Black Knights Earn Bragging Rights Against King Philip

Stoughton baseball
Stoughton senior catcher Jake Gibb was all smiles after chasing down a runner between second and third in the first inning. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
STOUGHTON, Mass. – Ever since the Hockomock League split into two divisions, they have crowned a minimum of two division champs in each sport, leaving no true ‘Hockomock champion.’

Because of how the schedules are set, cross-division games aren’t typically at the end of the season and therefore division champs rarely get the chance to face off bragging rights. But due to some postponements, Stoughton and King Philip’s game was pushed to the last weekend of the season, pitting the Davenport division champ against the Kelley-Rex division champ.

With that, there was plenty of bragging rights on the line as the Black Knights hosted the Warriors in a Saturday matinee. And on top of that, Stoughton was looking to snap a two game skid before entering the tournament.

But even with all of that to play for, Stoughton was simply playing for one another, for the team.

“It’s been an emotional day,” Stoughton head coach Mike Armour said. “We actually went to a wake this morning, as a team, for one of our guys who lost his dad. It’s been a long day but this is a tight knit group, this is a family really.

“Just being there for everyone, we said to ourselves, we have a lot of family here, we wanted to pick them up, we wanted to give them something to smile and cheer about and we did. It was awesome to see the guys having fun.”

In the end, the Black Knights walked away with smiles on their faces and the bragging rights with a 8-3 win over KP.

It didn’t take long for the fun to start for Stoughton. Senior Chris McNulty led off the bottom of the second inning with a single and moved to second on an errant pick off attempt. KP starter Jack DiCenso got back to back strikeouts but Stoughton junior Pat Hagerty connected for an RBI double off a 1-1 count to give the Black Knights a 1-0 lead.

The Black Knights continue to roll into the third inning with starter Barry Cooke needing just six pitches to get through four batters in the top of the third and the Black Knights’ offense added two more runs in the bottom half. Doug Seaman drew a one-out walk and stole second base.

Senior Jake Gibb drilled a single into left center and a bobble in the outfield allowed Seaman to round third and come in safely and Gibb to reach second. Jack Connelly followed with a double to bring Gibb home to make it 3-0.

“We lost a couple of hard fought games this past week and if we had gotten a big base hit, we win both of those games,” Armour said after 2-1 losses to Whitman-Hanson and Milford over the past week. “We talked about getting the two-out RBIs, the big hits. Pat Hagerty came through in the second…to come out and get the first run across the plate, that’s usually what we need. We can build off of that. Connelly and Gibb did what they do in the third and we just went from there. It was a total team effort.”

After Cooke got through a two-out single from Ryan Coulter, his second of the day, in the top of the fourth, Stoughton’s offense was back at it in the bottom half. A lead off single from Hagerty caused a pitching change as KP head coach brought in Jake Cavanagh to replace DiCenso. Nick Quattrucci’s sacrifice bunt moved Hagerty up and a bloop single from Ruben Gonzalez put runners on the corners.

A wild pitch brought Hagerty in from third and Gonzalez, who stole second, moved to third. Gibb walked and then the Black Knights executed a double steal with Gibb sprinting to second, drawing a throw, allowing Gonzalez to race home to make it 5-0.

“We preach it and we know it’s key,” Armour said of being active on the bases. “We know King Philip, they are active on the bases too. We talked about that leading up to this, about the base running and being aware of what they like to do. It was nice to see our guys execute running the bases too. It hasn’t been stellar for us this season but now we’re just getting everything in order.”

King Philip was able to breakthrough against Cooke in the top of the fifth but only pulled one run back. Sophomore Patrick Limerick drew a one-out walk, stole second and then came around to score after a pair of walks. Cooke was able to get the third out with a runner on third to limit the damage.

“I thought Barry Cooke pitched his butt off today,” Armour said. “He gave it everything he had right until the end of the fifth inning. And [Justin] Hutchinson, he’s been great for us all year and came in to help us. Tip your hat to King Philip, they fought right to the end.”

Justin Hutchinson retired KP in order in the top of the six and the Black Knights added key insurance runs in the bottom half.

A leadoff triple by Ryan Sullivan turned into a run when Gonzalez reached on an infield error. Seaman singled through the left side and the ball eluded KP’s left fielder, allowing Gonzalez to scamper home from second and Seaman to race to third. He scored Stoughton’s third run of the inning on a passed ball to make it 8-1.

King Philip rallied as Will Weir and DiCenso each had a two-out RBI in the top of the seventh with Ryan Guenette and Jon Rolfe, who both walked, scoring runs. But Hutchinson was able to close the door, ending the Warriors’ rally.

“We didn’t want to enter the tournament on a three game losing streak so we’re happy to get it done here,” Armour said. “Now we’re looking forward to the tournament.”

Cooke got the win, allowing one run in five innings of work. The win gives Stoughton the bragging rights with a head to head victory over KP.

“The kids were aware of it,” Armour said of the bragging rights on the line. “With the two Hock division champs going head to head today, we definitely feel like we made a statement. In the grand scheme of things, we’re just trying to get ready for the tournament. We’ve just been putting the pieces together. We want to be playing our best baseball in the tournament. This group of kids, with what they’ve done and how hard they’ve worked, and the pride they have, I just want to do everything in my power to put them in a position to be successful.”

Stoughton baseball finishes the season with a 14-6 overall record and 13-3 in league play. King Philip finishes 15-5 overall and 11-5 in the league, finishing in a tie with Taunton for the Kelley-Rex crown. Seeds for the MIAA tournament will be released on Tuesday.

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

Stoughton Rallies For Walk-off Win Against Milford

Stoughton junior Justin Hutchinson struck out a career-high 11 batters on Friday afternoon. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Stoughton junior Justin Hutchinson struck out a career-high 11 batters on Friday afternoon. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
STOUGHTON, Mass. – The Black Knights’ baseball team hasn’t faced a deficit very often this season, nor have they played in many close games. They had to deal with both on Friday afternoon, but that wasn’t necessarily such a bad thing for head coach Mike Armour.

Stoughton rallied from a 3-1 deficit, scoring a run in each the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, the last being a walk-off hit by junior Jack Connelly to hand the Black Knights their sixth win of the season.

“It’s good to be in games like that and it’s nice to win games like that,” Armour said. “Not being in a lot of close games, I think you could see our guys were making more errors then we’ve made all year. Not to take anything away from Milford, their kid pitched a hell of a game and they came to play today. At the same time, we got down a couple of runs and it kind of took the wind out of us before we got it back.”

Senior Jake Gibb was the catalyst of the comeback, starting with a big defensive play. He threw out a Milford base runner trying to steal second to give Stoughton some momentum heading to the bottom of the fifth. Stoughton capitalized with leadoff man Pat Hagerty drawing a walk on a full count and advancing to second on an infield hit from Doug Seaman. Gibb followed up with an RBI single through the left side, playing Hagerty to make it 3-2.

Seaman made a nice play at shortstop to end the top of the sixth and Stoughton used that momentum to tie the game in the bottom half. Luke Johnson reached on a hard hit ball that got through at second base and Justin Hutchinson’s hit was bobbled at shortstop to put two on with no outs. After a sac bunt from Nick Quattrucci advanced the runners, Hagerty plated Johnson with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-3.

“Gibb kind of had his coming out party [offensively] against Foxboro early this week and since then he’s just been mashing the ball,” Armour said. “And then another senior captain, Doug Seaman came in on the soft hit ball and made the play in the sixth inning. In a one run game, that’s big time baseball. It’s nice to see good things happen to the kids who do all the right things.”

Hutchinson shined on the mound in his seventh inning of work in the top of the final inning. He needed just 11 pitches to notch his ninth, 10th and 11th strikeouts of the game to give the Black Knights a wave of momentum entering the bottom of the seventh.

“I think Hutch got into a little zone there [towards the end],” Armour said. “He’s the one guy wehave that can throw a lot of pitches, he’s kind of got a rubber arm. He was not coming out of the game. It was nice seeing him kind of stepping up to another level and he really dealt in the top of the seventh.”

Gibb helped finish the rally he started two innings earlier, leading the bottom half with a double. Senior Kyle Romaine came in as a pitch runner for Stoughton and Connelly connected on a 2-2 pitch, driving the ball into left field, right out of the reach of a diving Alex Coady for the winning run.

“The boys woke up,” Armour said. “There’s a lot of talent on the team, their a tight group, everybody gets along so they expected to win. It’s just nice to see good things happen because they do a lot of the little things. A lot of the things I ask, and a lot of the times I don’t even have to ask, they do those things. It’s just about putting it all together.”

Both teams scored in the first inning before the Scarlet Hawks pulled away through the middle innings. In the top of the first, Chris Speroni led off with a single, moved to second when Coady reached on an error and then scored on a two-out RBI single from Anthony Arcudi to make it 1-0.

Gibb drew a two out walk in the bottom of the first, moved to second on a wild pitch and then to third when the throw to second sailed into the outfield. A single from Connelly plated Gibb to tie the game 1-1 after an inning.

The Scarlet Hawks tacked on a run in both the third and fourth innings. Coady walked and moved to second after an errant pickoff throw. Blake Hill reached on a fielder’s choice and then a throwing error allowed Coady to scamper home from third. Milford’s third run came in the fifth after a leadoff single from Nick Johnson. A sac bunt from Brian Ireland pushed Johnson to second and he came in to score on a triple from Alex Macek.

Both starters pitched well, with Hutchinson earning the win in a complete game effort. Hutchinson struck out a career-high 11 batters, scattering six hits and issuing just two walks. Macek was strong in his season debut on the mound for the Scarlet Hawks, allowing just one run in five innings of work while striking out six.

“Stoughton did a good job, they capitalized on our inability to finish seven innings, that’s been our problem all year,” Milford coach Paul Pellegrini said. “We haven’t played great defense and it shows sometimes. We had a couple mistakes there in the sixth. Whether they were errors or not, the ball was in front of us so we have to make those plays. We just haven’t completed a game yet. We had a lead on OA late the other day and the same thing, we made errors. You can’t do that against teams that can play.

“This was Alex’s first time on the mound all year. He’s our go to guy too, and that’s been part of the problem is having our top three pitchers out all year. Alex looked good, he felt good and that’s what good pitchers do. That was good to see because we’re going to really nice him going forward. We’re not a bad team that’s for sure, we’re better than 2-7 but we just need to play some better defense to show that.”

Stoughton baseball improves to 6-2 overall, 6-1 in league play and will be back in action on Monday when they host King Philip in a battle of division leaders. Milford (2-6, 2-7) will look to bounce back the same day when they play host to Franklin.

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

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 04/27/16

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Mansfield, 1 @ Attleboro, 5 – Final – Attleboro starting pitching Nolan Kane was superb in six innings of work, allowing just one unearned run. Kane struck out four and allowed just three hits to get the win. At the plate, Dakota Kirby was 3-3 with a big two RBI double in the sixth inning and Nate Tellier had a pair of hits, scored one run and had a stolen base. Attleboro head coach Matt Bosh noted that Brandon Galvao played excellent defense at first base. Matt Callahan came in and pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning for the Bombardiers.

Canton, 2 @ Stoughton, 13 – Final – Ryan Sullivan did it all for the Black Knights, picking up the win on the mound and helping his cause at the plate. Sullivan tossed five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and a pair of walks while striking out four. At the plate, he scored three runs and knocked in a pair of runs. Luke Johnson led Stoughton’s offense, hitting a triple with the bases loaded and finished with another triple a run scored and five RBI. Jake Gibb went 2-3 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored, Doug Seaman scored two runs, Justin Hutchinson drove in a pair of runs and Nick Quattrucci also had a triple.

Sharon, 4 @ Foxboro, 8 – Final – Darren Kelly and Jesse Galanti each reached base three times and came around to score three runs each to pace Foxboro’s offense. Nick Wright and Steve Couroupacis combined on the mound for seven strikeouts.

Franklin, 6 @ North Attleboro, 2 – Final – Franklin used a four run seventh inning to break a 2-2 tie and secure the win. With the bases loaded and two outs, Franklin sophomore Jake Noviello’s fly ball fell in the infield for a pair of runs and Mike Skaza followed with a two run single to create the separation. North Attleboro took a 1-0 lead in the first inning behind an RBI single from Ridge Olsen, scoring Kyle McCarthy (single). The Panthers tied it up in the top of the third when Ryan Hodgkins singled, stole second and was sacrificed to third. He scored on a sacrifice fly from Nick Santucci. Franklin took the lead in the top of the fifth when Tyler Gomes singled in Hodgkins (triple). The Rocketeers quickly tied things up in the bottom of the inning behind a home run from sophomore Zach DeMattio. Hodgkins finished 2-4 with a pair of runs, Jake Lyons was 2/2 with a run and Santucci finished with three walks, a run and an RBI. Jake Noviello went six innings, striking out a pair while allowing two runs on four hits. Jason Ulrickson closed the game out for Franklin. North Attleboro’s Andy Katch was stellar in 6.2 innings of work, striking out three.

Taunton, 3 @ King Philip, 4 – Final

Milford, 10 @ Oliver Ames, 11 – Final (12 inn.) – In a back and forth affair, Oliver Ames was able to prevail in the 12th inning. Sophomore Mitch Goulet led off the inning with a single, was sacrificed to second and the Tigers walked off on an RBI single from sophomore Matt Muir. Muir and senior Chris Romero each had three hits for the Tigers.

Softball
Attleboro, 4 @ Mansfield, 6 – Final – Mansfield’s Rachel Carafa went 2-3 with an RBI, Maddie Letendre had two hits, Megan Letendre had an RBI and Kara Bendanillo and Jocelyn Reardon each had a hit for the Hornets. Maddie Letendre allowed just three hits while striking out nine for the win.

Stoughton, 3 @ Canton, 2 – Final – Gina Carafa pitched well for the Black Knights, giving up one run on five hits and striking out eight for the win. Offensively, Stoughton was led by Jordan Lyons, Jenni D’Andrea and Nicole Bodette, who got a pair of hits each. Bri Ferrandiz (RBI), Gina Carafa and Sam Tullis also got hits in the win for the Black Knights.

Foxboro, 5 @ Sharon, 8 – Final – Sharon junior Clara Cook threw a complete game, collecting 11 strikeouts and allowing eight hits. Offensively, Cook was 2-4 with a first inning RBI triple and a sixth inning RBI single. Senior catcher Rachel Usen and freshman Rebecca Clayman were also also 2-4, each recording a pair of singles. Sharon head coach Deb Parker said freshman Jody Goldenberg played an outstanding game in right field.

Franklin, 9 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – Maddie Connelly and Alexx Niss each knocked in three runs as Franklin picked up a big win over division rival North Attleboro. Connelly went 4-5 with three RBI while Niss had a three-run home run along with three walks. Olivia DiGiacomo added a two RBI double, Clara DeCarvalho had three hits and Olivia Haba had three hits and an RBI. Caroline D’Aprile picked up the win, going five innings with five strikeouts. Emily Sawyer pitched the final two innings for the Panthers.

King Philip, 0 @ Taunton, 2 – Final

Oliver Ames, 4 @ Milford, 10 – Final – It was another perfect day at the plate for sophomore Emily Piergustavo, going 3-3 with a double and an RBI. Shannon Cormier went 2-2 with a pair of RBI and Maggie Farrell knocked in a pair and had a triple. Maddy Bonvino was 2/3 with a double and Jess Tomaso was 1/2 with a sacrifice fly. Ali Atherton tossed a complete game, striking out eight. Oliver Ames’ Rachel Han was 3-4 with a pair of singles, a double and two RBI. Victoria Ziner was 2-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored and Lexie Campbell (1-3, two runs scored) and Jamie Gottwald also scored for the Tigers on Han’s double.

Boys Lacrosse
Attleboro, 2 @ King Philip, 14 – Final – Ten different players found the back of the net for King Philip, who built a big lead and never let it go. Freshman Collin DeVellis led the Warriors with a hat trick and one assist while juniors John DeLuca and Ben Palmer each netted a pair of goals and had one assist. Freshman Robbie Tartaglia scored his first career goal in the win.

Canton, 8 @ North Attleboro, 7 – Final (2OT) – Ben O’Neill scored a team-high five goals, including the game-winner in the second overtime to give the Bulldogs a big league win. The Bulldogs trailed 6-4 at halftime but were able to limit Big Red to just one goal in the second half and overtime periods. Canton goalie Chris Albert was a big reason for that with 19 saves. Joe Mulkay, Dan Dillon and Mike Shaw each scored once and Shaun Kirby finished with three assists for Canton.

Milford, 1 @ Foxboro, 25 – Final – Louis Piccolo was in the giving mood on Wednesday, recording a career-high 10 assists in the Warriors’ big win. Piccolo also scored twice while Andrew Whalen scored four goals and had one assist, Trey Guerrini scored four goals and had two assists, Colby Nickerson notched a hat trick and Brian Buckner had one goal and one assist.

Mansfield, 7 @ Franklin, 15 – Final – The Panthers built a six goal lead by halftime and stretched the margin to double figures (16-5) by the start of the fourth quarter. Austin Kent led Franklin with eight points, scoring five goals and adding three assists while sophomore Eric Civetti scored six goals and had one assist. Sam Arsenault added a hat trick in the for Franklin. Freshman Jacob Alexander continued his dominance at the X, winning 23/28 faceoffs. Franklin head coach Lou Verrochi touted the play of his defense in front of sophomore goalie Connor O’Rourke (six saves).

Sharon, 13 @ Oliver Ames, 6 – Final

Girls Lacrosse
Attleboro, 3 @ King Philip, 13 – Final

North Attleboro, 16 @ Canton, 2 – Final – Mackenzie Rosenberg led North Attleboro’s offense with five goals while senior goalie Brooke Ebert played strong with 20 saves in net.

Foxboro, 19 @ Milford, 2 – Final

Franklin, 18 @ Mansfield, 8 – Final – Julia Jette paced Franklin’s offense with four goals and one assist while Caroline Lounsbury and Annie Walsh each found the back of the net three times in the Panthers’ win.

Oliver Ames, 11 @ Sharon, 8 – Final

Boys Tennis
Mansfield, 4 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – The Hornets swept singles play and won at first doubles to get the divisional win. Benny Lin picked up a 6-0, 6-3 win at first singles, freshman Luke Nickerson won 6-1, 7-5 at second singles and Gus Daganhardt won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles. Mansfield’s final point came from Danny Radev and Sam Cavicchi with a 6-1, 7-5 win at first doubles. Attleboro’s Khaled Hantash and Ahijah Joseph won 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 at second doubles.

Canton, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final

Sharon, 5 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final – The Eagles won each match in straight sets in a big divisional test against the Warriors. Junior Griffin Fein won at first singles, sophomore Fred Bondar won 6-0, 6-2 at second singles and senior Han Cui took a 6-1, 6-0 win at third singles. Junior Alex Romantz and senior Adam Dobbin teamed for a 6-2, 6-0 win at first doubles and Tilak Mehta and Dahujan Thiru won 6-0, 6-0 at second doubles for Sharon.

North Attleboro, 0 @ Franklin, 5 – Final – Franklin won three matches in straight sets and had to battle through to others to get the sweep. Junior Eli Brooks won 6-4, 6-2 at second singles and freshman Dan Barrow picked up a 7-5, 6-3 decision at third singles. James Johnston and Tom Mancini won 6-2, 6-1 at first doubles for Franklin. Junior Rahul Herur had to battle back after dropping the first set to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 at first singles. The team of Cam Piana and Jeremy Gan had to the same to get a 6-7, 6-0, 1-0 (10-8) win at second doubles for the Panthers.

Taunton, 0 @ King Philip, 5 – Final – King Philip handled business against the visiting Tigers, taking all five matches in straight sets. Cole Ginter won 6-0, 6-2 at first singles, Garrett Schneider won 6-3, 6-0 at second doubles and Blake Ginter won 6-1, 6-1 at third singles. KP’s Sam Colella and Ryan Gemelli won 6-2, 6-2 at first doubles and Justin Rohan and Jake Webster paired for a 6-0, 6-1 victory at second doubles.

Milford, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final

Girls Tennis
Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 5 – Final – The Hornets picked up the win in dominating fashion on Wednesday. Paulina Martin won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles and Kathleen Giffels won by the same score at second singles. Sophomore Sarah Doyle won 6-2, 6-0 at third singles. Mansfield senior Cathryn Heavey and junior Chloe Peters won 6-0, 6-0 and freshmen Tessa Garufi and Elizabeth Elsner won 6-0, 3-6, 7-6 (10-8) at second doubles.

Stoughton, 1 @ Canton, 4 – Final – Canton swept through singles play and added a fourth win via first doubles against rival Stoughton. Carly Scanlon won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles, Skyler Jabbour won by the same score at second singles and Jude Aboukhater won 6-1, 6-0 at third singles. The Bulldogs wrapped up the win behind a 6-2, 6-1 victory from Tiffany Ha and Sarah MacQuarrie at first doubles. Stoughton’s Becca Lawson and Alyssa McGillicuddy battled back for a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 win at second doubles.

Foxboro, 2 @ Sharon, 3 – Final – Sharon freshman Nupur Shulka won a three set thriller to clinch the match for the Eagles. Shulka dropped the first set but battled back for a 2-6, 6-0, 6-2 win to hand Sharon the win. The Eagles swept doubles play to help clinch the win. Pooja Puttigampala and Katie Merport won 6-0, 6-0 at first doubles and Michelle Cao and Rithica Neti won 6-1, 6-1 at second doubles. Foxboro’s Diana Prinos won 6-1, 6-1 at first singles and Sophia Prinos won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles.

Franklin, 0 @ North Attleboro, 5 – Final – The Rocketeers continued their undefeated start to the season with a sweep of visiting Franklin. Julia Mark picked up a 6-2, 6-3 win at first singles, Jordan Willis won 6-1, 6-1 at second singles and Allie Grinavic won 6-0, 6-2 at third singles. The Rocketeers continued to win in doubles play with Jhanavi Kapadia and Emily Chiasson winning 6-0, 6-1 at first doubles and Gabby Duva and Azka Siddiq winning 6-2, 6-2 at second doubles.

King Philip, 3 @ Taunton, 2 – Final

Oliver Ames, 4 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames swept singles play and notched a win at second doubles to secure the win on the road. Riley Spillane used strong net play to pick up a 6-3, 6-1 win at first singles, Jackie Sulkala’s strong serves aided a 6-1, 6-1 at second singles and freshman Sarah Leger was resilient in a 7-6 (10-8), 4-6, 6-4 win at third singles. OA’s Rachel Stryke and Olivia Groebe won 6-2, 6-4 at second doubles. Milford’s Julie Rabinowitcz and Megan Cafarella won 6-4, 6-3 at first doubles for the Scarlet Hawks.

Boys Outdoor Track
King Philip, 62 @ Attleboro, 74 – Final

Girls Outdoor Track
King Philip, 99 @ Attleboro, 36 – Final

Boys Volleyball
Milford, 3 @ Marlboro, 1 – Final

10-Run Fifth Gives Stoughton Win at Mansfield

Stoughton baseball
Jack Connelly (10) had a pair of hits, reached base four times, scored three runs and drove in a pair of runs against Mansfield on Monday. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry
 

MANSFIELD, Mass. – Mansfield bounced back from an early deficit with three runs in the bottom of the fourth, cutting the Stoughton lead to just one. In the top of the fifth, Hornets starter Jack Neureuter gave up a lead-off single but then retired the next two hitters and induced a grounder to third that looked likely to end the inning.

The Hornets were that close to being back at the plate down by just one, but the throw to first was wild and the inning stayed alive. The Black Knights took advantage and then some.

Stoughton sent 15 batters to the plate in the fifth (including 12 after the second out) and scored 10 runs with two outs to break the game wide open and cruise to a 14-3 victory at defending Kelley-Rex champion Mansfield in the season opener for both teams.

“Ten runs with two outs…I’ve never seen it since I’ve been here,” said Stoughton coach Mike Armour. “I’ve always had a soft spot for two-out RBI, so I think for our guys to just keep the train moving and to plate 10…it’s just pretty special.”

The Black Knights took the lead in the top of the second. Jack Connelly led off and was hit by a pitch. Joe Piana followed with a single to left and Connelly made it to third on a Chris McNulty fielder’s choice. Pat Hagerty plated the opening run with a groundout to first.

In the third, Stoughton put together a two-out rally to extend the lead. Jake Gibb (4-5, RBI) started it with a single to left, followed by a single from Doug Seaman (2-4). Connelly chased a 2-0 pitch at his eyes but then Neureuter came over the plate and the junior first baseman drove it to right center for a two-RBI triple. Piana made it 4-0 with an infield single.

It was only a precursor for what was to come in the fifth.

“From a pitching standpoint, we didn’t throw enough strikes early in the count,” said Mansfield coach Joe Breen. “We fell behind and had to throw too many good hitters’ pitches and they took advantage of all of those opportunities.”

Mansfield had a chance to cut the lead in the third, but Stoughton starter Ryan Sullivan, who struck out five in five innings of work, got Mike Arnold swinging with two runners in scoring position.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Hornets did bounce back and get on the scoreboard. Tyrone Pascual walked to begin the inning followed by a Kevin Dow single and both runners moved up on a Sullivan wild pitch. After a strikeout Jake Tryder knocked in both runs with a single. With two outs, Matt Farragher, who reached on a fielder’s choice, was brought home by a bloop double down the rightfield line by Charlie DeMassi.

“We do have a young team,” said Breen, “but we do have guys who have been tested in other sports…they know when you’re down you’re not out and it’s certainly a credit to our seniors for keeping our guys in check.”

The Hornets nearly carried that momentum into the fifth, but the error with two outs and a man on first turned into a game-changer. Nick Quattrucci singled in a run and the leadoff hitter Justin Hutchinson brought in two with a single to right. Sullivan, the ninth hitter of the inning, helped his own cause and brought in two with a double to right center that chased reliever Tyler Dalton (who came in the inning before).

Gibb followed with an RBI single off new pitcher Jon Needle. Seaman singled, Connelly walked and Piana got an RBI when he walked with the bases loaded. Facing the third Hornets pitcher of the inning, David Simmons, McNulty then added his second hit of the inning with a double down the line in left that scored a pair of runs and made it 14-3.

“It’s nice to see the bats come out blazing,” said Armour. “Guys were having good at-bats. I’m just proud of the guys and the approach they had. Putting up 14 runs on a club as good as Mansfield is a hell of a way to start the season.”

Breen remarked, “You let a one-run lead snowball and then next thing you know you’re chasing way too many and you’ve got to approach the game in a very different way after that.”

After having to battle through his previous two innings, Sullivan came out firing for the bottom of the fifth and pitched a perfect frame, including a couple of comebackers that he fielded cleanly.

Armour said of his No. 1 starter, “Sully is just a gamer. He’s got a cutter in the arsenal now and that ball’s been moving to go along with the fastball and the curve. He’s going to be tough.”

Junior Luke Johnson pitched the final two innings for the Black Knights, allowing only a single to Zack Peterson. Armour said, “It’s never over until that final out…and I think Luke coming in and being called on out of the blue…he rose to the occasion.”

Breen was disappointed in the final result, but acknowledged that it was only game one of a long season and admitted that the weather at the start of the spring had an impact on the team’s preparation.

He explained, “It’s tough to mimic live-ball, game-speed outside of games. I think we didn’t handle that very defensively today, especially on the infield…we just let it get a little out of control.”

Mansfield (0-1) will look to bounce back on Wednesday when it hosts division rival King Philip. Stoughton (1-0) will travel to Frothingham Park on Wednesday to face rival Oliver Ames.

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

Baseball: Davenport Division Preview 2016

Stoughton junior Ryan Sullivan will look to try and lead the Black Knights to the playoffs. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Stoughton junior Ryan Sullivan will look to try and lead the Black Knights to the playoffs. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

CANTON

2015 Record: 11-11
2015 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: JP Scott

The Bulldogs graduated a handful of key pieces from last year’s team that reached the playoffs but they also return plenty of experienced players and hope to reach the playoffs again.

“The expectation for us is to have a successful season and make a run for a small Hock title,” Canton head coach JP Scott said. “But our main goal of the season will be to make it back to the state tournament like we did in 2015.”

Canton has 11 seniors on the roster this season led by captains Griffin Jerrier and Joe Peccia. Jerrier has plenty of experience on the bump while Peccia was second on the team last year with a .393 batting average. The Bulldogs also have their top batter back in Kevin Powers, who batted over .400 last year and drove in 15 runs in the season. Powers was also one of Canton’s top pitchers after logging over 40 innings in 2015.

Scott also brings back Jim Jenkins, Mike McMahon, Sean Doyle and Joe Bires, all which have starting experience. Junior Jackson Maffeo, fresh off a tremendous season on the ice, is expected to contribute in his first season on varsity.

FOXBORO

2015 Record: 4-16
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Chris Sullivan

After just four wins last year, the Warriors look poised to improve on that this year. Foxboro graduated just two seniors year last and have seven starters back for 2016.

“This is the hardest working and most dedicated group that has come through the school since I graduated in 2002,” head coach Chris Sullivan said. “We have a ton of guys who worked hard in the weight room, in the cages, and by playing competitive summer baseball this past offseason.”

Justin Garcia will lead a strong group of experienced pitchers. Garcia had a 1.54 ERA last season, striking out nearly 50 batters to rank near the top of the league. Colin Thoener, Darren Kelly and Aaron Wentling will also all see time on the mound this season.

Chad Bearce will likely handle first base while Garcia is on the mound while Darren Kelly and John Cronin will see time up the middle. Thoener will show off his defensive prowess at third and senior Nick Wright will return for his third season patrolling centerfield for Foxboro. AJ Cavossa, AJ Bubencik and Cam Feldman will all split the other outfield time and Jesse Galanti is back behind the plate for the third consecutive season.

MILFORD

2015 Record: 11-10
2015 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Paul Pellegrini

After just getting into the postseason last year, Milford has key pieces back in key positions to try and keep their playoff streak alive.

“This team is a very athletic team with lots of versatility,” head coach Paul Pellegrini said. “If we put everything together, which I believe we will, we should be fun to watch. We will definitely be very competitive and strong team all around.”

One big reason that Milford has a shot at getting back there is sophomore Aidan Wilde, who led the league as a freshman in batting last year. He hit had 36 hits and hit .537 with 21 RBI and was selected as the HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year. Junior Blake Hill has batted .360 over the past two years and will also be a key part of the Scarlet Hawks pitching staff.

Junior Alex Macek will be one of the more experienced pitchers in the Davenport and will be relied upon as Milford tries to replace Griffin Lynch and Alex Croteau. Brian Ireland, who also is the starting third baseman, will also get innings for Milford this season.

OLIVER AMES

2016 Record: 15-7
2016 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Leo Duggan

Losing arguably the two top players in the league will be tough for Oliver Ames but the Tigers have been the class of the league in recent years and have reloaded year after year.

Oliver Ames has won six straight league titles but this season might be the biggest challenge. Hockomock MVP and HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Brendan Welch is off at SNHU now and Mike Ferrara, who set the single season hit record for the Tigers, is out at Worcester State.

However, Leo Duggan has infielder Chris Romero back to lead OA after batting .474 last year, good for fourth in the league. Romero gets it done at the plate, in the field and on the bases – stealing 18 bases last year. Romero will be joined by Josh Minuskin, who saw time all over the field last year and will settle in behind the plate in 2016.

Ryan Adams will be another key piece, playing in 18 games last year and batting .404 with 10 RBI. Sophomore Matt Muir also returns after a standout freshman year. Sam Burr, Kevin Geary, Mitchell Goulet and Nick Zwerle should all see some innings on the mound this season.

Sharon

2015 Record: 6-14
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Kee Arguimbau

For the first time in nearly a half a century, there will be a new head coach for the Sharon Eagles baseball team. After 44 years at the helm, Joel Peckham retired after last season and assistant Kee Arguimbau has taken the reigns.

Senior Isaac Miley will be a leader that Arguimbau will rely on all over the place. He’s been on varsity since his sophomore year and is returns as the starting shortstop this season and will be one of the program’s top pitchers.

Senior Mark Botaish will also see a lot of time on the mound and will man third base when he’s not pitching. Arguimbau noted Botaish’s strong junior season and is hoping that will be built on this year. Andrew Filipkowski is back in the outfield for his third season and will be relied upon to get the offense started from the leadoff spot.

Junior Jake Marglous is back at catcher again this season and classmate Aiden Arnold is back to man first base. Arnold was also one of the Eagles’ top hitters last season and will help pace the offense this year. Arguimbau also expect contributions from Rob Bayha, Mike Dumont, Jordan Chabot, Ryan Crooks and Spencer Singer.

Stoughton

2015 Record: 9-11
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Mike Armour

The Black Knights came up just short of the postseason last year but return a strong core and are poised to punch their ticket to the playoffs in 2016.

“With a mix of experience and youth, we are looking to field a competitive team this season that should be able to compete with anybody,” head coach Mike Armour said.

Jake Gibbs has been one of the top players in the league the last two seasons and will look to do the same during his senior year behind the plate. Junior Ryan Sullivan showed a lot on the mound last season and will see a lot of innings along with juniors Justin Hutchinson and Nico Parmeggiani and senior Barry Cooke.

Armour is looking for Doug Seaman to take on an expanded role during his senior season after being limited to just hitting last season. Junior Jack Connelly will man first base for the Black Knights while Joe Piana will see time at third base. Expect Chris McNulty, Nick Quattrucci, Matt Gallagher, Luke Johnson, Michael Batte to all see time in the field while Jared Maher will log some innings on the mound.

Evin, OA Earn Playoff Spot With Win Over Black Knights

Oliver Ames boys basketball
Oliver Ames junior Nick Welch drives to the basket in the second half (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 
STOUGHTON, Mass. – It was win or go home for the Oliver Ames boys basketball team on Monday night.
Paced by a career-high 28 points from junior Carter Evin and two 20-plus point quarters, Oliver Ames notched a 74-55 win over Stoughton and punched its ticket to the postseason.
With the win, the Tigers extended it to 13 straight playoff appearances.
“I couldn’t be happier with what’s going on here,” Oliver Ames head coach Don Byron said. “Coming back this year the highest kid [returning] on the food chain was [Shawn] Cardoza and there were a couple of kids who backed up others and had to work really hard to get on the floor. To think that they are here right now, that’s not typical. There will be teams that sneak in on the last night that are flawed but I think we’re playing pretty well. We’re finding multiple ways to score, we’re getting contributions from more kids as we go along and we’re starting to see them mature right in front of us.”
Stoughton rallied to take a lead in the early the second quarter via an 11-4 run but the Tigers dominated the final five minutes. OA scored 21 points the rest of the way with six guys contributing to the run. Evin scored six in the stretch with Nick Welch and Dylan Mahoney each adding five and Shawn Cardoza, Tim Kelley and Connor Maroney each chipping in. OA took a 42-33 lead in into the break.
The third quarter was better defensively for both sides with OA holding a slight edge, 11-9. A pair of threes from Jared Costa-Haywood brought the Black Knights within seven but OA answered with a free throw from Evin and a corner three from Kelley to push the lead back to double-digits.
“This didn’t just fall together, the kids really worked at it in the offseason and put a lot of time in,” Byron said. “It’s nice to see it pay off. Having so many seniors last year, these guys didn’t have as many opportunities as before as you do in a typical year.”
The Tigers closed the door early in the fourth quarter. Nick Welch drained a three to open the quarter, Evin secured an offensive rebound and putback and then pulled up for a corner three and Mahoney’s layup capped a 10-2 to open the first two minutes of the final quarter.
“They don’t want to go home,” Byron said. “They’re a close group, they like playing with each other. They sincerely like each other. You could sense that they weren’t in any hurry to get out of here.
“We’ve played a lot of teams tough like Franklin, Foxboro, and Sharon. The league helps us out in games like this. I don’t think we’re a typical 10-10 team, I think we’re a little better than that. The league will make you rise up to what you have to do. We’ve had 10-10 teams before where we were covering some stuff. We’re not covering quite as much with this group.”
Midway through the final quarter the Tigers built a 20 point lead and were able to pull their starters with a couple minutes to play in the game.
“We’re a streaky team and sometimes those streaks are good and sometimes they’re bad,” Stoughton head coach John Gallivan said. “When we looked at the shot chart at halftime, they were getting whatever they wanted in the paint. We just didn’t defend. The goal was the make it hard for them to score and we didn’t. OA has absolutely come a long way in terms of their offense this season but to give up 42 points in the first half is very disillusioning. The kids played better defense in the third quarter but we need to combine that with scoring and we just didn’t.
“Hats off to them, they finished the season strong and deserve to go to the tournament. They’ll be a tough out for someone.”
Despite a .500 record, the Tigers have been one of the top defensive teams in the league and entered Monday’s contest allowing 54.9 points per game, third best in the Hockomock. Beyond allowing 20 points in the second quarter, OA limited Stoughton to 13 in the first and fourth and nine in the third quarter.
“We’ve been pretty good defensively,” Byron said. “We seem to get a kid every year we can put in that lock down position. Charlie Ryan this year has been great, he plays everyone from the one to the four, wherever we feel we have to give attention too. His brother [St. Clair] was a terrific defender too. It’s nice, you don’t have to do all the scheming to shut down one player. You can just put your guy on him and feel comfortable.”
Evin led all scorers with 28 points, completing the double-double with 10 rebounds. Mahoney added 15 points, Welch had 11 points and Kelley added 10 points.
“He’s had an unbelievable second half [of the season],” Byron said of Evin. “He’s another one that was on the team last year but was 10 or 11 in the rotation. He’s a talented kid, he’s got good skills and athleticism. His big thing was transitioning from a nice pierce to being the guy. He’s really done that well over the second half of the season, he’s been terrific.”
Costa-Haywood led the Black Knights with 17 points, Cam Gomes had 12 points and Cam Andrews chipped in with 10 points. Senior captain Nick Quattrucci hauled in seven rebounds.
Oliver Ames boys basketball finishes the regular season at 10-10 and will await seeding in the MIAA D2 South tournament, due out on Friday. Stoughton wraps up its season at 7-13.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/22/16

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Basketball
Mansfield, 64 @ Attleboro, 52 – Final – Mansfield clinched a share of the Kelley-Rex title with the win. The Hornets have won four straight Kelley-Rex titles and sixth in the last seven years. Sam Goldberg had 12 points and seven rebounds, Christian Weber added 11 points and six assists and Max Boen had nine points and five assists. Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan won his 200th career game. 

Canton, 48 @ Milford, 71 – Final – The Scarlet Hawks won their fifth game in the last six to clinch a playoff berth. Dimitry Torres led Milford with 23 points while Dwight Anderson added 16 points, Jack DeSantis chipped in with a career-high 10 points and Josh Andonian finished seven points. Canton freshman Devin Foster had a career-high 16 points and sophomore Tony Harris added 15 points.

Sharon, 73 @ Foxboro, 84 – Final (OT) – Jason Procaccini scored a game-high 24 points as the Warriors held on after a rally from the Eagles. Rob Lowey added 14 points while Alex DuBrow, Jonathan Carnino and Mark Clagg all chipped in with 10 points apiece. 

Franklin, 77 @ North Attleboro, 39 – Final – Freshman Jay Dieterle dropped in a team-high 19 points as the Panthers claimed their first league title since 2012. With the win, Franklin won a share of the Kelley-Rex title with Mansfield. Sophomore Connor Peterson had 12 points and senior Tim Prunier added 10 points.

Oliver Ames, 74 @ Stoughton, 55 – Final – Junior Carter Evin scored a career-high 28 points and pulled in 10 rebounds. Dylan Mahoney added 15 points, Nick Welch had 11 points and Tim Kelley added 10 points for OA. Jared Costa-Haywood led the Black Knights with 17 points, Cam Gomes had 12 points and sophomore Cam Andrews chipped in with 10 points. Senior captain Nick Quattrucci hauled in seven rebounds.

King Philip, 56 vs. Dartmouth, 60 – Final – King Philip rallied from a 13 point halftime deficit but the Indians were able to hold on. Seth Sullivan had a team-high 18 points while sophomore Justin Vine added 15 points.

Taunton, 59 @ New Bedford, 69 – Final
Girls Basketball
Milford, 62 @ Canton, 47 – Final

Foxboro, 57 @ Sharon, 49 – Final – Foxboro had four players reach double figures for scoring. Lily Sykes led the Warriors with 16 points while Ashley Sampson added 13 points, Grace Tamulionis had 12 points and Carolynn Will finished with 10 points. Sharon was led by Alyssa Piazza with 20 points and four steals, while Charlotte Ransom had seven points, all in the fourth quarter. Shira Stoller had seven assists and Emma Eberhardt had 11 points for the Eagles.

North Attleboro, 45 @ Franklin, 54 – Final
Attleboro, 43 @ Mansfield, 56 – Final – The Hornets clinched the Kelley-Rex division title with the win. It is the second in the program’s history. Jen Peel led the way with 18 points and five assists. Meg Hill added 11 points and 15 rebounds and Juliana Newell scored 12 for Mansfield. Attleboro was led by Sarah Deyo, who finished with 15 points. Sam Pierce added 10 for the Bombardiers.

Stoughton, 32 @ Oliver Ames, 63 – Final – Sophomore Kayla Raymond led the Tigers with a game-high 16 points while Kaitlyn McCarthy added 13 points and Niyera Mitchell had 12 points. 
Taunton, 48 vs. New Bedford, 17 – Final – Senior Kia Pate led Taunton with 11 points, sophomore Hannah Moniz added nine points, senior Alyssa Gibson finished with eight points and senior Jordan Wade chipped in with nine points and six rebounds.
Hockey
Attleboro, 4 vs. Dighton-Rehoboth/Seekonk, 1 – Final
Milford, 3 @ North Attleboro, 5 – Final