STOUGHTON, Mass. – Over the closing stages of the regular season, Stoughton’s offense wasn’t tearing the cover off the ball, but the Black Knights were finding ways to win.
The same was the case in the opening round contest with Greater New Bedford as the Black Knights squeaked by with a 1-0 win.
But Stoughton’s offense could be heating up at the right time. In a rubber match with division rival Milford, the Black Knights doubled their hit production from the previous game and put a runner in scoring position in all but one inning.
The result was a convincing 7-1 win for the Black Knights in an all-Hockomock D2 South quarterfinal game, earning a season series win over the Hawks.
“I feel like we came out a little flat, especially after having so much energy on Saturday,” said Stoughton coach Mike Armour. “But I felt like we got our mojo back a little in the second inning there. Milford manufactured a run and it was like here we go, but our guys were able to get the bat on the ball. The bats had cooled off as of late. So if we can get the bats going, I know what we’re capable of. But we’re happy to have the opportunity to play again.”
Stoughton had a total of 14 base runners: scattering eight hits, reaching twice via walk, had two players get hit by a pitch, one reached on an error, and another on a fielder’s choice.
The only inning Stoughton didn’t put a runner on base, and it might have been the defense that gave the Black Knights momentum at the plate.
After squandering a bases-loaded, one-out chance in the bottom of the second, Milford came out and loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the third. Luke Rosa drew a leadoff walk and Nick Marcolini and Justin Applebee followed with bunt singles.
Matt Shaver drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly but Stoughton junior lefty James Genest (6IP, 3H, 1BB, 1ER, 4K) limited the damage by getting a foul ball pop up to first and a swinging strikeout for the third out.
Junior George Currier (3-for-4, three runs, stolen base) led off with a single and beat the throw to second to allow Robbie Seaman to reach on a fielder’s choice. Currier moved to third on a fly ball by Genest and came home to score when Mike Nazzaro’s grounder was misplayed in the infield.
Cian Swierzewski walked to load the bases and junior Jacob Kaplan smashed a deep triple to left field to clear the bases and put the hosts up 4-1.
“Those are hits that change games and Kap’s been doing it for us all year,” Armour said. “We’ve talked before about how many hits he’s had this season with the bases loaded but I mean a bases-clearing triple in a tournament game…that’s just big time.”
Currier got things started in the bottom of the fourth with a one-out single, stole second, and moved to third on a deep fly ball from Zak Paquette. After Seaman was hit by a pitch by Milford starter Colby Pires (4IP, 6H, 1BB, 6R, 2ER, 3K), Currier raced home on a wild pitch to make it 5-1.
Seaman moved to third on a passed ball and scored when Genest drilled a two-out single through the right side for a 6-1 advantage.
Stoughton tacked on another run in the sixth inning with Currier being the catalyst again. Currier and Paquette had back-to-back singles with the former moving up a bag on a fly ball from Genest. With runners on first and third, a balk was called and Currier scored.
“It’s a tribute to these guys,” Armour said. “We knew it was going to be a battle with Milford coming to town, it always is. We had a lot of the 2017 [Stoughton] team here, [Milford] kind of came here and did us in that year and I think that was fresh in their minds being just a couple years removed. Our guys made the plays, defensively really fantastic.”
Milford didn’t have a hit after the third inning but did have a couple of chances to cut into the deficit. Rosa reached on an error to lead off the fifth inning, moved to second on a ground out but was tagged out on a ground ball. Applebee, who reached on the fielder’s choice, stole second but was stranded there.
The Hawks got to the Knights’ bullpen in the top of the seventh, adding a bit of drama to the game in the final frame. Rosa and Applebee both walked, sandwiched around Marcolini getting hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs. But Stoughton senior Evan Jackman induced a ground ball to Currier at second. Currier finished with four putouts and four assists.
“Give a lot of credit to [Stoughton], Mike always has them ready to go and they are a good team, It’s always competitive,” said Milford coach Alex Dion. “The 2017 [Stoughton] team is here, and that was a similar story then when it was split in the regular season but we came out on top in the postseason, this year they come out on top. It’s always going to be a tough game but we didn’t take advantage of any opportunities we had and they got that big hit and I think after that, we were a bit deflated and couldn’t find a way to get it going again.”
Stoughton baseball (14-8) will host top-seeded Hopkinton (14-5), who knocked off Milton in the quarterfinal round, on Wednesday at 4:00. Milford finishes the season at 11-11.
STOUGHTON, Mass. – The visiting Greater New Bedford Bears came knocking on the door twice, including with the game on the line, and both times, the Black Knights slammed the door shut.
The visitors, seeded 12th in the MIAA D2 South tournament, tried on a pair of occasions to score on aggressive base running moves, but on each occasion, Stoughton junior catcher Mike Nazzaro and senior pitcher Zak Paqeutte denied the Bears, including on the last play of the game to secure a 1-0 win in a First Round matchup on Anthony Novello Field.
The fifth-seeded Black Knights took the lead into the final inning, putting the pressure on the visitors. Paquette (7IP, 3H, 2BB, 2HBP, 5K) hit the first batter he faced before getting a fly ball to center for the first out. A passed ball allowed pinch runner Cam Barton to take second, and a ground out advanced the runner to third. Evan Mello drew the first walk of the day against Paquette to put runners on the corners.
GNBVT’s Payton Leandre battled to draw a second straight walk that would have loaded the bases. But ball four was bobbled at the plate and Barton took off for home. Nazzaro quickly recovered and scooped the ball to Paquette and Barton retreated and tried to head back to third. But the Black Knights had the runner caught in a pickle and Paquette tossed to third baseman Brady Conlin and the sophomore applied the tag to end the game.
“That game was one play away from maybe going another direction so it was nice for the boys to hold on,” said Stoughton head coach Mike Armour. “Zak was obviously huge for us today, set the tone early. He was hitting the zone, challenging those guys. We talked about really challenging them and making them earn everything, I’m not sure how many walks he ended up with but not many.
“Hats off to Greater New Bedford, their guy pitched a good game. But we need to do a better job offensively, I felt like we had guys on base early just couldn’t get them in and that could have changed the game early. We let them hang around and anything can happen, and it almost did.”
Nazzaro and Paquette combined to deny the Bears of another run with a play at home. Leandre singled in the bottom of the fifth with his side trailing 1-0 and moved to second on a sac bunt from Jack Gifford. With leadoff man Ethan Almeida at the plate, a wild pitch got back Nazzaro and went to the backstop. Leandre sprinted to third but didn’t slide in, instead rounding the base and taking off for home without hesitation.
Paquette, who was halfway between the mound and plate, noticed and quickly sprinted home and Nazzaro fielded the loose ball and hit Paquette, who applied the tag for the third out of the inning.
“Fantastic plays,” Armour said. “And even Zak looking like he wasn’t covering the plate. He was locked in from the second he got here today so I don’t think he thought he was going to go and when he did, it was like OK, thanks for coming. I think it affected them on the bases going forward too.”
The lone run of the game came in the bottom of the third inning. Paquette clubbed a one-out single and it looked like the Black Knights would have runners on first and second when Robbie Seaman was hit on the back by the pitch. But halfway down the line, the home ump ruled Seaman didn’t make an attempt to get out of the way of the pitch and the at-bat continued.
Instead of first and second, the Knights had runners on the corners as Seaman smacked a single through the right side. Junior James Genest hit a fly ball deep enough to left field to allow Paquette to scamper home for a run on a sacrifice fly.
“In my eyes, he was hit between the 2 and the 1 so I’m not sure how he’s supposed to get out of the way,” Armour said. “But we took advantage of the situation. Umps are doing the best they can, it’s not easy. We don’t want to make excuses, we’re not shrugging our shoulders, we’re not complaining…you have to overcome.
“I’m proud of the guys, gutting it out. Those tight games can go either way, tournament games can go either way. We’ve been on both sides. I think the first one is the hardest so we’re excited to move on.”
Stoughton had someone reach base in four other innings, and get into scoring position each time, but couldn’t cash in any further against GNBVT starter Angel Quinones Gonzalez. Paquette walked in the first and stole second but back-to-back strikeouts stranded the runner there.
Nazzaro was hit by a pitch to lead off the second and an error on a hard hit ground ball from Jacob Kaplan moved him to second with one out, but Stoughton could only manage a pair of fly balls and no further damage.
Cian Swierzewski put the pressure on the Bears’ defense, beating out an infield dribbler and taking second on a throwing error but three straight soft line drives stranded the run there.
And in the fifth, Seaman had a two-out single, stole second, but was caught at third trying to swipe another bag.
“I didn’t think we hit the ball the way we are capable of hitting, but that’s baseball that’s going to happen. And you’re going to have some physical mistakes, that’s part of the game. But I think we did have some mental mistakes.”
Stoughton advances to the D2 South Quarterfinals and will host a familiar foe in division rival Milford, the 13th seed. The Scarlet Hawks knocked off #4 Southeastern in their opening contest. Milford beat Stoughton, 3-2, at Fino Field at the end of April but the Black Knights clinched the division title with a 6-3 win in mid-May at Novello Field. Stoughton will host Milford on Monday at 4:00.
Franklin @ Attleboro – Postponed to TBD.
Foxboro @ North Attleboro – Postponed to TBD.
King Philip @ Oliver Ames – Suspended until Tuesday, 5/21. KP leads 2-1 in the third inning.
Taunton @ Mansfield – Postponed to Tuesday, 5/21. Game will restart from the beginning.
Stoughton, 6 @ Sharon, 1 – Final – Stoughton earned a win on the road over Sharon, clinching the Davenport division title outright. Stoughton senior Evan Jackman tossed a complete game for the win, allowing one earned run on four hits and two walks, striking out four. James Genest paced the Stoughton offense with a home run and two RBI.
Attleboro @ Franklin – Postponed to TBD.
North Attleboro @ Foxboro – Postponed to Friday, 5/24 at 4:00.
Oliver Ames @ King Philip – Postponed to TBD.
Taunton @ Mansfield – Suspended until Friday, 5/24. Game is tied 0-0 in the third inning.
Sharon @ Stoughton – Suspended until Tuesday, 5/21. Game is tied 2-2 in the sixth inning.
Franklin @ Canton – Postponed to TBD.
North Attleboro, 6 @ King Philip, 5 – Final (OT) – North Attleboro’s defense and goalie kept the Rocketeers in the game and freshman Matt Antonetti scored in overtime for the game-winner. After starting 1-6, North Attleboro won for the eighth time in its last nine games to punch its ticket to the state tournament. Antonetti finished with three goals while Young praised his defense’s effort in front of Jake McNeany (19 saves).
Mansfield, 15 @ Sharon, 9 – Final
Oliver Ames, 15 @ Stoughton, 2 – Final – Frankie Ireland, Sam Stevens, and Remi Creighton each had four points to pace the Tigers to a win over Stoughton. Ireland scored a hat trick with one assist while Stevens and Creighton each had one goal and three assists. Senior Cullen Gallagher also scored for the Tigers.
Attleboro, 10 @ Taunton, 15 – Final – Taunton sophomore Alana Tavares scored 10 goals to pace the Tigers to a win over visiting Attleboro. Tasia Lajoie added two goals and two helpers while Kamryn Li, Angie Lynch, and Emma Sheehan each scored once for Taunton. Emily Gannon made six saves in the win.
Canton, 1 @ Franklin, 11 – Final – Franklin seniors Annie Walsh and Hailey Toolin both had solid performances for the Panthers in a rain-shortened contest.
King Philip, 22 @ North Attleboro, 9 – Final – Jess Sullivan scored four goals and added four assists to lead the way for the Warriors on the road. Mackenzie Mazur scored five times and Caroline Klim added four in the win. KP also got a hat trick from Dana Truini, a goal and two assists from Lily Brown, two goals apiece by Peyton Mellman and Olivia Tormey, and one goal from Ali Wilson. Caroline Watson recorded 14 saves for KP.
Oliver Ames vs. Pembroke – Postponed to TBD.
Sharon @ Mansfield – Postponed to TBD.
Attleboro, 0 @ Franklin, 5 – Final – Franklin defended home court and picked a 5-0 sweep over Attleboro. Liam Marr didn’t drop a game at first singles in a 6-0, 6-0 win while Rohan Herur won 6-1, 6-0 at second singles and Shoumik Sompally picked up a 6-0, 6-1 win at third singles. The team of Saketh Saripalli and Lucas Gulick secured a 6-3, 6-0 win at first doubles while Ryan McSweeney and Thomas Broyles won 6-1, 6-0 at second doubles.
North Attleboro @ Foxboro – Postponed to TBD.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ King Philip, 5 – Final – King Philip won three matches in straight sets, another in a super tiebreaker, and one by default to beat Oliver Ames. Marco DiStefano won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles, Zak Ryan earned a 6-0, 6-3 decision at second singles, and Jake Mager prevailed 7-5, 4-6, 10-8 at third singles. The team of Tyler Dowd and Andy Cook won 6-2, 6-2 at first doubles.
Sharon, 4 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Sharon won a pair of singles matches and swept doubles action for a win over Stoughton. Alberto Olivei won 6-2, 6-1 at second singles and freshman Rueman Bhattacharyya earned a 6-0, 6-1 win at third singles. The team of Max Brody and Max Chen won 6-0, 6-1 at first doubles while Alex Aspel and Jake Ross picked up a 6-4, 6-2 win at second doubles. Stoughton sophomore Waseem Sablon won 6-3, 6-3 at first singles.
Taunton @ Mansfield – Postponed to Friday, 4/24 at 3:45.
Franklin @ Attleboro, 3:45
Foxboro, 3 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – Foxboro won all three singles matches in straight sets in a rain shortened contest at North Attleboro. Pam Nelson won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles, Sarah Prag earned a 6-0, 6-2 win at second singles, and Julia Muise won 6-1, 6-0 at third singles.
King Philip @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to TBD.
Stoughton, 0 @ Sharon, 4 – Final – Sharon won four matches and a fifth was called due to rain in a win against visiting Stoughton. Valeria Barajas won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles and Charlize Martinez picked up a 6-1, 6-0 decision at second singles. The team of Sophia Fein and Sasha Fein won 6-1, 6-3 at first doubles while Lauren Glass and Makaila Cheung won 6-0, 6-0 at second doubles.
Mansfield, 0 @ Taunton, 4 – Final – The Tigers picked up two wins in singles action and two more in doubles in a rain-shortened match. Jillian Pagliuca won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles while Jocelyn Pagliuca picked up a 6-3, 6-1 win at third singles. The team of Sam Martin and Brianna Fevrier won 6-1, 6-2 at first doubles while Ogechi Ariguzo and Kayla Parrett won 6-2, 6-0 at second doubles.
Milford put nine runners in scoring position in the first three innings, but could only turn that into three runs. The Hawks scored once on one hit in the first inning and then turned a bases-loaded situation with no outs into just a pair of runs in the second inning.
“Zak [Paquette] didn’t really have it early on but him being who he is, he had a little more leeway,” said Stoughton coach Mike Armour. “Not to take anything away from Milford, it kind of felt like we gave them three runs with the walks. Walks are tough but it was nice to see Zak settle down. The ump was consistent, wasn’t giving the belt strike so he had to adjust a little bit. We wanted to make them string some hits together so it was nice to see him make them earn it over the last couple of innings.
“We talked about having the chance to put a new banner up in the new school and now 2019 will be on it. I’m proud of the guys.”
Milford senior Matt Shaver drew a leadoff walk to open the game, moved to second on a single from sophomore Carter Scudo, and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Paquette got a ground out to third and then a strikeout.
After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Shaver sprinted home and scored on a wild pitch. But Paquette got another strikeout to strand runs at second and third.
Stoughton responded with two runs in the bottom half, both with two outs. Junior Ryan Currier drew a two-out walk, stole second, and scored on an RBI single from junior Jacob Kaplan. Junior Michael Nazzaro, who drew a walk in the prior at-bat, came home on a double steal when Kaplan was able to avoid the tag long enough for him to race home.
The Black Knights’ lead didn’t last long. The Hawks were patient at the plate and drew three straight walks to begin the top of the second inning. Junior Luke Rosa, senior Nick Marcolini, and senior Justin Applebee all reached on balls, loading the bases with no outs.
Shaver brought in a run with an infield single but Paquette got another ground ball that resulted in a fielder’s choice with sophomore third baseman Brady Conlin firing home to get the lead runner.
Another fielder’s choice allowed a run to come in, but the Black Knights got the runner at third. Paquette got another grounder, this one to short, for the final out to limit the damage to just two runs and a 3-2 deficit.
“That’s been the story this week for us, just missed opportunities,” Dion said. “Our guys have battled, and we know what we’re going to get every time we play [Stoughton], we know it’s going to be a tough game. First time we had them at our place it was a competitive game and we came out on the right side of things. We come down here, another competitive game and we came out on the wrong side. All three games this week, three days in a row, we just haven’t taken advantage of opportunities we’ve had, especially early in the game.”
Stoughton couldn’t take advantage of James Genest’s leadoff double in the bottom of the second as Rosa, Milford’s starter, got back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning. Milford once again put a runner in scoring position in the top of the third when junior Nick Wemette doubled and moved to third on a two-out single from Marcolini, but Nazzaro was able to gun the latter down at second on a steal attempt to strand the runner at third.
After allowing nine batters in scoring position in the first three innings, Paquette limited the Hawks to three total base runners over the next three innings. A bunt single was erased by Nazzaro on a steal attempt, and a leadoff single by senior Danny Corsini was wasted when Paquette got three straight fly ball.
While Stoughton didn’t have a lot of chances, it did take advantage when the opportunity presented itself. Kaplan ripped an opposite field triple deep to right field tolled off the bottom of the fourth and scored on a sacrifice fly from Genest to make it 3-3.
In the sixth inning, Nazzaro and Kaplan had back-to-back doubles to deep left against Milford’s bullpen, the latter scoring the former. Paquette drew a one out walk and Kaplan stole third to put runners on the corners. Junior pinch runner Cam Dirosa stole second before a pop up to get two outs.
“His days in the leadoff spot are over,” Armour said of Kaplan, who went 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored, and was a home run shy of the cycle. “We’ve been mixing up the order trying to get the offense going but leadoff didn’t work, and with his performance today, I think he cemented his spot in the middle of the order. He’s been huge, talk about a catalyst and getting us going. He had the leadoff triple and then him and [Nazzaro] had two bombs to really set the tone. We weren’t looking for walks today, we went to put a charge on the baseball so it was nice to put it together in the sixth.
Armour called on junior Noah Johnson, a recent call up from the JV team, to pinch hit in the nine spot. In his first varsity at-bat, Johnson roped the second pitch he saw into the gap in left center field for a two-out, two-run triple to give the Knights insurance runs and a 6-3 lead.
“Kevin Cronin does a great job with the JV squad, he’s been with us for a while and I have so much respect for him, our success over the years…he’s been getting the guys ready for this level,” Armour said. “[Johnson] had been his guy this year. We haven’t exactly been smashing the ball towards the bottom of the order. I thought it was just perfect timing and to see him come through was awesome.”
Scudo led off the top of the seventh with a triple to try and start a rally, but the rest of the inning summed up the week for the Hawks. Paquette got a strikeout and then senior Robbie Seaman and Currier made back-to-back web gems at shortstop and second, respectively, to strand the run and clinch the win.
Stoughton baseball (9-6 Hockomock, 11-6 overall) will try and clinch the division title outright when it travels to Sharon on Monday. Milford (6-8, 8-9) will try to snap a three-game skid when it hosts Canton at Fino Field on Tuesday.
Mansfield, 0 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – Attleboro prevailed on the right side of a pitcher’s dual, earning a 2-0 win in a game that took just 80 minutes to complete. Attleboro senior Eoin Kelleher needed just 72 pitches to toss a complete game, scattering three hits with no walks, striking out one. Mansfield threatened in the second when Sam Nugent (error) and Jake Lund (double) reached to put runners on second and third but Kelleher got an infield ground ball and a fly ball back to himself to escape. Attleboro took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when Alvaro Espinal singled and advanced to second on a pickoff attempt. Ryan Morry used a sac bunt to advance the runner and Lorenzo Wilson brought Espinal in with a sacrifice fly. The Bombardiers added a run in the fifth when Camden Fitzpatrick doubled and Tom Callahan had an RBI single to make it 2-0. John Carney was strong on the mound for Mansfield, allowing three hits in six innings, with one walk and one strikeout.
Foxboro, 9 @ Canton, 4 – Final – Foxboro got off to a strong start, scoring seven runners between the first two innings on its way to a win over Canton. The Warriors plated two runs in the first and then added five more in the second to build a 7-0 advantage. Foxboro tacked on two runs in the seventh while Canton scored once in the sixth and three in the seventh. Sophomores Sean Yoest (run) and Tom Marcucella (RBI, run) each had two hits to pace the Foxboro offense while Michael Devlin (run) and Joe Cavaleri (hit) each had two RBI. Canton’s Sawyer Julier-Albert and Nate Quan had two hits each. Yoest earned the win, allowing one run (unearned) on eight hits and two strikeouts in six innings of work.
King Philip, 1 @ Franklin, 11 – Final – Franklin had three pitchers combine for a one-hitter scored double-digit runs for the fourth straight game. Liam Dailey allowed one unearned run on one hit and two walks, striking out four in five innings of work. Ben Guzman (two strikeouts) and Will Pacheco (three strikeouts) each pitched an inning in relief. Scott Elliott led the offense with three hits, including a double, two runs scored and an RBI. Alex Haba (two runs, RBI), Jake Macchi (two runs), and Brennan Rivera (run, two RBI) each had two hits for the Panthers.
Sharon, 5 @ Milford, 11 – Final – Milford senior Tyler Almeida drove in four runs and junior Colby Pires was strong on the mound and offensively to help the Scarlet Hawks beat Sharon. Almeida went 3-for-4 with a triple, Matt Shaver added two hits, two RBI, and a run scored, and Pires chipped in with two hits, including a double, and three runs scored. Pires allowed three runs in four innings of work, striking out a pair to earn the win.
Stoughton, 11 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – After trading runs early on, Stoughton exploded for eight runs in the fifth inning to turn a close game into a blowout. The Black Knights took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Robbie Seaman (3-for-4, two RBI, two runs, stolen base) singled, took second on a passed ball, stole third, and scored on another passed ball. North responded with a run in the bottom of the second. In the fifth. Cian Swierzewski got things going with a leadoff single, Zak Paquette and George Currier drew walks, Seaman had a two-run single, Jacob Kaplan had an RBI single, Paquette added a sac fly, and mixed in with a couple of Rocketeer errors, the Black Knights jumped ahead 9-1. Sophomore James Genest was strong on the mound, needing just 83 pitches to get the win. He allowed one run (unearned) on five hits, one walk, and three strikeouts.
Taunton, 6 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – Taunton senior Josh Lajoie had one of his best outings of the season, striking out 10 in a complete game effort to help the visiting Tigers take down Oliver Ames. Lajoie scattered five hits and walked two while allowing one run (unearned). Offensively, sophomore Danny MacDougall had three hits and knocked in two runs while Lucas Martins had a pair of hits and one RBI.
Attleboro, 4 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final – Attleboro scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning to break a 2-2 tie and then stranded a pair of Hornet baserunners in the bottom of the seventh to grab a win on the road. Attleboro took a 2-0 lead in the third but the Hornets knotted the score in the third when Mady Bendanillo smacked a two-run triple to make it 2-2. In the bottom of the seventh, with the Hornets down two, Mary Muldoon launched a one-out homer and the Hornets put two more on base but Attleboro closed out the win. Makenzie Killough went 2-for-4 with two RBI for the Bombardiers, Lora Woyton added three hits, including a double, and an RBI, and Brenna Morse hit a triple. Megan Letendre had two hits for Mansfield while Kara Bendanillo and Ella Verheggen each added a hit. Sarah Cahill had eight strikeouts for the Hornets while Emily Gittle (seven strikeouts) pitched a complete game for Attleboro.
Foxboro, 6 @ Canton, 5 – Final – Peyton Feldman (3-for-4) tripled for the second time in the game and aggressively took home when the throw went down to first on a dropped third strike to score the game-winning run. Feldman scored three times for the Warriors, who picked up and important Div. 2 win. Chelsea Gibbons also went 3-for-4 for Foxboro, while Camryn Willis went 2-for-4 and threw a complete game in the victory. Taylor Reynolds went 3-for-4 for the Bulldogs and scored a pair of runs, while Liz Bickett tripled and homered and Steph Trendell tripled and doubled in the loss. Caroline Hughes threw five innings in relief and allowed one run, striking out three. Canton coach Dave Bohane called it a great game between two improved teams.
Franklin, 0 @ King Philip, 6 – Final – King Philip Faith Turinese had a strong performance in the circle, scattering five hits in a complete game shutout. Meghan Gorman had two hits, including a home run, to lead the Warriors’ offense. Liliana Rolfe also had two hits and Abby Carey came through with a key single with the bases loaded. Franklin’s Maddy White went 2-for-3.
Milford, 9 @ Sharon, 11 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery from this game – Sharon scored five unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, four coming with two outs, and then held off a final inning charge from Milford to secure a season sweep of the Hawks. Sharon sophomore Julia Earley went 3-for-3 with a walk, two runs scored, and an RBI, and played strong defense at short with three putouts and two assists to pace the Eagles, which totaled 11 hits as a team. Savannah Gray (double, RBI, run), Ciara McAuliffe (two RBI, run), and Penny Rabatsky (run) each had two hits for Sharon. Emily Botvin pitched three innings in relief, allowing just one earned run, with four strikeouts to get the win. Milford’s Amanda Wenckus went 5-for-5 with a pair of doubles and four RBI, Lucy Creedon (three runs) had three hits, including a home run that put Milford up 7-6 in the top of the sixth, and April Swain (run), Carly Ferreira (RBI), and Olivia Morelli (run, double) each had two hits.
North Attleboro, 6 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – North Attleboro belted out five consecutive hits, all with two outs, to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 5-1 lead, and junior pitcher Bella Erti took care of the rest as the Rocketeers swept the season series with the Black Knights. Emily Nardelli, Abby Gallagher (two hits), Ashley Cangiano (2B), Annabelle Hebard (three hits), and Katie Daby had consecutive hits to put the Rocketeers ahead. Erti tossed a one-hitter, limiting the Black Knights to one base runner (error) through six innings before Stoughton sophomore Nicole Baker recorded the team’s first hit. North coach Bill Wallace said Alex Moulson had a strong game in the field.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Taunton, 15 – Final (5 inn.) – Taunton senior Alexa White was nearly perfect in four innings of work, striking out nine with just one hit allowed as Taunton completed a season sweep of Oliver Ames. Olyvia Mendonca pitched a scoreless inning in relief with one strikeout. Jaime Brown (two runs, RBI), Alexa White (double, run, three RBI), Hanna Aldrich (triple, three runs, two RBI, two stolen bases) Tayah DaCosta (run), and Ava Venturelli (two runs) each had two hits for Taunton. Kenzie McAloon (double, two RBI), Rylie Murphy (three RBI), and Kelsey White (two RBI) also contributed to the Taunton offense.
Canton, 10 @ King Philip, 9 – Final – Canton junior Tommy Vaughan scored the game-winning goal with just over five minutes left in the game to help the Bulldogs knock off previously unbeaten King Philip. Vaughan scored his fourth of the game with 5:07 left and the Bulldogs took advantage of a three-minute locked in penalty to possess the ball and kill the final moments of the game. Griffin Roach and David Allen each added two goals while Chris Lavoie and Andrew Canton found the back of the net once each for the Bulldogs. Dylan Coyne had a strong game in net for Canton while Brendan Albert anchored the defense.
Attleboro, 1 @ Foxboro, 17 – Final – Foxboro raced out to a 6-0 lead after a quarter and took an 11-1 advantage in halftime and never looked back to knock off visiting Attleboro. Junior Bobby Yerardi (four goals) and sophomore Charlie Baughan (three goals, one assist) each accounted for four points to pace the Foxboro offense. Junior Aidan Stapleton added two goals and two assists, sophomore Max Biegel had a goal and an assist, and freshman Tom Sharkey and junior Ronnie MacLellan each scored once for the Warriors.
Franklin, 21 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Franklin built a 13-1 lead by halftime and then pitched a shutout in the second half, rolling to a win over the Hornets. Senior Jacob Alexander continued to dominate at the face-off X, winning 20-of-22 draws to help the Franklin offense control possession. Sophomore Matt Lazzaro scored six goals and had two assists, junior Jake Davis scored five times and added two helpers, senior Nitin Chaudhury had a pair of goals and one assist, and both junior Ben Greco (three assists) and senior Tim Kolb (two assists) scored once. Senior Will Davis made nine saves in net.
Oliver Ames, 15 @ Milford, 4 – Final – Oliver Ames picked up a win on the road to punch its ticket for the state tournament, marking the first time in program history that the Tigers have qualified for the playoffs in consecutive seasons. Junior Shane Kilkelly paced the offense with six goals and two assists, sophomore Remi Creighton added a pair of goals and three helpers, senior Colin Bourne scored a hat trick and added an assist, and junior Sam Stevens netted a pair of goals with one helper.
Stoughton @ Sharon, 3:45
Foxboro, 19 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final
King Philip, 17 @ Canton, 3 – Final – King Philip exploded for 10 goals in the second half to run away with a win over Canton on the road. Caroline Klim paced the offense with eight points, scoring six goals and adding two assists while Jess Sullivan (assist) and Olivia Tormey each found the back of the net four times for KP. Haley Izydorczak, Julia Marsden, and Mackenzie Mazur each scored once for the Warriors while Caroline Watson made eight saves in the win.
Mansfield, 3 @ Franklin, 16 – Final – Franklin ran away with the game, picking up its seventh straight win with a 16-3 decision over visiting Mansfield. Senior Annie Walsh (four goals, three assists) and junior Erin Walsh (five goals, two assists) led the offense with seven points apiece, while Kelsey MacCallum added a hat trick and assists. Junior Gianna Cameron had a strong game in goal with 11 saves.
Milford, 9 @ Oliver Ames, 10 – Final – Milford scored two straight late in the game to get within one but Oliver Ames held on for the win. Senior Emily Haley paced the Hawks offense with five goals while senior Savannah Rosado had a strong game in net. Sophia Bucal added two goals while Alyssa Williamson and Stella Amour each found the back of the net once for Milford.
North Attleboro @ Taunton, 5:15
Attleboro, 1 @ Mansfield, 4 – Final – Mansfield’s Luke Devine filled in at first singles and picked up a win in straight sets to help the Hornets defend home court. Devine won 6-0, 6-1 while Nilay Pangrekar secured a 6-0, 6-2 win at third singles for Mansfield. The team of Sam Shirmacher and Yash Sakhalkar picked up a 6-4, 6-1 win at first doubles while Jonah Fine and Ben Newcomb earned a 6-2, 6-2 win at second doubles for the Hornets. Attleboro’s Jared Cooper won 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) at second singles.
Canton, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Canton freshman Suraj Ramanathan won 6-2, 6-0 at first singles.
Franklin, 3 @ King Philip, 2 – Final – Franklin won two matches in singles action and won one doubles match in a three-set thriller to edge King Philip in a battle of top teams in the Kelley-Rex division. The Panthers, who entered tied with the Warriors in first in the division, got the deciding win from Saket Gandham and Shoumik Sompally, who pulled out a 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 win at second doubles to give Franklin the win. Liam Marr won at 6-3, 6-3 at first singles and Vayshnav Malhotra didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at third singles. King Philip sophomore Nick Putney won 6-1, 6-2 at second singles and the team of Jack Cannon and Nate Ihley, both juniors, secured a 6-4, 6-0 win at first doubles.
North Attleboro, 4 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – North Attleboro won a pair of singles matches and both doubles matches, all in straight sets, to earn a 4-1 win over Stoughton. Junior Alex Pfeffer won 6-2, 6-1 at second singles and sophomore Sam Gallagher grabbed a 6-1, 6-0 win at third singles. The team of Vikram Senthilakumaran and Tomas Bentley lost just one game in a 6-1, 6-0 decision at first doubles while Saketh Uppuluri and Justin Strom dropped a total of two games in a 6-0, 6-2 win at second doubles. Stoughton sophomore Waseem Sablon earned a 6-1, 6-1 win at first singles.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Taunton, 4 – Final – Taunton earned two wins in both singles and doubles action to knock off visiting Oliver Ames. Brett Beaulieu won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles, Charlie Fiske picked up a 6-2, 6-2 win at second singles, and Barrett Hodgson and Tyler Goddard earned a 6-0, 6-0 win at first doubles. Oliver Ames junior Yusaf Hameed earned his fifth straight win with a 6-1, 6-2 victory at third singles.
Milford, 0 @ Sharon, 5 – Final – Sharon won all five matches in straight sets to earn a sweep on the road. Senior Danujan Thirumavalavan won 6-1, 6-3 at first singles, junior Alberto Olivei earned a 6-1, 6-2 win at second singles, and freshman Max Chen grabbed a 6-0, 6-1 win at third singles. The team of Max Brody and Jake Ross didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first doubles while Sharon’s second doubles team of Deyan Kassev and Mitch Weiss earned a 6-2, 6-1 win.
Mansfield, 4 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – Mansfield’s Lizzy Elsner prevailed in a super tiebreaker to win at first singles as the Hornets battled for a 4-1 win over the Bombardiers. Elsner won 6-2, 4-6, 10-2, Aryana Khosravani earned a 6-1, 6-3 win at third singles, Hannah Podolske and Sam Sternburg earned a 6-2, 7-5 win at first doubles, and Lauren Hobaica and Alex Burnham notched a 6-1, 6-3 win at second doubles. Attleboro’s Brianna Aronne picked up a 6-1, 6-1 win at second singles.
Foxboro, 3 @ Canton, 2 – Final – Foxboro’s second doubles team of Maggie McAuliffe and Neha Jammula prevailed with a win in a tight three-set thriller, helping the Warriors edge Canton. McAuliffe and Jammula earned a 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 win for the Warriors, who also picked up wins from Pam Nelson (6-4, 6-2) at first singles and the team of Kendall Milender and Paige Krockta (6-1, 6-3) at second singles. Canton’s Natalie Keppler rallied for a 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 win at second singles, and Sarah Hernandez earned a 6-1, 6-2 victory at third singles for the Bulldogs.
King Philip, 5 @ Franklin, 0 – Final
Stoughton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 5 – Final – North Attleboro defended home court, winning all five matches in straight sets to earn a sweep of the visiting Black Knights. Senior Tara Nair won 6-0, 6-4 at first singles, senior Mae McLaughlin picked up a 6-0, 6-2 win at second singles, and junior Olivia Wills emerged with a 6-2, 6-1 win at third singles. The Rocketeers’ first doubles team of sophomore Haley Strom and junior Sam Martino dropped just two games in a 6-0, 6-2 win while junior Brototi Nandi and sophomore Jayli Carmichael secured a 6-1, 6-1 win at second doubles.
Taunton, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Taunton won all three singles matches to secure a tight 3-2 victory over Oliver Ames. Jillian Pagliuca had a strong showing with a 6-0, 6-1 win at first singles, McKenzie Lucie picked up a 6-4, 6-2 win at second singles, and Jocelyn Pagliuca recorded a 6-0, 6-2 win at third singles. Oliver Ames’ Eva Belanger and Morgan Vasiliou earned a 6-4, 6-4 win at first doubles, and the second doubles team of Kate McCormick and Sarah Marley recorded a 6-1, 6-3 win for the host Tigers.
Sharon, 5 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Sharon lost a total of two games in singles action and won all five matches on the road at Milford. Nupur Shukla didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first singles while freshman Valeria Barajas (second singles) and sophomore Charlie Martinez (third singles) each won 6-0, 6-1. The team of senior Sophia Fein and freshman Sasha Fein earned a 6-3, 7-6 win at first doubles while freshman Alice Zaniewski and sophomore Lena Lee won 6-4, 2-6, 10-5 at second doubles.
STOUGHTON, Mass. – Stoughton’s offense came knocking multiple times throughout the game, but in the biggest situations, Franklin’s defense slammed the door shut.
The Black Knights loaded the bases in three separate innings and threatened with the winning run at the plate in the bottom of the seventh, but three separate Panther pitchers came through to limit the damage, helping the Panthers secure a 5-3 win on the road.
After two quick strikeouts to start the game from Stoughton starter Zak Paquette, the Panthers cashed in. Senior Alex Haba had an infield single and quickly moved into scoring position by stealing second. Haba came in to score on a two-out RBI from senior Jake Macchi to put the visitors up 1-0 after a half inning.
Stoughton loaded the bases in the bottom of the first following a walk to junior George Currier, a single from senior Robbie Seaman, and a catcher’s interference but starting pitcher Liam Dailey induced a ground ball for the third out to keep the Knights off the board.
Franklin capitalized on its chances again in the top of the third. Scott Elliott led off with a single and took second when the hit got by the center fielder trying to make a defensive play. Elliott then stole third and came home when the throw from home was high, giving the Panthers a run without a second player putting the ball in play.
The Panthers struck again with two outs to increase the advantage. Cooper Ross reached on an error, took second on a single from JB Floris, and game in to score on an RBI base hit from Dan Markowski to make it 3-0.
“Two-out RBIs are key, they are clutch,” said Franklin head coach Zach Brown. “This is a good offense, and we’ve found ways to score runs in a number of ways. Today it just happened to be the two-out RBI and not quitting on an inning that made the difference.”
The Black Knights had the leadoff man erased with a double play in the second, and then couldn’t push across any runs when they loaded the bases with one out in the third inning. Currier and Seaman had back-to-back singles and junior James Genest reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases with the Black Knights trailing 3-0.
Again, Dailey was up to the challenge, getting a strikeout for the second out and inducing a pop up behind the plate that was caught on a nice play by Macchi to keep Stoughton off the board.
“With some of the plays we made, we didn’t make it easy for Liam,” Brown said. “He gave us a great effort, we’re proud of that effort. When he’s on the hill, we feel pretty good about our chances.”
Franklin increased its lead with another big play from Elliott. Junior Jack Nally drew a one-out walk and advanced to second and third on back-to-back wild pitches.Elliot laced a shot to right center field that went past the fielder. With no fence at the Stoughton field, the ball continued rolling allowing Elliott to round the bases for an inside the park home run.
Stoughton once again put pressure on the Panthers in the bottom of the fifth, this time pushing some runs across with the bases load. Cian Swierzewski led off with a single, Seaman was hit by a pitch, and Genest single to load the bases with one out.
Jacob Kaplan came through with an RBI single to get the Knights on the board, and Michael Nazzaro followed with a base hit of his own to bring another run in, making it 5-2. With the bases still loaded, Brown elected to go to the bullpen and brought in junior Cody Trotin.
Trotin came through for Franklin, getting the first batter he faced to strikeout and followed by inducing a fly ball to center to prevent Stoughton from adding to its total.
“We’re young and Franklin is a good team,” said Stoughton head coach Mike Armour. “We didn’t do ourselves any favors today. Zak was locked in to start, you saw it with the two strikeouts, and I felt like we could have done him a little better, we could have made some more plays early on. But at the same time, you have to tip your cap to Franklin. They got the bat on the ball and got a few runs across the dish early that ended up being the difference. But we’re still learning, there’s still room for improvement, but all in all, being a hit away from tying this game we’ll take it.
“We had 11 left on base, but you have to tip your hat to Franklin for making some pitches and getting us out. We’re young, we have some guys that are still getting their feet wet at the varsity level and I think they showed today. Hopefully, we learn from it.”
Genest took over on the mound in relief for the Black Knights, and after the first batter he faced reached on an error, he retired six straight Panthers.
Stoughton brought the winning run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh, but again the Panthers got the necessary outs. Seaman led off with a triple and scored on an RBI single from Genest to make it 5-3. Genest moved to second when Kaplan was walked, putting runners on first and second with no outs, forcing Brown to go to his bullpen again.
Junior Will Pacheco got a strikeout and then a fielder’s choice, putting runners on the corners for the Knights with two outs. Pacheco then got a soft line drive back to the mound for the third out, stranding the tying run on first to get the win.
“We got some outs when we needed them,” Brown said. “Cody Trotin came into a big spot in his first outing of the year. He really gave us what we needed at the time. And obviously, Will Pacheco has been around the block and he just seems to rise to the occasion in pressure situations.”
Franklin baseball (5-0 Hockomock, 6-0 overall) is back in action on Friday when it hosts one of the top teams in the state in Walpole. Stoughton (3-2, 5-2) is back in action on Tuesday when it travels to Foxboro.
Canton, 5 vs. Wellesley, 3 – Final – Wellesley tied the game at 3-3 with a run in the top of the fifth inning but the Bulldogs took it right back with two in the bottom half to earn the win. Sophomore Matt Connolly went 2-for-3 with an RBI while Nate Quan (two runs), Rob Sullivan (RBI), and Chris Rota each had a hit for Canton. Mike Konzal, Steve Burbank, and Matt Pigeon each had a walk and a run scored. Sullivan got the win for Canton, allowing two earned runs on five hits in six innings of work. Rota didn’t allow a hit in one inning of work to get the save.
Milford, 7 @ Concord-Carlisle, 2 – Final – Milford senior Danny Corsini allowed just one hit in four winnings of work, allowing just one unearned run while striking out three to help the Scarlet Hawks get a win over Concord-Carlisle. Matt Shave had one hit and scored three runs while both Colby Pires (double, two runs, two RBI) and Tyler Almeida (two RBI) had two hits apiece. Luke Rosa struck out one with one hit allowed in two innings of relief.
Stoughton, 3 vs. West Bridgewater, 0 – Final – Stoughton sophomore Brady Conlin shined on the mound, throwing a complete game shutout to lead the Black Knights to a win. Conlin scattered four hits and three walks while striking out 11. Stoughton scored all three of its runs in the fourth inning. Robbie Seaman (reached on error) scored on an RBI single from James Genest, Jacob Kaplan used heads up base running to score on an infield hit from Mike Nazzaro, and Kyle Gagnon had a single that bought Nazzaro home.
Canton, 4 @ Boston Latin, 11 – Final – Canton sophomore Nikki Desjardins went 2-for-4, including hitting a home run, but the Bulldogs fell on the road. Freshman Sophia Santos pitched three scoreless innings with five strikeouts.
Milford, 1 @ Hopkinton, 13 – Final (6 Inn.)
Sharon, 3 vs. Duxbury, 4 – Final – Despite the loss, Sharon coach Heather Poliferno called it a “great game” against the Dragons. The Eagles rallied with two runs in the sixth inning to close the gap and added one in the seventh but couldn’t find the tying run. Emily Botvin was strong in the circle, throwing a complete game with four strikeouts and just one walk. She threw first pitch strikes to 29 of the batters she faced. Poliferno said that the Eagles made solid contact all game.
Taunton, 16 vs. Moses Brown, 5 – Final – After Moses Brown cut Taunton’s lead in half with five runs in the fifth, the Tigers responded with six runs in the sixth inning to pull away. Jaime Brown had a big day at the plate with four hits, including a pair of triples and five RBI. Hanna Aldrich (two RBI), McKenzie McAloon (double, RBI), and Ava Venturelli (double, triple, two RBI), each had two hits. Winning pitcher Kelsey White pitched the first five innings, allowing five unearned runs on four hits with three strikeouts and one walk. Alexa White came in for the final two innings, striking out five while allowing two hits.
Canton, 7 vs. Natick, 10 – Final – Canton stayed close with Natick for the entire game but couldn’t close the gap. Tommy Vaughan scored four goals and Griffin Roach netted three for the Bulldogs, who trailed 6-3 at the break.
North Attleboro @ Silver Lake, 4:00
Attleboro, 7 vs. Dartmouth, 17 – Final
Franklin, 10 @ Notre Dame Academy, 15 – Final
Mansfield, 4 @ Norton, 1 – Final – Mansfield swept doubles action and added two more wins in singles action to knock off Norton. Lizzy Elsner won 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 at first singles while junior Samantha Sternburg didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at third singles. The team of senior Hannah Podolske and sophomore Alex Burnham earned a 6-4, 6-2 win at first doubles while sophomores Ally McDeuitt and Alex Wendland secured a 7-5, 6-2 win at second doubles.
Canton, 7 vs. Attleboro, 6 – Final (8 inn.) – Click here for a photo gallery from this game – Attleboro scored twice in the top half of the seventh inning to take the lead but Canton tied it in the bottom half to force extra innings then walked off with the win in the bottom of the eighth. Mike Konzal (2-for-4, run) drew a two-out walk, advanced to second on a single from Steve Burbank (2-for-4, run, RBI), and then scored the game-winning run on a hit from Matt Pigeon (3-for-4, two runs, two RBI) for the winning run.
Pigeon was the catalyst for the tying run in the bottom as the seventh as well. Trailing 6-5, Pigeon led off with a double, advanced to third on a fly out from Matt Connolly (double, RBI), and scored the tying run on a two-out double from Rob Sullivan (2-for-3, two RBI).
Each team scored in the first inning but Attleboro seized a 4-1 advantage with a run in the second and two more in the third. Troy Gamache drove in Tim Callahan (3-for-4, two runs) to put Attleboro up 1-0 but Canton responded in the bottom half as Pigeon brought Nate Quan (2-for-4, two runs) home with a sacrifice fly. Attleboro’s Bailey Camacho put the Bombardiers back in front, 2-1, with a sacrifice fly that plated Sam Larkin (double, two runs) in the second inning.
Attleboro extended the advantage to 4-1 when Alvaro Espinal tripled and scored on a wild pitch, and Larkin doubled and came home on an error by the Bulldogs. Canton scored once in the fourth (Rob Sullivan RBI double) to make it a two-run game before putting three on the scoreboard in the fifth to take the lead. Quan, Konzal, and Burbank each singled, the last hit bringing Quan to the plate for a run but Larkin gunned down a potential second run on the play. Canton’s offense continued to battle though, with Pigeon singling to put runners on the corners. A double from Connolly tied the game at 4-4, and an RBI single from Paul Corcoran put Canton up 5-4.
In the top of the seventh, Mason Houle (2-for-4, run, RBI) drove in Callahan with a base hit and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.
Senior Kevin McGonigle earned the win in relief, tossing two scoreless innings without allowing a hit and striking out one.
Franklin, 5 vs. Milford, 4 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery from this game – Franklin trailed 4-1 heading into the fifth inning but scored two runs in the fifth and two more in the top of the seventh to pull out a come from behind victory over neighboring Milford at the Taunton High turf. Alex Haba drove in a pair of runs, including the game-tying run, and scored the eventual game-winner in the seventh, coming home on a sacrifice fly off the bat of JB Floris.
Milford jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Nick Marcolini started the inning by getting hit by a pitch, moved into scoring position on a Matt Shaver single. Colby Pires, who also started for the Hawks and struck out four in 4-1/3 innings, plated the opening run with a single to left. Franklin tied the game in the top of the fourth. Haba walked, stole second, and scored on a single to right by Cooper Ross. The Hawks responded in the bottom half with three runs off the Panthers starter Liam Dailey. Danny Corsini started the rally with an infield single and moved to second on a wild pitch before scoring on a Nick Wimette single. Carter Scudo doubled to left to put two in scoring position. Luke Rosa looped a basehit to right to score one and then, after a pitching change, a balk brought in the fourth run.
In the fifth, the Panthers struck for two. Joe Lizotte walked and Jack Nally got hit by a pitch. Scott Elliott loaded the bases with an infield single. A Haba sac fly made it 4-2 and Jake Macchi singled in another to make it 4-3. In the seventh, Elliott walked and stole second before coming around on a Haba single to center to tie the game. With Haba at third, Floris hit a fly ball to left that was deep enough to get in the winning run. Jake Fitzgibbons closed out the game, earning the win with four innings of scoreless relief.
Oliver Ames, 5 vs. Stoughton, 11 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery from this game – Stoughton scored in each of the first four innings, jumping out to an 11-3 lead and never looking back to get a win over Oliver Ames. Cian Swierzewski, James Genest, and Mike Nazzaro each scored in the first inning to help the Black Knights jump ahead.
After Oliver Ames got on the board in the top of the second (Jake Erlich leadoff double, scored on infield single from Jared Spillane), the Black Knights cashed in on a pair of OA errors and walks to make it 4-1. Chris Pearsons (4-for-4, two RBI, two runs) had an RBI triple and scored on an error in the top of the third to make it a one run game at 4-3, but Stoughton tacked on three runs in the bottom half to regain a multi-run lead.
Three walks loaded the bases for the Knights in the bottom of the third. Stoughton scored on a passed ball, a wild pitch, and an RBI single from Cam Dirosa to make it 7-3. Stoughton pushed across four more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Jacob Kaplan walked, stole second, and came home to score on an infield error that was put in play by Clayton Rahaman. An RBI double from sophomore Brady Conlin made it 9-3. Swerziewski then connected on the first home run of the season for any Hock player, and first high school player to hit a home run at the new Taunton field, with a two-run blast to make it 11-3. Oliver Ames scored single runs in the fifth (Jacob Levine RBI double) and the seventh inning (Pearsons RBI double).
2018 Record: 9-11 2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Steve Dunlea
After missing out on the playoffs by just one game last season, the Bombardiers are hoping to their experience will help them reach the state tournament this year.
Attleboro has experience in its pitching staff, behind the plate, and both in the infield as well the outfield. The Bombardiers pitching was a strength last season and should be again this year. Eoin Kelleher, the 2017 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, returns for his senior season and will be the anchor on the staff. Junior Ryan Morry impressed during his outings last season and lefty Camden Fitzpatrick will be in the mix as well.
The Bombardiers will be very strong on the left side of the infield. Senior captain Mason Houle will man third base while junior Tim Callahan, a starter last season, takes over at shortstop. Junior Lorenzo Wilson is slated to take the job at first base while Morry and junior Nick McMahon will split time at second base. While it’s a strong group defensively, all four will be relied upon to step up offensively. Attleboro had just 80 runs total last year, least in the Kelley-Rex division.
Another big part of the offense will be center fielder Alvaro Espinal. Espinal is arguably the best fielding outfielder in the league and will also bring a spark to the Bombardiers lineup at the plate. Senior captain Robbie Furtado will fill in at left field while Sam Larkin and Troy Gamache will both see time in right as well as designated hitter. Behind the plate, Troy Van Vliet gives the Bombardiers some experience while sophomore Bailey Camacho gives first-year head coach Steve Dunlea some flexibility at the position.
“The strength of this team is its senior class leadership and team chemistry,” Dunlea said. “We really have a well-balanced team that is strong in all phases of the game. It’s going to be a fun group to watch this year.”
2018 Record: 5-15 2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Ben Shuffain
A strong core of returning players along with some young talent should make for a fun season for the Bulldogs in 2019.
After losing a few key pieces from 2018, there is a good mix of experienced players and talented youth for first-year head coach Ben Shuffain to work with. The Bulldogs will look to three senior captains to the lead the way: Matt Pigeon, Paul Corcoran and Robert Sullivan. Pigeon is a three-year starter behind the plate who batted .368 last season. Corcoran and Sullivan will anchor a deep pitching staff that has looked solid in the preseason.
The pitching staff will also include seniors Kevin McGonigle, Nick Murray, and Joe Bates. Along with them Shuffain will also lean on junior Chris Rota and sophomores Nate Hewitt and Matt Connolly on the mound.
The infield has a double play duo that has shown to work well together featuring senior Mike Konzal and returning second baseman Nathan Quan. Offensively Canton will look to senior Max Macort along with juniors Owen Lahane and Lucas Bryant, and sophomore Steven Burbank.
“We have been very fortunate to have a lot of work outside so far this spring and I think it is going to help us start off on a positive,” Shuffain said. “The team is coming together and we have a great group of kids who really want to turn this program around.”
2018 Record: 5-16 2018 Finish: Reached D3 South First Round Coach: Derek Suess
Foxboro graduated 10 seniors from last year’s squad but there are 12 Warriors returning with varsity experience looking to make another trip to the state tournament.
The Warriors will be relying on their pitching staff this year to lead the way. There is a lot of optimism surrounding the rotation with senior Anthony Mollica and sophomore Sean Yoest each possessing plenty of varsity experience. Those two will be the top guys in the rotation while sophomore Cam Prescott has impressed during the preseason and could fit into the third starting spot. Seniors Guy Quartarone, Brian Duncan, and Philip Thomas as well as juniors Michael Devlin and Joe Cavaleri will be in the mix as well.
When he isn’t on the mound, Mollica will be the anchor of the defense from the shortstop position. He will be joined by sophomore Michael O’Toole at first base, Cavaleri will man third, and Thomas will take over at second base. Senior Adam Lanctot will also see time at second base this season for the Warriors.
In the outfield, Duncan — a senior captain that missed all of last season — will be the anchor, with Devlin handling center field duties and junior James Kaeser rounding out the Warrior outfield. Junior Zach Jenkins will also be in the mix for time in the outfield while junior Kyle McGinnis takes over behind the plate and will be relied upon as a key piece of Foxboro’s offense.
“Mentally, we have to have the same focus, energy, and intensity every single game,” said Foxboro coach Derek Suess. “There are no easy games in the Hockomock League. We must be consistent in our everyday approach in order to have a chance to compete for a league title.”
2018 Record: 21-5 2018 Finish: Division 1A (Super 8) State Champions Coach: Zach Brown
Coming off the program’s first-ever Super 8 state championship, Franklin is going to have a big target on its back — and the Panthers know it.
Franklin lost its top three pitchers in Jake Noviello, Bryan Woelfel, and Jason Ulrickson. Those were the only three pitchers to play during the Panthers’ Super 8 run. This season, the Panthers will turn to the experience of Ben Guzman, Brennan Rivera, and Will Pacheco. All three made appearances a year ago with Guzman and Pacheco registering wins. Guzman is currently recovering from an injury suffered in the preseason but the Panthers are excited for his contributions when he returns. Juniors Liam Dailey and Cody Trotin will also be in the mix after starting for JV last season.
While the pitching staff gets settled in, the Panthers will rely on its defense and offense. After an up-and-down regular season last year offensively, Franklin will be trying to carry over the success it had in the state tournament. Senior Alex Haba is back at shortstop and is one of the best two-way players in the Hockomock. Jake Macchi had a terrific postseason and will be looking to carry that over into his final year starting at catcher for Franklin. Scott Elliott will be the veteran in the outfield for the Panthers as well as a top offensive weapon. All three players — Haba, Macchi, and Elliott — are committed to playing baseball at Merrimack.
Cooper Ross is coming off a strong postseason and will start at third base while junior Jack Nally had a standout sophomore campaign in center field and will move up to the top of the order to set the table for the Panther offense. JB Floris will move from the designated hitter spot to first base and brings an experienced bat with him. Senior Joe Lizotte should see time in the outfield while senior Shane O’Neil’s versatility gives Franklin a lot of options defensively.
“We know this isn’t last year, this is a totally different team with different dynamics,” said Franklin head coach Zach Brown. “We like the makeup of our team, with guys working hard and the seniors being good leaders. I think we could be pretty good defensively, and we’ve shown at times in the preseason to be pretty versatile on offense.”
King Philip is returning a lot of experienced players from last year’s squad and is hoping that will turn into an improved season and berth in the state tournament.
One big reason for optimism is a seasoned pitching staff, which features seniors David Morganelli and Terry Murray. Morganelli posted a 1.99 ERA last season along with 43 strikeouts in 38.2 innings pitched. Murray will be the second starter for the Warriors while juniors Chris Sawyer and Robbie Jarest are expected to factor into the rotation as the season progresses.
“David’s size, strength, and velocity make him a formidable pitcher,” said KP’s second-year head coach Greg Kessler. “His slider and ability to locate his fastball are one of the best in the league. David has an opportunity to be one of the best pitchers in the Hock. He is competitive and has improved a lot in terms of accuracy.”
Sawyer and Jarest will handle the left side of the infield again this year, with Jarest returning as the starting shortstop and Sawyer back manning third base. Both players will be key pieces at the top of KP’s batting order. Senior Ian Zimmerman returns at second base while senior Jake Anderson and sophomore Conor Cooke will both see time behind the plate.
Timmy Nault (.311 last year) will lead the way in the outfield while Zachary Zarba will figure in as well. There is a lot of competition for some open spots in the KP lineup as well.
“We have a lot of work to do this season, we need to improve on our hitting and driving the ball,” Kessler said. “We have a great group of seniors who are dedicated and excited to compete for a Hock Title. This senior group is a collection of great student-athletes and really represent KP well. They are leaders on and off the field”
2018 Record: 19-5 2018 Finish: Super 8 First Round Coach: Joe Breen
Mansfield had a very successful 2018 season that saw the Hornets win the Kelley-Rex division and earned a berth into the Super 8 tournament. But the Hornets enter the 2019 campaign hungrier than ever.
After seeing an early exit from the Super 8, Mansfield is aiming to get back and make some noise in the tournament this year. There will certainly be holes to fill after graduating two top pitchers in Tyler Dalton and Kevin Dow, as well as the steady bat of Justin Pena and the terrific defense of catcher Cullin Anastasia. However, there are 11 players due back from last year’s team and a handful of new faces ready to make an impact of their own.
Junior John Carney and senior Kevin Moran will anchor the rotation; the Hornets unfortunately lost ace Connor Sheehan for the season to an injury. Both Carney and Moran have experience though, and Mansfield is looking to seniors Jake Gerraughty, Matt Scibilia, Aidan Angland, Connor Smith, and sophomore Greg Coyle to fill the relief and spot start roles.
Mansfield brings back two of its three outfielders from last year with centerfielder Sam Nugent and right field Dan Saraceno both returning. Speedy shortstop Mike Hargadon is also back so the Hornets have three key pieces from the top half of the lineup back to pace the offense this year. Look for Eric Longley, Jenkins, Smith, Gerraughty, and Scibilia to also factor into to the Hornet lineup this year.
“It’s been a wild offseason here between losing some of our top guys and coming down with the injury bug but we have a great group of self-motivated returning players that we will look to keep our program going in the right direction,” said Mansfield head coach Joe Breen. “There are a lot of positional battles and innings on the mound to be sorted out, but the staff is excited to see the boys compete over the first couple weeks of the pre-season to get ourselves ready for [the first game]. While we had some great success last season, the boys know that we are 0-0 and they are ready to carve their own path.”
2018 Record: 5-15 2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Alex Dion
After having a relatively young, inexperienced group in 2018, the Scarlet Hawks have flipped the script, bringing back six starters and eight total players and will be looking to ride that experience to an improved 2019 campaign.
Half of the returning starters are the three starting pitchers from last year, including senior Danny Corsini and juniors Colby Pires and Luke Rosa. Despite a 1-3 record last year, Rosa had a solid 2.97 ERA in 30.2 innings of work with 19 strikeouts. Corsini logged over 35 innings while Pires had over 24, so there is plenty of experience in the Hawk’s rotation.
Senior captain Matt Shaver returns to his shortstop position and will anchor the infield. Corsini and Pires will both see time at third base when they aren’t pitching, Justin Applebee is back for another season at second base, and Tyler Almeida continues his duties as the starting catcher for the Hawks. Senior captain Nick Marcolini gives the Hawks a left-handed option on the mound. Sophomores Carter Scudo (outfield) and Mario Lee (first, pitcher) will also factor in this year.
“I’m looking forward to the 2019 baseball season and am excited about the players that are on our team,” said Milford head coach Alex Dion. “This is a tough league with a lot of good teams and good coaches. I think we have an opportunity to be very competitive this year. I will lead on our returning seniors and captains to push this team in the right direction and I am excited about the young players we have in our program.”
2018 Record: 22-2 2018 Finish: Division 2 State Champions Coach: Mike Hart
North Attleboro is looking to replicate its success from last season, the best year in program history that resulted in the D2 State Championship. And with a solid group of returning players, there is optimism but the Rocketeers know it certainly won’t come easy.
“We are a team with a decent amount of returning players, but we will need everybody contributing to be successful,” said North Attleboro coach Mike Hart. “We are looking for guys to be more consistent, especially on the offensive side of the game.”
The Rocketeers have three returning starters in the infield, so that will certainly be relied upon as the season gets underway. Senior Nick Raneri started at third last season but will move over to first this year while seniors Shawn Watters and Ryan Warren will take care of business up the middle. Hart says there is a lot of competition for the final spot in the infield with a handful of players possibly seeing time. Brendan McHugh returns as the starting left fielder while Kyle Bolger, Russell Dunlap, and Kyle Briere are all in the mix.
Behind the plate, senior Todd Robinson and junior Owen Harding are battling for the starting spot.
While the Rocketeers look to get the offense going, they will rely on their pitching staff early on. Matt Wanless had a very strong junior year and will be counted on heavily this season while seniors Matt Seavey, Jake Palmer, Jake Carroll, as well as Dunlap and Briere, should be in the mix for innings. Sophomore Dennis Colleran will see an increased role this season and could emerge as a top option for the Big Red.
“We will rely heavily on our pitching staff to lead us, and with smart, mistake-free defense, we will be able to win some games,” Hart said. “I really like the competitiveness our team brings every day. If we can learn from our failures and grind through the tough parts of the season that are sure to come, I believe we can win some ball games.”
2018 Record: 16-8 2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Final Coach: Joe Abarr
Oliver Ames is coming off one of its most successful seasons, reaching the D2 South Final last year. The Tigers graduated some key pieces but there is a lot of players back that gives OA hopes at replicating last year’s success.
Senior Chris Pearsons will be a leader on and off the field for the Tigers, moving over from third base to take over the starting shortstop spot. Pearsons is one of the top players in the league, earning HockomockSports.com First Team honors last year after belting out 30 hits for an impressive .448 average. Not only is he a dangerous offensive player, he’s one of the top defensive players in the league as well.
Another key returner for the Tigers is catcher Jake Erlich, who will begin his third year starting behind the plate. Erlich is one of the top defensive catchers in the region and OA is looking for him to have a breakout season at the plate. Junior Jacob Levine showed flashes last season with some timely hits as a pinch hitter. This year, Levine takes over at first and the Tigers will be looking for him to bring a consistent bat to the lineup.
Reid Latham, who went 2-1 last season with a 2.85 ERA, focused heavily on pitching this offseason and will take over as the top starter in the Tigers’ rotation.
“We have an established lineup of varsity hitters with a handful of underclassmen that will be filling in gaps for us,” said Oliver Ames coach Joe Abarr. “Our pitching rotation should be solid as long as everyone stays healthy. Last year, the Hock proved to be one of the best leagues in the state. We need to show up and compete every day if we want to be successful.”
After a couple of seasons of being on the outside looking in, the 2019 Sharon Eagles are looking to make strides towards a state tournament berth.
Although it will be a relatively young group, there is strong senior leadership. Head coach Kee Arguimbau is hoping that a nice mix of veterans and new faces will result in a successful season.
Tarlin was also the ace of the staff for the past couple of seasons but senior Noah Kamens should be ready to step into the top spot after some real strong outings last year. A lefty, Kamens does a nice job mixing up his pitches and will be a key part of Sharon’s defense. Kamens will be complemented by 6’6 righty Max LeBlanc, who burst onto the scene a year and had some impressive outings. Jared Reef returns behind the dish and the Eagles are looking for him to have a breakout year offensively.
Junior Alec Filipkowski is moving in from the outfield to second base while sophomore Justin Brown returns to shortstop after picking up valuable experience last season as a freshman. Noah Martinez, who recently returned to Sharon after living in Florida, could be a key piece of the offense while playing the hot corner defensively.
Seniors Dairell Martinez and Matty Jacobsen will be doing their part for the Eagles in the outfield while = senior Ben Reinbold looks to have an impact for Sharon on the mound.
“This year’s team is young. Luckily, what we lack in experience, we make up for in solid leadership,” Arguimbau said. “The seniors have done a phenomenal job in establishing the culture for the team this season. The young guys in the program have followed their lead and have been working hard in the offseason and are ready to continue to put the work in every day.
2018 Record: 10-9 2018 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Coach: Mike Armour
Stoughton had a solid season a year ago, but an early exit from the state tournament has left the Black Knights hungry for more in 2019.
It starts with the two co-captains for the Black Knights: senior Zak Paquette and senior Robert Seaman. Paquette emerged as Stoughton’s top option on the mound last season and will be counted on to take on a lot of innings again this season. Paquette isn’t the most flashy pitcher but he helps put Stoughton in position to win games. Seaman will start at shortstop and the Black Knights are looking to him for a big bat in the middle of the lineup.
Last year’s HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year George Currier is looking to pick up where he left off last season, giving the Black Knights flexibility with his ability to play anywhere on the field defensively. Seniors Cian Swierzewski, Kevin Dixon, and Kyle Gagnon are all experienced outfielders, James Genest III gives Stoughton a nice presence at the plate offensively, and Mike Nazzaro will handle catching duties.
Newcomers Clayton Rahaman and Jacob Kaplan should log some innings in the outfield, along with Cam Dirosa in the infield and Brady Conlin in the infield and on the mound. Senior pitcher Evan Jackman has impressed so far this preseason and will be a key piece of Stoughton’s starting rotation.
“The goal this season will be to compete every time we set foot on the field, playing sound fundamental baseball and doing the little things to put us in a position to win some ballgames,” said Stoughton head coach Mike Armour. “The boys have been working hard and I expect us to have some fun this year and play the game the right way.”
2018 Record: 1 2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Blair Bourque
There is a lot of excitement in Taunton with its new turf field, but the Tigers are hoping it’s their performance on that field that will have people talking by the end of the year.
It all starts with pitching for Taunton this year. With two DI commits in Jack Moynihan (Siena) and Josh Lajoie (St. John’s), the Tigers will certainly be boasting one of the top pitching groups for another season. Moynihan posted a 1.44 ERA with 43 strikeouts while Lajoie fanned 36 batters and had a 1.52 ERA.
Both Moynihan and Lajoie provide a lot of offense as well, but the Tigers will need others to step up to fill some voids from graduation. Tyler Medeiros (.375) and Trevor Pietrzyk (.373) both graduated some Taunton’s offense so head coach Blair Bourque will be looking for some new faces to step up.
The Tigers will be looking to senior Evan Melo to give the offense a spark. Melo will patrol center field and set the table to the offensively from the leadoff spot. Junior Logan Lawrence impressed last year batting .336; Taunton will need his bat to provide pop in the middle of the lineup in 2019.
“We’re certainly excited about having the opportunity to showcase our new turf field,” said Taunton head coach Blair Bourque. “It’s really a dream come true. There’s something special about this year’s team, the senior leadership and camaraderie are substantial.”
STOUGHTON, Mass. – If not for the perfect relay throw, Stoughton very well could have been looking at a different outcome against #9 Somerset-Berkley.
Trailing by a run in the bottom of the seventh, senior Ruben Gonzalez, one of the fastest players in the area, hit an RBI triple that rolled to the edge of right field at Noviello Field at Stoughton High School.
Gonzalez sped around third and nearly made the turn home but the perfect relay throw forced Stoughton head coach Mike Armour to hold Gonzalez at third with two outs. At the next at-bat. SB pitcher Chase Stafford induced a chopper down the third base line and the throw to first was just in time for the final out, giving the Raiders a 3-2 win over the Black Knights.
Stoughton entered the bottom half of the inning facing a two-run deficit, down 3-1 after the Raiders scored twice in the second and once in the fourth. Stafford got the first two outs – a 6-3 groundout and an F8 – before Stoughton senior Zak Paquette battled his way to a walk.
Gonzalez smacked the first pitch he saw into right, the ball rolling all the way to the edge of the playing field to bring pinch runner Cameron DiRosa home to make it a one-run game.
“Ruben…I expect nothing less, coming through there,” Armour said. “If they don’t the cut there, then he’s still going and tying it up. He is such a special player, I think he showed what he’s about today. But we just came up a little short.”
Gonzalez nearly stole home, but on a 2-2 count, Matt Hadley was forced to put the ball in play and the senior came inches away from legging out the infield single to tie the game.
“We couldn’t string enough hits today on offense,” Armour said. “You have to tip your cap to Somerset-Berkley. Their pitcher was hitting his spots but we weren’t really squaring them up that well today. They had that one big inning, they got some bloop hits. But that’s baseball…..if you only score two runs, chances are you’re not going to win that game.”
It was a bright start for the Black Knights. Gonzalez led off with a single in the bottom of the first and went to third on a single from Evan Gibb. With sophomore James Genest at the plate, the ball got behind the catcher and Gonzalez took off for home, but the umpire called the speedy shortstop out at home.
Gibb moved to third on the same ball and Genest singled into left field to give Stoughton a 1-0 lead.
Somerset-Berkley loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the second inning. Kyle Vieira singled into center for a run before Paquette got the first out with an infield fly. Jacob Rebello hit one deep enough to center allowing the run to just beat Cian Swierzewski’s throw for a sacrifice fly and a 2-1 advantage.
The Raiders tacked on a run in the fourth inning. Vieira and Rebello had singles and Matt Shea reached on a bunt and overthrow. That same overthrow allowed Vieira to come around and make it 3-1.
After an intentional walk, Paquette got a pop up to right field and sophomore George Currier fired to first for a double play. Paquette followed up with a strikeout.
“Zak has been heart, guts, everything for us all year,” Armour said. “He plans to go seven [innings] every time he’s out there. He makes it very difficult to not have that come to fruition. He was falling behind a couple of times but he kept coming back and getting the outs in the later innings so you tip your cap to him.”
Stoughton had a chance to strike back in the bottom of the fourth but uncharacteristic errors hurt the Black Knights. Genest singled and Currier followed with a one-out base hit of his own to put runners on first and second.
But a ground ball not only got the force out at second, Stoughton’s pinch runner accidentally overran third and the Raiders capitalized, firing to third and getting the tag.
Swierzewski was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the fifth but a sac bunt attempt turned into a double play when Stafford caught the bunt and fired to first.
“We had a couple base running errors, we had that sac bunt turn into the double play so it was just little things. And at the same time, George made that nice play in right and doubled them up. It was a good game…[Somerset] got their three runs early and we just couldn’t get enough to overcome.”
Stoughton baseball, which had just two players back from the 2017 squad with varsity experience, finishes the season at 10-9 overall. Six of the nine Black Knight starters are set to return next season.
“I’m proud of these guys,” Armour said. “Two of them played varsity baseball last year…so to qualify, get a game at our home field. The town has been going through a lot, I think that’s what I’m most upset about because we really wanted to give Stoughton something to smile about, something to get behind. But we just came up a little short and I think that hurts more than anything else.”