Rocketeers Roll To D2 South Title Against Oliver Ames

North Attleboro baseball
North Attleboro’s Nate Pearce (right) is greeted at home plate after his sixth inning home run. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
BROCKTON, Mass. – There’s hot, there’s red hot, and then there’s Big Red hot.

The North Attleboro lineup continued its torrid streak this postseason, belting out 18 hits on its way to a 17-2 win over Hockomock rival Oliver Ames in the D2 South Sectional Final.

It was the second straight game the Red Rocketeers have had double-digit hits and double-digit runs. In its three postseason games, North Attleboro has outscored opponents 42-2.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“They are swinging the bat well, we’re just trying to keep the same approach regardless of what the pitcher is doing out there,” said first-year North Attleboro head coach Mike Hart. “We’re taking it one pitch at a time, one batter at a time. We feel if we take care of ourselves, we can be successful.”

And if the offense wasn’t hot enough, North Attleboro ace Nick Sinacola allowed just two hits and two unearned runs in six innings of work while striking out seven to earn the win.

“I’ll give it to that North Attleboro lineup, they crush the ball,” said Oliver Ames coach Joe Barr. “I’ve never seen a team like that, top to bottom, just go through and square it up. Our guy [Reid Latham] was throwing strikes but I don’t know if the air was a little thin or what but those balls got in the air and kept traveling.”

Once Sinacola set the Tigers down in order in the first inning, North Attleboro’s offense went right to work. Brendan McHugh led off with a double, Zach DeMattio had a one-out walk, and Nate Pearce roped a ground-rule double over the fence for a quick 1-0 lead.

Nick Raneri scored on a fielder’s choice as DeMattio was able to get home before OA’s throw did, and Jeff Gale hit one deep enough that brought Pearce, who was ruled to have tagged up after Mitch Goulet’s spectacular catch in center, home for a 3-0 lead after an inning.

Big Red tacked on four more runs — all with two outs — when it returned to the plate in the bottom of the second inning. McHugh started the rally with a single and moved to third when Sinacola picked up his first hit of the day. DeMattio brought both runners home with a hard hit triple, Pearce knocked a run in with a single, and Raneri drove a run in with a single as well to make it 7-0.

“We’ve all been working together through the winter and the spring and it really just shows how much hard work and coming together as a group can accomplish when you execute,” DeMattio said.

Nick Zwerle reached after forcing an error on his bunt and Sean O’Brien walked to put runners on first and second with one out. Sinacola got the second out but Michael Friel hit a line drive double into the gap in left center to bring both runs in to give the Tigers some life, cutting the deficit to 7-2.

But North Attleboro landed a big counter punch in the form of four runs in the bottom of the third to extend its lead. Aidan Harding walked and pinch runner Kyle Briere took second on a wild pitch and third on a single from McHugh. Briere beat out a throw home on Sinacola’s grounder, DeMattio scored McHugh with a single, Sinacola scored after DeMattio stole second and OA attempted to pick him off, and Pearce doubled in DeMattio for an 11-2 advantage.

“Subconsciously that’s the type of stuff that just creeps into your mind,” Abarr said. “You think you’re back in it — and I think we were in it more most of the game — but that was a deflating experience. I’ve been on that end as a player and a coach, and it’s tough. I tip my cap to North for that, they didn’t let up. They played hard right to the end.”


“I give [OA] a lot of credit, they are an excellent hitting team,” Hart said. “In regards to answering back, I think it just puts us at ease. I think it made it 7-2 then and five runs with these two teams means nothing. So to get those runs back, it helps Nick on the mound.”

Sinacola retired the side in order in each of the first and second innings, and after allowing two runs in the third, only allowed one base runner to reach third base (an error and a wild pitch). It was Sinacola’s second win against OA this year after beating them in his first appearance back in early April.

“I think early in the year, a lot of hitters struggle with the fastball,” Sinacola said. “Once you get to this point in the season, they are a lot better and they have their timing down. So I think we had to change it up and throw a little bit more offspeed then I did the first time and I think it worked.”

Raneri scored on a passed ball and Gale came home on a hard hit ball from Nolan Buckley that was ruled an infield error for the Tigers in the fifth inning.

In the bottom fo the sixth, Sinacola got his second RBI with a single to score McHugh, DeMattio picked up his fourth RBI of the day with a base hit to score Sinacola and at the next at-bat, Pearce launched a two-run home run to cap the scoring.

“We had to pretty much show up and play perfect against that lineup and that pitcher in order to walk out with a win,” Abarr said. “We knew they’d be relentless. But it was an unreal run for us here at the end, with a team that didn’t quite expect to be here. We don’t set hard and fast goals about where a team can get to, we have just shown up and worked on specific things to get better each day. And these guys did a great job doing that.”

North Attleboro’s top four hitters — McHugh, Sinacola, DeMattio, and Pearce — combined for 13 hits, 11 RBI, and 14 runs scored.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

For Oliver Ames (16-8), Friel had two hits and two RBI, Matt McCormack and Nick Bloumbas each had a base hit, and O’Brien and Zwerle each scored once. On the mound, Jay Fruci pitched a scoreless inning with a strikeout.

“This is definitely the best group I’ve ever coached,” Abarr said of his team. “From top to bottom, the first guy in the lineup to the last guy on the bench to the team manager…they were tight, always behind each other, and regardless who was in the lineup each day, they were ready to play. It was the most reliable, hard-working, and unified group that I’ve coached and those are the three qualities you look for in a high school team.”

North Attleboro (21-2) advances to the D2 State Final to play North champ Beverly (20-4) on Thursday night at 6:30 at LaLacheur Park in Lowell.

OA Advances To South Semis With Win Over Nauset

Oliver Ames baseball
Oliver Ames’ Jake Erlich (left) and Matt Muir celebrate after getting the final out against Nauset. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – With the way the game started, it was looking like it was going to be a blowout win for Oliver Ames.

But by the end, the Tigers were just happy to survive and advance.

OA built a 5-0 lead through the first three innings of play but saw that advantage shrink to just one run after the next two. The Tigers added a big insurance run in the fifth and escaped a seventh-inning threat from Nauset to emerge with a 6-4 win.

“I tip my cap to Nauset,” said OA head coach Joe Abarr. “Their first base coach just kept saying ‘play the game’ which I thought was a cool mantra. You could see their guys stay in the moment and getting hits when they needed to. But we were able to get enough runs across early in the game and protect the lead in the end.”

“As soon [Nasuet] battled back it was like a wake-up call and all the guys got behind each other. I’m hoping they remember that and keep that attitude moving forward because the games won’t be any easier moving forward.”

Some heads up base running in the bottom of the first inning helped the Tigers grab an early lead. Michael Friel (4-for-4, RBI, run) had a one-out single and stole second with two outs. Chris Pearsons (3-for-4, RBI, run) hit a ground ball to the left side of the infield but raced down the line and beat the throw for an infield hit.

With two outs, Friel was off and running, but didn’t stop at first. The senior infielder alertly sped around third and took off for home. The Nauset first baseman held the catch at first while the ump made the call and Friel crossed without a throw home. With no one covering second, Pearsons sprinted to the open bag for a free base but was stranded there.

“My assistant coach was just saying that’s what wins tournament games,” Abarr said of the alert base running. “I really can’t say enough about both of those guys, their baseball instincts are tremendous. But it’s not just instincts, they work at it. We have two rounds during batting practice that you have to run the bases after and those two guys take all their reps very seriously and it pays dividends. We’re hoping to get more guys to buy into that too because it makes a big difference.”

Oliver Ames starter Reid Latham (3.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 2 K, 0 BB) worked around a hit in both the first and second innings. In the first, Nauset’s Stephen Kalnick was gunned down by Sean O’Brien after trying to turn a single into a double. And in the second, Harrison Field’s leadoff single didn’t result in anything when Latham got three straight outs.

Jake Erlich (2-for-4, RBI, run) got the bottom of the second started with a single and moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt from Nick Zwerle. CJ Deveau battled his way through a nine-pitch at-bat, ending it with an RBI single to score Erlich. Matt Muir followed up with a two-out single to bring Deveau in and Muir took second on the throw.

Friel grabbed his second hit of the day with a double to bring Muir home to give the Tigers a 4-0 lead.

Pearsons led off the third with a bloop single into left field and made his way all the way to third after a throwing error. Junior Matt McCormack grounded out but Pearsons came in to score to make it 5-0.

Nauset came firing back in the top of the fourth, taking care of some miscues by the Tigers. Latham got the first out with a strikeout but a high fly ball from Kalnick dropped in left center field. Latham bounced back with another strikeout but Chris Beach singled with two outs to put runners on first and second.

Latham induced a ground ball to the left side but miscommunication allowed John Dysart to reach and load the bases. Kurtis Thomas and John Paul LaBarge hit back-to-back singles, though each only scoring one run apiece. Henry Blanchard was then awarded first after a catcher’s interference call, bringing a third run in.

“This was the first time he’s been on the mound in a real game in probably five or six weeks so I have to give it to him,” Abarr said about Latham. “He did a tremendous job. When he had the cast on his hand, he was still the first one at the park each day. As soon as he was able to get the hard cast off, he could throw some and he came straight from the doctors to practice and wanted to throw. I think this was a moment he’s been waiting for and as far as I’m concerned, he shouldn’t be deflated about that inning, he just didn’t have some things go his way, and that’s the way baseball goes.”

Abarr went to the bullpen and brought in junior Tom Parker (2.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 K, 3 H). The lefty needed just one pitch to get a fly ball to right to leave the bases loaded for Nauset.

“I give Tommy credit, coming in there and throwing that one pitch to get us out of it, which I thought was a huge momentum changer for us,” Abarr said.

A single from Friel and a walk to Mitch Goulet put runners on first and second for OA in the bottom half of the fourth but an infield pop up ended the threat.

Kalnick helped get Nauset one run closer with a one-out triple in the fifth inning. Harrison Field followed with a triple of his own to bring Kalnick in but Parker didn’t let Field get any further, getting two ground balls to end the inning.

OA got the insurance run it needed in the bottom of the fifth. McCormack led off with a walk and took second on a passed ball. Erlich hit a hard grounder down the third base line for an RBI double to plate McCormack to put the Tigers up 6-4.

After Zwerle was hit by a pitch, Deveau’s sac bunt moved the runners to second and third with one out but Kalnick, Nauset’s third pitcher of the day, prevented any further damage with a strikeout and 6-3 ground out.

Parker worked around a one-out error in the top of the sixth, getting back-to-back strikeouts after the runner reached. OA had a chance to blow the game open when it loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth behind three straight singles from Friel, Pearsons, and McCormack.

But this time it was Kalnick with back-to-back strikeouts to prevent any further damage.

Nauset threatened in the top of the seventh behind a one-out single from Kalnick and a walk to Field. Abarr brought in Muir to close the game out and the senior did just that, getting a line drive to center and a ground ball to short for the final two outs.

“[Parker] kept himself really composed when their three and four hitters had those triples,” Abarr said. “He was able to get out of that inning with just the one run which I’ll take all day. He was jacked up for that last inning and then we had that pause for the base runner and I think that hurt his momentum. And Matt Muir has probably been our most consistent guy out of the pen this season.”

Oliver Ames baseball (15-7) advances to the D2 South Semifinal for the second straight year. The Tigers, seeded sixth, will take #7 Duxbury (14-8) on Wednesday at 7:00 at Rockland Stadium.

Oliver Ames Rallies For Walk-Off Win Over Feehan

Oliver Ames baseball
Oliver Ames’ Michael Mulrean struck out 11 in a complete game nine-inning effort. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – Bishop Feehan was just three outs away from scoring an upset on the road of Oliver Ames.

But the Tigers showed just how quickly they can change a game with their offense. Three straight hits resulted in two runs and a tie game, sending the game to extras.

And in extra innings, Oliver Ames needed just two innings to breakthrough, earning a 3-2 walk-off win over the Shamrocks in nine innings.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“I give my guys a lot of credit to come back in that seventh inning,” said OA head coach Joe Abarr. “[Feehan starting pitcher Colin Gauther] did a phenomenal job, he was mixing pitches and getting ahead of almost every batter and I could tell it was getting to our guys.

“Around the fourth or fifth inning it kind of occurred to me, in terms of coming from behind, we haven’t done it a lot. But looking back, it didn’t matter because our focus all season has been winning every pitch and treat every at-bat as the same. We had some guys step up and do the job.”

Gauthier tamed the Tigers through the first six innings, allowing just four hits and issuing one walk. And of those five baserunners, only Sean O’Brien (double) reached past third.

But Matt McCormack’s double to lead off the seventh inning gave the Tigers the spark they needed. McCormack had singled back in the second inning but was picked off at first. A half inning later, Feehan capitalized on that momentum and scored the game’s first run.

“I just didn’t let it get to me,” McCormack said of the second inning pickoff. “Coach came over and told me to shake it off. We knew the pressure was on the pitcher in the seventh inning so I just tried to make contact and put the ball in play. I was seeing it well and my timing was pretty good.”

With McCormack on second, junior Jake Erlich collected his first hit with a single into right field. That was enough for McCormack to sprint around third to bring OA within a run, down 2-1.

Abarr then called upon sophomore Jacob Levine to come in and pinch hit. Despite not playing all game, Levine answered the call in impressive fashion. The sophomore got a hold of one and ripped a deep shot to the gap in right-center field. Pinch runner Ezra Coyne came racing around from first to tie the game and Levine was into third with a stand up triple with no outs.

OA couldn’t get the winning run across though as Gauthier got three straight outs without the ball leaving the infield, sending the game to extras.

OA starter Michael Mulrean didn’t skip a beat in either the eighth or ninth innings. He got two fly balls to center and then made a nice play on a slow grounder for an unassisted out. In the top of the ninth, Mulrean sandwiched his 10th and 11th strikeouts around a 6-3 ground out.


McCormack was once again the catalyst for OA in the bottom of the ninth. His patience paid off, drawing a leadoff walk. A one-out single from Nick Zwerle advanced McCormack to second.

“[McCormack] stepped up for us early in the year as a DH and then he had a slump where he was struggling a little bit,” Abarr said. “He took a great batting practice the other day, he was all over the ball in our scrimmage against Brockton. After that scrimmage, I told him he was going to be the DH for us and he really stepped up for us. He could have let that [pickoff] situation break him but he didn’t, he showed a lot of mental toughness.

Junior CJ Deveau, who entered the at-bat 0-for-2 on the day, tried to lay a bunt down on the first pitch but it went foul. Three pitches later and the junior drove a shot to center field just out of the reach of the outfielder and McCormack sprinted his way to the plate for the walk-off win.

“I was just thinking about having runners on second and third, and I was hoping CJ could put one down, put some pressure on the third baseman and make a play,” Abarr said of the original bunt call. “He struggled during his first couple at-bats but he did a nice job grinding through there. He could have counted himself out and said it wasn’t his day but he came through with an unbelievable hit for us.”

Feehan took the lead in the top of the third inning. Back to back singles put runners on first and second but a sacrifice bunt attempt turned into an out when the ball hit the batter. A chopper got just through the gap on the left side allowing Joe Castano to come home and score for the first run. Mulrean induced an infield fly and pop up to right to escape without further damage.

The Shamrocks capitalized on a pair of OA mistakes in the fifth inning to double their lead. Castano reached on an infield single and took second on an errant throw. He took third on an infield groundout and then came home to score on a passed ball to make it 2-0.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Beyond those chances, Mulrean had his way with the Shamrocks lineup. He allowed just five hits, only one of which dropped in shallow center field. He retired the side in each of the first, second, fourth, eighth and ninth innings. He had a pair of strikeouts in the second, fourth, fifth, sixth, and nine innings. He had just one walk all game.

“And he was ready to go back out there for the 10th inning if we needed it,” Abarr said of Mulrean. “He’s one of our most reliable strike throwers. He was dealing for us and he battled for us. He treats himself like a softball pitcher, if he could he would pitch every single game.”

Oliver Ames baseball (14-7) advances to the D2 South quarterfinal round and will host #14 Nauset (7-12), who upset #3 Whitman-Hanson, 3-0, in the first round. The Tigers will welcome Nauset to Frothingham on Tuesday at 4:00.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 04/24/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Franklin, 9 @ Attleboro, 7 – FinalFranklin’s Even Wendell made a spectacular catch to end the game with the tying run at the plate as the Panthers picked up a win on the road. Wendell (1-for-3, RBI) well full extension in the right-center gap to make the catch and secure the win. Bryan Woelfel earned the win on the mound, scattering eight hits over five innings of work, striking out three. Scott Elliott (2-4, two triples, two runs, two RBI), Alex Haba (2-for-3, triple, run, RBI), Jake Macchi (RBI), Colby Fitzgibbons (2-for-3, two runs) and Jake Noviello (3-for-4, two-run home run) all had strong days offensive for Franklin. Alvaro Espinel (2-4, double, run), Rob Furtado (3-for-4, run), Jon Candiales (2-for-4, triple) and Corey McKenna (2-for-3, run, two RBI) all had multiple hits for Attleboro.

Taunton, 4 @ Oliver Ames, 7 – FinalMatt McCormack struck out six and allowed two hits and two runs over five innings of relief to pick up the win for OA. He also went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored. Mike Friel also went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI, while Chris Pearsons and C.J. Deveau each had a pair of hits and an RBI.

Softball
Attleboro, 3 @ Franklin, 1 – FinalJenna Gittle struck out four and pitched a complete game to pick up the win for the Bombardiers, scattering seven hits. Jackie Cherry had a no-hitter through four innings for Franklin but that was broken up by a MacKenzie Bergdoll (2-for-4) two-out double that brought in Kayla Battisti and Jordyn Lako to put Attleboro ahead 2-1. Gittle brought in Autumn O’Connell with a sac fly in the sixth for an important insurance run. Attleboro coach Mark Homer said both teams “played tight defense” throughout the game. Franklin’s Tara Hartnett knocked in Anna Balkus (2-for-4) in the third for the Panthers’ run.

Oliver Ames, 1 @ King Philip, 17 – Final (5 Inn.)Faith Turnese allowed four hits and just one run in five innings of work for the Warriors, who had 12 hits as a team. Sydney Phillips led the way offensively with three hits, including a double, while Jess Bonner and Elise Pereira each had a pair of hits. One of the hits for Pereira was a grand slam. Lexie Campbell was 2-3 scoring the only run for the Tigers. Caroline Mahoney was 1-2 with an RBI and Katie Mills was 1-2.


Boys Lacrosse
North Attleboro, 7 @ Hopkinton, 11 – FinalNorth Attleboro dropped a close game on the road against a good Hopkinton team. Andy DeMattio and Damien Curtis each scored a pair of goals, Tommy Lindstrom had three assists and Jason McNeany (12-for-18 at the face off X) added a goal and an assist. McNeany also added 10 ground balls while Max Fontes had eight for the Rocketeers. Jake McNeany made 15 saves in net for Big Red.

Boys Tennis
Attleboro, 0 @ Franklin, 5 – FinalFranklin moved to 6-0 on the season, sweeping visiting Attleboro. Rohan Herur won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles, Liam Marr notched a 6-0, 6-0 win at second singles and Tyler St. Marie emerged with a 1-6, 7-6 (7-5), 10-7 win at third singles. The team of Tyler DiPalma and Derek Wu didn’t drop a game in a win at first doubles and Tony Calderone and Dan Angermeier picked up a 6-0, 6-1 win at second doubles.

Canton, 4 @ Milford, 1 – Final

Oliver Ames, 0 @ King Philip, 5 – FinalKing Philip didn’t lose a game in either singles matches and swept doubles play to beat Oliver Ames. Marco DiStefano (first singles) and Nick Putney (second singles) both won 6-0, 6-0 while Jack Cannon took a win at third singles via forfeit. Jack Mager and Luke Morreale won 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) at first doubles while Andy Cook and Tom Donahue picked up a 6-0, 6-0 win at second doubles.

Girls Tennis
Franklin, 1 @ Attleboro, 4 – Final – Attleboro defended home court against Franklin with two wins in singles play and two more at doubles. Torey Lussier won 6-2, 6-4 at first single and Brianna Arone picked up a 6-4, 6-2 win at second singles for the Bombardiers. Senior Merri Piazza and sophomore Rena Danho won 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 12-10 at first doubles while sophomores Nicole Matheson and Jill See emerged with a 6-1, 6-3 victory at second doubles. Franklin junior Krissy Stoyonova won 6-2, 6-3 at third singles.

Foxboro, 0 vs. Martha’s Vineyard, 5 – Final

King Philip, 4 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalKing Philip took all three singles matches in straight sets to earn a win on the road at Oliver Ames. Erin Regnier won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles, Meghan Sepich notched a 6-1, 6-2 victory at second singles, and Caitlin Gonser recorded a 6-4, 6-1 win at third singles. King Philip’s Hannah Putney and Lucy Barnard emerged in three sets (6-3, 5-7, 6-3) to earn the fourth point for the Warriors. Oliver Ames’ Kristin Bloumbas and Emily Yu won 6-1, 6-4 at first doubles.

Outdoor Track
Boys
Canton, 47 @ Milford, 89 – Final
Sharon, 55 @ North Attleboro, 81 – Final
Stoughton, 98 @ Foxboro, 38 – Final
Attleboro @ Mansfield, 3:45
Oliver Ames, 84 @ King Philip, 52 – Final
Franklin @ Taunton, 3:45

Girls
Canton, 30 @ Milford, 106 – Final

Sharon, 61 @ North Attleboro, 75 – Final

Stoughton, 64 @ Foxboro, 72 – Final

Attleboro, 47 @ Mansfield, 89 – FinalAmanda Mangano won three events for the Hornets, taking first in the 200, long jump, and the high jump. Bryn Anderson set a new personal record in the mile, finishing first in a time of 5:36.9, which was seven seconds faster than her previous best. Alicia Hottleman also set a PR in the 400 and recorded her first win in the event with a time of 66.2. Sophomore Lily Goulding won the javelin and her classmate Julia Miller beat her PR by four seconds to win the 800.

Oliver Ames @ King Philip, 3:45

Franklin, 106 @ Taunton, 30 – Final

Boys Volleyball
Milford, 3 vs. Catholic Memorial, 0 – Final

Taunton, 3 @ North Quincy, 2 – FinalThe Tigers improved to 7-0 on the season with a 25-21, 24-26, 17-25, 26-24, 15-9 come from behind victory. Ricardo DaFonseca led the way for Taunton with 50 assists, four blocks, and a block on the final point that sealed the win. Lens Esquil had 14 kills and seven blocks, Lance Law had 15 kills and Malik Charles had eight kills for the Tigers, while Alex Tavares and Collin Hunter each contributed five kills and two blocks apiece in the win.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 04/13/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Foxboro, 0 @ Coyle & Cassidy, 4 – FinalFoxboro’s Steve McLaughlin allowed just two runs on four hits and two walks in 4.1 innings of work but the Warriors’ offense was limited to just two hits. McLaughlin struck out four but Coyle struck for a run in the second and then another in the fifth. Coyle tacked on two more in the sixth inning. Joe Freitas and Joe Cavaleri each went 1-for-3 for Foxboro.

Mansfield, 2 @ Xaverian, 0 – FinalMansfield’s Kevin Dow and Kyle Moran combined for a two-hit shutout to lead the Hornets to a big win on the road at Xaverian. Dow allowed just two hits, walking three, and struck out six in five innings of work while Moran fanned three batters in two innings of relief. Offensively, the Hornets loaded the bases in the fourth and senior Mike Arnold drew a walk to score Mike Hargadon. Hargadon (2-for-4) then gave Mansfield breathing room, knocking in Dan Saraceno with a single in the top of the seventh.

Milford, 0 @ Franklin, 4 – FinalFranklin senior James Leofanti dazzled in his season debut on the mound, throwing a no-hitter to lead the Panthers to a win over visiting Milford. Leofanti struck out eight while allowing just two walks to earn the win. Senior Colby Fitzgibbons made a terrific diving play in the sixth inning at second to help preserve the no-hitter. Offensively, Franklin scored two runs in the bottom of the first and added two more in the fifth inning. Junior Alex Haba went 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored, Scott Elliott walked twice and scored once, and JB Flores went 1-for-2 with two RBI. Milford sophomore Colby Pires kept the Panthers without a hit for four innings. He finished with three hits allowed, three earned runs, two strikeouts, and eight walks.

King Philip, 1 vs. Wellesley, 7 – Final

Oliver Ames, 5 @ New Bedford,0 – FinalOliver Ames senior Chris Perron threw six scoreless innings with just one hit allowed as the Tigers picked up their first win of the season on the road at New Bedford. Perron allowed just one walk as well while striking out five to earn the win. Junior Matt McCormack went 2-for-4 with two runs scored while classmate Chris Pearsons was 2-for-3 with a run scored for OA.

Softball
Foxboro, 16 @ Westwood, 5 – FinalFoxboro senior Lexi Buckner drove in five runs as the Warriors’ offense continued its strong start to the season. Foxboro posted double-digit runs for the season straight game as Buckner and Hannah Davis (two RBI) each recorded two hits. Emma Rohan earned the win in the circle for Foxboro.

King Philip, 4 vs. Newton North, 8 – FinalKing Philip put together a rally in the seventh inning, scoring one run and loading the bases but fell just short against highly ranked Newton North. Marjorie Guerrier and Brooke Taute paced KP’s offense with two hits apiece.

Mansfield, 6 vs. Holliston, 3 – FinalSarah Cahill got the win, going the distance in the circle and scattering nine hits while striking out a pair of Panthers and walking none. The Hornets took the lead in the top of the first with three runs on four straight singles by Kara Bendanillo, Megan Letendre, Mady Bendanillo, and Felicity McMullin and never looked back. Mansfield had 10 hits total with both Bendanillo sisters and Letendre each recording a pair of hits. The Hornets also played solid defense with Kerran Holmes throwing a runner out at the plate after a fly ball and Kara Bendanillo turning an unassisted double play after a grounder to short.

Milford, 8 @ Grafton, 1 – FinalMilford allowed a run in the first inning of the game but took the lead for good with a five-run fifth inning to move to 3-0 on the season. Grafton, the defending D2 State Champions, scored after using a double and three Milford errors. Kelley Reichert (6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 7 K) buckled down and struck out the side to escape further damage. Reichert (RBI), Emily Piergustavo (double, run, RBI), Shannon Cormier (two doubles, two runs, RBI, stolen base), and Maddy Bonvino (home run, two RBI) each went 2-for-4 on the day for Milford.

Oliver Ames, 1 vs. Walpole, 13 – FinalKatie Abreu had two hits on the day, including a double, while Katie Millis and Caroline Mahoney (RBI double) each had one hit but the Tigers fell to visiting Walpole.

Taunton, 15 @ New Bedford, 0 – Final (5 inn.)Sisters Kelsey and Alexa White combined for a one-hit shutout as Taunton picked up a win on the road at New Bedford. Kelsey White went three innings with two strikeouts and one hit while Alexa White struck out three in two innings. Offensively, Payton Ceglarski was 4-for-4 with two RBI and Kya Enos had three hits, including a home run, and seven RBI to pace the Tigers. Mackenzie Handrahan, Liana Duarte (RBI), Hannah Aldrich (two stolen bases) and Kelsey White (RBI, stolen base) all had two hits for Taunton while Paige Silvia launched a two-run home run.

Boys Lacrosse
King Philip, 5 @ North Attleboro, 12 – Final

Oliver Ames, 12 vs. Pembroke, 11 – Final (OT)Oliver Ames overcame a five-goal deficit in the fourth quarter to tie the game and send it to overtime. Owen Gallagher (four goals and two assists) scored the game-winner in the extra period to lift the Tigers to a win. Eric LeBlanc, who recorded his 100th career point, added four goals and one assist and Shane Kilkelly and Sam Stevens each added two goals and one assist. OA head coach Ben Devlin noted that Shane Murphy had a very strong game defensively for the Tigers.

Taunton, 0 @ New Bedford, 9 – Final

Girls Lacrosse
Attleboro, 11 @ Milford, 7 – Final
Foxboro, 3 @ Notre Dame Academy, 17 – Final
Franklin, 8 @ Westwood, 13 – Final

King Philip, 13 vs. Framingham, 10 – FinalKP continued its unbeaten start to the season with a non-league win. Katie Crowther led the way again with five goals and an assist and Caroline Watson made 10 saves in the victory. Caroline Klim had a hat trick, while Jess Sullivan and Mackenzie Mazur each scored twice. Dana Truini chipped in with a goal and seven draw controls for the Warriors.

North Attleboro, 5 @ Walpole, 16 – Final
Oliver Ames, 12 @ Pembroke, 15 – Final

Sharon, 7 vs. Natick, 14 – FinalEmma Eberhardt led the way for the Eagles with four goals and four draw controls, while Sabrina Robbins added three goals and five draw controls. Sharon coach Shara Ginthwaine said, “We are looking ahead and will continue working hard to find our rhythm and to make everyone a threat on the field.”

Boys Tennis
North Attleboro @ King Philip – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.

Milford @ Medway, 3:30

Boys Volleyball
Taunton, 3 @ Quincy, 0 – FinalTaunton continued its strong start with a 3-0 sweep (25-17, 25-21, 25-18) on the road at Quincy. Lens Esquil landed 14 kills and added two blocks, Lance Law added 12 kills, a block, and an ace and Mile Charles finished with eight kills and two kills. Ricardo DaFonseca set the offense in motion with 45 assists, three kills, and an ance.

2018 Hockomock League Baseball Preview

2018 Hockomock League Baseball Preview

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2018 Hockomock League Baseball Preview

Attleboro

2017 Record: 6-14
2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Matt Bosh

After missing out on the postseason a year ago, Attleboro head coach Matt Bosh believes his team’s depth and versatility will help the Bombardiers get back there.

Junior Eoin Kelleher is back to lead the pitching staff after a stellar sophomore season in which he earned HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year honors. Kelleher posted a 1.00 ERA in 35 innings of work, including throwing a no-hitter against rival North. Senior captains Jason Weir and Jon Candiales, senior Drew Pagano along with junior Sam Larkin will all see time on the mound for Big Blue as well.

Candiales and Weir also anchor the offense with the former patrolling shortstop and the latter seeing time in both the outfield and first base. Candiales gives the Bombardiers power from the left side of the plate while Weir is a three-year starter that gives Bosh flexibility in the lineup. Larkin will be in the outfield when he isn’t pitching and can use his speed to hurt teams. Corey McKenna returns as the starting second baseman while senior Dakota Kirby is back behind the dish after a year off. Kirby will add pop to the lineup as he hit 0.425 as a sophomore with 10 RBI.

“The biggest improvement that I see from last year is our team speed and athleticism,” Bosh said. “We have a lot of guys that can play multiple positions and we’re very athletic. We have a high number of kids who can play anywhere.”

Canton

2017 Record: 6-12
2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Greg Digirolamo

A strong core of returning players and a good amount of depth will be keys for the 2018 Canton Bulldogs baseball team.

After losing just four players from last year’s team, there is a good mix of experienced players and talented youth for head coach Greg Digirolamo to work with. The Bulldogs will look to three senior captains to the lead the way: Matt Casamento, Robbie Wilkinson, and Tommy DeLello. Casamento is a three-year starter in center field, DeLello will man first base and Wilkinson will try to carry over the momentum from an impressive junior year into 2018. Wilkinson went 3-1 last year with a 1.58 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 31 innings pitched.

Wilkinson will be joined in the pitching staff by seniors Austin Maffie, Niko Donovan, and Ryan Hickey, along with juniors Paul Corcoran, Robbie Sullivan, and Kevin McGonigle. Freshman Matt Connolly will also figure into the mix on the mound.

Casamento anchors the defense from the center field spot while junior catcher Matt Pigeon and sophomore shortstop Nate Quan bolster the defense up the middle.

“It’s a good group of kids that like to compete every day, what else can you ask for as a coach?” Digirolamo said. “For us the biggest thing will be seeing live pitching. If we’re to have any success this year we’ll need to do a better job at the plate.”

Foxboro

2017 Record: 7-14
2017 Finish: Reached D3 South First Round
Coach: Derek Suess

New Foxboro head coach Derek Suess sees a little bit of the past in his first team as head coach. Suess, a former Warrior himself, said the 2018 version of Foxboro reminds him of a team that won 15 games during his senior year just over a decade ago.

“This team is hungry to put the program back on the map,” Suess said. “I couldn’t ask for a better senior group to lead us. They remind me of the senior group I was a part of in 2007 in which we won 15 games. With a good mix of underclassmen, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s hard work pay off on the field.”

After losing a painful eight games by just one run a season ago, including a near upset of third-seeded and D3 South Finalist Norton in the playoffs, the Warriors will be looking to turn those losses into wins this time around.

“We need to make more winning plays to put those tallies in the win column,” Suess said.

Junior Anthony Mollica will spearhead the offense after leading the Warriors with a 0.367 batting average a year ago. Senior Chad Bearce and sophomore Joe Cavaleri will bolster the middle of the lineup, freshman Sean Yoest has shown flashes early on at the dish, and seniors Joe Freitas, Matt Rongione, and Jack Franceschelli provide the Warriors with some speed.

Senior Steve McLaughlin returns after an impressive 2017 season. Despite posting an 0-6 record, McLaughlin struck out 24 batters in 32.2 innings of work and posted a 1.73 ERA. McLaughlin will be joined by Cavaleri, Yoest, and junior Guy Quartarone in the rotation while senior Robert Theriault returns behind the dish after getting a year of experience last season.

Franklin

2017 Record: 18-6
2017 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Zach Brown

Focusing on pitching and defense, the Panthers will be looking to get better each and every day as they try to replicate the success from a season ago.

Franklin won the Kelley-Rex division last year, its first league title since 2012. And the mix of pitching and offense put the Panthers in some conversations for Super 8, but the Panthers ended up in the D1 South and bowed out in the quarterfinals after being forced to play on back to back days.

The arms that helped the Panthers have so much success last year as almost all back, starting with staff ace senior Jake Noviello. The Fairfield-commit struck out a Hockomock-best 61 batters a year ago, going 6-2 with a 1.65 ERA in 55.1 innings of work. Noviello is complemented by lefty Jason Ulrickson (7-0, 0.80 ERA, 35 K), Bryan Woelfel (3-2, 0.91 ERA, 4 SV, 31 K) and senior James Leofanti.

The defense will be anchored by a pair of returning starters in junior shortstop Alex Haba (0.360, 12 runs) and junior catcher Jake Macchi.

“While we are returning a number of experienced arms we are also turning over a number of positions last season,” said Franklin head coach Zach Brown. “So, we will be young or inexperienced at a number of positions. Offensively, my hope is that as the season progressing we will be able to develop an identity and find a way to manufacture runs.”

King Philip

2017 Record: 10-11
2017 Finish: Reached D1 South Preliminary Round
Coach: Greg Kessler

After just squeaking into the postseason a year ago, first-year KP head coach Greg Kessler is hoping his team will be in contention for a Kelley-Rex division title in 2018.

One reason for that is the senior class and the handful of returning players that have plenty of experience at the varsity level. Ben Furfari returns as a key piece of the Warriors’ outfield and lineup. He hit 0.298 last season and will provide the power on offense. Senior Pat Limerick, committed to play at St. Joseph’s (ME), will set the tone as the leadoff hitter.

On the mound, senior Jeremy Rhines (2-1, 1.45 ERA) and junior David Morganelli will be the main options while hard-throwing senior Liam Rohan will also be in the mix. Nolan Bradley returns behind the plate as one of the top catchers in the league while sophomore Robbie Jarest will step in to take over at shortstop.

“We have a great group of senior this year,” Kessler said. “They have been dedicated to the weight room and leading our underclassmen. They continuously strive to build a team that will compete for the Hock championship. They deserve to have a great year. I guarantee that will be the most vocal and most energetic team in the Hock. We pride ourselves on being positive and enthusiastic every pitch.”

Mansfield

2017 Record: 14-8
2017 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Joe Breen

There is a lot of optimism surrounding the Mansfield baseball program this season. And with the arms they have back, there’s good reason for it.

Senior Tyler Dalton, a UMass Amherst commit, returns after missing the majority of his junior year with an injury. Dalton was tremendous during the 2016 season as a sophomore, posting a 6-2 record while striking out 35 batters and posting a 1.78 ERA. He will be joined on the Hornets’ staff by senior Kevin Dow (UMass Amherst commit, 4-1, 1.93 ERA), junior lefty Connor Sheehan (2.82 ERA, 28 K), and junior Kyle Moran (three saves). Sophomore John Carney will also likely see time on the mound for the Hornets.

Senior catcher Cullin Anastasia returns after being named to the 2017 HockomockSports.com Second Team. Anastasia had 19 hits a year ago, knocking in 10 runs and scoring 10 runs as well. Sam Nugent will give the Hornets a spark in center field and on the base path with his speed, Moran picked up plenty of experience at third base last season, and Eric Longley will provide Mansfield with some pop in the middle of the lineup.

“We will rely heavily on our pitching staff this season to keep us in games and look to make the plays behind them and be aggressive with our offensive and baserunning approach to get those guys a few runs per game,” said Mansfield head coach Joe Breen. “As always, we will turn to our senior class to set the tone and for our underclassmen to blossom under their leadership.”

Milford

2017 Record: 12-10
2017 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Alex Dion

Milford baseball starts a new chapter in its historic history as longtime assistant Alex Dion takes over the reigns of the program.

Dion’s first challenge will be having to overcome the loss of a dozen seniors, including team ace Alex Macek, reliable infielders Zack Tamagni and Anthony Arcudi, and hard-hitting outfielder Ryan Goncalves. However, the good news is that Dion has one of the best players at his disposal in Stonehill-commit Aidan Wilde. Wilde had 59 hits between his freshman and sophomore years and added 21 more in the regular season a year ago. After seeing time as a catcher last season, Wilde will mainly man the corner infield positions in 2018.

Wilde will be complemented by junior Matt Shaver, who picked up some experience a year ago at both shortstop and on the mound. The Hawks will rely on Shaver to anchor the defense from short and give the offense a spark from the leadoff position. Junior Tyler Almeida will step in behind the dish and will provide some offense from the left side of the plate. Sophomores Luke Rosa and Colby Pires look to be in the mix as well as junior Nick Marcolini, who will pitch and patrol the outfield.

“We graduated a strong senior class this past year and are now in a situation where we have a lot of new players who we will look to take advantage of new opportunities,” Dion said. “I am excited about the athleticism that we have on our roster and the energy that these guys bring to practice each day. I think our philosophy is simple, but we preach a team-first mentality to our guys and strive to get quality pitching, play clean defense and get timely hits to win games.”

North Attleboro

2017 Record: 8-10
2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Mike Hart

North Attleboro didn’t have to go far to find its new coach. Mike Hart takes over for Paul Tobin and Hart truly bleeds Big Red – a graduate from the school and three-sport coach.

And expectations are high for the Rocketeers after just missing out on the postseason a year ago. Senior captain Nick Sinacola returns after having an MVP-caliber junior season. Big Red will rely on Sinacola on both sides of the plate, leading the offense (he batted 0.415 last year with 15 runs scored) and being the ace of the staff (48.1 IP, 49 K, 2.01 ERA). Senior captain Zach DeMattio is also back after being named to the 2017 HockomockSports.com First Team, batting 0.333 with 15 RBI and three home runs. Big Red also gets senior Nate Pearce (0.371) back after a strong junior year.

Senior Peter Cohen (24 IP, 0.29 ERA) will look to build upon a superb junior year while Nolan Buckley and Jeff Gale bring experience to the outfield. Aidan Harding also has varsity experience and will be in the mix to get innings on the mound along with juniors Matt Wanless, Jake Palmer, Matt Seavey, Nick Raneri, and Ben Arrighi.

“We have a truly industrious group of players,” Hart said. “We’re going to keep moving guys around until we find the lineup that works for us. Some may have to play multiple positions, depending on whose pitching on any given day. We had a decent season last year, with many guys getting some varsity time, but we’re still unproven. We need to continue to improve every day and only worry about the things we can control. Guys will be competing every day all season, which will only make us better. We will approach each day, with a great attitude, high effort, and a steadfast approach.”

Oliver Ames

2017 Record: 14-9
2017 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinals
Coach: Joe Abarr

A lot of the players that helped Joe Abarr have a successful first season as head coach last year are back, which means the Tigers are aiming to replicate that success.

Despite finishing in a tie for third in the Kelley-Rex, the Tigers put together the best playoff run of any Hock team, knocking off #2 Dighton-Rehoboth on the road to reach the sectional semifinals. Junior Matt McCormack is back after earning a spot on varsity late in the season this year, and along with classmate Tom Parker, should give OA a solid 1-2 punch. With a handful of capable arms in the mix, the third spot in the rotation is still up for grabs.

Abarr won’t have to worry much about anything hit to the left side of the infield as the Tigers return third basemen Chris Pearsons and shortstop Matt Muir, two of the top defensive players at their positions. Both are capable hitters as well and will provide some pop to the lineup. Another returning starter is senior Mitch Goulet. Goulet had a breakout junior campaign in center field (0.347, 7 RBI), catching fire in the second half of the year. Abarr is hoping that momentum will carry over to this season.

The Tigers have a battle for the spot behind the plate as both junior Jake Erlich and junior Reid Latham are back, both with experience behind the dish.

“We have a great core of returning players that will be the backbone of the program,” Abarr said. “We have to fill positions in the outfield and at first. If we have some guys step up in that role we should have a decent lineup from top to bottom.”

Sharon

2017 Record: 6-14
2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Kee Arguimbau

Sharon is aiming to improve on its six-win season in 2017, and will be looking to ride its senior leadership to do so.

Senior captains Max Tarlin and Drew Naisuler are two of the most experienced players in the league and will be spearheading the Eagles’ offense and defense this year. Tarlin (5-4, 46 K, 1.11 ERA) is the anchor of the pitching staff, picking up five of Sharon’s six wins last season. When he’s not on the mound, expect to see Tarlin patrolling shortstop. Naisuler returns as the team’s No. 4 hitter to provide some pop to the lineup and will be a key defensive piece at both center field and first base.

The Eagles will also rely on senior Ben Schwartz, who will mainly be catching this year as well as being a major offensive contributor. Junior Noah Kamens will be a major piece of the pitching puzzle after impressing during his sophomore year. Similar to Tarlin, Kamens will be a major player in the offensive lineup and will see time off the mound spent in the outfield. Spencer Singer is transitioning to the outfield and will continue to be one of the players the Eagles look at for offensive production.

“I have a lot of guys who are multifaceted baseball players and I can foresee a lot of games being played with straight nine in the lineup,” Arguimbau said. “We have great senior leadership and some very promising sophomores that are going to play a major role in our season’s success.”

Stoughton

2017 Record: 15-6
2017 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Mike Armour

There are a lot of questions to be answered for this year’s Stoughton baseball team, but head coach Mike Armour is excited for his players to rise to the challenge.

The Black Knights graduated nearly their entire team (10 of its 13 rostered players), which won its second straight Davenport division title. So not only will Armour be leaning heavily on his three returning players, he is looking for new faces to seize the opportunity.

“This is an exciting year for our program,” Armour said. “It’s an awesome opportunity for our younger guys. The JV and freshmen teams both over 15 or more games last year, so we’re looking for them to carry that winning attitude into this season. I expect our team to play with heart and execute the fundamentals to make us a competitive team.”

2017 HockomockSports.com First Team selection and senior captain Ruben Gonzalez returns as one of the top players in the league, both defensively at shortstop and offensively at the plate. Senior Matt Hadley and junior Evan Gibb, both captains, are the other two returning players for the Knights. Gibb has plenty of varsity experience behind the plate and Hadley, although he will miss some time with injury, will be key piece in the outfield.

Meanwhile, Armour is looking for sophomores James Genest (first base) and Michael Nazzaro (third base/catcher) to step up and play important roles both offensively and defensively this season. Juniors Kyle Gagnon, Kevin Dixon, and Cian Swierzewski will see time in the outfield and classmate Robbie Seaman will be in the mix for middle infield.

For pitching, Gibb will see time on the mound as well as behind the play. Senior Will Eckhart has some varsity experience and junior Zak Paquette will likely log some meaningful innings for the Knights. Seniors Tim Kellogg, Talyor Atkinson, and Mike Anderson provide infield depth and Jack Brown and Ryan Semler will be in the mix in the outfield.

Taunton

2017 Record: 12-10
2017 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Blair Bourque

There are a lot of good pitchers in the Hockomock League this year, and it looks like the Tigers’ staff could be right near the top of the list.

Taunton returns senior Tyler Medeiros, who had a terrific junior campaign and will get junior Jack Moynihan back on the mound. Moynihan was impressive during his freshman year two seasons ago but an injury limited his action on the mound last season. Medeiros fanned 68 batters in 56.1 innings of work, posting a 1.98 ERA to anchor the staff. Look for senior Trevor Pietrzyk and juniors Griffin Tomaszycki and Josh Lajoie to get some meaningful innings on the mound as well.

“Tyler clearly emerged as our top pitcher last year,” said second-year head coach Blair Bourque. “Fortunately, he’s a big kid and was able to put us on his back and carry us. Hopefully, we’re able to provide more support for him this year.”

Moynihan will also play a big role in Taunton’s offense this year. While patrolling third base, Moynihan will try to provide some pop in the middle of the lineup. The Tigers also get their top two batters back with senior shortstop Jacob Crawford (0.350, 15 runs) and senior Christian Simoes (0.340, 12 RBI).

Taunton will carry nine seniors and eight juniors this season so experience will be key.

2018 Hockomock League Boys Hockey All Stars

Below are the official 2017 Hockomock League Boys Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Jack Goyetch, Canton

Hockomock League All Stars

Jake Parker, Attleboro
Nick Allen, Canton
John Hagan, Canton
Jack Goyetch, Canton
Ryan Nolte, Canton
Quinn Gibbs, Canton
Aidan Sullivan, Foxboro
Brendan Tully, Foxboro
Luke Downie, Franklin
Owen Ginley, Franklin
Jack McGrath, Franklin
Jeremy Miller, Franklin
Collin Cooke, King Philip
Mike Curtin, King Philip
Cullin Anastasia, Mansfield
Tim Arnold, Mansfield
Jason McNeany, North Attleboro
Drew Wissler, North Attleboro
Matt McCormack, Oliver Ames
Michael Nikiciuk, Oliver Ames
Brett Williams, Oliver Ames
Brendan Campbell, Stoughton
Will Walsh, Taunton

Oliver Ames Stunned by OT Goal in Playoff Opener

Oliver Ames boys hockey
Oliver Ames lost a two-goal lead in the third period and, despite having the first seven shots on goal in overtime, lost to Westwood on an OT goal in the first round of the D2 South playoffs. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


CANTON, Mass. – In overtime, the quantity of shots on goal is less important than the quality and Westwood proved that point on Wednesday night against Oliver Ames in a Div. 2 South first round matchup at the Canton Ice House. Despite the Tigers holding a 7-0 edge in shots through the first five minutes of four-on-four hockey, it was the Wolverines’ only shot in OT that proved decisive.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Conor Donohue notched his second goal of the game with 47 seconds remaining in overtime to give Westwood a 3-2 win over OA (13-9), completing a comeback from two goals down entering the third period and denying the Tigers another shot at league rival Canton in the next round.

Of course, from the Tigers’ perspective, the game should never have gone to overtime anyway.

“They fought us hard,” said OA coach Sean Bertoni after a lengthy postgame team talk in the locker room, “but the overtime was our period. Our forwards and ‘D’ kept them penned in but couldn’t bury one and they come up the ice on a one-on-one and I think it was their first shot.”

He added, “That’s what happens in hockey. You can dominate for half a period and they come down, shoot and score. It’s frustrating.”

OA scored once in each of the first two periods to hold a 2-0 lead heading to the third, but Westwood wasted no time in cutting that lead in half. Donohue fired a shot from the left circle that beat OA goalie Owen Connor on the glove side inside the first two minutes of the period.

The goal turned the momentum and the Tigers did not seem to have the legs to stem the Westwood pressure. Although OA, which beat Westwood 5-2 in the regular season finale, would end up with a 6-5 edge in shots for the period, the Wolverines had loads of offensive zone time and the much better chances.

Donohue nearly added a second three minutes after his first but Connor made the save and Shane Cronin missed a golden chance to tie it right on the edge of the crease.

Max Ward had the best chance of the third period for OA but he was unable to get his stick on a rebound off a save by Justin Anderson (33 saves). A minute later, Mark Horsfall slid to his right along the blue line, picking the right angle to fire a wrister through traffic that went in off the post to tie the game with 2:46 left.

“Up 2-0, we make one mistake coverage-wise when the puck was in our offensive zone, we had a breakdown there, the coverage wasn’t there, they come down and score,” Bertoni explained. “The second goal to tie the game, we couldn’t block a shot, we let the ‘D’ walk to the center of the ice.”

Despite struggling through the third, OA looked suddenly refreshed after a quick break before the start of overtime and the Tigers came out flying in the four-on-four.

“I think we had a little more depth to roll out a few more forwards and everyone was on the attack,” Bertoni said. “We executed well in terms of offensive zone possession and coverage but just couldn’t bury one.”

Brett Williams, Rory Madden, and Eric LeBlanc all put shots on goal and the Wolverines were on their heels for the first five minutes. That was until a pass through the middle caught the OA defensemen pushing forward and allowed Donohue to find space in the left circle. His snap shot beat Connor to the far post and set off a raucous celebration.

The Tigers had started the game well. Huter Costello had the game’s first notable scoring opportunity five minutes in but his shot was kicked aside. Colin Bourne nearly opened the scoring with a shorthanded breakaway but Anderson managed to get a stick check in and the puck rolled to the corner.

It looked like Westwood had gotten on the board when Brian Reissfelder went bar down from the slot, but the puck was ruled to have not crossed the line. Neither team stopped skating, although there were questions raised from the Wolverines bench. Only two minutes later, freshman Ross Carroll put the Tigers in front with an inch-perfect backhand tip over the shoulder of Anderson from a Matt McCormack pass out of the left corner.

In the second period, defenseman Adam Healey made it 2-0 for the Tigers when his shot from the point made its way through a sea of bodies in front of goal. Seconds later, OA could have broken the game open with another chance, but a scrum in front led to a prone goalie and a puck that slipped narrowly wide of the post. Williams had a good look from the slot after a drop pass by Bourne, but he could not find the corner and Anderson blocked it aside.

The missed opportunities during a period in which the Tigers had a 13-5 edge in shots would come back to haunt the No. 10 seed. Westwood finished the second with a quick flurry and then turned the game on its head in the third.

“End of the second and most of the third we were holding on. Our energy just dropped and we couldn’t claw our way back, but then we did in overtime,” said Bertoni. He repeated, “But, we just couldn’t bury one.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/22/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Franklin, 49 @ Cambridge R&L, 53 – Final

Girls Basketball
Franklin, 42 vs Hopkinton, 44 – Final

Boys Hockey
Attleboro, 4 vs. Dighton-Rehoboth, 1 – Final

Canton, 3 vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 2 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Franklin, 3 vs. Marshfield, 2 – Final (OT)Brendan O’Rielly scored the overtime winner to hand Franklin the Melchiono Tournament title. Jeremy Miller and Scott Elliott also scored in the win, which will be recorded as a tie for MIAA purposes.

Oliver Ames, 5 vs. Westwood, 2 – FinalOliver Ames overcame a 2-0 deficit after a period of play with five unanswered goals to beat the Wolverines. Senior Rory Madden scored the first two goals to tie the game with freshman Ross Carroll and junior Adam Lyons earning assists on both goals. Junior Max Ward put OA ahead on the power play with Brett Williams assisting. Madden set up junior Matt McCormack for the fourth goal and Carroll sealed the game with an empty net goal. OA coach Sean Bertoni noted sophomore goalie Owen Connor had a strong performance in net.