OA Grad Ferrara Keeps Swinging for MASCAC Crown

Mike Ferrara
Former Oliver Ames standout Mike Ferrara, now a senior at Worcester State, has continued his success at the plate at the collegiate level, batting over .400 over the first 16 games of the season. (Worcester State University Athletics)

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Worcester State baseball got off to a great start to the season, going 6-2 on its annual trip to Florida and winning seven games in a row to open the season with only two losses in the opening nine games. While the Lancers have come back down to Earth a little, with only two wins in their last eight games, senior outfielder Mike Ferrara continues to put up huge numbers.

The Oliver Ames grad and former HockomockSports.com First Teamer is batting .421 and has a hit in all but three games for the Lancers this season. This comes as no surprise to people who watched him set a single-season hit record for the Tigers during his senior year, when he recorded 37 hits in the 2015 season, finishing with a .521 average.

Hitting has always been Ferrara’s forte, but this season he has been on fire at the plate right from the start of spring.

“I usually pick up my pace in the warm weather and then bring it up here,” Ferrara said during a phone conversation before the Lancers kicked off MASCAC play. “Usually we don’t start in Florida, but this year we happened to, so it was good to get myself hot early and then try to carry it over up North.”

When he was asked about the Lancers getting off to a strong start this spring, Ferrara pointed to the preparation that the team put in during the off-season. Starting with fall ball and into the winter, the team has been getting ready to turn around a disappointing 2018, in which the Lancers were 12-26, and get back to the levels of 2017 where Worcester State got hot late in the season and won the MASCAC tournament title.

“In the off-season everyone’s in the weight room, everyone’s hitting every day, all of our pitchers were throwing because we had a really tough season last year and we all had the mindset to turn things around this year,” he explained. “So far, so good, and we’re just trying to keep things going.”

While things slipped a little for the team, Ferrara continues to rake. He leads the team in average (.421), slugging (.684), and RBI (15). He is also second in stolen bases (six) and runs scored (13) and third in on-base percentage (.485) and walks (eight) entering a two-game weekend set with Bridgewater State.

“I’m just getting into better counts, a lot of good hitter counts for myself,” he said. Getting up with runners on base has also helped him get set to go. “Pitchers are a little nervous when you’re up with runners on,” he remarked, “and I’m getting into good counts and basically putting good swings on the ball, putting it in play, and producing runs.”

Ferrara said that he has kept essentially the same approach since high school. He continues to train in the winter with Terence O’Malley of TJO Sports in Canton, just like he has since his sophomore year at OA, and goes into each at-bat focused on her timing.

“That’s my big thing – if I’m not on time, then I’m not going to be getting any hits,” he said. Of course some things have changed since making the leap to collegiate baseball. “You see guys with a lot of pitches, more arm slots. If you’re hitting well then you’re going to see more curveballs and changeups and if you’re not then they’ll try to put you out with the fastball.”

He added, “I kind of work with the same things that I’ve been doing and luckily, it’s still been successful. I’m blessed.”

Being comfortable at the plate is critical to succeed against college-level pitching and Ferrara seems to have found his groove. He went hitless in the season opener against Mount Union in Kissimmee, Fla. and then got at least one hit in nine straight games, highlighted by a 4-for-6 game against Keene State that earned him MASCAC Player of the Week honors.

After going hitless in back-to-back games against WPI and Westfield State, Ferrara is back on track. He has two hits in each of his last four games, although he only has one RBI in the last seven games after 14 in his first nine.

“It’s always good to get recognized,” he said, “but I’m at the point in my career where I’m just trying to focus on winning. It’s nice to get a little recognition but we’re always trying to win games and trying to get back to the conference championship.”

Two years ago, the Lancers went on a run through the conference tournament, beating Framingham State 10-3 and 1-0 in the final series to book a spot in the NCAA tournament. While that was fun as a sophomore, getting back to that stage as a senior would be particularly special.

“We know that everyone’s going to need to pitch in and it’s going to take a team effort to get back there but we know we have the pieces,” Ferrara explained. “It’s coming to an end soon, so you have to be putting it all together to win games. There’s no turning back after this.”

As the Lancers enter April, the games start to come thick and fast and the season turns into a grind to try and move up the conference standings. There may only be a few days off and it takes a lot of work to balance life, school, and baseball, Ferrara is never going to pass up the chance to play baseball every day.

Ferrara said, “Bodies are tired, arms are getting short, but you’ve got to put it together. Just knowing that you’re waking up playing a baseball game, there’s nothing better, especially once everyone’s fired up for conference it gets even better.

“I love playing,” he added. “This is the best time of the year, playing baseball, so we’re just looking forward to continuing this season and hopefully seeing some success.”

The Campus Report: A Review of Spring 2018

Campus Report
The HockomockSports.com Campus Report is an update on former Hockomock League athletes currently competing in collegiate sports. If you would like to submit an update, please e-mail info@HockomockSports.com.

By Brian Hines, HockomockSports.com Contributor

Former Attleboro standout Nate Tellier had a standout season for UMass Dartmouth. The sophomore appeared in all 40 games for the Corsairs, leading the team in almost every offensive statistic category, including runs scored (34), hits (63), triples (three), runs batted in (37), runs (34), stolen bases (19), batting average (.382), on-base percentage (.464), slugging percentage (.570). The offensive outburst was good enough for Tellier to be named to the LEC Second-Team, and the D3 Baseball All-New England Second Team.

Tellier wasn’t the only former Attleboro Bombardier to standout on the diamond. MIT senior Max Lancaster finished his senior season with a career-high .325 batting average. Lancaster tied his career high with 38 hits, and set career-best with 11 doubles, 28 runs batted in and 11 stolen bases. The senior’s best series of the year came in a three-game matchup against Emerson, where he recorded eight hits, six runs scored, two home runs and nine runs batted in. Lancaster landed a spot on the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) All-Conference Second Team for his performance this season.

Former two-time HockomockSports.com Girl’s Lacrosse Player of the Year Marta Versprille had an impressive senior season at Saint Anselm. The former Franklin midfielder started all 18 games for the Hawks, recording 26 goals and seven assists. Her 33 total points were the sixth most on the team, while she ranked third on the team in ground balls (39) and draw controls (59).

Framingham State sophomore, and former North Attleboro Red Rocketeer, Mycala Moody helped the Rams reach the 2018 NCAA Division III Softball Tournament this season. Moody batted .379 with five doubles, two triples, and 18 RBI during her sophomore campaign. After earning the 2017 MASCAC Rookie of the Year, Moody earned second team All-MASCAC honors this season.

Meg Colleran, another North Attleboro alumni and the 2014 HockomockSports.com Softball Player of the Year, wrapped up her senior season at UMass Amherst in impressive fashion. Colleran started 22 games of the 27 she appeared in for the 35-win Minutewomen, going an impressive 14-6 with a 2.99 ERA. Colleran was a perfect 9-0 in Atlantic 10 conference games, boasting an impressive 1.97 ERA in 12 appearances. She finishes her UMass career as one of 10 Minutewomen in program history to eclipse the 20-win mark in 2016, while becoming one of five to reach that mark in multiple seasons in 2017.

A pair of former Hockomock standouts helped Springfield College Lacrosse to a 13-6 record. Franklin’s Jack Vail started 17 games this season at attack, scoring 26 goals and leading the team with 30 assists. Connor Eschmann of King Philip helped man Springfield’s defense, appearing in all 18 games. Eschmann racked up the third most ground balls by any defender with 30, and was tied for the team lead in caused turnovers with 21.

Taunton’s Connor Johnson was one of three Maine Black Bears to land on the America East All-Academic team. On the field, Johnson led Maine with 28 appearances on the mound and carried the third-best earned run average on the team (3.71).

Former King Phillip standout and current Endicott Gull, Jen Lacroix, had a breakout sophomore season in 2018. Lacroix led the 14-win Gulls with 70 goals and 87 points. Her 70 goals were also enough to lead the entire Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) and rank 28th in the nation. Her impressive season allowed the attack to move into the Endicott record books, as she is tied for first in game-winning goals (6), second in goals (70), and fourth in points (87). Lacroix was also named to the 2018 All-CCC First Team along with the 2018 IWLCA Division III All-Pilgrim Region Second Team. She was also a two-time CCC Offensive Player of the Week (03/12/18, 03/26/18).

Luc Valenza’s senior season at UMass Amherst was a successful one. He former Foxboro Warrior appeared in all 17 games on defense for the Minuteman, starting 14. Valenza finished the year with 24 groundballs and caused 15 turnovers. He also recorded his first ever goal and second ever collegiate point earlier this season versus Hofstra. Valenza’s efforts were rewarded with selection to the All-CAA First Team and USILA North-South All-Star Game Selection.

At Central Connecticut, King Phillip’s Tori Constantin wrapped up her senior season with the Blue Devils by playing 47 games and setting career-high in runs, hits, home runs, runs batted in, batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. Her strong season was rewarded with a spot on the 2018 NEC Women’s Softball Second Team All-Conference.

Maria Woodall started all 21 games in goal for the Westfield State University Owls. In those 21 games, Woodall led Westfield to an 18-3 record, along with winning the MASCAC regular season and tournament titles. After leading the league in goals against average (8.26), save percentage (.565) and total saves (183), Woodall was named the 2018 MASCAC women’s lacrosse player of the year. She also earned honors on the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association’ all-region team and was a second-team choice in the IWLCA’s “Berkshire” Region.

Former Mansfield Hornet Will Kelleher provided a valuable bat for the Stonehill Skyhawks this season. Kelleher recorded the third-most at-bats for the team (144), and was second on the team in doubles (12) and runs batted in (20). The junior’s season also saw new career highs in games played (39), runs scored (20) and slugging percentage (.347).

Over at Lyndon State, Sharon’s former attack Spencer Aubin had the second most points (34) on the Hornets in 16 games. Aubin’s 20 goals were third most on the club and his 14 assists ranked second. Aubin ended the season recording points in six of his final nine games, including back-to-back hat tricks against Green Mountain and Albertus Magnus.

Attleboro’s Kayla Merritt finished with 14 points during her sophomore season with the Curry Women’s Lacrosse Team. Merritt scored 11 goals in 12 games played and added 14 assists and 11 ground balls. Merritt was named a captain for her junior season.

At Penn State, King Philip alumni Christa Wagner earned the starting right field spot for the Nittany Lions. She started 17 games in right during her sophomore season, recording 11 hits, six runs and four runs batted in. Wagner also was able to steal bases and notched 15 putouts in right field.

A pair of former Hockomock athletes provided valuable contributions to the Fitchburg State softball team. King Philip’s Melissa DiPhilippo had a career season, posting a career high in nearly every single offensive category. Her 24 hits ranked fourth best on the team, and her .343 batting average ranked third. Former Attleboro Bombardier Mikayla Harnois started 12 games for the Falcons, posting a team-high 79 innings pitched. Harnois’ best game of the season came against Mount Ida, where the sophomore went seven innings without allowing a run.

Junior Mike Ferrara posted impressive numbers in his most recent season at Worcester State. The former Oliver Ames standout led the Lancers in at-bats (135), home runs (four), runs batted in (31), and slugging percentage (.496). Ferrara also set new personal career highs in batting average (.348) and on-base percentage (.384).

The Western New England Golden Bears women’s lacrosse team saw a pair of Hockomock athletes patrolling the defensive unit, both former Franklin Panthers. Rebecca Allen started 16 of the 18 games she appeared in, setting career high for goals (three), assists (nine) and points (12). Olivia Truenow started all 17 games she appeared in, while also setting a career high in goals (five), assists (two) and points (seven). Both Allen and Truenow led the entire Golden Bears defense in ground balls with 30 and 35 respectively.

Another former Franklin Panther provided the New Haven women’s lacrosse team with a strong season. Julia Jette recorded the fourth most points on the Chargers, with 42 (28 goals, 14 assists) – a new career high. Jette wasn’t the only Hockomock athlete to impact the Chargers, as Mansfield’s Caroline Maher posted 40 goals and 26 assists.

Saint Joseph’s College of Maine’s goalie Connor Trainor had a strong senior season in net for the Monks. Trainor posted a 9.59 goals-against average with a .505 save percentage while being named to the All-Great Northeast Athletic Conference Third Team. The former Franklin Panther led the conference in wins (10), ranked second in games (19) and minutes (1000:32), and fourth in goals-against average this spring. As his career ends, Trainor ranks second in team history in goalkeeper games (60), minutes (2,906), saves (527), wins (23), and shots faced (1679) and third in goals-against average (9.81) and save percentage (.526). He was also one of two Monks to be selected to play in the 2018 New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA) East-West Senior All-Star Game.

Attleboro’s Hannah Smith and King Philip’s Maddie O’Gryzek helped pace the UMass Dartmouth’s pitching staff and lineup respectively. Smith started a career-high 24-games for the Corsairs with 131.1 innings of work. She collected 13 wins while finished inside the top-three for wins and earned run average (1.97) while coming top-five for strikeouts (93) and innings pitched. Smith earned her second straight selection to the Little East Conference Second Team. O’Gryzek appeared in all but two games for the Corsairs, recording the second most at-bats on the team (126). She showcased her speed, leading the Corsairs in triples (four) and stolen bases (11). O’Gryzek also set a new career high .389 slugging percentage.

Senior attack Sam Sullivan led Plymouth State with 60 goals while starting all 18 games. The 60 goals were a career high for the former Canton Bulldog, while she also broke career highs in assists (16) and points scored (76). The new marks carried Sullivan to her second straight selection to the All-LEC First Team. She leaves the program as the second player to record three 50-goals. She also ranks in the top ten in the LEC with her 73 points (sixth) and 16 assists (ninth). The co-captain was a two-time Player of the Week selection and is currently fourth all-time in career goals (163) and eighth in program history with 194 career points.

Another former Bulldog saw success on the baseball diamond. Drew Blake belted a team and career-high with eight home runs during his senior season at Fairfield University. Blake led his team with a .477 slugging percentage while starting 40 games for the Stags. Blake was also selected to the All-MAAC Academic Team.

Over at Clark University, Brandon King was named to the NEWMAC All-Conference first team. The former King Phillip standout led the Cougars with 43 goals, which ranked third in the entire NEWMAC. He also added six assists and a team-high 49 points. King twice posted a season-high six goals in Clark’s victories over Salve Regina and Saint John Fisher.

Aimee Kistner had a strong season on the hill for the Western New England Golden Bears. The sophomore appeared in 22 games, starting 15, while recording 11 wins in 113.2 innings of work. Kistner led her team with 119 strikeouts and posted a career-best 2.46 earned run average. Her best performance of the season came against Curry College, where the Taunton graduate threw seven scoreless innings while striking out 10.

At Colorado Mesa, Brian Buckner was named to the Second Team All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC). Buckner started 13 games while appearing in 18 as a long stick midfielder, piling up 21 ground balls and causing eight turnovers. Buckner also put up two points on the season while scoring his first career goal.

A pair of Hockomock alums played a role in Framingham State’s 16-3 season. Former Canton Bulldog Casey Bradley started all 19 games on defense for the Rams, which marks the second straight season in which she has done so. Bradley posted a career-high 32 ground balls and 18 caused turnovers, the most out of any Ram defender. Mansfield graduate Kim Foley earned her third first team All-MASCAC honors after scoring 46 goals and 34 assists for 80 points during her senior season. Foley finishes her career with 156 goals, 71 assists and 227 career points which ranks her first all-time in career assists and second all-time in points and goals in program history.

Katie Notarangelo was named the NEWMAC Co-Defensive Athlete of the Year while earning a spot on the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) All-Region Second Team. Notarangelo scored 60 goals on the season, finishing her career with the sixth most goals in the Institute’s history (145). She also finished with a record for draw controls in a game (15) and in program history ranked third in draw controls (239), tied for fourth in groundballs (127), fifth in caused turnovers (77), and 10th in points (170). In addition, she is currently seventh in the country in free-position percentage (.733).

Former Mansfield Hornet Sabrina Pray qualified seventh in the 100-meter hurdles for the Westfield State University Owls. Pray’s seed time is 14.29 seconds, which was faster than her mark at last year’s NCAA meet. She entered the meet as the 22nd seed and advanced to the finals, where she placed seventh to earn All-America Honors.

A trio of Hockomock athletes helped Bridgewater State University men’s outdoor track and field team capture the meet title at the 11th Annual Eastern Invitational. Cameron Williamson (OA) grabbed top honors in the triple jump with 46’8″/14.22m mark. John Chretien (Taunton) finished third in the javelin, throwing 168’4’’/51.30m. Senior Austin James (Mansfield) placed second in both shot put (46’8″/14.22m) and the discus (137’3″/41.84m). All three posted Division III New England Championships qualifying marks.

On the Bridgewater State women’s track and field team, Milford’s Jenise Madden was one of three team members to earn All-New England honors at the Division III New England Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Madden placed fifth in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 18:10.48 to qualify.

Courtney Daggett earned All-East Region honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Competing as a jumper for Stonehill College, the former Attleboro Bombardier posted her third-career regional honor. She cleared the bar at 5 feet, 4.5 inches at the Silfen Invitational, which marked a season best for the junior as she took home second from the meet.

Ben Chaffee became a regular in the WPI men’s baseball team lineup for the second half of the season, and the Franklin alum answered the bell. Chaffe slashed .386/.474/.482 and drove in 11 runs in his 24 games. The junior ended his season recording hits in 18 of his last 20 games played, including four three-hit games.

The Campus Report: 2016-2017 School Year Wrap Up

Campus Report
The HockomockSports.com Campus Report is an update on former Hockomock League athletes currently competing in collegiate sports. If you would like to submit an update, please e-mail info@HockomockSports.com.

While David MacKinnon selected in the MLB draft earlier this month, two other former Hockomock players also had success in the America East this season. Brendan Skidmore finished a memorable career at Binghamton University, leading the Bearcats to a 30-win season. Skidmore, a Franklin graduate, started in 148 games in his four years as a Bearcat and recorded 152 hits, 117 RBI, 84 runs and 20 home runs. He posted an impressive .997 fielding percentage during his senior campaign. A broken wrist kept the former Hockomock League MVP out of postseason action.

And at Maine, former Taunton ace Connor Johnson made a team-high 23 appearances for the Black Bears, who reached the America East Championship game. The southpaw posted a 4-4 record with one save in 39 innings of work, coming out of the bullpen for all of his appearances. He struck out 30 while allowing just eight extra base hits all season.

Last year’s HockomockSports.com Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year Hana Caster had a terrific first year at UMass Lowell. She led all River Hawk freshmen with 22 points and notched 14 goals and eight assists on her way to becoming one of six River Hawks to record over 20 points this season, while leading the squad with 12 points (9g, 3a) during conference play. The midfielder was named to the America East All-Rookie team and finished the season third on the team in assists and draw controls (16), while her 17 ground balls tied for fifth best.

A pair of former Hockomock hurlers were both named to National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Northeast Region teams for their work this Spring. North Attleboro grad Meg Colleran was named to the first team as well as the Atlantic 10 First Team All-Conference. Colleran was also named A-10 Championship Most Outstanding Player after helping UMass Amherst reach the final. On the season, she posted a 20-14 record with 22 complete games and a 2.60 ERA. King Philip alum Renee Poirier was selected to the third team, posting a team-best 2.19 ERA with a 14-8 record and five saves. She tossed 15 complete games in 21 starts with four shutouts and had two no hitters on the season (Columbia and Lafayette). She finished with 78 strikeouts on the season.

Taunton graduate Aimee Kistner, last year’s HockomockSports.com Softball Player of the Year, was selected to the NFCA DIII All-New England third team for her tremendous rookie season at Western New England. On top of that, Kistner was tabbed Commonwealth Coast Conference Rookie of the Year and named to the All-CCC Second Team. Kistner hit .393 (33-for-84) with six doubles, one triple, four home runs and 27 RBI while scoring 24 runs and drawing 16 walks. She emerged as one of the top players in the CCC over the second half of the season, batting .568 (21-for-37) with four doubles, four home runs and 21 RBI in 14 games since April 11. She was also a top pitcher for the Golden Bears all season, appearing in 12 games with seven starts (four complete games), posting a record of 5-3 with a 2.53 earned run average and 44 strikeouts in 58 innings.

The 2015 HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Kali Magane saw plenty of time in the circle for Boston University this spring. Magane tossed a team-high 155 innings as a freshman, striking out 70 while posting a 13-11 record. She had 11 complete games and one save. Milford’s Rachel Levine also saw a lot of time for the Terriors, starting in 39 games. She finished with a 0.240 batting average with 24 hits, including a home run, and 10 RBI. Levine also had an impressive 0.938 field percentage.

Katie Notarangelo was named to the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Women’s Lacrosse All-Conference Second Team for the first time in her career. Notarangelo, a starting midfielder for MIT, is 10th in the NEWMAC in draw controls (42) and as a midfielder she is fifth on the team in goals (23), points (29), groundballs (26), and caused turnovers (13).

Former Panther Jared Trainor was second on the Wheelock men’s lacrosse team in scoring despite being just a freshman. Patrolling the midfield for the Wildcats, Trainor recorded 15 goals (second) and 14 assists (first) for 29 points. He also scooped up 26 ground balls with 38 caused turnovers.

Luke Figueira, last year’s HockomockSports.com Baseball Player of the Year, saw plenty of action in his first season at the collegiate level with the Bentley Falcons. The Taunton graduate played in 34 games and was fourth on the team with 34 hits, batting .245. He added 10 RBI, 16 runs and one home run. Figueira had a seven-game hit streak in April and had a season-high four hits against Merrimack in early May.

Taunton’s Kelly Reading had a successful sophomore campaign with Cedar Crest on the softball field. The former Hockomock League MVP batted 0.313 on the year, belting out 31 hits with 22 runs scored and eight RBI. She also stole four bases on the season while drawing a team-high 11 walks. She finished the season with 15 hits in the last 14 games.

Sharon graduate Ryan Riley posted a 3-1 record during his sophomore campaign at Clarkson University. Riley started two games and made relief appearances in 11 more games. He recorded two saves over 28.8 innings of work, allowing 21 earned runs while striking out 25 – third most on the team. Riley finished the season with a five-inning outing, allowing just three hits and striking out five in a win against Union.

Former Canton Bulldog Sam Sullivan was named to the Little East Conference Women’s Lacrosse First Team following a stellar season for Plymouth State. Sullivan has scored more than 50 goals for the second year in a row, just the second player in school history to achieve that feat. She has scored a team-high 53 goals this spring, fourth-most in the Little East, and ranks ninth in the conference with 61 points. A two-time LEC Offensive Player of the Week this spring, Sullivan was also named Most Outstanding Player in the Little East Conference Tournament.

Milford’s Steve Morganelli had a solid senior season at Endicott, helping the Gulls win 25 games this season. The former Scarlet Hawk appeared in 33 games, recording 26 hits – including three triples, 15 runs and 17 RBI – posting a .310 batting average. Morganelli finished the season strong, notching two hits in three straight games and 15 hits in the last 14 games.

Franklin graduate Nicole Ellin earned All-Liberty League Women’s Lacrosse Honorable Mention for the second straight year. Ellin started every game, leading Bard with 41 draw controls. She had 18 goals (on just 30 shots) and added two assists; two of her goals were game-winners, including the overtime goal that beat Nichols in March.

A pair of former Hockomock rivals both had superb seasons up north at Keene State. Foxboro’s Connor Longley got it done at the plate and Sharon’s Nate Pederson was just as effective on the mound, helping the Owls make an impressive run in the Little East Conference. Longley was selected First Team All-Little East Conference as well as the D3Baseball.com Third Team All Region after batting .395 in 30 games with four home runs, 24 RBI and a .605 slugging percentage. On the mound, Pederson made 15 relief appearances for the Owls, tossing 30 innings while allowing just six earned runs (1.80 ERA) and striking out 12.

Former North Attleboro star Mycala Moody continued her ways at Framingham State, earning MASCAC Softball Rookie of the Year and first team All-MASCAC honors. Moody batted .348 on the year with a pair of doubles, a pair of triples and 12 RBI. She also crossed the plate 21 times, stole 10 bases and had a .402 slugging percentage. Moody, who was selected as Rookie of the Week five times, was also named a Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III New England All Star.

Canton’s Michael McMahon saw action in 16 games during his rookie season with Becker College’s baseball team. The former Bulldog recorded eight hits (batting .306), scored five runs and knocked in three runs with a pair of stolen bases.

A pair of former Hock rivals teamed up to help the Bridgewater State women’s lacrosse team. King Philip alum Alex Lynch, a senior, scored 29 goals in 19 games played, adding seven assists for 36 points. Brooke Buckner, a junior and former Foxboro standout, finished with 12 goals and five assists, adding 19 ground balls and 35 caused turnovers.

Canton’s Meghan Lennon and King Philip’s Jennifer Lacroix played pivotal roles in helping Endicott College claim the Commonwealth Coast Conference championship this season. Lennon, a senior, was named to the All-CCC First Team for the second time. After missing last season to injury, Lennon has started all 15 games for the Gulls thus far and currently leads the team in points (66), goals (41), and assists (25). Her 66 points is tied for the fifth-most in the CCC. Lacroix was also named to the All-CCC First Team and was named CCC Rookie of the Year – just the second Endicott women’s lacrosse player in program history to earn the honor. Lacroix is third on the team in points (47) for the most among rookies and tied for third overall in goals (32). Additionally, she is fourth on the team in assists (15) for the most helpers among the Gulls’ rookies. Lacroix leads the team in draw controls (72), which is good for fourth-most in the conference. She is second on the team in ground balls (28) and fourth in caused turnovers (14).

Plenty of players dream of hitting the big hit to earn their team a big win, but former Foxboro Warrior Mike Slaby saw his dream turn into reality in the New England Collegiate Conference Baseball Championship in early May. Slaby’s fourth-seeded Lesley University and top-seeded Mitchell College were tied 6-6 in the bottom of the ninth inning. With the bases loaded, Slaby launched a game-winning walk-off grand slam to hand the Lynx the title. Slaby was named the tournament MVP for his heroics. On the season, Slaby led Lesley in at-bats (142), RBI (23) and stolen bases (10) while batting .289 during his senior season. You can watch Slaby’s walk-off grand slam below.

King Philip graduate Malorie Knowlton was named to the Commonwealth Coast Conference women’s lacrosse All-Conference First Team following a great season for Curry. She made 17 starts and led the team and the conference in caused turnovers with 71. Knowlton finished second on the team and tied for third in the conference with 52 ground balls. She tallied 43 goals and dished out seven assists for 50 points which ranked her second on the team for both points and goals. Attleboro’s Kayla Merritt, a freshman, also started in 17 games and scored three goals, four assists and 25 draw controls.

Two former Hockomock rivals completed their collegiate careers at Wheaton College this season. Franklin’s Rebecca Seifert was one of the team’s top hitters, batting .306 with 34 hits (both second on the team). Seifert was second on the team with 18 RBI and scored 30 runs in 36 games played. Milford’s Caroline Fairbanks had 21 hits on the season, including two home runs and 15 RBI, while leading the Lyons in walks. Fairbanks had 120 RBI in her four-year career at Wheaton.

Foxboro alum Alex Pacitti concluded his lacrosse career at Saint Anselm this past spring, notching double figures in points for the second straight season. For his senior year, Pacitti scored 18 goals and added seven assists for a total of 25 points. He also had 25 ground balls this year. He finished his career with 43 goals and 62 total points.

Former HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Max Lancaster continued his strong career at MIT with a stellar junior season. The Attleboro High grad batted .299 (sixth) on the season with 27 RBI, 10 stolen bases, five home runs, 11 walks and 31 runs scored to help the Engineers record 21 wins.

Franklin’s Maegan Schmauder had the best offensive season of her collegiate career so far for RIT. A junior captain, Schmauder scored a career-high 20 goals this season with five assists. She also had 23 ground balls, 11 caused turnovers and 22 draw controls.

Although just a freshman, Franklin graduate MacKenzie Pleshaw was one of top offensive producers for Stonehill women’s lacrosse. Pleshaw netted 29 goals and had two assists for a total of 31 points. She also had 15 ground balls during her rookie season.

North Attleboro graduate Matt Hardy concluded a successful career with Nichols College with a strong season, helping the Bison earn 23 wins. Hardy was fourth on the team with a .309 batting average, starting in 40 games this season. He collected 43 hits, including eight doubles, knocked in 16 runs and posted a perfect fielding percentage.

Carrie Long, who previously was a standout player for Foxboro, had a strong junior season for Fitchburg State and was named to the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III North Women’s Lacrosse First Team. Long scored 27 goals (third on the team) and added seven assists for 34 points. She finished with a team-high 94 ground balls and 88 caused turnovers, while leading the nation in caused turnovers per contest (4.63) and being seventh nationally in ground balls per game (4.95) as of May 16th.

Mansfield’s Kimmy Foley was also named to the MASCAC All-Conference First Team as well as the ECAC Division III North Women’s Lacrosse Second Team. Foley, a midfielder for Framingham State, tallied a team-best 56 points on the year which included 37 goals and 19 assists to go along with 54 ground balls, 46 draw controls and 22 caused turnovers. Canton’s Casey Bradley, a freshman, was just one of four players to start all 19 games for the Rams this season and recorded 26 ground balls.

Former HockomockSports.com Baseball Underclassman of the Year Nick Santucci made a big splash in his first year at Rollins College. Just a freshman, Santucci appeared in 35 games, including 23 starts, and posted a .313 batting average. Of his 25 hits, eight were doubles and he knocked in 10 runs while recording a .923 fielding average.

Franklin’s Samantha Jones was named to the Mountain East All-Conference Second Team after a tremendous freshman season for the University of Charleston. Jones started in all 13 games for the Golden Eagles, netting 24 goals and adding two assists. She also had 34 ground balls and 33 draw controls during her freshmen season.

Although it feels like just yesterday that Shannon Smith was winning back-to-back state championships at Milford, the Massachusetts high school strikeout record holder concluded her career at Kentucky. In her senior season, she posted a 6-3 record, making 17 appearances and 11 starts. She had two complete games, striking out 55 batters in 50.1 innings of work. She limited batters to a 0.203 average with just five doubles allowed. In her collegiate career, Smith struck out 207 batters.

Jack Vail, the only male athlete to win HockomockSports.com Player of the Year in consecutive seasons, is continuing his strong play at Springfield College. After getting his feet wet with with just three games played last year, Vail tied for a team-high 32 goals in 17 games played in 2017. He also recorded 16 assists, good for 48 points, while adding 28 ground balls.

The only female athlete to win HockomockSports.com Player of the Year in consecutive seasons, Marta Versprille, had her best offensive production of her collegiate career during her junior season at Saint Anselm. Versprille scored 15 goals along with seven assists for 22 points, her career best in all categories. She also had 38 draw controls and 29 ground balls.

Two Hockomock alums were a big part of Salve Regina’s pitching staff this season, helping the Gulls to 36 wins. Canton’s Jimmy Fitzgerald, who was named to the 2017 ABCA//Rawlings NCAA Div. III New England All-Region Second Team, posted a 6-2 record for the Gulls this season, striking out a team-high 73 batters with just 16 earned runs allowed in 52.1 innings of work (2.75 ERA). Sharon’s Will Ginsberg made nine appearances, including six starts, posting a 2-0 record with 37 strikeouts in 34.1 innings of work (3.15 ERA).

Fitzgerald wasn’t the only former Hockomock standout to be on the 2017 ABCA//Rawlings NCAA Div. III New England All-Region Second Team: Taunton grad Matt Nunes was also on the list as a pitcher. Nunes, a star pitcher for Westfield State, posted a 6-2 record, including five complete games, a 2.04 ERA and allowed just 36 hits in 54.2 innings of work.

North Attleboro grad Anthony Rinaldi posted a 3-1 record this season for the Endicott men’s tennis program. He went 2-0 at No. 5 singles and 1-1 at No. 6 singles play. He also went 1-0 in doubles play. He was named to the 2017 CCC Academic All-Conference Team.

Former King Philip standout Brandon King continued to impress for the Clark University men’s lacrosse team. As a sophomore, King led the Cougars with 42 goals in the 2017 campaign. He also added eight assists, finishing with 50 points (second on the team). King was just one of three players to start all 18 games this season.

Attleboro’s Hannah Smith had a very impressive junior season for UMass Dartmouth. Smith was the Corsairs’ top pitching option, tossing a team-high 157.0 innings while striking out 89 batters. She started in 23 games, earning 11 wins with 15 complete game efforts, posting a terrific 1.78 ERA for the year.

Former Sharon Eagle Jacob Berish emerged as one of Skidmore College’s most reliable pitchers during his sophomore season. Berish was the lone pitcher on the team to post a sub 3.00 ERA, allowing just 12 earned runs in 39.2 innings of work (2.72 ERA). He had nine appearances – six of them starts – and posted a 2-3 record while striking out 21 batters.

Brian Buckner had a strong rookie season with the Colorado Mesa men’s lacrosse team. The former Foxboro standout appeared in 14 of the team’s 18 games, helping the Mavericks to an 16-2 overall record. Colorado Mesa won its second straight Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament Championship with a 20-7 win over Westminster, a game that saw Buckner record his first two collegiate assists.

Former Taunton girl’s tennis head coach Dave Purpura led the Bridgewater State Bears to a Little East Tournament Title this past fall and an NCAA tournament berth this spring. Another former Tiger, Alisha Silva, was the top singles player for the Bears, playing 18 matches at first singles. Mansfield’s Rachel Tarantino played 18 matches at No. 5 singles, recording six wins.

After losing his first year to injury, former HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Brendan Welch, a redshirt freshman with Southern New Hampshire, finally got his first taste of collegiate baseball. Welch made 19 appearances, all in relief, and posted a 3-1 record with one save for the Penmen. It won’t come as a shock to former players to faced Welch but the left-handed pitcher struck out 27 in 23 innings of work.

Sharon’s Spencer Aubin and North Attleboro’s Marshall Blackman both played pivotal roles for the Lyndon State men’s lacrosse program this spring. Aubin, a sophomore, started in 15 games, netting 28 goals (second on the team) as well as recording 18 assists (third on the team) for a total of 46 points (third on the team). Blackman was one of four players on the team to start in all 17 games, shoring up a strong defensive unit. Blackman had 36 ground balls on the year.

Alyssa DeLuca, a King Philip alum, was named Midwest Women’s Lacrosse Conference (MWLC) Co-Attacker of the Year and was also a First Team All-MWLC selection. Also garnering first-team honors for a second straight season, DeLuca led the MWLC in goals scored with 77, ranking her sixth in all of NCAA Division III and also 15 more than the league’s next-closest player. She is also tied for the league-lead in points (84), ranked 15th in draw controls (40). DeLuca set a school record with 10 goals in a single game back in April.

Attleboro’s Nate Tellier had no problem making the transition from high school to college, based on his production in his first season with UMass Dartmouth. Tellier led the Corsairs in at-bats (177) and stroked 52 hits – nine doubles, two triples and two home runs – with 18 RBI total. He led the team with 27 stolen bases and posted a .294 batting average. While making just seven appearances on the mound (7.2 innings), Tellier only allowed two hits with nine strikeouts and no runs allowed. Former Mansfield Hornet Zac Courier also enjoyed a nice season, batting .310 with 19 RBI and three home runs, playing in 30 games.

Former Oliver Ames standout Lexi Soucie had a strong senior year at the plate at Salve Regina. Soucie was fourth on the team with 33 hits, batting .311 with a .387 slugging percentage. Her eight doubles were tied for the team lead, and she added 23 runs scored and 12 RBI and 11 stolen bases. For her career, Soucie had 159 hits at Salve Regina and a career batting average of .322.

Canton’s Carly Scanlon posted an impressive 13-1 record in singles action for the Regis women’s tennis team. After starting the season 1-1, Scanlon rattled off 12 straight wins, including the last two in April. Another former Hockomock tennis player, Emma Prinos, had a strong season in singles action for Stonehill College. Prinos went 10-6 playing at a variety of different singles spots for the Skyhawks. Prinos rattled off seven wins in a row back in the fall. Taunton’s Mollie McCaffrey went 8-6 for UMass Dartmouth over the past year, including a 5-0 record at third singles.

King Philip alum Jake Cavanagh had an immediate impact during his freshman year with Utica College. He made four appearances out of the bullpen for the Pioneers, posting a 2-2 record in 18.1 innings of work, striking out 13 with just 10 earned runs allowed.

After setting the record for hits at Oliver Ames, Mike Ferrara has continued to rake at Worcester State. A sophomore, Ferrara was third on the team in at-bats (149) and posted a .322 batting average with 48 hits this season. Of his 48 hits, six were doubles and four were home runs, totaling 30 RBI for the year with a pair of stolen bases.

Former Franklin goalie James Keane had a strong year for Nichols College. Keane started in nine games this season, making 12 overall appearances, and posted a 7-3 record. He made 107 saves with a .601 save percentage and a 7.18 goals against average. North Attleboro alum Pat Nally won 51 face-offs, second most on the tam, in 18 appearances in his rookie season.

Milford graduate Allie Piergustavo was a reliable option for the St. Bonaventure softball squad this season. Piergustavo started in all one but game for the Bonnies this spring, recording 38 hits (second on the team) for a .273 batting average. She added seven doubles and six home runs, scoring 15 runs with a team-high 29 RBI. She had a team-high 316 putouts with a .976 fielding percentage.

Campus Report: Closing the 2016 Baseball Season

Hockomock Campus Report
Former Oliver Ames star David MacKinnon became the first Hartford player to win America East Player of the Year. (Twitter/@AmericaEast)

Below is an update on former Hockomock League baseball athletes currently competing in collegiate sports. If you would like to submit an update, please e-mail info@HockomockSports.com.

The long list of accomplishments for Oliver Ames graduate David MacKinnon continues to grow. MacKinnon, who broke Hartford’s hit record as a sophomore year and then broke his own mark again this year, was tabbed as the America East Baseball Player of the Year. MacKinnon becomes the first Hartford player to earn this honor.

An All Conference second team selection for the past two seasons, MacKinnon made it clear he was the top player this season. Entering the America East tournament, he led the conference in hitting (.390) and runs (54). He was fifth in the conference in slugging (.537), second in on-base percentage (.467) third in doubles (15) and eighth in triples (3).

He finished the regular season with 80 hits, smashing his program record of 68 from a year ago. He has already added to that, going 4-5 in Hartford’s opening game in the conference tournament. MacKinnon drove in four runs, including the tying run in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Hawks went on to walk off in the 10th inning. He also had a two-run home run in the game.

MacKinnon wasn’t the only Hockomock representative honored in America East’s conference honors. Another former Hockomock League MVP, Franklin’s Brendan Skidmore, was selected to the America East All Conference Second team at first base. Entering the America East playoffs, he leads Binghamton with nine home runs (third in the conference) and 14 multi-RBI games, hitting .345 in conference play with 39 RBI for the season.

Skidmore and MacKinnon, the two top first basemen in the conference, will face off on Friday as Hartford and Binghamton play at 12:00 noon at LeLacheur Park in Lowell.

A pair of former Hockomock players had their collegiate careers come to a close after successful stints with Bridgewater State. Oliver Ames’ David Holmes had the best record for the Bears’ pitching staff at 5-1, posting a 2.94 ERA and a team-best 38 strikeouts. Holmes limited opponents to a .261 average with just nine walks on the year. Taunton’s Travis Ritchie started and played in all but one game this year, posting a .282 average, good for fifth on the team while being second on the team in hits with 35. Ritchie tied for the team lead in triples and was one of the Bears’ best fielders (.987%) in the outfield. Both Holmes and Ritcher were selected to the MASCAC Second Team.

Sharon graduate Ryan Riley made 11 appearances for Clarkson this season, the second most of any pitcher, with all of them coming in relief situations. Riley posted a 2-1 record in 22 innings of work, striking out 18 and limiting opposing batters to a .250 ERA. Riley posted a 3.97 his freshman year on the bump for the Golden Knights.

Former Milford Scarlet Hawk JJ Branch emerged as Endicott’s go-to pitcher and ace this season. Branch started in a team-high 12 games, pitching 77.2 innings (over 30 more than the next pitcher on the staff) and posted an impressive 7-1 record. Branch had a team-low ERA of 2.43 for starting pitchers and fanned 49 batters, also a team best.

A pair of former Hockomock rivals turned teammates helped Keene State get their most wins since the 2013 season. Foxboro’s Connor Longley had the fourth most at-bats for the Owls during his freshman year, batting .277 with 38 hits and a pair of home runs. Sharon’s Nate Pederson made 10 appearances in relief, throwing 13.2 innings with six strikeouts.

Former North Attleboro standout Justin Gallagher was a valuable asset to Wheaton’s bullpen this year. Gallagher made 13 appearances in total, all in relief, helping the Lyons to another successful season. He posted a 2.08 ERA second on the team by pitchers who made at least 10 appearances. He struck out 11 with just three earned runs allowed this season.

Lesley University’s baseball team posted 19 wins this season and two former Hock players had a lot to do with it. Milford grad Bryan Hildebrand was tied for second on the team with three wins, starting four games and appearing four times in relief. The former Scarlet Hawk walk just nine batters in over 25 innings of work. Former Foxboro Warrior Mike Slaby was the Lynx’s top offensive option, leading the team with a .361 batting average, 44 hits and two triples. He was second on the team with 18 RBI and had a .451 on-base percentage.

Fresh off a terrific senior year at Oliver Ames, Mike Ferrara made an immediate impact at Worcester State during his rookie season. He played in all 39 of the Lancers’ games this season and had 139 at-bats, fourth most on the team. Ferrara batted .281 with 39 total hits, including four doubles and a home run. He had 15 RBI, fifth on the team, and stole four bases.

Connor Johnson has been one of Maine head coach Steve Trimper’s top choices in the bullpen this season. The Taunton alum had made a program-high 19 appearances, all in relief, this season for the Bears. Johnson posted a 4-4 record with a 3.93 ERA, striking out 35 batters in 34.1 innings of work. Johnson is one of a just a few pitchers in the conference to be able to retire MacKinnon in two straight at-bats this season.

MIT baseball claimed the ECAC New England Division III Baseball Championship earlier this month with former HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Max Lancaster playing the role of catalyst. Lancester, an Attleboro grad, helped spark the Engineers’ eight run seventh inning. Lancaster had a two RBI single down the left field line to score the first two runs of the rally. Lancaster doubled the amount of games he played in this season compared to his freshman campaign. He batted .266 with 23 RBI, 18 runs scored, four stolen bases and three home runs.

Attleboro alum Matt Elliot concluded a strong first season for Anna Maria, finishing third on the team with a .306 batting average. Elliot, who had eight hits in a four game span at the end of the season, finished in the top 30 in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference in batting average, was second on the team in doubles and stolen bases and led the Amcats with three triples.

There are a lot of reasons that Nichols baseball was able to post 24 wins this season but North Attleboro’s Matt Hardy was one of the big ones. Hardy started all 42 of the team’s games and batted a team-best .391 on the year with 11 doubles and 26 runs batted in. Hardy had 63 hits this season and scored 31 runs. While patrolling left field, Hardy had a .938 field percentage and finished the season with 12 straight games without an error.

Former Milford starter Cam Cossette made nine appearances for Plymouth State this season, five of them starts. Cosette struck out 27 in 31.2 innings of work, posting a 2-1 record on the season. Cossette struck a season-best six batters on two occasions, in a big win over Rivier in April and a close lost to Lyndon State in May.

A pair of Franklin Panthers turned Saint Anselm Hawks had strong seasons on the mound. Tyler Buck was unlucky to not get a win in his senior year in 44.1 innings of work. In six starts and eight overall appearances, Buck struck out 18 with a 4.47 ERA and also recorded a save. Zane Byrne made 12 appearances in his rookie season for Saint A’s, all in relief. He tossed 23.1 innings with 16 strikeouts, posting a 4.63 ERA for the year.

The accolades continue to roll in for Sharon alum Jake Fishman. Now starring at Union College, Fishman was recently named to the ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Div. III New York All-Region Team and the D3Baseball.com All-New York Region Team. He was selected as a First Team Utility player on the ABCA team and was chosen as one of three starting pitchers on the D3Baseball.com First Team. He batted .361, had 14 RBI and led the team in hits (48) and runs scored (29). On the mound, the Liberty League Player of the Year was 7-0 with a 0.41 ERA. Fishman will be playing with the Wareham Gatemen in the Cape Cod Baseball League this summer.

The University of Rhode Island baseball team is playing in the A-10 semifinal on Friday and two Hockomock alums could be in the mix. Ryan Olmo, a former star at Attleboro High, will likely be patrolling the outfield. So far this season, he’s batted .260 this season with 51 games played. He’s third on the team with 31 RBI and has recorded 12 doubles as well as a home run. Canton’s Sam Larson, a red shirt freshman, has made just one appearance this year. He made the most of it though, throwing two scoreless innings against UConn.

Matt Nunes had a strong bounce back year at Westfield State after being hampered by an injury last year. Nunes tossed 31 innings this year, starting five games and making eight total appearances. He posted a 3-1 record and had a save on the season, striking out a 35 batters – good for second on the team. He held opponents to a .240 batting average over the course of the year.

Two former Hockomock players made their mark on Salve Regina’s very successful season. The Seahawks advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament before concluding their season. Canton’s Jimmy Fitzgerald, a sophomore, made five starts and nine overall appearances. In 33.2 innings, he fanned 37 batters and allowed 10 walks while posting a 3-1 record with a save. Sharon graduate Will Ginsberg made eight appearances with half of them being starts. He went 1-0 with 19.1 innings of work, striking out 17 batters.

Campus Report: Hock Alumni Shine In Spring

Former Sharon standout Jake Fishman was recently named to USA Baseball's Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List, on of only two non-Div. I players on the list. (Trent Hermann/Carolyn Studio{
Former Sharon standout Jake Fishman was recently named to USA Baseball’s Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List, on of only two non-Div. I players on the list. (Trent Hermann/Carolyn Studio{

Below is an update on former Hockomock League athletes currently competing in collegiate sports. If you would like to submit an update, please e-mail info@HockomockSports.com.

BASEBALL

Last week, USA Baseball announced its 60-man Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List and former Sharon star and current Union College junior pitcher Jake Fishman was among those listed. Fishman is one of only two non-Div. I players that were on the list, which includes 18 preseason picks and 42 players that were added over the course of the season.

Fishman is currently leading Union with a .383 batting average and has driven in 10 runs. He has also been a star on the mound with a miniscule ERA of 0.51 and a record of 4-0. He has thrown three complete games in five starts and has struck out 51 batters and allowed only two earned runs in 35 innings pitched. Opponents are batting .211 against Fishman this season.

The semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award will be announced by USA Baseball on June 1.

Former Attleboro High outfielder Matt Elliot went 4-5 in a doubleheader against Suffolk over the weekend. The Anna Maria College freshman is batting .294 this year with seven RBI and an OPS of .805. He is also 1-4 on the mound over six starts and has struck out 12 in 33-2/3 innings for the AMCATS.

Brendan Skidmore of Franklin has a seven-game hit streak going for Binghamton University. The junior infielder is batting a team-high .344 with seven homers and 28 RBI this season. His OPS is .983 and he has also been strong with the glove, boasting a fielding percentage of .994.

Former Oliver Ames pitcher David Holmes threw a complete game for Bridgewater State in the opening game of a doubleheader with Mass. College of Liberal Arts to pick up a 1-0 victory. Holmes struck out seven and allowed only four hits and improved to 4-1 on the season. He has an ERA of 3.00 on the season and batter are hitting only .247 against him this year. Also for the Bears, former Taunton player Travis Ritchie went 2-5 in the second game of the MCLA doubleheader and is currently batting .286 on the season, good for third on the team. He also has a homer and nine RBI.

J.J. Branch suffered his first loss of the season at Endicott in a 5-0 loss to Salve Regina on Sunday. Branch allowed three earned runs in seven innings and struck out a pair of hitters. For the season, the former Milford pitcher leads the Gulls with an ERA of 2.50 and is now 5-1 overall. He has struck out 33 batters in 57-2/3 innings pitched.

David MacKinnon went 3-4 and drew a pair of walks for Hartford in an 11-5 victory over Quinnipiac on Tuesday. The Oliver Ames star is now batting a team-high .372 with two homers and 22 RBI this season and is in the midst of a 10-game hitting streak. MacKinnon has struck out a team-low 11 times in 148 at bats this year.

MacKinnon’s former teammate at Oliver Ames, Mike Ferrara, came through with a clutch at bat for Worcester State to help the Lancers beat Becker College in extra innings. Ferrara came through with a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning to tie it, before the Lancers added another for a 10-9 win. Ferrara was 2-4 with a pair of RBI in the game. The freshman is now hitting .279 on the season and has hit one homer and drive in 13 runs.

Former Foxboro player Connor Longley went 1-4 with an RBI and former Sharon pitcher Nate Pederson picked up the win with 2-2/3 innings of scoreless relief as Keene State beat Western New England on Monday. Longley, a freshman first baseman, has stepped right into the lineup and is batting .310 with a homer and 19 RBI. Pederson, also a freshman, is now 1-1 and has struck out six batters in 13-2/3 innings this season.

Junior third baseman Mike Slaby went 3-6 and scored a pair of runs for Lesley University in an 11-4 win against Mitchell College on Sunday that clinched the Lynx the fourth seed in the upcoming NECC Baseball Championship. In 34 games this season, the former Foxboro High player is batting .388 (good for second on the team), has scored 19 runs and picked up 16 RBI.

Former HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Max Lancaster went 3-9 for MIT in a doubleheader sweep of Wheaton College that earned the Engineers their second straight NEWMAC regular season title and top seed in the upcoming conference tournament. The Attleboro grad is batting .278 on the season and has three homers and 17 RBI in 20 games played.

Former North Attleboro player Dylon Grzenda drove in a pair of runs with a single to left as part of a four-run fourth inning that lifted the University of New Haven to a win against Saint Anselm on Monday. The freshman infielder has hits in five of his last eight appearances.

Another former Rocketeer, Matt Hardy, went 1-3 with a pair of RBI to help Nichols College earn a spilt of a doubleheader with Western New England on Sunday. The junior has a team-high .395 average and has driven in 19 runs this year for the Bisons. He has struck out only five times in 124 at bats and has scored 27 runs.

Junior pitcher Matt Nunes allowed three earned runs in 5-1/3 innings on Saturday to help Westfield State split a doubleheader with Fitchburg State. With the win, the former Taunton player improved to 2-1 on the season with an ERA of 5.04. Nunes also has one save this year and has struck out 29 batters in 25 innings of work.

SOFTBALL

Freshman pitcher Renee Poirier was named the Army Athletic Association Athlete of the Week and the Patriot League Rookie of the Week after going 2-0 in the last week with no earned runs allowed. The former King Philip player threw a pair of complete games for the Black Knights to beat Quinnipiac and Holy Cross. For the season, Poirier is 7-5 with an ERA of 2.21 and has struck out 60 batters. Opponents are only hitting .231 against her. Army has won 30 games and reached 10 league wins for the first time since 2013.

Last year’s Hockomock League MVP Kelly Reading went 2-4 with three runs scored and a pair of stolen bases on Saturday to help Cedar Crest College (Pa.) to a 9-2 win in the second game of a doubleheader with Keystone College. The former Taunton and Franklin player is batting .355 this season with an OBP of .418. She also leads the team with 14 steals and has driven in 16 runs.

Former Mansfield player Bri Chiusano, a senior at Coastal Carolina, was named the Big South Player of the Week on Monday. Chiusano batted .619 last week, going 13-21, with two RBI and nine runs scored. In the process, Chiusano set a Big South career mark with 196 runs scored. She has at least one hit in 30 of the past 32 games and is now third in the league with a .394 batting average and second with 71 hits and 49 runs scored. She is also among the nation’s best in stealing bases with 141 for her career, including 25 this season.

Franklin Pierce ended its softball season with a loss to Stonehill on Sunday and a couple of Hock alumni closed out strong seasons for the Ravens. Senior Patricia Hansen, a former Mansfield player, finished with a record of 6-4 and an ERA of 3.16. She struck out 39 in 75-1/3 innings and threw eight complete games. Sophomore Samantha Bonvino, a Milford alum, batted .293 with a homer and 13 RBI.

Another former Scarlet Hawk continues to pitch well for the University of Kentucky. Former HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Shannon Smith has made 14 appearances and nine starts for the Wildcats this season and has a record of 3-0 with an impressive ERA of 1.83. Smith, who won a pair of state titles for Milford, has struck out 72 batters in 42 innings and opponents are batting only .147 against her.

Senior Nicole LeBlanc became Lasell College’s all-time hits leader on Saturday with the 163rd base hit of her career during a doubleheader split with Rivier. LeBlanc, an Oliver Ames alum, had three hits and drove in four runs during a 9-1 victory in the opener and then added another RBI, the 100th of her career, in a 9-3 game two loss. LeBlanc is second on the Lasers in hitting this season with a .355 batting average and tops in slugging at .548. She has two of the team’s three homers and driven in a team-high 19 runs.

Former Oliver Ames player Lexi Soucie had a big day for Salve Regina against UMass Boston. On Monday, Soucie went 3-3 with two solo homers and drove in three runs to lead the Seahawks to a 7-5 extra innings win. She also went 1-3 with an RBI in the second game of the doubleheader. Soucie now has a team-leading four homers on the season and is batting .289. In the same game, Taunton grad Lauren Mitsiaris went 3-4 with three RBI and a run scored for the Beacons and in the second game added a hit and another RBI. In the second game, Sharon alum Kelsey Whiting pitched three innings of relief for UMass Boston, her longest outing of the season.

Although Simmons was swept in a doubleheader by Johnson and Wales, former Milford catcher Taylor LeBrun had a big day with a double and homer. She went 1-3 in game two and drove in three runs. Former North Attleboro player Mikaela Caracciolo also went 1-3 in game two with a bunt single. Caracciolo is hitting .375 this season and has driven in 19 runs. LeBrun has hit .317 in her freshman season with a pair of homers and 16 RBI and a .537 slugging percentage.

Sophomore Meg Colleran was named the Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Week and UMass Co-Athlete of the Week after picking up a 4-0 record in five appearances in the circle with an ERA of .62. She tossed her sixth shutout of the season against George Washington and matched her career-high with eight strikeouts. She struck out 23 in batters in 22-2/3 innings. Colleran is 16-14 on the season with a 2.04 ERA and 112 strikeouts.

Hannah Smith of Attleboro tossed a complete game in a 2-1 loss for UMass Dartmouth against Keene State. Smith struck out four in the loss and moved her season record to 11-7 with an ERA of 2.59. In the second game of the doubleheader King Philip alum Maddie O’Gryzek went 2-4 for the Corsairs with a run scored and an RBI. She is batting .319 in her rookie season.

Former Milford player Caroline Fairbanks went 5-8 as Wheaton College split a doubleheader with Smith College on Sunday. She went 2-4 in the opening game (an 8-6 loss) and drove in a pair of runs. In the second game, Fairbanks went 3-4 and drove in another three runs. Fairbanks is hitting .427 this year with nine homers and 31 RBI. In the same game former Franklin player Rebecca Seifert went 1-3 with an RBI, as Wheaton rolled to an 8-1 win.

MEN’S LACROSSE

Former King Philip attacker Brandon King scored a hat trick for Clark University in a 14-8 win over Mass. Maritime that helped the Cougars reach nine wins in a season for the first time in program history. He added another goal on Wednesday in a loss to Springfield College. King, a freshman, is among the team leaders with 12 goals this season and he has also recorded an assist for Clark.

Former Franklin player Connor Trainor made 10 saves for St. Joseph’s College of Maine in a loss to Mount Ida. Trainor, a sophomore, has started all 15 games this year and has made 182 saves, including twice making 18 saves in a game (in losses to Johnson and Wales and the University of New England).

Former Sharon player Jake Rotman has played in 15 games this season for Salisbury University and has scored 15 goals and assisted on 11 others for the country’s No. 1 ranked Div. III team, according to LaxMagazine and the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association coaches poll. The senior midfielder has jumped from 12 points last year to 26 this season, as the Sea Gulls get set for the conference tournament final.

Alex Pacitti scored a first half goal for St. Anselm in a 14-8 win over Bentley that clinched the team a berth in the NE-10 tournament for the third time in the past four seasons. Pacitti, a junior midfielder from Foxboro, is tied for second on the team with 20 goals and has also chipped in with five assists in 12 games.

WOMEN’S LACROSSE

Nicole Ellin had a goal and assist, three draw controls, and forced two turnovers in Bard College’s loss to Rochester on Friday. The former Franklin lax and soccer star added a goal and three ground balls in a loss to RIT on Saturday. Ellin led the team with 25 goals and 31 points this season. She added 44 draw controls and 36 ground balls for the Raptors.

Mansfield alum Kristen Tuleja had two goals and three assists for Emmanuel College in a 20-8 win over Rivier last Saturday, Heading into the regular season finale this weekend, the senior midfielder has a team-high 54 goals and added 15 assists. In her four-year career, Tuleja has scored 206 goals and has recorded 77 assists.

Sophomore Jaimee Lutz has been on a scoring streak for Fitchburg State. The Foxboro grad has scored at least one goal in her last nine games, eight of those were wins for the Falcons. Lutz has 23 goals and eight assists on the season. Her former Foxboro teammate Carrie Long has also had a strOng sophomore season for the Falcons with 10 goals and an assist. Long scored two goals in a game twice, including two against Worcester State on Saturday, and has played in all 17 games.

Another former Foxboro player, Katie Notarangelo, had three draw controls in MIT’s loss to Babson College on Wednesday. Notarangelo, a sophomore midfielder, is fourth on the team with 41 points this season (35 goals and six assists). She is also third on the team with 29 ground balls and second with 45 draw controls.

Former King Philip player Alyssa DeLuca has scored 16 goals in the last five games for Illinois Tech, including four against Concordia Chicago and then a hat trick against Benedictine on Wednesday. DeLuca has scored 49 goals this season, 17 more than the team’s next top scorer, and also has four assists. She is also third on the team with 25 draw controls despite missing a pair of games in midseason.

Bridget Doherty scored a hat trick and added an assist for Lasell College in a big win over Albert Magnus on Tuesday. It was the second straight hat trick for the Franklin alum, a senior midfielder, who also scored three goals against Johnson and Wales. Doherty has scored 20 goals in 15 games this season and also has 16 assists.

Canton grad Sam Sullivan scored five goals in Plymouth State’s 13-7 win over Southern Maine on Wednesday. The sophomore attacker has scored a team-high 40 goals this season and added five assists for the Panthers. It was the second time this season that Sullivan notched five goals in a game and she also scored six against Lasell in March. Fellow sophomore Jordyn Kim of Sharon has played in 12 games this season and has chipped in with a goal.

Two-time HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Marta Versprille scored a pair of goals for St. Anselm College against Assumption on Wednesday. It was the fourth straight game with at least one goal for the sophomore midfielder, who is fourth on the team with 13 goals this season. She also has four assists and is second on the team with 24 draw controls, tied for third with 17 ground balls, and tied for the team lead with 17 caused turnovers.

Salve Regina senior Abby Tepper closed out her collegiate career with two goals and two assist in a loss to UMass Dartmouth on Wednesday. Tepper was tied for second on the team with 23 goals and added five assists. She was also second on the team with 35 ground balls and tied for fourth with 10 caused turnovers. Former Attleboro player Kerri Beland started nine games this season for Salve and had 18 ground balls and six draw controls.

Foxboro alum Ellen Decker scored a pair of goals and had two assists in Southern New Hampshire’s loss to New Haven on Wednesday. The junior midfielder has scored 24 goals and assisted on 18 others this season, good for fourth on the team in scoring. She is also third on the team with 39 draw controls. Another former Foxboro player, freshman Mary Beth Sweeney, has played in all 16 games for SHNU this year and has scored seven goals and had three assists in her rookie campaign.

Westfield State senior captain Blair Smith of Milford scored from 10 yards out with 1:10 left in overtime to hand the Owls a 12-11 victory over Bridgewater State on April 19. Smith is tied for second on the team with 20 goals this season. Olivia Overdahl, another former Milford player, has played 14 games and scored two goals in her freshman season. Liz Navoni, a freshman from Mansfield, has scored four goals in 13 games this year and Maria Woodall, a freshman goalie from King Philip, has played in six games and made 11 saves.

WOMEN’S TENNIS

Providence College senior Alana Prinos, a Foxboro grad, closed out the regular season by helping the Friars top doubles team earn a point in 6-1 loss to Seton Hall that closed out the regular season. Heading into the Big East Championships, Prinos has a career singles record of 46-44 and doubles record of 46-43.

Emma Prinos of Foxboro picked up a point at second doubles for Stonehill in a narrow win against Hartford on April 17. Prinos teamed with fellow sophomore Victoria Barbetta for a 7-5 win in the final regular season match.

Welch Tosses Gem, Oliver Ames Rallies Past Milton

Brendan Welch

Brendan Welch wasn’t his usual self at the plate but had a monstrous pitching performance, allowing just two hits. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief

NORTH EASTON, Mass. – Oliver Ames broke open a tie game with three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and junior Brendan Welch tossed a complete game as the Tigers beat Milton, 5-2, to advance to the MIAA D2 South Quarterfinals. 

The fourth-seeded Tigers fell behind 2-0 in the top third inning but leveled the score with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth. A three run sixth inning gave Oliver Ames the lead for good while Welch allowed just two hits on the day and struck out five.

“Brendan was great,” OA head coach Leo Duggan said. “He’s been our number one guy all year, he did a good job today.”

With the game tied 2-2, OA senior catcher Joe Walsh ripped the second pitch he saw deep into left center field, into the trees at Frothingham Park, for a lead off triple. With the infield playing in, OA second baseman Adam Burr grounded a single up the middle to score Walsh to make it 3-2. Nolan Edwards then took an 0-2 count and roped a double into left field, scoring pinch runner Andrew Perron from first to make it 4-2. Shortstop Brian Holmes executed his second sacrifice bunt of the game to move Edwards over to third base and center fielder Mike Ferrara hit a sacrifice fly to center field to play Edwards for a 5-2 lead.

Welch struck out junior Jason Turner to start the top of the seventh and then induced back-to-back ground outs from Chris Cullen and Connor Shea to end the game.

The Wildcats took the lead in the third inning on the only two hits they had all game. Number eight hitter Alex Toyias singled up the middle just out of the reach of Holmes to lead off the inning. It looked as though Toyias was picked off at first but was called safe. The next pitch, Milton’s number nine hitter John Lawton ripped a double into left field to plate Toyias to go up 1-0. At the next at-bat, lead off man and pitcher Colin McCabe hit a grounder to second, but the ball eluded Burr for an error and Lawton scored from second to make it 2-0.

It looked as though the Tigers would get at least a run back in the bottom half of the inning, but were unable to push a run across. Holmes led off with a single into center – a play originally ruled as an out on a  diving catch in center, but overturned after Duggan came out to question – and Ferrera and Romero followed up with singles to load the bases with no outs. But McCabe got Welch to strikeout looking and then induced pop ups from David Romero and Alex Geba to protect the 2-0 lead.

But in the bottom of the fourth, Oliver Ames knotted the score at two. Burr atoned for his error in the third inning with a single in the fourth. Edwards followed with a grounder to third, but Chris Cullen’s throw to second to try and turn two sailed just wide and into the outfield, as Burr advanced to third. Holmes’ first sac bunt of the game came next, moving Edwards to second before Ferrara – the Hockomock League’s RBI leader – singled into left field to score both Burr and Edwards to tie the game 2-2.

“The kids were confident and they came back and played well,” Duggan said. “It was nice to come back being down 2-0. I was thinking ‘Uh-oh’ just like last year, we lost 2-0 to Sharon. It was great to see the kids come back. These kids don’t quit.”

After giving up the two hits in the third inning, Welch allowed just one base runner – his lone walk of the game to lead off the fifth – for the rest of the game. He needed just 38 pitches over the last four innings to shut Milton down and tallied four of his five strikeouts.

Ferrara finished 2-2 with three RBI, Walsh went 1-3 with a triple and run scored, Burr was 2-3 with an RBI and a run, Edwards was 1-2 with two runs and Holmes was 1-1 with two sac bunts which both turned into runs. 

Oliver Ames advances to play fifth-seeded Duxbury in the D2 South Quarterfinals. The Dragons took down Stoughton, 9-8 in the First Round. The game is currently schedule for Monday, June 2nd at 4:00 according to the MIAA website.

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