RBI, Kalei Clark had a hit and a run scored, and freshman Anna Balestino scored a run for the Tigers.

King Philip, 12 @ Foxboro, 0 – FinalKing Philip senior Faith Turinese pitched a complete game shutout, allowing four hits, no walks and striking out four as the visiting Warriors pulled away from Foxboro for the win. KP broke open a one-run game with four runs in the sixth, highlighted by a bases-clearing triple off the bat of Liliana Rolfe. Paige Berdos had three hits for KP while Turinese (three RBI), Rolfe, Grace Kelley (three RBI), and Destiny Goyco each had two hits for KP.

Franklin, 17 @ Sharon, 1 – Final (6 inn.)Franklin sophomore Gabby Colace (2-for-4) knocked in four runs, including a two-run triple in a six-run first inning as the Panthers earned a big win on the road. Junior Tina Pisano had a triple for Franklin and Kristen Smith had a hit and a run scored. Emily Valentino got the win, scattering five hits while striking out eight. Sharon senior Rebecca Clayman went 2-for-2 with a double and scored a run while Julia Earley had the RBI for the Eagles.

Mansfield, 4 @ North Attleboro, 3 – FinalMansfield scored three runs in the fifth inning and tacked on one more in the seventh inning that turned out to be the winning run for the Hornets, who had 10 hits. The Rocketeers took a 1-0 lead in the third but the Hornets went ahead in the fifth. Mary Muldoon led off with a double, a single from Kara Bendanillo put runners on the corners and both runners scored on a two-out double from Mady Bendanillo. Caty DeMassi added an RBI double to make it 3-1. In the seventh, Kara Bendanillo singled, moved to second on a fielder’s choice from Megan Letendre, and scored on a tag up play from second on a deep fly ball by Mady Bendanillo. Sarah Cahill scattered five hits and had 15 strikeouts for the win, striking out the side in each the first, second, and fifth innings. Bella Erti struck out nine for the Rocketeers while Emily Nardelli and Katie Daby each had an RBI triple in the game.

Taunton, 9 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalTaunton plated five runs in the third inning, one in the fifth and added three more in the seventh to earn a win on the road at Stoughton, qualifying for the state tournament for the 36th straight season. Sophomore Kelsey White allowed just two hits (both in the fourth inning), struck out seven and didn’t issue a single walk for her eighth win of the year. Sophomore Hanna Aldrich paced the offense with three hits, three stolen bases, and two runs scored. Kenzie McAloon added two doubles and three RBI, Tayah DaCosta had two hits, including a double, and an RBI, Haylee Hartung knocked in two runs with a single, and Olyvia Mendonca added an RBI double. Payton Ceglarski had an RBI on a suicide squeeze.

Boys Lacrosse
Canton, 9 @ Mansfield, 8 – Final Mansfield raced out to a 6-2 lead at halftime but Canton rallied to earn a win on the road. David Allen exploded for four goals to give the Bulldogs a big lift while Griffin Roach had three goals and two assists. Junior Tommy Vaughan scored the winning goal with 4:47 left in the game. Nico Holmes had three goals for Mansfield, Michael Reed added two goals, Aidan Sacco scored once and had two helpers, and Brady Kessler and Connor Quirk each found the back of the net once.

Sharon, 9 @ Attleboro, 4 – FinalSharon freshman Ben Shocket won 15-of-17 faceoffs and sophomore Adam Rabb turned away 11 of the 15 shots he faced to help the Eagles earn a win on the road. Drew Litner paced the Sharon offense with three goals and three assists, Brandon Buckman scored a hat trick, Mitchell Director chipped in with two assists, and Daniel Lillenfeld, Zack Waxman, and Brady Daylor each scored once.

Foxboro, 8 @ King Philip, 12 – FinalKing Philip senior Chris Longobardi won 12 faceoffs and classmate Colin DeVellis accounted for six points to help the host Warriors earn a win in a battle of top Hockomock teams. DeVellis scored five goals and had one helper, Sam Mattson scored twice and had one assist, and Tyler Bartlett, David Lawler, Wes Bishop, Andrew Sajdak, and Robbie Tartaglia each scored once for KP. Andrew McKinney made nine saves in the win. Foxboro’s Shayne Kerrigan scored three goals and had one assist while Brendan Tully scored twice.

Franklin, 17 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – FinalFranklin senior Jacob Alexander went a perfect 23-for-23 at the face-off X, leading the Panthers to a big win on the road. Sophomore Matt Lazzaro scored a hat trick and had four assists, junior Jake Davis scored four goals and added one helper, and Ben Greco recorded five points with two goals and three assists. Frankie Ireland scored twice for Oliver Ames and Remi Creighton netted one tally.

North Attleboro, 12 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final

Girls Lacrosse
Attleboro, 10 @ Sharon, 19 – FinalSenior Emma Eberhardt recorded nine points and sophomore Jenna Goldstein had six points to lead Sharon to a win over visiting Attleboro. Eberhardt had six goals and three assists, Goldstein finished with four goals and two assists, Mia Lappen scored four times and had one helper, and Cass Barbera, Maeve Barbera, Maxine Gordon, Bridget McManus (assist), and Athena Merck (assist) all scored once in the win. Amelia Scappaticci had an assist and Rose Wald made seven saves in net for the Eagles.

Mansfield @ Canton, 3:45

King Philip, 6 @ Foxboro, 19 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Oliver Ames, 6 @ Franklin, 19 – FinalFranklin had 12 players record a point in a convincing win at home against Oliver Ames. Sophomore Sydney Hawkins and freshman Anna Grasso each scored their first career goals for the Panthers in the win. Oliver Ames goalie Maddie Kullen had nine saves in net, Olivia Piazza had two goals and two assists, Ella Hogan scored twice with one assist, and Olivia Carroll and Sam Cathie had a goal and an assist each.

Milford @ Taunton, 4:00

Boys Tennis
Attleboro, 2 @ Milford, 3 – FinalMilford swept singles action to earn a 3-2 win over the visiting Bombardiers. Brendan O’Shaughnessy earned a 6-4, 6-3 win at first singles, Riley Lynch prevailed 6-4, 5-7 (4-7), 7-6 (8-5), and Zach Austin earned a 6-0, 6-1 win at third singles to lift the Hawks to a win. Attleboro’s Eli Araujo and Luis Sandoval won 6-1, 3-2 (injury default) at first singles while the team of Tyler Evans and Ryan Solari picked up a 6-3, 6-4 win at second doubles.

Oliver Ames, 1 @ Canton, 4 – FinalOliver Ames junior Yusaf Hameed prevailed in a three set thriller, 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, to earl the lone point for the Tigers.

King Philip, 4 @ Foxboro, 1 – FinalKing Philip won all three singles matches in straight sets and picked up a fourth point with a win at first doubles in a victory over Foxboro. Nick Putney won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles, Marco DiStefano earned a 6-1, 6-0 win at second singles, and Jack Cannon emerged with a 6-4, 6-2 win at third singles. KP’s first doubles team of Nate Ihley and Jake Mager emerged with a 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 win. Foxboro’s Justin Neale and Ben Wasserman earned a 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 win at second doubles.

Franklin, 2 @ Sharon, 3 – FinalSharon senior Danujan Thirumavalavan won the first and third sets, both by tiebreaker, to emerge with a win and give the Eagles a victory against the Panthers. Thirumavalavan emerged with a 7-6 (7-3), 2-7, 7-6 (7-3) win in a battle with Franklin sophomore Liam Marr. Alberto Olivei added a 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 6-0 win at second singles and freshman Rueman Bhattacharyya grabbed a 6-0, 6-0 win at third singles. Franklin’s Saketh Saripalli and Vayshnav Malhotra (first doubles) and the team of Lucas Gulick and Shoumik Sompally (second doubles) both won 6-2, 6-2.

Mansfield, 2 @ North Attleboro, 3 – FinalNorth Attleboro grabbed two wins in singles action and one more in doubles play to beat the visiting Hornets. Junior Alex Pfeffer won 6-0, 6-2 at second singles while sophomore Sam Gallagher picked up a 6-1, 6-2 win at third singles for Big Red. Vikram Senthilakumaran and Tomas Bentley earned the third point for North with a 6-4, 6-4 win at first doubles. Mansfield senior Luke Nickerson won 6-3, 6-2 at first singles while the team of Dheeraj Vallaru and Sam Donellan won 6-4, 6-4 at second doubles.

Taunton, 2 @ Stoughton, 3 – FinalStoughton defended “home court” by winning two matches in singles play and one more in doubles to beat Taunton. Sophomore Waseem Sablon won 6-3, 6-0 at first singles, senior Erik Anderson picked up a 6-3, 6-1 win at second singles, and the team of Hassan Khan and LJ Ferrandiz emerged with a 7-5, 2-6, 10-6 win at second doubles. Taunton’s Dylan Kullas won 6-3, 6-2 at third singles and Ryan Hebert and Trevor Hart teamed up for a 6-0, 6-4 win at first doubles.

Girls Tennis
Milford, 1 @ Attleboro, 4 – FinalAttleboro won two singles matches and swept doubles action to knock off visiting Milford. Freshman Ella Lynch-Bartek won 6-3, 6-2 at first singles and junior Jill See picked up a 6-3, 6-3 win at third singles. The team of junior Nicole Matheson and sophomore Lauren Anthony earned a 6-4, 6-3 win at first doubles while juniors Rena Danho and Jordan Bernardo picked up a 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 win at second doubles. Milford’s Juliana France won 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 at second singles.

Canton, 4 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalCanton swept all three singles matches and added another win at second doubles to record a road win at Oliver Ames. Rachel Kupferman (first singles) and Natalie Keppler (second singles) both won 6-0, 6-0 while Sarah Hernandez earned a 6-2, 6-2 win at third singles. The Bulldogs’ second doubles team of Kiara Cerruti and Lily Hazam earned a 6-2, 6-2 win. OA’s first doubles team of Eva Belanger and Morgan Vasiliou won 6-1, 6-3 at first doubles.

Foxboro, 3 @ King Philip, 2 – FinalFoxboro picked up a pair of wins in singles play and got a third point with a victory at second doubles to beat King Philip. Pam Nelson won 6-2, 6-4 at first singles, Julia Muise earned a 6-3, 6-1 win at third singles, and the team of Maggie McAuliffe and Neha Jammula earned a 6-1, 7-5 decision at second singles for Foxboro. King Philip’s Katarina Schneider picked up a 6-2, 6-2 win at second singles while Grace Ely and Katie Welch secured a 6-1, 6-3 win at first doubles.

Sharon, 5 @ Franklin, 0 – Final

North Attleboro, 4 @ Mansfield, 1 – FinalNorth Attleboro won both doubles matches in straight sets and picked up two more wins in singles action to knock off Mansfield. Sam Martino and Hayley Strom won 6-2, 6-3 at first doubles, the team of Brototi Nandi and Liana Nichols earned a 6-3, 6-3 win at second doubles, Mae McLaughlin prevailed 6-3, 5-7, 10-5 at second singles, and Olivia Wills earned a 6-3, 6-2 win at third singles. Mansfield’s Lizzy Elsner emerged with a 6-4, 6-4 at first singles.

Stoughton, 0 @ Taunton, 5 – FinalTaunton won all five matches in straight sets, dropping a total of three games in a strong showing. Jillian Pagliuca won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles, McKenzie Lucie picked up a 6-1, 6-0 win at second singles, and Jocelyn Pagliuca won 6-0, 6-1 at third singles. The team of Sam Martin and Brianna Fevrier didn’t drop a set in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first doubles while Ogechi Ariguzo and Kayla Parrett won 6-1, 6-0 at second doubles.

Boys Volleyball
King Philip, 3 @ Norwood, 0 – FinalKing Philip continued to get stronger as the season goes on, this time earning a 3-0 (25-11, 25-14, 25-9) sweep on the road at Norwood. Cam Corey paced the offense with 29 assists and added 15 service points and Max Armour had 11 service points, five digs, and two kills. Eric Altobello had a team-high 12 kills, Jimmy Peterson added seven kills, and Shea Duffy and Mike O’Brien each put down six kills.

Taunton, 3 vs. Brockton, 1 – FinalAfter dropping the first game, Taunton rallied to win three straight to record a 3-1 win (22-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-23). Gage Kingman had a strong game all around with seven kills, 12 digs, two aces, and going a perfect 14-for-14 on serve receive. Jason Khang was also strong on serve receive (23-of 24), setting the table for a strong attack. Chris LaCourse dished out 36 assists with Tyler Stewart (12 kills, five blocks), Fabio Goncalves (11 kills, three blocks), and Alex Tavares (10 kills, five blocks) pacing the Tiger offense.

Saturday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 04/06/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Mansfield, 10 vs. Foxboro, 3 – FinalClick 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 – FinalClick 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 – FinalClick 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.

Softball
Mansfield @ Holliston – Postponed to TBD.

2019 Hockomock League Baseball Preview

Oliver Ames baseball
Oliver Ames’ Jake Erlich (left) and Reid Latham celebrate after recording the final out to beat Duxbury in 2018. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2019 Hockomock League Baseball Preview

Attleboro

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.”

Canton

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.”

Foxboro

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.”

Franklin

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

2018 Record: 7-14
2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Greg Kessler

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”

Mansfield

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.”

Milford

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.”

North Attleboro

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.”

Oliver Ames

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.”

Sharon

2018 Record: 6-14
2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Kee Arguimbau

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.

Stoughton

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.”

Taunton

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.”