Below are the official 2016 Hockomock Baseball All Stars.
Hockomock League MVP
Luke Figueira, Taunton
Hockomock League All Stars
Nate Tellier, Attleboro
Darren Kelly, Foxboro
Aaron Wentling, Foxboro
Ryan Hodgkins, Franklin
Mike Skaza, Franklin
Jake Cavanagh, King Philip
Jack DiCenso, King Philip
Jon Rolfe, King Philip
Will Weir, King Philip
Jack Neureuter, Mansfield
Aidan Wilde, Milford
Brian Poillucci, North Attleboro
Ryan Adams, Oliver Ames
Josh Minuskin, Oliver Ames
Chris Romero, Oliver Ames
Jacob Gibb, Stoughton
Justin Hutchinson, Stoughton
Doug Seaman, Stoughton
Luke Figueira, Taunton
Tyler McGovern, Attleboro
Joe Peccia, Canton
Nick Wright, Foxboro
Josh Macchi, Franklin
Tyler Dalton, Mansfield
Blake Hill, Milford
John O’Donnell, North Attleboro
Zach Sato, Oliver Ames
Jordan Chabot, Sharon
Jack Connelly, Stoughton
Max Bowden, Taunton
Stoughton loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth inning in a tied game and looked to squeeze the winning run across. Junior Pat Hagerty laid down a near perfect bunt down the first base line but the ball just trickled foul. At the next at bat, Hagerty didn’t get a second chance at the bunt, instead getting drilled in the leg with a fastball.
But that was just fine for the Black Knights, as Hagerty took first and forced junior Luke Johnson in from home for the winning run, giving Stoughton a 3-2 win over Nauset and a spot in the D2 South Semifinal.
“I asked him if he knew the sign for the squeeze,” Stoughton head coach Mike Armour said with a chuckle when asked what the message was to Hagerty going into his final at bat. “That squeeze would have been nice. We made it clear and I had full faith that he could get the bunt down. With the lefty on the mound, we felt like it was a pretty high percentage play. We almost got it done but to see him get that run across the plate, anyway he could, was great. We beat a very good baseball team today and I’m so proud of these guys, they gutted it out. It was an absolute war like we expected, just couldn’t be more proud of the guys.”
Stoughton trailed twice in the game, a 1-0 run after just a half inning and a 2-1 deficit just a half inning after the Black Knights had tied it. Stoughton tied the game in the bottom of the sixth, eventually sending the game to extra innings.
Johnson got things started in the bottom of the ninth, roping a lead off double down the left field line. Nick Hardy attempted a sacrifice bunt and Nauset pitcher Paul Prue charged in and tried to look Hagerty back at second. Instead, he was unable to field the ball cleanly and Hardy reached safely. Prue induced a fly out to second but junior Justin Hutchinson worked himself to a walk with a full count, loading the bases.
That’s when Hagerty was hit on the leg on the second pitch to send the Black Knights into the semifinal round.
Nauset took the lead in the first inning when Prue led off the game with a double and moved to third on a ground out to second. Nauset’s Mac Labarge hit a dribbler back up the middle and Stoughton pitcher Ryan Sullivan charged and flipped to catcher Jake Gibb. Gibb appeared to make the tag in time, with the home plate ump calling Prue out. However, an appeal from Nauset and a discussion between the umps resulted in a reverse decision and a 1-0 lead.
It looked like Stoughton would not only tie the game but possibly take the lead in the third inning when Ruben Gonzalez (single), Hutchinson (error) and Hagerty (walk) all reached consecutively to load the bases with no outs. Nauset starting pitcher Mike Doherty induced a shallow pop up to right to get the first out but Gibb skied one to left field, deep enough for a sacrifice fly to tie the game. Doherty got the third out via a grounder to get out of the inning with just one run allowed.
The Warriors responded immediately with Doherty launching a two-out double and Kino Gray following it up with an RBI triple into right center field. Sullivan got out of the inning with a ground ball to first.
Gibb got Stoughton’s tying run rally in the sixth started with a one-out single through the left field of the infield. Nauset decided to bring Prue in to replace Doherty. Prue pitched a complete game two-hit shutout this past Thursday against Oliver Ames. That didn’t bother the Black Knights though.
“We were aware of who he was and at that point in the game, it was just bring it on,” Armour said.
Jack Connelly grounded into a fielder’s choice to move pinch runner Matt Gallagher to second. Ryan Sullivan then reached on a grounder to third as Gallagher was able to elude the tag in the base path and Sullivan was ahead of the throw. Johnson then muscled a hit over the head of the third baseman to bring in the tying run.
“They answered us quick and went back up one,” Armour said. “For Luke to come through and just muscle it over the third baseman’s head was huge. Then following it up, spraying it down the left field line to start the ninth to get into scoring position…it was just a hell of a day. Across the board, it’s been a team effort. Across the board, this has been such a tight group.”
The tying run seemed to inspire Sullivan on the mound. He came back out in the top of the seventh inning and struck out the side, needing just 13 pitches. Sullivan came back out in the top of the eighth, getting the Warriors in order, punctuating his performance with his seventh strikeout.
In the top of the ninth, Nauset attempted to regain the lead against Stoughton reliever Nico Parmegianni. Doherty led off with a single but Parmegianni induced a pop up for the first out. Parmegianni got another fly ball, this one to right field, where Sullivan relocated after coming off the mound. Sullivan charged in, catching the ball and firing a rocket — after throwing eight innings — right on the mark at first for the double play.
“Sully, just digging down with eight innings and then capping it with that absolute solid play on that pop up,” Armour said. “It’s been a while since he’s pitches so he was well rested. I think he had the curveball working for him today, his cutter was kicking in as well and he was just throwing, he had good stuff.”
Stoughton baseball advances to the D2 South Semifinal for the first time since 2013. The Black Knights will take on top seeded Dighton-Rehoboth on Wednesday at Rockland High School. First pitch is set for 4:00.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.
By Lance Reynolds, HockomockSports.com Contributor
STOUGHTON, Mass. – They did it all regular season, and on Saturday afternoon, they did it again, this time in the postseason.
Justin Hutchinson orchestrated a masterpiece on the mound while Jack Connelly backed his pitcher up with the biggest hit of the season to guide Stoughton past Hopkinton with a 2-1 victory.
Hutchinson delivered a complete game performance striking out 11 while allowing just six hits and three walks. The right-hander recorded at least two strike outs in the second, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings with only three Hiller baserunners reaching third.
“Hutch has been doing it for us all year. He gutted it out – his curveball was working today, he mixed it up,” Stoughton head coach Mike Armour said. “Hopkinton played a hell of a game, their kid threw a hell of a game – it was an absolute war out there.”
The Black Knights saw themselves down one entering the bottom of the sixth, but they were determined to get the run support that Hutchinson had so rightfully earned. After Hopkinton retired the leadoff hitter, shortstop Doug Seamen started things with an infield single to the shortstop hole.
The Hillers looked like they were on the way to picking up the second out on a Jake Gibb grounder that got under a diving Chris Burdick at third and into the glove of shortstop Jack Vaccari. However, Hopkinton’s first baseman couldn’t secure the throw allowing Gibb to reach and Seamen to land at third with one out.
Matt Gallagher came in as a pinch runner for Gibb before Connelly stepped up to the plate. Like the junior first baseman has done all season, Connelly belted the most important hit of the contest to ultimately decide the Black Knights’ fate. On the first pitch of the at-bat, Connelly ripped a shot into deep center driving in Seamen and Gallagher for the game-winning two runs.
“I was looking for something middle in – something in my wheelhouse – like I’ve been doing all year, and grateful that I got my bat on the ball,” Connelly said. “Hats off to that pitcher – he hits his spots well, had a lot of gas behind his fastball. I think we overcame that and it shows the motivation that we have as a team and how we pick each other up.”
“Jack Connelly coming through and has been doing it all year for us – coming through and driving in the tying or go-ahead runs in the bottom of the sixth, that’s what you play for,” Armour said. “He’s a great kid, so I couldn’t be any happier.”
With Stoughton ahead 2-1 and the top of Hopkinton’s lineup due up, Armour elected to stick with Hutchinson for the seventh. The gamble was well-worth it as the starter induced two grounders and struck out his eleventh batter for the last out in the opening round of the tourney.
“He’s been our guy. It was his opportunity to shut it down. He threw a lot of pitches, but I think Hutch has earned the right this season,” Armour said. “He’s been our guy so he earned the right to close.”
After placing runners on base in each of the first five innings without producing a run, the Hillers knocked in the game’s opening run in the sixth. Burdick reached base on a walk, got to second on a sacrifice bunt, and came across the plate as Tom Onsi helped his own cause with a single to center.
Besides that blemish, Hutchinson continued his season-long success on the mound.
“He’s been pitching his ass off all year long,” Connelly said of his teammate. “You couldn’t really expect anything else from him. He’s been lights out all year. I’m glad to have him as a teammate, and I hope this train keeps rolling.”
Opposing Hutchinson, Onsi was equally as dominant. The Hiller starter was unhittable in the first three innings besides mistakes coming on an issued hit batter and base on balls. Connelly spoiled his no-hit effort in the bottom of the fourth with a single to right.
“He pitched a great game. He had us off balance and kept us in check,” Armour said of facing Onsi.
Failing to reach the tournament in 2015, fourth-seeded Stoughton (16-6) is not thinking of the past and has its eyes on the future. The next step in the future comes on Tuesday when the Black Knights host fifth-seeded Nauset in a quarterfinal matchup.
“Our goal is to have success in the tournament – this is the first step,” Armour said. “We have some work to do and have some things to tighten up if we’re going to get another ‘W’ on Tuesday.”
Because of how the schedules are set, cross-division games aren’t typically at the end of the season and therefore division champs rarely get the chance to face off bragging rights. But due to some postponements, Stoughton and King Philip’s game was pushed to the last weekend of the season, pitting the Davenport division champ against the Kelley-Rex division champ.
With that, there was plenty of bragging rights on the line as the Black Knights hosted the Warriors in a Saturday matinee. And on top of that, Stoughton was looking to snap a two game skid before entering the tournament.
But even with all of that to play for, Stoughton was simply playing for one another, for the team.
“It’s been an emotional day,” Stoughton head coach Mike Armour said. “We actually went to a wake this morning, as a team, for one of our guys who lost his dad. It’s been a long day but this is a tight knit group, this is a family really.
“Just being there for everyone, we said to ourselves, we have a lot of family here, we wanted to pick them up, we wanted to give them something to smile and cheer about and we did. It was awesome to see the guys having fun.”
In the end, the Black Knights walked away with smiles on their faces and the bragging rights with a 8-3 win over KP.
It didn’t take long for the fun to start for Stoughton. Senior Chris McNulty led off the bottom of the second inning with a single and moved to second on an errant pick off attempt. KP starter Jack DiCenso got back to back strikeouts but Stoughton junior Pat Hagerty connected for an RBI double off a 1-1 count to give the Black Knights a 1-0 lead.
The Black Knights continue to roll into the third inning with starter Barry Cooke needing just six pitches to get through four batters in the top of the third and the Black Knights’ offense added two more runs in the bottom half. Doug Seaman drew a one-out walk and stole second base.
Senior Jake Gibb drilled a single into left center and a bobble in the outfield allowed Seaman to round third and come in safely and Gibb to reach second. Jack Connelly followed with a double to bring Gibb home to make it 3-0.
“We lost a couple of hard fought games this past week and if we had gotten a big base hit, we win both of those games,” Armour said after 2-1 losses to Whitman-Hanson and Milford over the past week. “We talked about getting the two-out RBIs, the big hits. Pat Hagerty came through in the second…to come out and get the first run across the plate, that’s usually what we need. We can build off of that. Connelly and Gibb did what they do in the third and we just went from there. It was a total team effort.”
After Cooke got through a two-out single from Ryan Coulter, his second of the day, in the top of the fourth, Stoughton’s offense was back at it in the bottom half. A lead off single from Hagerty caused a pitching change as KP head coach brought in Jake Cavanagh to replace DiCenso. Nick Quattrucci’s sacrifice bunt moved Hagerty up and a bloop single from Ruben Gonzalez put runners on the corners.
A wild pitch brought Hagerty in from third and Gonzalez, who stole second, moved to third. Gibb walked and then the Black Knights executed a double steal with Gibb sprinting to second, drawing a throw, allowing Gonzalez to race home to make it 5-0.
“We preach it and we know it’s key,” Armour said of being active on the bases. “We know King Philip, they are active on the bases too. We talked about that leading up to this, about the base running and being aware of what they like to do. It was nice to see our guys execute running the bases too. It hasn’t been stellar for us this season but now we’re just getting everything in order.”
King Philip was able to breakthrough against Cooke in the top of the fifth but only pulled one run back. Sophomore Patrick Limerick drew a one-out walk, stole second and then came around to score after a pair of walks. Cooke was able to get the third out with a runner on third to limit the damage.
“I thought Barry Cooke pitched his butt off today,” Armour said. “He gave it everything he had right until the end of the fifth inning. And [Justin] Hutchinson, he’s been great for us all year and came in to help us. Tip your hat to King Philip, they fought right to the end.”
Justin Hutchinson retired KP in order in the top of the six and the Black Knights added key insurance runs in the bottom half.
A leadoff triple by Ryan Sullivan turned into a run when Gonzalez reached on an infield error. Seaman singled through the left side and the ball eluded KP’s left fielder, allowing Gonzalez to scamper home from second and Seaman to race to third. He scored Stoughton’s third run of the inning on a passed ball to make it 8-1.
King Philip rallied as Will Weir and DiCenso each had a two-out RBI in the top of the seventh with Ryan Guenette and Jon Rolfe, who both walked, scoring runs. But Hutchinson was able to close the door, ending the Warriors’ rally.
“We didn’t want to enter the tournament on a three game losing streak so we’re happy to get it done here,” Armour said. “Now we’re looking forward to the tournament.”
Cooke got the win, allowing one run in five innings of work. The win gives Stoughton the bragging rights with a head to head victory over KP.
“The kids were aware of it,” Armour said of the bragging rights on the line. “With the two Hock division champs going head to head today, we definitely feel like we made a statement. In the grand scheme of things, we’re just trying to get ready for the tournament. We’ve just been putting the pieces together. We want to be playing our best baseball in the tournament. This group of kids, with what they’ve done and how hard they’ve worked, and the pride they have, I just want to do everything in my power to put them in a position to be successful.”
Stoughton baseball finishes the season with a 14-6 overall record and 13-3 in league play. King Philip finishes 15-5 overall and 11-5 in the league, finishing in a tie with Taunton for the Kelley-Rex crown. Seeds for the MIAA tournament will be released on Tuesday.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.
Today’s games are listed below.
Mansfield, 6 @ Canton, 0 – Final – Mansfield sophomore Tyler Dalton struck out six, scattering seven hits in his second straight complete game shutout. Aidan Cahill went 2-4 with a run scored, Jake Tryder was 3-4 with three RBI and Colin Gibbons had a double and two RBI for the Hornets.
King Philip, 5 vs. North Quincy, 1 – Final
Stoughton, 6 vs. Brockton, 8 – Final (8 inn.) – Justin Hutchinson struck out seven in a seven inning effort, allowing just six hits and one earned run. Hutchinson played a role on offense as well, going 2-3 with three RBI. Senior catcher Jake Gibb also went 3-5 with a double and a run scored for the Black Knights.
Taunton, 11 vs. New Bedford, 5 – Final – Freshman Jack Moynihan earned his first varsity win, allowing just one earned run in four innings of work. Moynihan allowed four hits while striking out four Whaler batters. Sophomore Joe Manchester paced the offense with a pair of hits and three RBI while senior Luke Figueira had two hits, two runs and an RBI and senior Brendon Mazerolle had three hits, three rubs and a pair of RBI.
Milford, 17 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final (5 inn.)
Taunton, 15 @ New Bedford, 1 – Final (6 inn.) – Jordan Wade had four hits and Meghan Navarro knocked in three runs to lead the Tigers. Wade went 4-5 with a triple and a pair of RBI while Navarro was 2-5 with the three RBI. Kya Enos went 3-5 with an RBI, Aimee Kistner had a home run, Becka Lajoie went 2-2 with a double and an RBI and Courtney Fisher was 2-2 with a double and three RBI. Kistner got her 10th win of the season, tossing four scoreless innings with four strikeouts. Fisher pitched the final two innings, striking out three while allowing one run.
Foxboro, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final
Franklin, 5 @ Milford, 0 – Final – The Panthers picked up their third win of the week and second in as many days, sweeping Milford. Rahul Herur, Eli Brooks and Dan Barrow swept at first, second and third singles, respectively. Tom Mancini and James Johnston won at first doubles and Tyler DiPalma and Derek Wu won at second doubles for Franklin.
Sharon, 5 @ King Philip, 0 – Final – The Eagles of Sharon soared to a sweep at the road against a strong King Philip team. Griffin Fein won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles, Fred Bondar won 6-1, 6-2 at second singles and Andre Olivei won 6-3, 6-2 at third singles for Sharon. Alex Romantz and Adam Dobbin won 6-0, 6-0 at first doubles and Tilak Mehta and Danujan Thirumavalavan won 6-3, 6-2 at second doubles.
Mansfield vs. Holliston, 3:45
North Attleboro, 5 @ Durfee, 0 – Final – The Rocketeers won all five matches in straight sets on the road in Fall River. Mitchell Dyer won 6-2, 6-3 at first singles, Zack Pfeffer won 6-2, 6-0 at second singles and Barsomo Nuay won 6-3, 6-1 at third singles. The team of seniors Jeff Yao and Nick Lockavitch won 6-1, 6-2 at first doubles and seniors Ben Scott and Duncan Pickett won 6-2, 6-1 at second doubles for the Rocketeers.
Taunton, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – The Taunton Tigers picked up their third win in a row, sweeping doubles play and getting one win at singles to edge OA. Mike Briggs won 6-2, 6-3 at third singles, the team of Connor Briggs and Charlie Fiske won 7-6, 7-5 at first doubles and Kyle Medas and Dylan Kullas won 6-3, 6-3 at second doubles for Taunton. OA’s Thomas O’Leary and Greg Weinstein won in straight sets at first and second singles, respectively.
Sharon, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Sharon only lost a single game in all three singles matches combined to get the win. Sophomore Lulu Yuan won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles, freshman Nupur Shulka won 6-0, 6-0 at second singles and Emily Wen won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles. The team of Akhila Songadi and Sydney Gordon won 7-5, 6-7 (3-7), 10-5 at first doubles and freshmen Sophia Fein and Sachi Bhasin won 7-5, 6-2 at second doubles.
Milford, 2 @ Franklin, 3 – Final
North Attleboro, 5 vs. Durfee, 0 – Final – All three of North Attleboro’s single players won in straight sets without losing a single game to spark Big Red. Julia Mark, Jordan Willis and Shurobhi Nandi all won 6-0, 6-0 at first, second and third singles respectively. The team of Emily Chiasson and Gabby Duva won 6-1, 6-2 at first doubles and Katie Demontigny and Azka Siddiq paired up for a 6-0, 6-0 win at second doubles.
Taunton, 5 @ Coyle Cassidy, 0 – Final
Boys Outdoor Track
Milford, 83.67 @ Oliver Ames, 52.33 – Final
Sharon @ Stoughton 3:45
Taunton @ Mansfield, 3:30
Girls Outdoor Track
Milford @ Oliver Ames 4:00
Sharon @ Stoughton 3:45
Taunton, 54 @ Mansfield, 78 – Final
Taunton vs. Durfee 4:45
STOUGHTON, Mass. – The Black Knights’ baseball team hasn’t faced a deficit very often this season, nor have they played in many close games. They had to deal with both on Friday afternoon, but that wasn’t necessarily such a bad thing for head coach Mike Armour.
Stoughton rallied from a 3-1 deficit, scoring a run in each the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, the last being a walk-off hit by junior Jack Connelly to hand the Black Knights their sixth win of the season.
“It’s good to be in games like that and it’s nice to win games like that,” Armour said. “Not being in a lot of close games, I think you could see our guys were making more errors then we’ve made all year. Not to take anything away from Milford, their kid pitched a hell of a game and they came to play today. At the same time, we got down a couple of runs and it kind of took the wind out of us before we got it back.”
Senior Jake Gibb was the catalyst of the comeback, starting with a big defensive play. He threw out a Milford base runner trying to steal second to give Stoughton some momentum heading to the bottom of the fifth. Stoughton capitalized with leadoff man Pat Hagerty drawing a walk on a full count and advancing to second on an infield hit from Doug Seaman. Gibb followed up with an RBI single through the left side, playing Hagerty to make it 3-2.
Seaman made a nice play at shortstop to end the top of the sixth and Stoughton used that momentum to tie the game in the bottom half. Luke Johnson reached on a hard hit ball that got through at second base and Justin Hutchinson’s hit was bobbled at shortstop to put two on with no outs. After a sac bunt from Nick Quattrucci advanced the runners, Hagerty plated Johnson with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-3.
“Gibb kind of had his coming out party [offensively] against Foxboro early this week and since then he’s just been mashing the ball,” Armour said. “And then another senior captain, Doug Seaman came in on the soft hit ball and made the play in the sixth inning. In a one run game, that’s big time baseball. It’s nice to see good things happen to the kids who do all the right things.”
Hutchinson shined on the mound in his seventh inning of work in the top of the final inning. He needed just 11 pitches to notch his ninth, 10th and 11th strikeouts of the game to give the Black Knights a wave of momentum entering the bottom of the seventh.
“I think Hutch got into a little zone there [towards the end],” Armour said. “He’s the one guy wehave that can throw a lot of pitches, he’s kind of got a rubber arm. He was not coming out of the game. It was nice seeing him kind of stepping up to another level and he really dealt in the top of the seventh.”
Gibb helped finish the rally he started two innings earlier, leading the bottom half with a double. Senior Kyle Romaine came in as a pitch runner for Stoughton and Connelly connected on a 2-2 pitch, driving the ball into left field, right out of the reach of a diving Alex Coady for the winning run.
“The boys woke up,” Armour said. “There’s a lot of talent on the team, their a tight group, everybody gets along so they expected to win. It’s just nice to see good things happen because they do a lot of the little things. A lot of the things I ask, and a lot of the times I don’t even have to ask, they do those things. It’s just about putting it all together.”
Both teams scored in the first inning before the Scarlet Hawks pulled away through the middle innings. In the top of the first, Chris Speroni led off with a single, moved to second when Coady reached on an error and then scored on a two-out RBI single from Anthony Arcudi to make it 1-0.
Gibb drew a two out walk in the bottom of the first, moved to second on a wild pitch and then to third when the throw to second sailed into the outfield. A single from Connelly plated Gibb to tie the game 1-1 after an inning.
The Scarlet Hawks tacked on a run in both the third and fourth innings. Coady walked and moved to second after an errant pickoff throw. Blake Hill reached on a fielder’s choice and then a throwing error allowed Coady to scamper home from third. Milford’s third run came in the fifth after a leadoff single from Nick Johnson. A sac bunt from Brian Ireland pushed Johnson to second and he came in to score on a triple from Alex Macek.
Both starters pitched well, with Hutchinson earning the win in a complete game effort. Hutchinson struck out a career-high 11 batters, scattering six hits and issuing just two walks. Macek was strong in his season debut on the mound for the Scarlet Hawks, allowing just one run in five innings of work while striking out six.
“Stoughton did a good job, they capitalized on our inability to finish seven innings, that’s been our problem all year,” Milford coach Paul Pellegrini said. “We haven’t played great defense and it shows sometimes. We had a couple mistakes there in the sixth. Whether they were errors or not, the ball was in front of us so we have to make those plays. We just haven’t completed a game yet. We had a lead on OA late the other day and the same thing, we made errors. You can’t do that against teams that can play.
“This was Alex’s first time on the mound all year. He’s our go to guy too, and that’s been part of the problem is having our top three pitchers out all year. Alex looked good, he felt good and that’s what good pitchers do. That was good to see because we’re going to really nice him going forward. We’re not a bad team that’s for sure, we’re better than 2-7 but we just need to play some better defense to show that.”
Stoughton baseball improves to 6-2 overall, 6-1 in league play and will be back in action on Monday when they host King Philip in a battle of division leaders. Milford (2-6, 2-7) will look to bounce back the same day when they play host to Franklin.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.
Today’s games are listed below.
Mansfield, 1 @ Attleboro, 5 – Final – Attleboro starting pitching Nolan Kane was superb in six innings of work, allowing just one unearned run. Kane struck out four and allowed just three hits to get the win. At the plate, Dakota Kirby was 3-3 with a big two RBI double in the sixth inning and Nate Tellier had a pair of hits, scored one run and had a stolen base. Attleboro head coach Matt Bosh noted that Brandon Galvao played excellent defense at first base. Matt Callahan came in and pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning for the Bombardiers.
Canton, 2 @ Stoughton, 13 – Final – Ryan Sullivan did it all for the Black Knights, picking up the win on the mound and helping his cause at the plate. Sullivan tossed five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and a pair of walks while striking out four. At the plate, he scored three runs and knocked in a pair of runs. Luke Johnson led Stoughton’s offense, hitting a triple with the bases loaded and finished with another triple a run scored and five RBI. Jake Gibb went 2-3 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored, Doug Seaman scored two runs, Justin Hutchinson drove in a pair of runs and Nick Quattrucci also had a triple.
Sharon, 4 @ Foxboro, 8 – Final – Darren Kelly and Jesse Galanti each reached base three times and came around to score three runs each to pace Foxboro’s offense. Nick Wright and Steve Couroupacis combined on the mound for seven strikeouts.
Franklin, 6 @ North Attleboro, 2 – Final – Franklin used a four run seventh inning to break a 2-2 tie and secure the win. With the bases loaded and two outs, Franklin sophomore Jake Noviello’s fly ball fell in the infield for a pair of runs and Mike Skaza followed with a two run single to create the separation. North Attleboro took a 1-0 lead in the first inning behind an RBI single from Ridge Olsen, scoring Kyle McCarthy (single). The Panthers tied it up in the top of the third when Ryan Hodgkins singled, stole second and was sacrificed to third. He scored on a sacrifice fly from Nick Santucci. Franklin took the lead in the top of the fifth when Tyler Gomes singled in Hodgkins (triple). The Rocketeers quickly tied things up in the bottom of the inning behind a home run from sophomore Zach DeMattio. Hodgkins finished 2-4 with a pair of runs, Jake Lyons was 2/2 with a run and Santucci finished with three walks, a run and an RBI. Jake Noviello went six innings, striking out a pair while allowing two runs on four hits. Jason Ulrickson closed the game out for Franklin. North Attleboro’s Andy Katch was stellar in 6.2 innings of work, striking out three.
Taunton, 3 @ King Philip, 4 – Final
Milford, 10 @ Oliver Ames, 11 – Final (12 inn.) – In a back and forth affair, Oliver Ames was able to prevail in the 12th inning. Sophomore Mitch Goulet led off the inning with a single, was sacrificed to second and the Tigers walked off on an RBI single from sophomore Matt Muir. Muir and senior Chris Romero each had three hits for the Tigers.
Attleboro, 4 @ Mansfield, 6 – Final – Mansfield’s Rachel Carafa went 2-3 with an RBI, Maddie Letendre had two hits, Megan Letendre had an RBI and Kara Bendanillo and Jocelyn Reardon each had a hit for the Hornets. Maddie Letendre allowed just three hits while striking out nine for the win.
Stoughton, 3 @ Canton, 2 – Final – Gina Carafa pitched well for the Black Knights, giving up one run on five hits and striking out eight for the win. Offensively, Stoughton was led by Jordan Lyons, Jenni D’Andrea and Nicole Bodette, who got a pair of hits each. Bri Ferrandiz (RBI), Gina Carafa and Sam Tullis also got hits in the win for the Black Knights.
Foxboro, 5 @ Sharon, 8 – Final – Sharon junior Clara Cook threw a complete game, collecting 11 strikeouts and allowing eight hits. Offensively, Cook was 2-4 with a first inning RBI triple and a sixth inning RBI single. Senior catcher Rachel Usen and freshman Rebecca Clayman were also also 2-4, each recording a pair of singles. Sharon head coach Deb Parker said freshman Jody Goldenberg played an outstanding game in right field.
Franklin, 9 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – Maddie Connelly and Alexx Niss each knocked in three runs as Franklin picked up a big win over division rival North Attleboro. Connelly went 4-5 with three RBI while Niss had a three-run home run along with three walks. Olivia DiGiacomo added a two RBI double, Clara DeCarvalho had three hits and Olivia Haba had three hits and an RBI. Caroline D’Aprile picked up the win, going five innings with five strikeouts. Emily Sawyer pitched the final two innings for the Panthers.
King Philip, 0 @ Taunton, 2 – Final
Oliver Ames, 4 @ Milford, 10 – Final – It was another perfect day at the plate for sophomore Emily Piergustavo, going 3-3 with a double and an RBI. Shannon Cormier went 2-2 with a pair of RBI and Maggie Farrell knocked in a pair and had a triple. Maddy Bonvino was 2/3 with a double and Jess Tomaso was 1/2 with a sacrifice fly. Ali Atherton tossed a complete game, striking out eight. Oliver Ames’ Rachel Han was 3-4 with a pair of singles, a double and two RBI. Victoria Ziner was 2-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored and Lexie Campbell (1-3, two runs scored) and Jamie Gottwald also scored for the Tigers on Han’s double.
Attleboro, 2 @ King Philip, 14 – Final – Ten different players found the back of the net for King Philip, who built a big lead and never let it go. Freshman Collin DeVellis led the Warriors with a hat trick and one assist while juniors John DeLuca and Ben Palmer each netted a pair of goals and had one assist. Freshman Robbie Tartaglia scored his first career goal in the win.
Canton, 8 @ North Attleboro, 7 – Final (2OT) – Ben O’Neill scored a team-high five goals, including the game-winner in the second overtime to give the Bulldogs a big league win. The Bulldogs trailed 6-4 at halftime but were able to limit Big Red to just one goal in the second half and overtime periods. Canton goalie Chris Albert was a big reason for that with 19 saves. Joe Mulkay, Dan Dillon and Mike Shaw each scored once and Shaun Kirby finished with three assists for Canton.
Milford, 1 @ Foxboro, 25 – Final – Louis Piccolo was in the giving mood on Wednesday, recording a career-high 10 assists in the Warriors’ big win. Piccolo also scored twice while Andrew Whalen scored four goals and had one assist, Trey Guerrini scored four goals and had two assists, Colby Nickerson notched a hat trick and Brian Buckner had one goal and one assist.
Mansfield, 7 @ Franklin, 15 – Final – The Panthers built a six goal lead by halftime and stretched the margin to double figures (16-5) by the start of the fourth quarter. Austin Kent led Franklin with eight points, scoring five goals and adding three assists while sophomore Eric Civetti scored six goals and had one assist. Sam Arsenault added a hat trick in the for Franklin. Freshman Jacob Alexander continued his dominance at the X, winning 23/28 faceoffs. Franklin head coach Lou Verrochi touted the play of his defense in front of sophomore goalie Connor O’Rourke (six saves).
Sharon, 13 @ Oliver Ames, 6 – Final
Attleboro, 3 @ King Philip, 13 – Final
North Attleboro, 16 @ Canton, 2 – Final – Mackenzie Rosenberg led North Attleboro’s offense with five goals while senior goalie Brooke Ebert played strong with 20 saves in net.
Foxboro, 19 @ Milford, 2 – Final
Franklin, 18 @ Mansfield, 8 – Final – Julia Jette paced Franklin’s offense with four goals and one assist while Caroline Lounsbury and Annie Walsh each found the back of the net three times in the Panthers’ win.
Oliver Ames, 11 @ Sharon, 8 – Final
Mansfield, 4 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – The Hornets swept singles play and won at first doubles to get the divisional win. Benny Lin picked up a 6-0, 6-3 win at first singles, freshman Luke Nickerson won 6-1, 7-5 at second singles and Gus Daganhardt won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles. Mansfield’s final point came from Danny Radev and Sam Cavicchi with a 6-1, 7-5 win at first doubles. Attleboro’s Khaled Hantash and Ahijah Joseph won 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 at second doubles.
Canton, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final
Sharon, 5 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final – The Eagles won each match in straight sets in a big divisional test against the Warriors. Junior Griffin Fein won at first singles, sophomore Fred Bondar won 6-0, 6-2 at second singles and senior Han Cui took a 6-1, 6-0 win at third singles. Junior Alex Romantz and senior Adam Dobbin teamed for a 6-2, 6-0 win at first doubles and Tilak Mehta and Dahujan Thiru won 6-0, 6-0 at second doubles for Sharon.
North Attleboro, 0 @ Franklin, 5 – Final – Franklin won three matches in straight sets and had to battle through to others to get the sweep. Junior Eli Brooks won 6-4, 6-2 at second singles and freshman Dan Barrow picked up a 7-5, 6-3 decision at third singles. James Johnston and Tom Mancini won 6-2, 6-1 at first doubles for Franklin. Junior Rahul Herur had to battle back after dropping the first set to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 at first singles. The team of Cam Piana and Jeremy Gan had to the same to get a 6-7, 6-0, 1-0 (10-8) win at second doubles for the Panthers.
Taunton, 0 @ King Philip, 5 – Final – King Philip handled business against the visiting Tigers, taking all five matches in straight sets. Cole Ginter won 6-0, 6-2 at first singles, Garrett Schneider won 6-3, 6-0 at second doubles and Blake Ginter won 6-1, 6-1 at third singles. KP’s Sam Colella and Ryan Gemelli won 6-2, 6-2 at first doubles and Justin Rohan and Jake Webster paired for a 6-0, 6-1 victory at second doubles.
Milford, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final
Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 5 – Final – The Hornets picked up the win in dominating fashion on Wednesday. Paulina Martin won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles and Kathleen Giffels won by the same score at second singles. Sophomore Sarah Doyle won 6-2, 6-0 at third singles. Mansfield senior Cathryn Heavey and junior Chloe Peters won 6-0, 6-0 and freshmen Tessa Garufi and Elizabeth Elsner won 6-0, 3-6, 7-6 (10-8) at second doubles.
Stoughton, 1 @ Canton, 4 – Final – Canton swept through singles play and added a fourth win via first doubles against rival Stoughton. Carly Scanlon won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles, Skyler Jabbour won by the same score at second singles and Jude Aboukhater won 6-1, 6-0 at third singles. The Bulldogs wrapped up the win behind a 6-2, 6-1 victory from Tiffany Ha and Sarah MacQuarrie at first doubles. Stoughton’s Becca Lawson and Alyssa McGillicuddy battled back for a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 win at second doubles.
Foxboro, 2 @ Sharon, 3 – Final – Sharon freshman Nupur Shulka won a three set thriller to clinch the match for the Eagles. Shulka dropped the first set but battled back for a 2-6, 6-0, 6-2 win to hand Sharon the win. The Eagles swept doubles play to help clinch the win. Pooja Puttigampala and Katie Merport won 6-0, 6-0 at first doubles and Michelle Cao and Rithica Neti won 6-1, 6-1 at second doubles. Foxboro’s Diana Prinos won 6-1, 6-1 at first singles and Sophia Prinos won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles.
Franklin, 0 @ North Attleboro, 5 – Final – The Rocketeers continued their undefeated start to the season with a sweep of visiting Franklin. Julia Mark picked up a 6-2, 6-3 win at first singles, Jordan Willis won 6-1, 6-1 at second singles and Allie Grinavic won 6-0, 6-2 at third singles. The Rocketeers continued to win in doubles play with Jhanavi Kapadia and Emily Chiasson winning 6-0, 6-1 at first doubles and Gabby Duva and Azka Siddiq winning 6-2, 6-2 at second doubles.
King Philip, 3 @ Taunton, 2 – Final
Oliver Ames, 4 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames swept singles play and notched a win at second doubles to secure the win on the road. Riley Spillane used strong net play to pick up a 6-3, 6-1 win at first singles, Jackie Sulkala’s strong serves aided a 6-1, 6-1 at second singles and freshman Sarah Leger was resilient in a 7-6 (10-8), 4-6, 6-4 win at third singles. OA’s Rachel Stryke and Olivia Groebe won 6-2, 6-4 at second doubles. Milford’s Julie Rabinowitcz and Megan Cafarella won 6-4, 6-3 at first doubles for the Scarlet Hawks.
Boys Outdoor Track
King Philip, 62 @ Attleboro, 74 – Final
Girls Outdoor Track
King Philip, 99 @ Attleboro, 36 – Final
Milford, 3 @ Marlboro, 1 – Final
Today’s games are listed below.
Attleboro, 2 @ King Philip, 1 – Final (8 inn.) – Nate Tellier scored both of Attleboro’s runs and tossed seven innings, allowing just one run to help the Bombardiers get a win in extra innings. King Philip took the lead in the fifth inning, with Jake Cavanagh getting hit by a pitch and then scoring on a single from Stephan MacMeans. Tellier reached on a walk in the sixth, stole second, moved to third on grounder and then scored when Will Carter made contact and the throw to home was off the mark. In the eighth inning, Tellier connected for a one out triple – his third triple in as many games – and scored on an RBI single from Pat Collins up the middle. On the mound, Tellier had 13 strikeouts, scattering five hits in seven innings of work. Matt Callahan pitched a perfect 1-2-3 inning in the bottom half of the eighth to clinch the win. Jack DiCenso allowed just one hit in 5.1 innings of work, striking out seven.
Canton, 6 @ Milford, 7 – Final – With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Anthony Arcudi connected for his second hit of the game, this one with the bases loaded to score Blake Hill for the game winning run. Hill hit a two-out double and Nick Johnson (HBP) and Marc Fornaciari (walk) loaded the bases. The Scarlet Hawks had 13 hits as a team with Hill (double, triple) and Arcudi leading the way. Chris Speroni, Alex Coady and Zach Tamagni each added a pair of hits for the Scarlet Hawks. Hill got the win on the mound after coming in relief and pitching a 1-2-3 inning in the seventh.
Stoughton, 13 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Jake Gibb reached base five times with three hits, including a double and a home run, walked twice and drove in a team best four runs to pace Stoughton’s offense. Doug Seaman went 2-4 with a pair of doubles, a stolen base, four runs scored and 2 RBI while Pat Hagerty reached four times and scored three times from in the lead-off spot. Nico Parmeggiani got the win on the mound, going four innings, allowing three runs (two earned), scattering six hits with three strikeouts and just two walks. Barry Cooke pitched well in relief, allowing just one run over three innings, striking out three.
Franklin, 0 @ Taunton, 7 – Final – Luke Figueira put in another strong performance for the Tigers on both the mound and at the plate. Figueira tossed six shutout innings, striking out seven while allowing just two hits. At the plate, the senior had three hits and an RBI. Brendon Mazerolle, Christian Simoes and Charles Hearrold III each had a pair of hits and an RBI for the Tigers.
Mansfield, 3 @ North Attleboro, 4 – Final – The Rocketeers continued the trend of scoring late inning runs, this time getting a walk off win over the Hornets. With the game tied, Brian Poillucci picked up his fourth hit of the game singling in pinch runner Bryan Harris for the winning run. Poillucci gave the Rocketeers the lead in the first, connecting for a two-run home run, scoring Kyle McCarthy. Mansfield tied the game in the fourth inning with two run shot from Mike Arnold, plating freshman Dan Saraceno (single). Aidan Cahill gave the Hornets their first lead in the sixth inning, scoring pinch runner Conor Driscoll but the Rocketeers tied the game in the bottom half when Ridge Olsen scored Brian Poillucci (triple) with a sacrifice fly. Poillucci finished 4-4 with three runs scored. Matt Papineau got the win for the Rocketeers, tossing a complete game with three strikeouts. Jared Menzer threw a complete game for the Hornets, striking out four.
Oliver Ames, 13 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Ryan Adams had a huge day at the plate for the Tigers, driving in five runs on three hits. Josh Minuskin, Chris Romero, Chris Pearsons and Adam Burr all registered a pair of hits for Oliver Ames.
King Philip, 18 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final (6 inn.) – The Warriors pounded out 21 hits, led by Sydney Phillips’ three run home run and four total hits. Brooke Taute and Kali Magane each had three hits while Christa Wagner (home run), Meghan Gorman, Elise Pereira and Jessica Bonner all had two hits for the Warriors. Pereira got the win, allowing just one hit in four innings of work. Magane finished the game with four strikeouts in two innings of work.
Milford, 12 @ Canton, 1 – Final – Emily Piergustavo was perfect at the plate, going 5-5 with a double, a triple and knocked in a pair of runs. Maggie Farrell was also perfect, going 4-4 with a double and driving in a team-high four RBI and Jill Powers went 2-4 with three RBI and a home run. Kelley Reichert got the win, scattering three hits without giving up a run while striking out four.
Foxboro, 7 @ Stoughton, 6 – Final – Stoughton was led offensively by freshman Jordan Lyons, who went 2-3 with a pair of runs scored and improved her season average to .500. Jenni D’Andrea also added a pair of hits for the Black Knights.
Franklin, 0 @ Taunton, 5 – Final – The Tigers were limited to their lowest offensive output of the season but Aimee Kistner was strong in the circle, striking out five while allowing no runs or walks and just four hits in a complete game effort. Kistner was backed by strong defense, including a nice backhanded play by Jaime Brown down the third base line that resulted in a double play and backhand catch from Bailey Clapp in left with two runnings on. Kistner went 2-2 at the play with a triple and two RBI, Brown was 2-3 with a double, triple and run scored, Liana Duarte went 2-4 and Sarah Bagge was 2-3 with a run.
North Attleboro, 3 @ Mansfield, 5 – Final – Freshman Madyson Bendanillo went 3-4 for the Hornets with a pair of RBI and two runs scored. Rachel Carafa also went 2-3 with a pair of RBI for Mansfield, while Maddie Letendre struck out 11 and allowed two earned runs in a complete game win. North Attleboro was led by Jordan Sharpe, who was 2-4 with two RBI, and also got two hits each from Meg Barlow and Gina Miceli. North had seven batters record at least one hit, but left 13 runners on base, including the tying run at first in the seventh.
Sharon, 6 @ Oliver Ames, 11 – Final – Oliver Ames’ offense produced 12 hits to score double-digit runs for the second time this season. Lexie Campbell was 2-3 with an RBI and a run scored, Victoria Ziner was 2-2 with four runs scored and an RBI, Jamie Gottwald was 2-2 with a double, two runs scored and two RBI, Katie Pursley was 2-4 with four RBI and Dalene Gomes was 2-4 with an RBI. OA’s Jordyn Leite and Katie Mills both had a hit for the Tigers as well.
Oliver Ames, 12 @ Attleboro, 6 – Final – OA senior attack Matt Gilson had three goals, sophomore attack Eric LeBlanc had three goals and three assists and sophomore Owen Gallagher had a pair of goals and one assist for the Tigers. Head coach Chris DiGiacomo said junior Sean Cosgrove was solid in net in his first varsity start.
Franklin, 19 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Senior Trevor Drake scored a pair of goals and had an assist while sophomore Luke Downie scored once and had two assists and sophomore Jonathan O’Glishen scored twice.
Milford, 2 @ Hopedale, 14 – Final
North Attleboro @ Scituate, 4:15
Sharon, 13 @ Holliston, 10 – Final
Attleboro, 13 @ Oliver Ames, 9 – Final – After a high scoring first half that saw the Bombardiers take a 9-7 lead in the halftime break, Attleboro was able to limit the Tigers to just two second half goals. Hannah Lamothe led Attleboro with four goals while Sam Spaziano scored twice and had two assists. Kayla Merritt added two goals and an assist while Kyra Lions scored once and had an assist. Mish Logie added two goals for the Bombardiers while Emily Patton and Meg Dotzenrod each scored once.
Canton, 6 @ Watertown, 16 – Final
Foxboro, 8 @ King Philip, 14 – Final
Taunton, 2 @ Franklin, 20 – Final – Franklin raced out to a big lead by halftime and never looked back. Kenzi Pleshaw scored three goals, including her 100th career goal to pace the Panthers. Senior Dani Lonati scored her first career goal for the Panthers.
Mansfield, 8 @ Medway, 15 – Final
Milford, 21 vs. Hopedale, 11 – Final
Sharon, 1 vs. Bishop Feehan, 18 – Final
Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 5 – Final – Garrett Schneider battled to a 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 win at first singles to lead the Warriors to a sweep. Justin Rohan won 6-2, 6-4 at second singles and Marco DiStefano won 6-0, 6-2 at third singles. Sam Colella and Jake Webster paired up for a 6-3, 6-3 win at first doubles and Aidan Ignatius and Tim Costanzo stepped in to pick up a 6-1, 6-1 win at second doubles.
Canton @ Milford, 4:00
Stoughton, 0 @ Foxboro, 5 – Final – Foxboro’s Liam Riess won 6-1, 6-3 at first singles, Andre Jaberi won 6-0, 6-0 at second singles and Matt Tierney picked up 6-0, 6-1 win at third singles. Shawn McNamara and Brandon Wasserman won 6-2, 6-1 at first doubles for the Warriors and Taha Baig and Paul Darcy won 6-0, 6-1 at second doubles.
Franklin, 5 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Franklin junior Rahul Herur won 6-1, 6-3 at first singles, junior Eli Brooks won 6-0, 6-2 at second singles and freshman Dan Barrow won 6-0, 6-2 at third singles. Junior James Johnston and senior Tom Mancini won 6-1, 6-0 at first doubles while seniles Cam Piana and Jeremy Gan won 6-1, 6-1 at second doubles.
Mansfield, 1 @ North Attleboro, 4 – Final – The Rocketeers picked up wins at first and third singles and both doubles to get the win. Mitchell Dyer won 6-3, 6-4 at first singles and junior Zack Pfeffer won 6-2, 7-5 at third singles for Big Red. North Attleboro also got wins from seniors Jeff Yao and Nick Lockavitch at first doubles (6-3, 6-0) and senior Jake Fontes and junior Daniel Zhang at second doubles (6-2, 6-3). Mansfield’s win came from freshman Luke Nickerson at second singles (7-5, 6-3).
Oliver Ames @ Sharon, 3:45
King Philip @ Attleboro, 3:30
Milford, 0 @ Canton, 5 – Final – Canton’s Carly Scanlon and Skyler Jabbour won in straight sets to pace the Bulldogs to a win. Scanlon won 6-3, 6-0 at first singles and Jabbour won 6-3, 6-1 at second singles. Jude Aboukhater won 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 at third singles, Tiffany Ha and Sarah MacQuarrie won 6-7, 6-2, 6-2 at first doubles and Talya Mayman and Julia Buskowsky won 7-5, 6-3 at second doubles for Canton.
Foxboro @ Stoughton, 3:30
Taunton, 3 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – The Panthers got wins at first and second singles but the Tigers were able to win at third singles and in both doubles to get the win. Delaney DeAvila won 6-3, 6-0 (injury) at third singles, Ashleigh Eason and Emily Moor won 7-5, 6-3 at first doubles and Jillian Pagliuca and Caroline Hebert won 6-2, 6-4 at second doubles. Franklin’s Hannah Sweeney won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles and Anna Humphreys won 6-0, 6-0 at second singles for the Panthers.
North Attleboro, 5 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final
Sharon @ Oliver Ames, 3:45
Boys Outdoor Track
Franklin, 34.34 @ Mansfield, 99.66 – Final
Oliver Ames, 85 @ Foxboro, 51 – Final
Girls Outdoor Track
Franklin @ Mansfield, 3:45
Oliver Ames, 60 @ Foxboro, 76 – Final
MANSFIELD, Mass. – Mansfield bounced back from an early deficit with three runs in the bottom of the fourth, cutting the Stoughton lead to just one. In the top of the fifth, Hornets starter Jack Neureuter gave up a lead-off single but then retired the next two hitters and induced a grounder to third that looked likely to end the inning.
The Hornets were that close to being back at the plate down by just one, but the throw to first was wild and the inning stayed alive. The Black Knights took advantage and then some.
Stoughton sent 15 batters to the plate in the fifth (including 12 after the second out) and scored 10 runs with two outs to break the game wide open and cruise to a 14-3 victory at defending Kelley-Rex champion Mansfield in the season opener for both teams.
“Ten runs with two outs…I’ve never seen it since I’ve been here,” said Stoughton coach Mike Armour. “I’ve always had a soft spot for two-out RBI, so I think for our guys to just keep the train moving and to plate 10…it’s just pretty special.”
The Black Knights took the lead in the top of the second. Jack Connelly led off and was hit by a pitch. Joe Piana followed with a single to left and Connelly made it to third on a Chris McNulty fielder’s choice. Pat Hagerty plated the opening run with a groundout to first.
In the third, Stoughton put together a two-out rally to extend the lead. Jake Gibb (4-5, RBI) started it with a single to left, followed by a single from Doug Seaman (2-4). Connelly chased a 2-0 pitch at his eyes but then Neureuter came over the plate and the junior first baseman drove it to right center for a two-RBI triple. Piana made it 4-0 with an infield single.
It was only a precursor for what was to come in the fifth.
“From a pitching standpoint, we didn’t throw enough strikes early in the count,” said Mansfield coach Joe Breen. “We fell behind and had to throw too many good hitters’ pitches and they took advantage of all of those opportunities.”
Mansfield had a chance to cut the lead in the third, but Stoughton starter Ryan Sullivan, who struck out five in five innings of work, got Mike Arnold swinging with two runners in scoring position.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Hornets did bounce back and get on the scoreboard. Tyrone Pascual walked to begin the inning followed by a Kevin Dow single and both runners moved up on a Sullivan wild pitch. After a strikeout Jake Tryder knocked in both runs with a single. With two outs, Matt Farragher, who reached on a fielder’s choice, was brought home by a bloop double down the rightfield line by Charlie DeMassi.
“We do have a young team,” said Breen, “but we do have guys who have been tested in other sports…they know when you’re down you’re not out and it’s certainly a credit to our seniors for keeping our guys in check.”
The Hornets nearly carried that momentum into the fifth, but the error with two outs and a man on first turned into a game-changer. Nick Quattrucci singled in a run and the leadoff hitter Justin Hutchinson brought in two with a single to right. Sullivan, the ninth hitter of the inning, helped his own cause and brought in two with a double to right center that chased reliever Tyler Dalton (who came in the inning before).
Gibb followed with an RBI single off new pitcher Jon Needle. Seaman singled, Connelly walked and Piana got an RBI when he walked with the bases loaded. Facing the third Hornets pitcher of the inning, David Simmons, McNulty then added his second hit of the inning with a double down the line in left that scored a pair of runs and made it 14-3.
“It’s nice to see the bats come out blazing,” said Armour. “Guys were having good at-bats. I’m just proud of the guys and the approach they had. Putting up 14 runs on a club as good as Mansfield is a hell of a way to start the season.”
Breen remarked, “You let a one-run lead snowball and then next thing you know you’re chasing way too many and you’ve got to approach the game in a very different way after that.”
After having to battle through his previous two innings, Sullivan came out firing for the bottom of the fifth and pitched a perfect frame, including a couple of comebackers that he fielded cleanly.
Armour said of his No. 1 starter, “Sully is just a gamer. He’s got a cutter in the arsenal now and that ball’s been moving to go along with the fastball and the curve. He’s going to be tough.”
Junior Luke Johnson pitched the final two innings for the Black Knights, allowing only a single to Zack Peterson. Armour said, “It’s never over until that final out…and I think Luke coming in and being called on out of the blue…he rose to the occasion.”
Breen was disappointed in the final result, but acknowledged that it was only game one of a long season and admitted that the weather at the start of the spring had an impact on the team’s preparation.
He explained, “It’s tough to mimic live-ball, game-speed outside of games. I think we didn’t handle that very defensively today, especially on the infield…we just let it get a little out of control.”
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.