DeMattio, North Beat Attleboro to Win Blue-Red Cup

North Attleboro baseball
Senior catcher Zach DeMattio drove in two runs, including the game-winner in the fifth inning, as North beat Attleboro to win the annual Blue-Red Cup. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Last year it was North Attleboro that came into the rivalry game under the lights against Attleboro at Community Field needing a win to keep its playoff hopes alive. The Bombardiers pulled out that win to keep North out of the postseason, but on Wednesday night the roles were reversed and the Rocketeers exacted a measure of revenge.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Behind a complete game, four-hitter from senior Peter Cohen and a pair of RBI from senior catcher Zach DeMattio, the Davenport division champion Rocketeers pulled out a 3-1 victory, bringing home the Blue-Red Cup for the first time in three years and officially knocking their rivals out of tournament contention.

“I think that was in the back of their minds,” admitted North coach Mike Hart. “We knew they were going to come out jacked up and we had to match it and exceed it. I definitely think we matched the excitement and the energy. It’s probably the most energetic I’ve been this season and I think it’s the same with them.”

Offense was in short supply, as the two teams only combined for eight hits. Cohen kept the Bombardiers off-balance and junior Eoin Kelleher limited the high-powered North offense to just four hits as well.

“We’ve been in this situation before and came through,” said Hart. “We just stuck to our approach and believed that we could do it. I think it helps us coming towards the playoffs. It’s the Hockomock League and every game’s going to be a fight, no matter who it is.”

Attleboro coach Matt Bosh added, “That was a great game, two good teams, great crowd, rivalry, atmosphere, you know, and it was 3-1. That’s an awesome baseball game. Cohen pitched outstanding. He made good pitches when he had to. It was a great pitcher’s duel.”

The visitors took the lead in the top of the first. Tim Callahan led-off with a double into right center and, with one out, Alvaro Espinal drew a walk. Nick Raneri made a great barehand play on the run on a swinging bunt up the third baseline by Jon Candiales, but both runners moved into scoring position.

Corey McKenna singled to left, scoring Callahan, but Brendan McHugh came up firing and threw a strike to DeMattio at the plate, who managed to get the tag on Espinal just before the runner touched home.

The lead was short-lived. North answered back in the bottom half of the inning. McHugh started it with a single to left and then stole second. Nick Sinacola moved him to third with a grounder to the right side and DeMattio roped a line drive to right to bring McHugh home. McKenna ended the inning with a barehand pickup and throw on the infield grass to get Raneri.

Neither team would manage another hit until a two-out single by Sam Larkin in the top of the fourth. Both went in order in the second after Jeff Gale was caught stealing by Dakota Kirby and both had base runners in the third on a couple of walks, but the pitchers and the defenses were keeping scoring chances to a minimum.

That changed in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, nine-hole hitter Ryan Warren dropped down a perfect bunt up the third baseline for North’s first hit since the first. McHugh followed with a walk. Sinacola hit a grounder to second but Attleboro couldn’t complete the double play to end the inning, as the University of Maine-commit hustled down the line to keep the inning alive.

“Ryan does a very good job with that,” said Hart. “We were just trying to keep Attleboro on its toes too and it does spark some energy on the bench.” About Sinacola beating out the double play grounder, Hart added, “He’s been a great leader just hustling down there.”

DeMattio ripped a single through the left side for his second hit and second RBI of the night to put North back in front. After Nate Pearce walked to load the bases, Raneri took one off the top of his helmet to give North an insurance run.

Hart said, “Zach’s a special player. He’s definitely become a better hitter since last year. He may not have all the home runs that he’s had in the past but he’s definitely become a better hitter.”

Bosh joked, “I was kidding with DeMattio that’s why he hasn’t seen a pitch in four years because he hammers it every time.”

Attleboro went into the seventh down by two trying to keep its playoff hopes alive and Kirby gave the Bombardiers some added energy with a lead off single. Troy Van Vliet came up next and hit a soft liner that North first baseman Aidan Harding was able to snare at full stretch.

Cohen fed off the big defensive play and was able to bear down, closing the game out with a strikeout and then a grounder into the hole at short that Shawn Watters not only got to but was able to fire a strike to second to get the game-ending force.

“Peter’s a bulldog. He’s out there and he’s battling every single pitch,” Hart said. “He has good stuff and he trusts his fastball, which has got a little movement on it. He just gets out there and battles and I think that’s really what a lot of our seniors and our whole team bring to the table.”

This has been the type of loss that has defined Attleboro’s season. The Bombardiers have lost six games by three runs or less this spring, including four by just a single run.

“Our kids battled but yeah it’s been the story of our season. We lose games like that,” said Bosh. “Our pitching has been great…but late in the year a lot of teams are pitching well so your runs aren’t going to be in bunches. I’m proud of my kids, they fought hard.”

North Attleboro (15-1, 12-1) will continue to prepare for the state tournament on Friday night against Bishop Feehan, again under the lights at Community Field. Attleboro (8-11, 6-9) will close out its season on Thursday at home against Stoughton.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Attleboro Shutout in Semifinal By Top Seeded Lakers

Attleboro's Nate Tellier struck out nine and allowed just two hits in the Bombardiers' loss. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Attleboro’s Nate Tellier struck out nine and allowed just two hits in the Bombardiers’ loss. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
BRAINTREE, Mass. – Heading into the D1 South Semifinal, the Attleboro Blue Bombardiers knew that would have to play nearly flawless if they wanted to upset top-seeded Silver Lake and Gatorade Player of the Year, pitching Anthony Videtto.

Unfortunately, Attleboro had things go wrong at inopportune times and the Bombardiers suffered a 3-0 loss to Videtto and the Lakers in the D1 South Semifinal.

Silver Lake scored single runs in the first, third and fifth innings while Attleboro was unable to get a base runner past second base.

“We couldn’t generate a couple hits in a row and then we had some base running mistakes that we don’t normally make and couple errors,” Attleboro head coach Matt Bosh said. “You can’t do that against that against good teams. Unfortunately, the three kids that scored for them, all got on by walks. So with the errors, the base running mistakes, against a good team like that, that’s going to burn you.”

Nate Tellier was strong on the mound in a six-inning complete game effort, tossing a two-hitter with nine strikeouts. But Silver Lake was patient, drawing six walks – three of which led to runs.

Attleboro’s Tyler Stowe roped a one-out single in the top of the first inning but Videtto came back, getting a strike out looking and Lakers’ catcher Greg Wozniak fired to second for the double play.

A lead off walk from Will Gallagher to open the bottom of the first quickly turned into a scoring opportunity for Silver Lake when he stole second. Dan Collins ripped an 0-2 pitch into right field, bringing Gallagher in for a 1-0 lead.

The Bombardiers were unable to capitalize on a lead off walk in the top of the second, grounding in a 5-4-3 double play. And then Videtto worked around a two-out single in the third.

Videtto drew a lead off walk in the bottom of the third and quickly got into scoring position by stealing second. The senior then took off for third and the throw from home skipped into third. Videtto sprinted in for the Lakers’ second run as the throw from left sailed high.

Attleboro had a base runner in every single inning, including Will Carter reaching second on a one out error in the fourth. But Videtto locked in with a strikeout and a routine grounder to short to get out of the inning. Stowe collected his second hit of the game to lead off the sixth but a line out to center turned into a double play with the throw to first for the out.

Silver Lake added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Back to back walks to Gallagher and Videtto preceded an infield hit from Collins to load the bases with no outs. After Tellier induced a pop up in foul play to first, Lakers head coach Kenny Tocci elected for a squeeze play. Jack Ruprecht placed a perfectly hit bunt for a ground out RBI, right between Tellier and third baseman Robbie Araujo, allowing Gallagher to scamper in.

“I don’t know if he felt 100%,” Bosh said of Tellier. Tellier had pitched back to back extra inning games, the most recent a week ago. Videtto had yet to pitch in the postseason. “He didn’t have his normal velocity and control. I think he was really trying to get a lot of turn in his body to make up for the velocity. He changed his mechanics a little but that kid battles. He wasn’t 100% but he went out and threw a two-hitter against the top seed, so hats off, hats off to all the kids.”

“You’ve gotta get the runs when you can, [Tellier’s] an excellent pitcher,” Tocci said. “We knew that coming in. He had something like 65 strikeouts in 35 innings [in the regular season]. We knew we would have to do some unconventional things to get runs across, we stole third when he wasn’t looking and the squeeze. You have to push runners across when you can.”

Tellier struck out the side in the bottom of the sixth, all looking, and gave the Bombardiers the momentum heading into the top of the seventh, and they nearly capitalized.

Araujo’s grounder got through at second base for a one out hit. Pinch hitter Nolan Kane took four straight balls to put two on and bring the tying run to the plate. Videtto got a strikeout for the second out, bringing Attleboro second baseman Cam Hochwarter to the plate. Hochwarter connected on a 1-2 pitch, launching the hardest hit ball of the day to left center field but Silver Lake’s Aidan O’Neil made the running catch just mere feet from the fence for the final out.

“We battled all year,” beamed Bosh. “We were 7-9 and we finished off 13-10, so there’s absolutely nothing to hang your head about.”

Attleboro finishes the season 13-10 overall, winning seven of their last nine games.

Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Kane, Attleboro Walk-off Into D1 South Semifinal

ByJarettLeonard_2016FollowJarettLeonard_2016
 
 
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Despite struggling to generate offense for the majority of the game, Attleboro delivered in two key moments to capture a 2-1 win in walk-off fashion over Brookline in the D1 South quarterfinal on Monday.

After surrendering the game’s first run to the Warriors in the top of the fourth, the Bombardiers answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning. With the score tied 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh, senior Nolan Kane was called upon as a pinch hitter and drove a ball to deep center field that sailed over the defense and allowed the winning run to score from third.

“We’ve been an opportunistic offense all year,” Attleboro coach Matt Bosh said. “The kids keep battling. We have 11 seniors who are playing their hearts out and don’t want to play their last game. We just keep fighting and we keep playing.”

Attleboro sophomore designated hitter Dakota Kirby led off the seventh inning with a double to right center field. Third baseman Robbie Araujo then grounded back to the pitcher, moving Kirby to third on the fielder’s choice. Kane then pinch hit, and after fouling off a number of pitches, delivered the game-winning hit.

“He tears the cover off the ball in practice, so I gave him a shot,” Bosh said. “Nobody else was having any success today. Top of the lineup, bottom of the lineup, nobody else was doing anything. He has hit the ball well in practice all year, give him a shot, he’s a senior. There’s nothing to lose, like I said, nobody else is doing anything.”

Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Jon Dunn reached on an error for Attleboro’s first base runner of the game off of Brookline freshman pitcher Josh Richardson. With Tyler Stowe at the plate, Dunn faked as if he was going to steal, forcing the second baseman to cover the bag and allowing Stowe’s grounder to the right side to sneak through for a single. Nate Tellier then lined a single up the middle, scoring Dunn from second and tying the game.

Attleboro junior pitcher Tyler McGovern went the distance for the win, allowing just one run on eight hits with seven strikeouts. Three singles in the fourth inning accounted for the only Brookline run, with Mitchell Schroeder driving in Reo Shimbori. A second runner attempted to score on the play, but Attleboro catcher Will Carter applied a tag at the plate to keep it a one run deficit.

“They’re a tough team,” Bosh said. “They played well defensively and they had scrappy little hitters up there. They had a ton of chances and Tyler buckled down when he had to and got the outs.”

Richardson retired the first nine batters he faced in the game and missed the zone with only three pitches in doing so. After Attleboro’s run in the fourth, he again set down nine of the next ten Bombardiers before the walk-off hit in the seventh inning. While only striking out two, Richardson allowed just five hits and one earned run, and his command of the strike zone early in the game led to his success.

“He’s good,” Bosh said. “That sidearm delivery, he was pounding that outside corner first pitch all day and we just couldn’t solve him.”

After two one-run wins to begin the D1 South Sectional tournament, Attleboro baseball will now face #1 Silver Lake in the semifinal round on a date and time to be announced as of publishing. Attleboro’s schedule will be updated as soon as a date, time and location are announced.

Tellier Lifts Attleboro To Upset Win Over Norwood

Nate Tellier
Attleboro senior Nate Tellier slides in safely for the game’s only run in the top of the ninth inning. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
NORWOOD, Mass. – Norwood senior left handed pitcher and Bay State Conference Herget Division MVP Sean Mellen was at the top of his game on Thursday afternoon as the fifth seeded Mustangs hosted #12 Attleboro.

But Attleboro senior righty Nate Tellier was better.

Tellier out-dueled the Northeastern-commit, tossing a complete game shutout and scored the game’s only run in the top of the ninth inning as the Bombardiers scored a 1-0 upset win over Norwood in nine innings.

The Bombardiers threatened with a pair of hits in the top of the first inning, but it wasn’t until the top of the ninth when they finally got another hit. Tellier hit a one out dribbler up the third base line, forcing a high throw and allowing the senior to advance to second. He then stole third, his fourth stolen base of the game. After Will Carter was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners, sophomore Dakota Kirby made contact with the third pitch he saw.

Tellier took off from third, sprinting down the line as Mellen came off the mound and looked to field the ball. Tellier slid around the catcher, slapping his left hand down onto the plate well before a tag attempt to give the Bombardiers a 1-0 lead.

“He’s been with me for four years, I trust him,” Attleboro head coach Matt Bosh said of Tellier’s decision to race home. “I trust him with the steals, I just tell him to make a read and make a play. I trust him to do what he wants to do on the bases.”

“If it was hard contact, I wasn’t going to go, but I just read it and I hoped for the best,” Tellier said.

The senior came back out to pitch the bottom of the ninth, noting that there was no chance he was going to come out of the game at that point. Tellier recorded two straight outs — a ground out back to the mound and his 11th strikeout of the game — before allowing just the third Norwood hit of the game. The game ended with Tellier inducing a grounder to third, where Robbie Araujo for the final out.

Araujo recorded his fifth assist with the final out, with Tellier noting “I trust him with my life” to get the out.

“Mellen is one of the top pitchers in the state of Massachusetts, and he’s known as one of top pitchers,” Bosh said. “Nate Tellier isn’t known, but now, this should put him on the map. That’s two of the best pitchers in the state. It’s a shame these two teams have to play in the first round.”

Jon Dunn led of the game for Attleboro with a single up the middle and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Tyler Stowe. Tellier singled to put runners on the corners. Dunn got caught in a run down between third and home on an infield hit and Tellier moved to third. Mellen got out of the inning with his first of 13 strikeouts.

Tellier kept Norwood hitless for the first five innings, only allowing three base runners (two walks, hit by pitch). Norwood’s first hit came with two outs in the sixth when Michael James found space through the right side. A stolen base, wild pitch and a walk put runners on the corner but once again, Tellier induced a weak grounder and Araujo charged, making a perfect throw to first to get the out.

Norwood threatened again in the bottom of the seventh behind a lead off single and a sacrifice bunt. But Tellier wasn’t bothered, getting a ground out to Araujo at third and then getting his ninth strikeout of the game to escape the inning.

“The last two days I was a little scared, going up against a Northeastern commit, that’s all I was thinking about,” Tellier admitted. “But then when I got here, I just told myself that my pitching isn’t affected by his pitching. I just treated it like a normal game and it turned out well.”

‘It turned out well’ is a vast understatement by the modest Tellier, who has allowed just three earned runs through 44 innings this season. Tellier pitched a no-hitter against North Attleboro in an eight innings on Monday. He now has 27 strikeouts in his last two starts and 24 straight scoreless innings.

“Plus he reached four times, four stolen bases, scored the winning run,” Bosh added. “The kid is just a baseball player.”

It was a little bit of revenge for the Bombardiers, who were upset two years ago as the two seed by the Mustangs,in the D1 South Semifinals in a 14 inning thriller. Tellier played in that game and Stowe pitched 11 shutout innings in the game. Other seniors were involved, watching from the dugout at Adams Field in Quincy. It was certainly on the minds of the players and coaches today.

“We talked about it and talked about seizing the opportunities when you have them,” Bosh said. “This felt good against these guys because they got us two years ago. They’re a great team. he’s a great coach. It’s just a shame we had to meet in round one.”

“We knew they won in extra innings last time, as the away team,” Tellier said. “We were the away team this time so it was our turn.”

Attleboro baseball, as a 12 seed, will now host its next game after #13 Brookline upset #4 Taunton in extra innings. The Bombardiers will host the Warriors on Monday at 4:00.

Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Attleboro Beats North Thanks to Tellier No Hitter

Attleboro baseball
Attleboro senior Nate Tellier tossed an eight-inning no hitter against North Attleboro, striking out 16 hitters in the process. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Going into its final three games of the season, Attleboro needed two wins to clinch a spot in the state tournament. On Monday night, under the lights at Community Field, the Bombardiers threw their ace, senior Nate Tellier, against North Attleboro in the annual Blue and Red Cup game.

Attleboro needed a solid start from its top pitcher. Tellier went way beyond solid; he gave the Bombardiers historic.

The UMass Dartmouth-commit tossed a no hitter against the Rocketeers, striking out 16 over eight innings, including a stretch beginning in the second inning in which he fanned 11 of 12 batters that he faced. With a dominating fastball and a curve that he could throw for strikes, Tellier limited North to four base runners: lead-off walks in the first and second, a fielder’s choice in the first, and an error on a bunt in the sixth.

North Attleboro coach Paul Tobin summed it up succinctly, “That’s the best pitching performance I’ve seen in seven years of coaching in the Hockomock League…Tellier was untouchable.”

Tellier’s effort was matched almost pitch by pitch by North starter Andy Katch, who threw seven shutout innings of his own before allowing an eighth inning rally that would produce the winning runs for the Bombardiers, as Attleboro claimed the cup with a 2-0 extra innings victory.

“It was a shame someone had to lose that game,” said Attleboro coach Matt Bosh, praising Katch for the way he kept the Bombardiers off-balance. “It was just a great pitcher’s duel.”

North had its best chance in the bottom of the sixth. Tobin called for a bunt from nine-hitter Zach Rofno and he placed it down the third base line. If Tellier’s throw had been on line it would have been an out, so it went down as an error on the pitcher.

Rofno stole second and moved to third with two outs on a grounder, but he was stranded when Tellier got Zach DeMattio to bounce back to the mound.

Tobin said, “If we could have gotten that one hit I felt really good that he was going to shut them out in the seventh. We just couldn’t get that two-out hit, which has been a pattern for us.”

Will Carter lined a two-out double to left center, bouncing it into the stands that line the warning track, but Katch got Robbie Araujo to ground out to end the inning. In the bottom half, Tellier made quick work of the Rocketeers with two strikeouts and a grounder to first.

The game was scoreless into the eighth, but finally Attleboro got something going. Pinch hitter Nolan Kane worked a lead-off walk and after Katch struck out Brent Cook, No. 9 hitter Cam Hochwarter smashed a ground-rule double to left to put two in scoring position.

Bosh joked, “[Cam’s] been using a 33-inch bat for two years. Yesterday at practice, out of nowhere, he used a 32 and he’s hitting lasers…and I was like why didn’t you think of that sooner?”

Jon Dunn followed with a clutch single to left that scored both runners. An error and hit by Tellier would load the bases but John O’Donnell came in to relieve Katch and got a line drive and a fly ball to center that Kyle McCarthy made an excellent play on despite barely being able to see it in the limited Community Field lighting.

Tellier did not need any more than two runs. He got a comebacker for the first out and then, facing a pair of pinch hitters, he overwhelmed the final two batters with his fastball that during the game the North coaches labeled the fastest they have seen this year.

“To me he’s the best player in the league all-around,” said Bosh about Tellier. “He’s had his fastball working all year; he had his deuce working and he kept his pitch count down…He was just lights out tonight. He was awesome.”

In his last outing he threw 136 pitches and Tellier admitted that his arm was still sore from that last start. He took some Advil on Monday morning and that seemed to help a little. Then he went and threw the best game of his career.

“It helped that I was getting ahead of batters and not getting deep into counts,” said Tellier. “That really drove my pitch count down.”

When asked if there was any consideration of him being done after the seventh, Tellier insisted, “No question, I was going. There was no way I was not finishing this game.”

In the midst of the pitcher’s duel and the drama of the scoreless game, many people were unaware that Tellier was working on a no hitter as the final inning began (this reporter included). In fact it was not until he was about to take the mound for the eighth inning that Tellier even became aware of what he was working on.

“I was just focused on getting outs up until the eighth inning and then when it came around I was like wait,” he said with smile, still soaked from the water his teammates dumped on him in the postgame celebration.

Tobin was proud of the way his team competed on Monday with nothing more to play for than the trophy and a chance to beat its rival. He praised Katch for giving his all and felt bad that the senior could not have been rewarded for his great start.

“I thought Andy Katch pitched a tremendous game,” he said. “Seven shutout innings, what more can you ask of a kid? Any other game and that’s a win and it’s heartbreaking for Andy to not get the win with that kind of effort.”

Attleboro rode a historic start to a win on Monday and will go into its final two games needing one more win to clinch a postseason berth.

Bosh said, “These are games all year that we’ve lost where it’s close late and there’s a bad break or an error or a base hit…That’s the kind of win we haven’t gotten all year.

“Things seem to be coming together and hopefully we can get tomorrow out of the way, so we don’t have all that pressure for Wednesday.”

Attleboro (9-9, 8-7) will travel to Frothingham Park on Tuesday to face Oliver Ames. North Attleboro (6-12, 5-10) will face Foxboro.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Hornets Stay Alive with Walk-Off Against Attleboro

Mansfield baseball
Players rush the plate after Max Boen scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By Lance Reynolds, HockomockSports.com Contributor

BROCKTON, Mass. – Just win one game at a time.

That’s what the mindset of the Mansfield baseball team has been this past week while holding a slim chance of earning a ticket to the tournament. So far, the mindset has paid dividends as the Hornets have knocked off two straight wins including Wednesday night’s 2-1 walk-off victory against Attleboro at Campanelli Stadium.

“The last week we’ve came in knowing that we have to win out. We’re 5-10, and we’ve had to win our last five games,” Mansfield coach Joe Breen said. “We’re sitting here two down, three to go. We’ve got a very tough opponent in Lynn Classical tomorrow. The theme of the rest of the season has been: ‘Just go 1-0 every day,’ and we showed up today just trying to go 1-0.”

With the score tied at 1-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh, it certainly appeared as if the Bombardiers and Hornets were heading to extra innings. However, it took just two batters for the outcome to result in Mansfield’s favor.

Junior shortstop Max Boen drew a leadoff walk and decided to risk the Hornets’ fate with a stolen base. The risk was well-worth the reward as Boen beat out the force attempt at second. Two pitches later, junior centerfielder Zach Peterson dropped down a bunt in front of the mound with Boen in motion.

On Tyler McGovern’s throw to first, Boen decided again to risk things and dash towards home. Bombardier first baseman Nate Tellier threw it to catcher Dakota Kirby, but Boen got in on time for the game-winning run and was swarmed by his Mansfield teammates.

“Well, Max needs to relearn the signs,” Breen chuckled. “But either way, he was in – I think he got under the tag. We planned on bunting him over for the other guys in the lineup to knock him in. As soon as he got on second, Zach Peterson and I had a quick little conversation about laying one down more so for a hit, and less so for a sacrifice to put a little more pressure on those guys. Luckily, it all worked out.”

In addition to delivering the walk-off bunt, Peterson scored the game’s opening run in the bottom of the first for the Hornets. Peterson reached base on a leadoff single to left field, wound up on second on a sacrifice bunt off Aidan Cahill’s bat, and eventually came around to score on a fielder’s choice.

Hits were hard to come by in a pitchers’ duel that offered two of the best pitchers in the Hockomock in the form of Attleboro’s Tyler McGovern and Mansfield’s Tyler Dalton. Both starters tossed complete games for their respective teams.

After giving up the run in the first, McGovern found his rhythm and allowed the Hornets to reach third base just once until the final inning. The right-hander retired the side in the second and sixth innings on his way to allowing four hits while striking out two.

“He pitched outstanding,” Attleboro coach Matt Bosh said of McGovern. “He did everything – he got ahead of hitters, he got out of jams. He had all of his pitches going for strikes, he had an outstanding game.”

Stymied by Dalton and not successfully placing a runner on base through the first three innings, Attleboro started the fourth inning with three consecutive singles. Jon Dunn and Tyler Stowe stroked singles to left field to put two runners on base, and then converted a double-steal putting runners on second and third with no outs. Dunn came across and tied the score at one on a Tellier single to right.

Dalton, who has been labeled as the Hornets’ “ace” this season, retired the side in the first, second, third, and seventh innings. The sophomore struck out five while issuing no walks on six hits.

“He just keeps showing up. We’re a different team with him on the mound right now,” Breen said of Dalton. “We’re just trying to live one day at a time and stay alive so we can give ourselves a chance to get in the tournament to put him on the mound and ride his coattails. He’s been phenomenal his last four outings. He’s been putting us on his back, that’s for sure.”

Dalton was backed up by a strong Mansfield defense which killed several Attleboro threats. In the second inning, Kirby drilled a liner into the right field corner, but was gunned down at second by Jake Tryder. With an opportunity to take the lead in the fourth, as there were runners on second and third, Matt Callahan was robbed by a leaping Tyrone Pascual. In the fifth, the Hornets turned a double play started by Boen at short to erase a leadoff single.

“I feel like on senior nights, these guys get a little bit added motivation,” Breen said. “Our seniors certainly showed up today; Tyrone with that great catch – that’s a run right there that he saves, Tryder – that’s a huge play early on in the game to keep the guy off second base. Again, seniors stepping up late in the season on this run right here.”

Mansfield (6-9 in league-play, 7-10 overall) looks to carry over their one-day-at-a-time momentum when they travel to take on Lynn Classical on Thursday night. Attleboro (7-7 in league-play, 7-9 overall) looks to get back into the win column on Friday when they travel to Dartmouth.

Taunton Prevails In Extras After Great Pitcher’s Duel

Taunton baseball
Taunton’s Max Bowden (9) celebrates with Brendon Mazerolle after walking off with the win in the eighth inning. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
TAUNTON, Mass. – The pitcher’s duel between Attleboro’s Nate Tellier and Taunton’s Luke Figueira certainly lived up the hype.

Two of the top pitchers in the Hockomock League went back in forth, Figueira landing a punch the top half only for Tellier to answer with a counter punch on the mound in the bottom half.

While both pitchers were engaged in a heavyweight battle, both offenses struggled to get just about anything going, combing for three hits total.

In the end, it was a walk, Taunton’s lone hit and an error in the bottom of the 8th inning that allowed the Tigers to walk off with a 1-0 over the Bombardiers.

“It’s a win and it’s a league win against an outstanding opponent and a well coached team so we’ll take it,” Taunton head coach Jeff Sylvia said. “And it was against one of the better pitchers in the league. So after the first week we have two wins and just one loss so that’s a good week. Now going forward we have two big games coming up after the City Championship [against Coyle].”

Taunton went seven innings without a hit but finally got one in the bottom of the eighth inning. Junior William Emerson battled to draw a lead off walk and advanced to second on Matt Machado’s sacrifice bunt back to pitcher Matt Callahan. Senior Brendon Mazerolle reached on a hard hit infield single to put runners on first and second. Callahan responded with a strikeout for the second out.

Senior Max Bowden then hit a hard hit grounder up the left field line was squirted through at third base and rolled slowly into left field. With two outs, Emerson was running on contact and came around to score the winning run.

“Whoever is going to play better defense is going to win [these types of games],” Attleboro head coach Matt Bosh admitted. “We made some mistakes, a couple popups, we booted a couple of ground balls. Eventually those will hurt you and they did.”

Attleboro had one of its best chances in the opening inning when a one out walk preceded a single and a fielder’s choice to load the bases. Figueira was able to get his third strikeout of the first inning to escape the jam though.

Taunton’s lead off batter reached in both the first inning (Machado via a walk) and sophomore Joe Manchester (via an error) but both times, Tellier came up with a pair of strike outs to walk away unscathed both times.

Figueria (four pitches) and Tellier (13 pitches) each breezed through the third inning. Bowden reached on an error to lead off the fourth and moved to second on a sac bunt from Manchester and to third on a wild pitch. But Tellier once again closed the inning with a strike out to escape.

Attleboro’s Tyler Stowe reached on a one out error in the fifth and moved to third after a stolen base and a ground out to short. Figueira closed the curtain on his performance by inducing another 6-3 groundout.

Tellier got into a little trouble in the bottom of the sixth after a hit batter and an error put runners on second and third with two outs but the senior got Manchester looking with his 98th and final pitch to get out of the jam.

In relief, both Taunton’s Bowden and Attleboro’s Callahan was very strong. Bowden had 1-2-3 innings in both the 6th and 7th but ran into a little trouble in the 8th inning. After getting a strikeout to start the top half, an infield error allowed Cam Hochwarter to reach. Nate Tellier then reached on another infield error to put runners on first and second.

Patrick Collins’ blooped Attleboro’s second hit of the game (and first since the first inning) into right centerfield. After a bobble from Machado, Figueira – who shifted to right field after coming off the mound – rocketed a throw to home to gun out Hochwarter at the plate. Bowden then induced a grounder to Mazerole at short get out of the inning.

“If the have runners in scoring position and we have either of those two guys pitching, I want the ball hit to [Mazerolle],” Sylvia said. “He’s as solid as you get. In the 12 years that I’ve been here, he’s one of the premier defensive players that we’ve had come through the program. It was nice to have a lot of 6-3s today. Luke, he’s another guy. With the game on the line, he was in the right place at the right time and he made a perfect throw.”

Tellier pitched six innings of no hit baseball, struck out 10 with just one walk issued. Figueira tossed five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and struck out six. Neither pitcher was involved in the decision.

“Can’t ask for anything more pitching wise,” Bosh said. “We could battle more than we did at the plate. I don’t know how many called third strikes we had today but we need to battle better than we did today against good pitching. Everyone has a good pitcher so we need to learn to battle better against a good pitcher.”

“We had two really good pitching performances,” Sylvia said. :Fortunately we had our two veterans, our two top notch pitchers going today so that was beneficial. After a shaky first inning I thought Luke did a great job settling in, being very efficient and started to get ahead of hitters which is key for him. Sometimes he tries to be too perfect and too fine with his pitches but after the first inning he just attacked the strike zone and let the defense handle it. It all came down to pitching and we made the plays when we needed to so that’s the key.”

Taunton baseball improves to 2-1 overall and in league play. The Tigers will be back in action when they travel to Coyle & Cassidy on Monday in the all important City Championship. Attleboro (1-3) will look to bounce back when they travel to Sharon on Tuesday at 11:00AM.

Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Attleboro Bats Off to Cold Start at Feehan

Attleboro baseball
Third baseman Brandon Galvao makes a play in front of shortstop Nate Tellier at Beach Field. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry

ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The Attleboro baseball team traveled a couple of minutes across town to Beach Field to face rival Bishop Feehan on Saturday afternoon. Weather had forced a delay to the start of the season for the Bombardiers and had severely limited their ability to get outside and practice.

On Saturday, Attleboro looked like a team that was seeing its first action of the spring, especially at the plate where the Bombardiers were limited to only four hits by a pair of Shamrocks pitchers, and fell 5-1.

Junior Matt Callahan made the first start of his varsity career, giving up three runs on five hits over four innings of work. Although Callahan took the loss, Attleboro coach Matt Bosh pointed to the lack of offensive punch as the main reason for falling to 0-1 on the season.

“He did alright,” said Bosh of Callahan. “We just didn’t hit the ball…and we threw the ball around a little bit, more than we should have.”

He added, “Give them credit. Their pitchers pitched well, hit spots and we just didn’t put the ball in play enough.”

Attleboro had a chance in its opening at bat to get on the board. Cam Hochwarter led off with a single to left but with one out was forced out on a grounder by Nate Tellier, who took second on a balk. Patrick Collins followed with a walk but Nolan Kane grounded out to short to end the threat.

Jon Dunn reached on an error in the top of the second but was caught stealing third on a missed bunt attempt and would be the last baserunner for the Bombardiers until the fifth inning. Feehan starter Zack Newman settled down and struck out four over 4-1/3 innings.

“We just didn’t put the ball in play enough,” said Bosh. “We didn’t force mistakes by them, not enough contact.”

Meanwhile, Callahan got off to a great start. He needed only 11 pitches to get through a perfect first and 11 more in the second in which he allowed just a two out single.

In the third, Feehan took the lead. After Callahan got the first two hitters to ground out, he hit lead-off batter Matt Everton in the foot. Jake Bamford followed with a single to right moving Everton over to third and then Jason Medeiros drilled a pitch into the gap in left center plating both runners.

The Shamrocks added another run in the fourth when Reid Spears, who had singled with one out, raced home from third on a wild pitch.

Attleboro finally got something going in the top of the fifth. Dunn singled to center, his second time reaching base in as many plate appearances. John Burns followed with a single and Dunn took third. Brandon Galvao would plate the Bombardiers lone run with a fielder’s choice to short and advanced to second when the ball was thrown away.

Newman walked pinch hitter Dylan Maskell to put two on with one out. Pat Cashin came in from shortstop to take over on the mound and he promptly induced an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play from Hochwarter to get out of the jam.

Feehan plated another run off of Maskell in the bottom of the inning, but Attleboro came right back and had the first two on to start the sixth on a double by Will Carter and a walk to Nate Tellier. Again, Cashin made his pitches and Nolan Kane bounced into a double play to end the inning.

The Shamrocks wrapped up the scoring in the bottom half. Bamford drove in Jake Bernhardt with a single off Dylan Prout. The ball died in the lengthy grass, allowing Bernhardt to score from second without a throw.

“I’m sure they didn’t have a chance to cut all week because of the snow and the rain,” said Bosh about the grass at Beach Field. “Usually, it’s sort of a fast track but today everybody was coming in full sprint on ground balls.”

Burns got his second hit of the game with one out in the seventh, but Cashin got a grounder and then caught Prout looking on a breaking ball to end the game.

“We had three scrimmages last week but we haven’t seen live pitching since Thursday of last week, so we’re going on 10 days,” Bosh explained. “Hopefully that’s going to come. We’ve got three games next week…we’ll be alright. I’m not worried.”

Attleboro will not have much time to dwell on it, as the Bombardier will be back on the diamond on Monday against Milford. Bosh is confident that his team will get the bats going.

“The Hock is loaded this year…every game is going to be a battle,” he said. “We’ve got Milford on Monday and they’re going to be good, so we’ll be right back at it.”

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Baseball: Kelley-Rex Division Preview 2016

Attleboro's Nate Tellier will be one 11 seniors playing for the Bombardiers this season. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)
Attleboro’s Nate Tellier will be one 11 seniors playing for the Bombardiers this season. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

ATTLEBORO

2015 Record: 8-12
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Matt Bosh

A rough end to the 2015 campaign kept the Bombardiers out of the postseason last year but with 11 seniors and a good amount returning experienced players, Attleboro is looking to get back to the playoffs this year.

“We have a lot of returning varsity players from last year, and we have three two-year captains, four [captains] overall,” head coach Matt Bosh said. “The positive thing is that even though we have a lot from last year’s team back, there is still a lot of competition for playing time, which will hopefully bring out the best in all of our kids.”

Both Nate Tellier and Tyler Stowe are returning three year starters and captains this season, alongside seniors Will Carter and Jon Dunn. Tellier is one of the best shortstops in the league and led the Bombardiers in hitting last season with a .357 average and 14 runs scored. Tellier will also be a force on the mound after recording a 1.44 ERA in 34 innings last season. Stowe will man first base when he isn’t pitching.

Matt Callahan, Cam Hochwarter, Brandon Galvao and Robbie Araujo will all see time in the infield along with Tellier and Stowe and juniors Dylan Maskell and Dylan Prout should also fit in the infield. Will Carter returns behind the plate while Dunn patrols centerfield. Pat Collins, Brent Cook and John Burns are all likely candidates to see time in left and right.

Along with Tellier and Stowe on the mound, Dunn, Galvao, Callahan, Prout, Maskell, Nolan Kane, Tyler McGovern and James Weir should see time.

FRANKLIN

2015 Record: 16-8
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Semifinals
Coach: Zach Brown

The Panthers reached the D1 South Semifinals last year but there will be some voids left from graduation that Franklin needs to fill in order to get back there.

“We have a lot of positions up for grabs,” head coach Zach Brown said. “But I’m really excited about the opportunity we have this season. We have a lot of new talented players that are competing hard for playing time and open positions and roles. We will be relying on some younger guys, sophomores and juniors, to help fill some critical positions. Competition during practice and scrimmages has been intense. I think we have a unique blend of veterans and a new influx of talent. I’m very optimistic about what this team can become by the end of the season.”

The talent that Franklin does have back is a good group with Alex Bissanti returning at second base, Mike Skaza back to pitch and patrol the outfield, Nick Santucci at shortstop, Tyler Gomes will move to catcher full time and Jake Lyons will handle centerfield duties. Joe Corsi will handle a variety of roles and Josh Macchi will take over first base.

Franklin graduated 10 seniors from last year’s squad that included the entire pitching rotation and closer. Brown noted sophomores Jake Noviello and Matt Foley will see time on the mound this season.

KING PHILIP

2015 Record: 5-15
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Pat Weir

King Philip has seven seniors and seven juniors on its roster this year and a good chunk of that experience comes on the mound.

“I can say in my short three years at KP this current group is the most cohesive group I’ve been around,” head coach Pat Weir said. “Solid senior leadership, solid team chemistry and competition is very healthy.”

Jake Lannigan, Jake Cavanagh, Jon Rolfe and Jack DiCenso are all seniors that have experience on the mound. Rolfe notched a 1.80 ERA in 35 innings last year while striking out 26 while Cavanaugh tossed over 41 innings, striking out 35 with a 2.88 ERA. Rolfe is also the top returning hitter after hitting .302 last year.

Leo Munafo returns as the starting catcher and Will Weir is back at shortstop for another year. Stephan MacMeans had a strong year in the outfield last season and will patrol centerfield again this season. All four senior pitchers previously mentioned will all see time in the field as well.

MANSFIELD

2016 Record: 17-6
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South Final
Coach: Joe Breen

Last season was a banner year for first year head coach Joe Breen and the Hornets as Mansfield won its first league title since 2007 and reached the D1 South Finals. But last year is already in the rearview mirror for the 2016 Hornets.

“After a great season last year, we are a whole new team,” head coach Joe Breen said. “We have a talented group of multi-sport athletes that look to transition from the JV ranks to the varsity ranks this spring. We have some great senior leaders at the top and quite a bit of young talent to fill in the holes left by last year’s large graduating class. I’m excited to see what players breakthrough in our pre-season practices and scrimmages.”

Key returnees include senior catcher Mike Arnold, senior first baseman Tyrone Pascual and senior center fielder Charlie DeMassi. Expect each of them to be in the top of the order. DeMassi showed off his defensive prowess in the center last season and will be a key piece this year.

The biggest question mark for the defender Kelley-Rex champions will be pitching. Breen said he will be looking for seniors Jared Menzer, Jack Neureter and Michael Kirejczyk to step up alongside sophomore Tyler Dalton.

North Attleboro

2015 Record: 8-12
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Paul Tobin

Last season ended far from how Big Red had planned when they dropped nine of their last 10 games to miss out on the playoffs. But head coach Paul Tobin brings back his two top pitchers and a solid group of experienced seniors.

“This is a smart, good-character group who are fun to coach,” Tobin said. “The middle of the lineup should hit. If we get production from some of our new players and the expected contributions from our returning veterans we should be in the thick of the race.”

Seniors John O’Donnell and Andy Katch are back on the mound for the Rocketeers. O’Donnell logged over 36 innings on the mound last year with a 2.89 ERA and 23 strikeouts. Ridge Olsen is back and will patrol left field after batting a team-high .433 last year with 13 RBI and Brian Kleczkowski returns to first base after hitting .321 last year with 16 RBI.

Junior catcher Tyler LaFreniere is also back along with second baseman Brian Poillucci and centerfielder Bryan Harris. Tobin noted junior Brett Cloutier, junior John Brennan and sophomore Zach DeMattio will factor in this season.

TAUNTON

2015 Record: 14-8
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Jeff Sylvia

Taunton has had a lot of success since joining the Hockomock League and head coach Jeff Sylvia is hopeful that will continue this year. With a handful of very good players back, it’s likely that will continue.

“Our goal is to be better on April 30th than March 30th,” Sylvia said. “And then even better on May 30th.”

Taunton brings back Luke Figueira, who was the 2014 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year as a sophomore and then was one of the league’s best all around players last year as a junior. Figueira batted a team-high .500 with 15 RBI and pitched over 35 innings with 51 strikeouts, posting a 1.78 ERA. Jose Mercado will see an expanded role on the mound after striking out 25 in 18 innings last year.

Max Bowden returns behind the plate and will also be back as the closer after four saves and a 1.62 ERA last year. Sylvia also has Brendon Mazzerole back, who was selected to the HockomockSports.com First Team as a third maseman last year. Mazzerole will shift to short this year and will look to build upon his .429 average from last year.

Senior Kevin Griffin also brings back some experience while seniors Charles Hearrold III and Dan Noonan and junior Danny Keogh will try to make an impact this season. Sylvia is also looking for sophomores Joe Manchester and Jacob Crawford to slide into roles early on.