Foxboro, 12 vs. Blue Hills, 0 – Final (4 inn.) – Foxboro’s offense exploded for nine runs in the bottom of the first inning, helping the Warriors win big in a mercy-rule shortened contest. The Warriors totaled 12 hits in the contest with senior Brian Duncan leading the way with three hits (one double) and two runs scored. Junior Kyle McGinnis added two doubles and two runs scored and junior James Kaeser had two hits, a run, and two RBI for the Warriors. Michael Develin and Joe Cavaleri each had a double and knocked in a pair of runs in the win. Sophomore Cam Prescott earned the win, allowing just one hit in four innings of work while striking out two. Foxboro will take on Milton in the championship game of the third annual Steven J. Sullivan tournament on Thursday at 2:00.
Franklin, 12 @ Catholic Memorial, 1 – Final – Franklin’s offense plated six runs in the top of the fifth inning, turning a 6-1 lead into a 12-1 win on the road at Catholic Memorial. Senior Scott Elliott blasted a three-run home run to pace the offense while senior Alex Haba went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored. Joe Lizotte (three RBI, run), Shane O’Neil (run, RBI), JB Floris (double, two runs, two RBI), and Jack Nally (run, RBI) each had a pair of hits for the Panthers. Junior Brennan Rivera tossed a complete game, allowing just one unearned run on two hits and two walks while striking out six to get the win.
North Attleboro, 10 vs. Somerset Berkley, 1 – Final – North Attleboro burst into the win column behind a strong team offensive performance and a stellar showing on the mound from sophomore Dennis Colleran. The Rocketeers, who trailed 1-0 early, tied the game with a run in the second, plated five runs in the third (all with two outs), tacked on one run in the fourth, and put the game out of reach with three more in the sixth. Colleran allowed just two hits in a complete game effort, striking out seven with no earned runs allowed. Russell Dunlap (four RBI) had a bases-clearing triple with two outs in the third to help the Rocketeers create separation. Jake Palmer led off the fourth with a single and eventually scored on a wild pitch to make it 7-1. Jake Carroll added an RBI single in a three-run sixth. Sophomore Jared Penta added two hits in the win.
Oliver Ames, 5 vs. Dighton-Rehoboth, 3 – Final – With the game tied at 3-3, Oliver Ames senior Matt McCormick delivered a two-run single to put the Tigers ahead for good. Senior Reid Latham earned his third win of the season, striking out eight and walking in two with two earned runs allowed in six innings of work. Senior Tyler Avery recorded the save, pitching out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning to secure the win. Jake Erlich went 2-for-3 while Cam Perron and CJ Deveau each had a hit and an RBI. Chris Pearsons added three hits, two runs scored, an RBI and was strong in the field defensively, including turning a key double play.
Sharon, 0 vs. Hingham, 4 – Final
Stoughton, 7 @ Brockton, 6 – Final – For the second time this season, Stoughton junior Jacob Kaplan has delivered a big hit with the bases loaded. After helping the Black Knights beat North in the season opener with a big hit, Kaplan was at it again on Tuesday. This time, with Stoughton holding a 2-1 lead, Kaplan cleared the bases with a two-out double in the top of the fifth and later scored himself to give the visitors a 6-1 advantage. Brockton cut the deficit to one with a four-run fifth, and the teams traded runs in the sixth to make it 7-6. Sophomore Brady Conlin earned the two-inning save with no hits allowed and one strikeout. Senior Evan Jackman picked up the win, scattering seven hits and three walks in five innings of work, striking out two.
Taunton, 8 vs. Durfee, 4 – Final – Durfee cut Taunton’s lead to just one with a run in the top of the fourth inning but the Tigers scored once in the bottom half and added three runs in the fifth inning to conquer the Hilltoppers. Jack Moynihan earned the win on the mound, scattering six hits over six innings of work, striking out five with three earned runs allowed. Logan Lawrence had a hit and two RBI and Colby Lariviere added two hits and two RBI for the Tigers.
Mansfield, 12 vs. Duxbury, 5 – Final – Mansfield pounded out 14 hits in total and scored four runs in each the fourth and sixth innings to earn a win over visiting Duxbury. Mady Bendanillo got the offense started with a home run in the bottom of the first and was a part of the Hornets’ two-out three-run rally in the third. Megan Letendre singled, Mady Bendanillo (two hits) walked, and Mary Muldoon, Caty DeMassi (two hits), and Ella Verheggen (two hits) each had RBI singles. Kara Bendanillo, Casey Mousette, and Sydney Woods also had two hits for Mansfield. Sarah Cahill allowed five hits while striking out seven.
North Attleboro, 7 vs. Dartmouth, 3 – Final – North Attleboro prevailed in a battle of unbeatens, handing Dartmouth its first loss with a 7-3 verdict. Junior Bella Erti struck out eight without issuing a walk, scattering six hits in a complete game. Erti did not allow any earned runs in the win. Sophomore Emily Nardelli had two hits, a sacrifice fly, and a walk, junior Ashley Cangiano added a triple, and freshman Mandi Hanewich had a single and a run scored. Junior Annabelle Hebard, junior Abby Gallagher, and sophomore Belle Clarkin each had two walks and a run scored.
Stoughton, 5 vs. Brockton, 4 – Final – Stoughton sophomore Nicole Baker hit a walkoff solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to cap the Black Knights’ comeback against Brockton. The Boxers held a 4-3 lead entering the bottom of the sixth but senior Karly Estremera (two hits) delivered a two-out double to score Sarah McGrath to tie it 4-4. After Baker shut the Boxers down in the top of the seventh from the circle, she gave Stoughton the win with her home run. Senior Brianna Ferrandiz went 2-for-3, junior Lexi Baptista added a double, and freshmen Melody Casna and Sydney Menz each had a hit. Baker earned the win in the circle, striking out 12.
King Philip, 1 vs. Bishop Feehan, 18 – Final
Attleboro, 2 @ Sharon, 13 – Final
Foxboro, 13 vs. Hanover, 7 – Final – Foxboro held a three-goal advantage at half and entering the final period but the Warriors were able to pull away to get the win over Hanover in Chowda Cup competition. The Warriors led 6-3 at the break, and 9-6 going into the fourth. Foxboro outscored the Indians, 4-1 in the final frame. Brendan Tully had four goals and one assist, Bobby Yerardi added four goals, and Shayne Kerrigan netted a hat trick and added one helper. Pete Conley and Charlie Baughan each scored once for the Warriors, who will take on Marshfield on Thursday at 12:00 at Westwood High.
Mansfield, 3 @ Marshfield, 16 – Final – Mansfield trailed by just two after the first quarter and at half but couldn’t keep pace with the Rams in the second half. Connor Quirk and Jake Quirk each scored in the second quarter, helping the Hornets stay within two at half (down 4-2). Jake Quirk added a second goal in the second half for Mansfield, who will play Hanover on Thursday at 10:00AM at Westwood High.
Milford @ Dighton-Rehoboth – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
North Attleboro @ Silver Lake – Postponed to Wednesday, 4/17 at 4:00.
Oliver Ames, 19 vs. Norton, 4 – Final – Seven different Tigers found the back of the net as Oliver Ames improved to 5-0 with a win over visiting Norton. Junior Frankie Ireland had two goals and five assists, sophomore Remi Creighton added two goals and three assists, and sophomore Ross Carroll recorded a hat trick in his varsity game.
Stoughton, 2 @ Milton, 9 – Final
Canton, 11 @ Milton, 14 – Final
Foxboro, 11 vs. Natick, 15 – Final
North Attleboro @ Walpole, 11:30
Oliver Ames, 9 @ Pembroke, 10 – Final
Sharon, 14 vs. Cardinal Spellman, 3 – Final – Sharon senior Emma Eberhardt and sophomore Jenna Goldstein combined for nine goals as the Eagles rolled to a win over visiting Cardinal Spellman. Goldstein netted a team-high five goals while Eberhardt finished with four tallies. Mia Lappen and Cass Barbera each had two goals, and Bridget McManus scored once.
King Philip, 3 @ Dighton-Rehoboth, 0 – Final – King Philip went on the road and earned its sixth straight win, sweeping D-R (25-18, 25-12, 25-23). Senior Billy Hughes and senior Max Armour both had strong games for KP, with Hughes recording five digs, three kills, and two blocks while Armour added seven kills and six digs. Junior Kyle Desrochers anchored the defense with nine digs while senior Eric Altobello finished with eight kills.
Stoughton, 5 @ Attleboro, 6 – Final – Stoughton jumped ahead 5-0 after an inning but the Bombardiers chipped away, tying the game and then walking off with the game-winner in the bottom of the seventh inning. Junior Alvaro Espinal knocked in Max Amaral with a two-out RBI single in the seventh for the winning run. Nick McMahon (3.2 innings) and Anthony Deyesso (3 innings, win) were stellar in relief for Attleboro.
Foxboro, 0 @ Taunton, 6 – Final – Taunton senior Jack Moynihan earned the win on the mound and had a strong day at the plate to lead the Tigers to a win over visiting Foxboro. Moynihan tossed six scoreless inning, scattering four hits and two walks while striking out six to earn the win. Offensively, Moynihan went 2-for-3 with two RBI while Logan Lawrence had three hits, including a triple, an RBI, and two runs scored for Taunton. Freshman Tom Marcucella had two hits for the Warriors.
Sharon @ Mansfield – Postponed to 4/11 at 3:45.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – Final – Oliver Ames scored two runs in the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie and added another run for insurance to secure a 4-1 win over visiting North Attleboro. Jake Erlich (two doubles), Jared Spillane (two runs), and Sean O’Brien (who had a great defensive game) each had two hits for the Tigers. Reid Latham earned the win for OA, allowing just four hits and striking out four in 6.1 innings of work. Nick Boudreau picked up the save for OA.
Attleboro, 7 @ Stoughton, 8 – Final – Stoughton outlasted Attleboro in a tight game to earn its second win of the season. Karly Estremera had an impressive day at the plate, hitting three triples, scoring three runs and recording one RBI while Bri Ferrandiz added three hits and two RBI. Jordan Lyons, Nicole Baker, Nikki Coppola (two singles), Sarah McGrath, and Sydney Menz all contributed hits for the Black Knights.
Canton @ Franklin – Postponed to Friday, 4/12 at 4:00.
Sharon @ Wellesley – Postponed to Friday, 4/26 at 4:00.
Stoughton, 2 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final – Stoughton recorded wins at first and second singles but Attleboro swept doubles play and won at third singles to get the victory. Ryan Gordon won 6-2, 6-7 (9), 6-1 at third singles, the team of Jack O’Donnell and Eli Araujo picked up a 6-1, 6-1 decision at first doubles, and Tyler Evans and Ryan Solari teamed up for a 6-1, 6-3 win at second doubles. Stoughton’s Waseem Sablon won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles and Erik Anderson earned a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory at second singles.
Taunton, 2 @ Foxboro, 3 – Final – Foxboro earned two wins in singles action and one more in doubles play to notch a win over Taunton. Jason Kandula rallied for a 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-1 win at second singles to secure the victory for the Warriors while Bo Canfield grabbed a 7-5, 6-1 win at third singles. The team of Brian Gardner and Sean McAvoy won 6-0, 6-2 at first doubles. Taunton’s Brett Beaulieu won 6-1, 6-1 at first singles and the team of Barrett Hodgson and Tyler Goddard won 0-6, 6-3, 6-4 at second doubles.
King Philip, 5 @ Milford, 0 – Final – King Philip lost a total of four games in singles action in a sweep on the road over Milford. Marco DiStefano won 6-1, 6-1 at first singles, Nick Putney picked up a 6-0, 6-1 win at second singles, and Jack Cannon recoded a 6-1, 6-0 decision at third singles. The team of Nate Ihley and Zak Ryan won 6-1, 6-1 at first singles while Jake Mager and Andy Cook prevailed 6-4, 6-4 at second doubles.
Stoughton, 1 @ Attleboro, 4 – Final – Attleboro won two singles matches and two doubles matches, all in straight sets, to defend home court against Stoughton. Ella Lynch-Bartek (6-1, 6-0) and Bri Aronne (6-4, 6-0) won at first and second singles, respectively, for the Bombarders. The team of Lauren Anthony and Nicole Matheson won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles and Jordan Benardo and Rena Danho secured a 6-4, 6-3 victory at second doubles. Stoughton’s Jess Podesta won 6-4, 6-3 at third singles.
Foxboro, 4 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Foxboro won all three singles matches in straight sets on its way to a victory on the road. Pam Nelson (6-0, 6-1), Sarah Prag (6-1, 6-4), and Julia Muise (6-0, 7-5) swept singles action for the Warriors. Kendall Milender and Paige Krockta earned Foxboro’s fourth point with a 4-6, 7-5, 10-2 win at first doubles. Taunton’s Ogechi Ariguzo and Kayla Parrett won 6-1, 6-2 at second doubles.
Sharon, 5 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final – Sharon’s Lauren Glass won a super tiebreaker at third singles to help the Eagles complete a sweep on the road. Senior Nupur Shukla (6-0, 6-0) and freshman Valeria Barajas (6-0, 6-1) each won at first and second singles, respectively, while Glass secured a 2-6, 7-5, 10-3 win at third singles. The team of Sophia Fein and Sachi Basin won 6-0, 6-1 at first doubles while Sree Dandu and Makaila Cheung earned a 6-3, 6-2 win at second doubles.
Milford @ King Philip, 3:45
Boys Outdoor Track
Attleboro, 50 @ Mansfield, 86 – Final – Mansfield’s Andrew Williams won a pair of events and took second in another, setting new personal bests in all three, to pace the Hornets to a win over Attleboro. Williams on the high jump (6’4) and the long jump (20’3″) while taking second in the 110M hurdles (16.7). Sophomore Anthony Comer was also a double winner, taking first in the 100M dash (11.0) and 200M dash (22.8.). Dan Knight (PR of 52.1), Tyler King, and Jack Rivard swept the 400M while Jason Windvogel (2:02) and Peter Oldow (2:06) went 1-2 in the 800. Patrick Heavey (4:40) and Pete Sullivan (4:41) finished first and second, respectively, in the 1 Mile.
Canton, 81 @ Foxboro, 54 – Final – Canton’s Deyontai Dennis won three individual events and was a member of a winning relay team, pacing the Bulldogs to a win over Foxboro. Dennis took first in the high jump, the long jump, the 400M hurdles, and anchored the Bulldogs’ 4×400 relay team. Tommy Pulcini was first in the shot put and second in the discus while Junior Sainvil took first in the triple jump and the 100M dash, and second in the long jump and 200M.
Franklin @ King Philip, 3:45
Oliver Ames @ Taunton – Postponed to Thursday, 4/11 at 3:45.
Stoughton @ North Attleboro, 3:45
Milford @ Sharon, 3:45
Girls Outdoor Track
Attleboro, 42 @ Mansfield, 94 – Final – Mansfield’s Amanda Mangano took first in three individual events and was a member of the winning 4×100 relay team in the Hornets’ big win over Attleboro. Mangano won the 100M (12.6), the long jump (16-3), and the high jump (5-0) while teaming up with Alexis Kiyanda, Emily Quitzau, and Zoe Plante to win the 4×100 (52.3). Julia Hill was a double winner, crossing first in the 400M hurdles (71.6) and the triple jump (34-2). Freshman Katie Miller won the 800M (2:30.8) and freshmen Maria Sevastos (64.3) and Anna Darlingto (64.6)n took first and second, respectively, in the 400.
Canton, 51 @ Foxboro, 85 – Final – For Canton, Maddie Rousseau won the 200, the long jump, and the triple jump while taking second in the 100. Sarah Collins was also a double winner for the Bulldogs, grabbing the top spot in the 400M hurdles and the 400M. Chloe Pennacchio was second in the 1 Mile, 2 Mile, and the shot put.
Franklin @ King Philip, 3:45
Oliver Ames @ Taunton – Postponed to Thursday, 4/11 at 3:45.
Stoughton @ North Attleboro, 3:45
Milford @ Sharon, 3:45
King Philip, 3 @ Bellingham, 0 – Final – King Philip used a strong serving effort to pick up a 3-0 sweep (25-8, 25-7, 25-17) against fellow first-year program Bellingham. Cam Corey had six aces while Kyle Desrochers finished with four aces.
Canton, 8 vs. Duxbury, 7 – Final – Canton erased an 6-0 deficit and then escaped base-loaded jam in the seventh inning to open the season with a win. The Bulldogs scored four runs in the fifth to make it 6-4 and then took the lead with a four-run sixth inning. Senior Michael Konzal had a single, a triple, and two RBI while senior Matt Pigeon added a single, two walks, and two RBI. Sophomore Nate Hewitt earned the win on the mound.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Reid Latham pitched a complete game two-hitter to give the visiting Tigers a win over Taunton. Latham didn’t issue any walks, struck out four, and allowed just two singles. OA scored in the fifth inning when Sean O’Brien hit an RBI triple to score Justin Sarnecki. OA coach Joe Abarr said senior CJ Deveau made a excellent catch in left field in end the sixth inning and keep the lead.
King Philip, 10 @ Sharon, 5 – Final – King Philip led by just one at halftime but blanked the Eagles in the second half, outscoring Sharon 4-0 to pick up a win on the road. Andrew Sajdak had a team-high four goals while Colin DeVellis scored twice and had two assists. Robbie Tartaglia added two goals and an assist while Sam Mattson and Aidan Bender each scored once. Andrew McKinney made six saves in goal for KP.
Attleboro, 3 @ Franklin, 24 – Final – The Panthers raced out to a big lead at halftime and never looked back. Franklin had 13 players register a point in the win, led by junior Kelsey MacCallum (five goals, two assists) and freshman Jackie O’Neil (two goals, four assists). Freshman Kenzie Baker scored four goals while freshman Jill Fenerty had a strong game in the midfield with six draw controls. Kyra Lyons, Sydney DiLiddo, and Rylee Fontes each scored for the Bombardiers.
Canton @ Milford, 4:00
Foxboro, 14 @ North Attleboro, 2 – Final
Sharon, 6 @ King Philip, 16 – Final – Caroline Klim scored seven goals and assisted on one for the Warriors, as they opened the season with a big win in a rematch of last year’s playoff opener. Olivia Tormey had a hat trick and two assists and Jess Sullivan had two goals and an assist in the win. Dana Truini also scored twice for KP, while Victoria Tormey and Jenna Hitchen each scored once. Caroline Watson earned the win in net with 10 saves. Emma Eberhardt led the Eagles with four goals, an assist, and five draw controls. Rose Wald made 11 saves to keep Sharon in the game. Jenna Goldstein and Maxine Gordon each scored once in the loss.
Taunton, 10 @ Oliver Ames, 17 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Olivia Piazza dominated at draws and led the team in scoring to give the Tigers a visit over Taunton. Piazza had 16 draw controls and scored eight goals while Ella Hogan had a nice game with four goals and one assist for OA. Olivia Carroll, Emma Pereira, and Emma Sharkansky also scored for OA.
Mansfield, 9 vs. Holliston, 16 – Final – Katie Garvin led the Hornets with five goals in a season-opening loss. Lauren Whitman and Maggie Danehy each scored twice for Mansfield, which also got five saves from Katie McCarthy. Holliston’s top two attackers scored four goals apiece, but first-year coach Lauryn Wilkie praised the defensive effort for blocking off a number of drives to the net.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Milton, 5 – Final
Foxboro, 4 @ Canton, 1 – Final
Foxboro, 5 vs. Dighton-Rehoboth, 0 – Final – Foxboro picked up its second win of the season, knocking off non-league for Dighton-Rehoboth and winning all five matches in straight sets. Pam Nelson won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles, Sarah Prag picked up a 6-1, 6-0 win at second singles, and Julia Muise earned a 6-0, 6-1 decision at third singles. The team of Kendall Milender and Paige Krockta prevailed 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) at first doubles and the team of Maggie McAuliffe and Lindsey Nelson won 6-1, 6-1 at second doubles.
Oliver Ames, 2 vs. Norton, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames won one match in singles play and one in doubles action but suffered a 3-2 setback against Norton. Junior Maura Kiernan won 6-0, 6-3 at first singles while the team of senior Kathryn McCarthy and junior Sarah Barron won 6-0, 6-3 at second doubles.
King Philip, 3 @ Assabet Valley, 0 – Final – In just its second varsity game, King Philip picked up the program’s first ever win with a 3-0 sweep (25-14, 25-22, 25-17) on the road at Assabet Valley. Senior setter Cam Corey paced the offense with 27 assists, senior Eric Altobello had a team-high 10 kills, and senior Jimmy Peterson added eight kills. KP coach Emily Tkowski said sophomore Aidan Lindmark played a huge role for the Warriors with strong right side defense and five digs.
Milford, 3 @ Medfield, 0 – Final – Milford earned a sweep (25-19, 25-15, 25-14) on the road at Medfield. Clayton Pickett and Zach Browne each had five kills, Lucas Caetano had 10 assists and seven aces for the Scarlet Hawks.
Taunton, 3 @ New Bedford, 0 – Final – Taunton went on the road and earned a 3-0 sweep (25-20, 28-26, 25-18) win over New Bedford. Gage Kingman paced the offense with 14 kills, 17 digs, and four aces. Sophomore Tyler Stewart added eight kills and a block while Chris LaCourse had a strong game with 26 assists, an ace, and a block.
2018 Record: 9-11 2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Steve Dunlea
After missing out on the playoffs by just one game last season, the Bombardiers are hoping to their experience will help them reach the state tournament this year.
Attleboro has experience in its pitching staff, behind the plate, and both in the infield as well the outfield. The Bombardiers pitching was a strength last season and should be again this year. Eoin Kelleher, the 2017 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, returns for his senior season and will be the anchor on the staff. Junior Ryan Morry impressed during his outings last season and lefty Camden Fitzpatrick will be in the mix as well.
The Bombardiers will be very strong on the left side of the infield. Senior captain Mason Houle will man third base while junior Tim Callahan, a starter last season, takes over at shortstop. Junior Lorenzo Wilson is slated to take the job at first base while Morry and junior Nick McMahon will split time at second base. While it’s a strong group defensively, all four will be relied upon to step up offensively. Attleboro had just 80 runs total last year, least in the Kelley-Rex division.
Another big part of the offense will be center fielder Alvaro Espinal. Espinal is arguably the best fielding outfielder in the league and will also bring a spark to the Bombardiers lineup at the plate. Senior captain Robbie Furtado will fill in at left field while Sam Larkin and Troy Gamache will both see time in right as well as designated hitter. Behind the plate, Troy Van Vliet gives the Bombardiers some experience while sophomore Bailey Camacho gives first-year head coach Steve Dunlea some flexibility at the position.
“The strength of this team is its senior class leadership and team chemistry,” Dunlea said. “We really have a well-balanced team that is strong in all phases of the game. It’s going to be a fun group to watch this year.”
2018 Record: 5-15 2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Ben Shuffain
A strong core of returning players along with some young talent should make for a fun season for the Bulldogs in 2019.
After losing a few key pieces from 2018, there is a good mix of experienced players and talented youth for first-year head coach Ben Shuffain to work with. The Bulldogs will look to three senior captains to the lead the way: Matt Pigeon, Paul Corcoran and Robert Sullivan. Pigeon is a three-year starter behind the plate who batted .368 last season. Corcoran and Sullivan will anchor a deep pitching staff that has looked solid in the preseason.
The pitching staff will also include seniors Kevin McGonigle, Nick Murray, and Joe Bates. Along with them Shuffain will also lean on junior Chris Rota and sophomores Nate Hewitt and Matt Connolly on the mound.
The infield has a double play duo that has shown to work well together featuring senior Mike Konzal and returning second baseman Nathan Quan. Offensively Canton will look to senior Max Macort along with juniors Owen Lahane and Lucas Bryant, and sophomore Steven Burbank.
“We have been very fortunate to have a lot of work outside so far this spring and I think it is going to help us start off on a positive,” Shuffain said. “The team is coming together and we have a great group of kids who really want to turn this program around.”
2018 Record: 5-16 2018 Finish: Reached D3 South First Round Coach: Derek Suess
Foxboro graduated 10 seniors from last year’s squad but there are 12 Warriors returning with varsity experience looking to make another trip to the state tournament.
The Warriors will be relying on their pitching staff this year to lead the way. There is a lot of optimism surrounding the rotation with senior Anthony Mollica and sophomore Sean Yoest each possessing plenty of varsity experience. Those two will be the top guys in the rotation while sophomore Cam Prescott has impressed during the preseason and could fit into the third starting spot. Seniors Guy Quartarone, Brian Duncan, and Philip Thomas as well as juniors Michael Devlin and Joe Cavaleri will be in the mix as well.
When he isn’t on the mound, Mollica will be the anchor of the defense from the shortstop position. He will be joined by sophomore Michael O’Toole at first base, Cavaleri will man third, and Thomas will take over at second base. Senior Adam Lanctot will also see time at second base this season for the Warriors.
In the outfield, Duncan — a senior captain that missed all of last season — will be the anchor, with Devlin handling center field duties and junior James Kaeser rounding out the Warrior outfield. Junior Zach Jenkins will also be in the mix for time in the outfield while junior Kyle McGinnis takes over behind the plate and will be relied upon as a key piece of Foxboro’s offense.
“Mentally, we have to have the same focus, energy, and intensity every single game,” said Foxboro coach Derek Suess. “There are no easy games in the Hockomock League. We must be consistent in our everyday approach in order to have a chance to compete for a league title.”
2018 Record: 21-5 2018 Finish: Division 1A (Super 8) State Champions Coach: Zach Brown
Coming off the program’s first-ever Super 8 state championship, Franklin is going to have a big target on its back — and the Panthers know it.
Franklin lost its top three pitchers in Jake Noviello, Bryan Woelfel, and Jason Ulrickson. Those were the only three pitchers to play during the Panthers’ Super 8 run. This season, the Panthers will turn to the experience of Ben Guzman, Brennan Rivera, and Will Pacheco. All three made appearances a year ago with Guzman and Pacheco registering wins. Guzman is currently recovering from an injury suffered in the preseason but the Panthers are excited for his contributions when he returns. Juniors Liam Dailey and Cody Trotin will also be in the mix after starting for JV last season.
While the pitching staff gets settled in, the Panthers will rely on its defense and offense. After an up-and-down regular season last year offensively, Franklin will be trying to carry over the success it had in the state tournament. Senior Alex Haba is back at shortstop and is one of the best two-way players in the Hockomock. Jake Macchi had a terrific postseason and will be looking to carry that over into his final year starting at catcher for Franklin. Scott Elliott will be the veteran in the outfield for the Panthers as well as a top offensive weapon. All three players — Haba, Macchi, and Elliott — are committed to playing baseball at Merrimack.
Cooper Ross is coming off a strong postseason and will start at third base while junior Jack Nally had a standout sophomore campaign in center field and will move up to the top of the order to set the table for the Panther offense. JB Floris will move from the designated hitter spot to first base and brings an experienced bat with him. Senior Joe Lizotte should see time in the outfield while senior Shane O’Neil’s versatility gives Franklin a lot of options defensively.
“We know this isn’t last year, this is a totally different team with different dynamics,” said Franklin head coach Zach Brown. “We like the makeup of our team, with guys working hard and the seniors being good leaders. I think we could be pretty good defensively, and we’ve shown at times in the preseason to be pretty versatile on offense.”
King Philip is returning a lot of experienced players from last year’s squad and is hoping that will turn into an improved season and berth in the state tournament.
One big reason for optimism is a seasoned pitching staff, which features seniors David Morganelli and Terry Murray. Morganelli posted a 1.99 ERA last season along with 43 strikeouts in 38.2 innings pitched. Murray will be the second starter for the Warriors while juniors Chris Sawyer and Robbie Jarest are expected to factor into the rotation as the season progresses.
“David’s size, strength, and velocity make him a formidable pitcher,” said KP’s second-year head coach Greg Kessler. “His slider and ability to locate his fastball are one of the best in the league. David has an opportunity to be one of the best pitchers in the Hock. He is competitive and has improved a lot in terms of accuracy.”
Sawyer and Jarest will handle the left side of the infield again this year, with Jarest returning as the starting shortstop and Sawyer back manning third base. Both players will be key pieces at the top of KP’s batting order. Senior Ian Zimmerman returns at second base while senior Jake Anderson and sophomore Conor Cooke will both see time behind the plate.
Timmy Nault (.311 last year) will lead the way in the outfield while Zachary Zarba will figure in as well. There is a lot of competition for some open spots in the KP lineup as well.
“We have a lot of work to do this season, we need to improve on our hitting and driving the ball,” Kessler said. “We have a great group of seniors who are dedicated and excited to compete for a Hock Title. This senior group is a collection of great student-athletes and really represent KP well. They are leaders on and off the field”
2018 Record: 19-5 2018 Finish: Super 8 First Round Coach: Joe Breen
Mansfield had a very successful 2018 season that saw the Hornets win the Kelley-Rex division and earned a berth into the Super 8 tournament. But the Hornets enter the 2019 campaign hungrier than ever.
After seeing an early exit from the Super 8, Mansfield is aiming to get back and make some noise in the tournament this year. There will certainly be holes to fill after graduating two top pitchers in Tyler Dalton and Kevin Dow, as well as the steady bat of Justin Pena and the terrific defense of catcher Cullin Anastasia. However, there are 11 players due back from last year’s team and a handful of new faces ready to make an impact of their own.
Junior John Carney and senior Kevin Moran will anchor the rotation; the Hornets unfortunately lost ace Connor Sheehan for the season to an injury. Both Carney and Moran have experience though, and Mansfield is looking to seniors Jake Gerraughty, Matt Scibilia, Aidan Angland, Connor Smith, and sophomore Greg Coyle to fill the relief and spot start roles.
Mansfield brings back two of its three outfielders from last year with centerfielder Sam Nugent and right field Dan Saraceno both returning. Speedy shortstop Mike Hargadon is also back so the Hornets have three key pieces from the top half of the lineup back to pace the offense this year. Look for Eric Longley, Jenkins, Smith, Gerraughty, and Scibilia to also factor into to the Hornet lineup this year.
“It’s been a wild offseason here between losing some of our top guys and coming down with the injury bug but we have a great group of self-motivated returning players that we will look to keep our program going in the right direction,” said Mansfield head coach Joe Breen. “There are a lot of positional battles and innings on the mound to be sorted out, but the staff is excited to see the boys compete over the first couple weeks of the pre-season to get ourselves ready for [the first game]. While we had some great success last season, the boys know that we are 0-0 and they are ready to carve their own path.”
2018 Record: 5-15 2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Alex Dion
After having a relatively young, inexperienced group in 2018, the Scarlet Hawks have flipped the script, bringing back six starters and eight total players and will be looking to ride that experience to an improved 2019 campaign.
Half of the returning starters are the three starting pitchers from last year, including senior Danny Corsini and juniors Colby Pires and Luke Rosa. Despite a 1-3 record last year, Rosa had a solid 2.97 ERA in 30.2 innings of work with 19 strikeouts. Corsini logged over 35 innings while Pires had over 24, so there is plenty of experience in the Hawk’s rotation.
Senior captain Matt Shaver returns to his shortstop position and will anchor the infield. Corsini and Pires will both see time at third base when they aren’t pitching, Justin Applebee is back for another season at second base, and Tyler Almeida continues his duties as the starting catcher for the Hawks. Senior captain Nick Marcolini gives the Hawks a left-handed option on the mound. Sophomores Carter Scudo (outfield) and Mario Lee (first, pitcher) will also factor in this year.
“I’m looking forward to the 2019 baseball season and am excited about the players that are on our team,” said Milford head coach Alex Dion. “This is a tough league with a lot of good teams and good coaches. I think we have an opportunity to be very competitive this year. I will lead on our returning seniors and captains to push this team in the right direction and I am excited about the young players we have in our program.”
2018 Record: 22-2 2018 Finish: Division 2 State Champions Coach: Mike Hart
North Attleboro is looking to replicate its success from last season, the best year in program history that resulted in the D2 State Championship. And with a solid group of returning players, there is optimism but the Rocketeers know it certainly won’t come easy.
“We are a team with a decent amount of returning players, but we will need everybody contributing to be successful,” said North Attleboro coach Mike Hart. “We are looking for guys to be more consistent, especially on the offensive side of the game.”
The Rocketeers have three returning starters in the infield, so that will certainly be relied upon as the season gets underway. Senior Nick Raneri started at third last season but will move over to first this year while seniors Shawn Watters and Ryan Warren will take care of business up the middle. Hart says there is a lot of competition for the final spot in the infield with a handful of players possibly seeing time. Brendan McHugh returns as the starting left fielder while Kyle Bolger, Russell Dunlap, and Kyle Briere are all in the mix.
Behind the plate, senior Todd Robinson and junior Owen Harding are battling for the starting spot.
While the Rocketeers look to get the offense going, they will rely on their pitching staff early on. Matt Wanless had a very strong junior year and will be counted on heavily this season while seniors Matt Seavey, Jake Palmer, Jake Carroll, as well as Dunlap and Briere, should be in the mix for innings. Sophomore Dennis Colleran will see an increased role this season and could emerge as a top option for the Big Red.
“We will rely heavily on our pitching staff to lead us, and with smart, mistake-free defense, we will be able to win some games,” Hart said. “I really like the competitiveness our team brings every day. If we can learn from our failures and grind through the tough parts of the season that are sure to come, I believe we can win some ball games.”
2018 Record: 16-8 2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Final Coach: Joe Abarr
Oliver Ames is coming off one of its most successful seasons, reaching the D2 South Final last year. The Tigers graduated some key pieces but there is a lot of players back that gives OA hopes at replicating last year’s success.
Senior Chris Pearsons will be a leader on and off the field for the Tigers, moving over from third base to take over the starting shortstop spot. Pearsons is one of the top players in the league, earning HockomockSports.com First Team honors last year after belting out 30 hits for an impressive .448 average. Not only is he a dangerous offensive player, he’s one of the top defensive players in the league as well.
Another key returner for the Tigers is catcher Jake Erlich, who will begin his third year starting behind the plate. Erlich is one of the top defensive catchers in the region and OA is looking for him to have a breakout season at the plate. Junior Jacob Levine showed flashes last season with some timely hits as a pinch hitter. This year, Levine takes over at first and the Tigers will be looking for him to bring a consistent bat to the lineup.
Reid Latham, who went 2-1 last season with a 2.85 ERA, focused heavily on pitching this offseason and will take over as the top starter in the Tigers’ rotation.
“We have an established lineup of varsity hitters with a handful of underclassmen that will be filling in gaps for us,” said Oliver Ames coach Joe Abarr. “Our pitching rotation should be solid as long as everyone stays healthy. Last year, the Hock proved to be one of the best leagues in the state. We need to show up and compete every day if we want to be successful.”
After a couple of seasons of being on the outside looking in, the 2019 Sharon Eagles are looking to make strides towards a state tournament berth.
Although it will be a relatively young group, there is strong senior leadership. Head coach Kee Arguimbau is hoping that a nice mix of veterans and new faces will result in a successful season.
Tarlin was also the ace of the staff for the past couple of seasons but senior Noah Kamens should be ready to step into the top spot after some real strong outings last year. A lefty, Kamens does a nice job mixing up his pitches and will be a key part of Sharon’s defense. Kamens will be complemented by 6’6 righty Max LeBlanc, who burst onto the scene a year and had some impressive outings. Jared Reef returns behind the dish and the Eagles are looking for him to have a breakout year offensively.
Junior Alec Filipkowski is moving in from the outfield to second base while sophomore Justin Brown returns to shortstop after picking up valuable experience last season as a freshman. Noah Martinez, who recently returned to Sharon after living in Florida, could be a key piece of the offense while playing the hot corner defensively.
Seniors Dairell Martinez and Matty Jacobsen will be doing their part for the Eagles in the outfield while = senior Ben Reinbold looks to have an impact for Sharon on the mound.
“This year’s team is young. Luckily, what we lack in experience, we make up for in solid leadership,” Arguimbau said. “The seniors have done a phenomenal job in establishing the culture for the team this season. The young guys in the program have followed their lead and have been working hard in the offseason and are ready to continue to put the work in every day.
2018 Record: 10-9 2018 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Coach: Mike Armour
Stoughton had a solid season a year ago, but an early exit from the state tournament has left the Black Knights hungry for more in 2019.
It starts with the two co-captains for the Black Knights: senior Zak Paquette and senior Robert Seaman. Paquette emerged as Stoughton’s top option on the mound last season and will be counted on to take on a lot of innings again this season. Paquette isn’t the most flashy pitcher but he helps put Stoughton in position to win games. Seaman will start at shortstop and the Black Knights are looking to him for a big bat in the middle of the lineup.
Last year’s HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year George Currier is looking to pick up where he left off last season, giving the Black Knights flexibility with his ability to play anywhere on the field defensively. Seniors Cian Swierzewski, Kevin Dixon, and Kyle Gagnon are all experienced outfielders, James Genest III gives Stoughton a nice presence at the plate offensively, and Mike Nazzaro will handle catching duties.
Newcomers Clayton Rahaman and Jacob Kaplan should log some innings in the outfield, along with Cam Dirosa in the infield and Brady Conlin in the infield and on the mound. Senior pitcher Evan Jackman has impressed so far this preseason and will be a key piece of Stoughton’s starting rotation.
“The goal this season will be to compete every time we set foot on the field, playing sound fundamental baseball and doing the little things to put us in a position to win some ballgames,” said Stoughton head coach Mike Armour. “The boys have been working hard and I expect us to have some fun this year and play the game the right way.”
2018 Record: 1 2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Blair Bourque
There is a lot of excitement in Taunton with its new turf field, but the Tigers are hoping it’s their performance on that field that will have people talking by the end of the year.
It all starts with pitching for Taunton this year. With two DI commits in Jack Moynihan (Siena) and Josh Lajoie (St. John’s), the Tigers will certainly be boasting one of the top pitching groups for another season. Moynihan posted a 1.44 ERA with 43 strikeouts while Lajoie fanned 36 batters and had a 1.52 ERA.
Both Moynihan and Lajoie provide a lot of offense as well, but the Tigers will need others to step up to fill some voids from graduation. Tyler Medeiros (.375) and Trevor Pietrzyk (.373) both graduated some Taunton’s offense so head coach Blair Bourque will be looking for some new faces to step up.
The Tigers will be looking to senior Evan Melo to give the offense a spark. Melo will patrol center field and set the table to the offensively from the leadoff spot. Junior Logan Lawrence impressed last year batting .336; Taunton will need his bat to provide pop in the middle of the lineup in 2019.
“We’re certainly excited about having the opportunity to showcase our new turf field,” said Taunton head coach Blair Bourque. “It’s really a dream come true. There’s something special about this year’s team, the senior leadership and camaraderie are substantial.”
“They are swinging the bat well, we’re just trying to keep the same approach regardless of what the pitcher is doing out there,” said first-year North Attleboro head coach Mike Hart. “We’re taking it one pitch at a time, one batter at a time. We feel if we take care of ourselves, we can be successful.”
And if the offense wasn’t hot enough, North Attleboro ace Nick Sinacola allowed just two hits and two unearned runs in six innings of work while striking out seven to earn the win.
“I’ll give it to that North Attleboro lineup, they crush the ball,” said Oliver Ames coach Joe Barr. “I’ve never seen a team like that, top to bottom, just go through and square it up. Our guy [Reid Latham] was throwing strikes but I don’t know if the air was a little thin or what but those balls got in the air and kept traveling.”
Once Sinacola set the Tigers down in order in the first inning, North Attleboro’s offense went right to work. Brendan McHugh led off with a double, Zach DeMattio had a one-out walk, and Nate Pearce roped a ground-rule double over the fence for a quick 1-0 lead.
Nick Raneri scored on a fielder’s choice as DeMattio was able to get home before OA’s throw did, and Jeff Gale hit one deep enough that brought Pearce, who was ruled to have tagged up after Mitch Goulet’s spectacular catch in center, home for a 3-0 lead after an inning.
Big Red tacked on four more runs — all with two outs — when it returned to the plate in the bottom of the second inning. McHugh started the rally with a single and moved to third when Sinacola picked up his first hit of the day. DeMattio brought both runners home with a hard hit triple, Pearce knocked a run in with a single, and Raneri drove a run in with a single as well to make it 7-0.
“We’ve all been working together through the winter and the spring and it really just shows how much hard work and coming together as a group can accomplish when you execute,” DeMattio said.
Nick Zwerle reached after forcing an error on his bunt and Sean O’Brien walked to put runners on first and second with one out. Sinacola got the second out but Michael Friel hit a line drive double into the gap in left center to bring both runs in to give the Tigers some life, cutting the deficit to 7-2.
But North Attleboro landed a big counter punch in the form of four runs in the bottom of the third to extend its lead. Aidan Harding walked and pinch runner Kyle Briere took second on a wild pitch and third on a single from McHugh. Briere beat out a throw home on Sinacola’s grounder, DeMattio scored McHugh with a single, Sinacola scored after DeMattio stole second and OA attempted to pick him off, and Pearce doubled in DeMattio for an 11-2 advantage.
“Subconsciously that’s the type of stuff that just creeps into your mind,” Abarr said. “You think you’re back in it — and I think we were in it more most of the game — but that was a deflating experience. I’ve been on that end as a player and a coach, and it’s tough. I tip my cap to North for that, they didn’t let up. They played hard right to the end.”
“I give [OA] a lot of credit, they are an excellent hitting team,” Hart said. “In regards to answering back, I think it just puts us at ease. I think it made it 7-2 then and five runs with these two teams means nothing. So to get those runs back, it helps Nick on the mound.”
Sinacola retired the side in order in each of the first and second innings, and after allowing two runs in the third, only allowed one base runner to reach third base (an error and a wild pitch). It was Sinacola’s second win against OA this year after beating them in his first appearance back in early April.
“I think early in the year, a lot of hitters struggle with the fastball,” Sinacola said. “Once you get to this point in the season, they are a lot better and they have their timing down. So I think we had to change it up and throw a little bit more offspeed then I did the first time and I think it worked.”
Raneri scored on a passed ball and Gale came home on a hard hit ball from Nolan Buckley that was ruled an infield error for the Tigers in the fifth inning.
In the bottom fo the sixth, Sinacola got his second RBI with a single to score McHugh, DeMattio picked up his fourth RBI of the day with a base hit to score Sinacola and at the next at-bat, Pearce launched a two-run home run to cap the scoring.
“We had to pretty much show up and play perfect against that lineup and that pitcher in order to walk out with a win,” Abarr said. “We knew they’d be relentless. But it was an unreal run for us here at the end, with a team that didn’t quite expect to be here. We don’t set hard and fast goals about where a team can get to, we have just shown up and worked on specific things to get better each day. And these guys did a great job doing that.”
North Attleboro’s top four hitters — McHugh, Sinacola, DeMattio, and Pearce — combined for 13 hits, 11 RBI, and 14 runs scored.
“This is definitely the best group I’ve ever coached,” Abarr said of his team. “From top to bottom, the first guy in the lineup to the last guy on the bench to the team manager…they were tight, always behind each other, and regardless who was in the lineup each day, they were ready to play. It was the most reliable, hard-working, and unified group that I’ve coached and those are the three qualities you look for in a high school team.”
North Attleboro (21-2) advances to the D2 State Final to play North champ Beverly (20-4) on Thursday night at 6:30 at LaLacheur Park in Lowell.
ROCKLAND, Mass. – Any time Duxbury tried to make its way back into the game, Oliver had the answer.
Similar to a boxing match, the Tigers countered any punch that the Dragons landed with a blow of their own. In the end, it was a unanimous decision, 11-7, in favor of the Tigers.
Oliver Ames advances to the D2 South Final to play Hockomock rival North Attleboro.
The Tigers opened the bout by landing a big shot away, scoring four runs in the bottom of the fourth. But as big as the opening inning was, it was the other two innings in which Oliver Ames scored that mattered most.
Duxbury connected with a jab in the top of the third in the form of two runs, cutting OA’s four-run lead in half. In the bottom half, the Tigers landed a clean shot of their own with their second four-run inning, pushing the lead to 8-2.
And again, when Duxbury landed another attempt in the top of the fifth with two more runs, making it a four-run game with just a couple innings to go, the Tigers responded. The fifth-seeded Tigers quickly striking back for three runs, restoring a comfortable lead at 11-4.
“That’s something that we said is one of our team priorities offensively,” said Oliver Ames head coach Joe Abarr. “When we’re scored on, our goal is to answer back immediately. I know from being around the game that if you’re the team playing catchup, and every time you get on the board, and the other team comes right back, it’s a very uphill battle. I think that was something really positive about our offense today, they did a good job with that.
“We put ourselves in good counts to hit the ball when we needed to and we got a ton of walks that really helped us down the line.”
After Duxbury failed to cash in in the top of the first inning, stranding a runner at third, the Tigers took advantage of their chance in the bottom half.
CJ Deveau earned a one-out walk to load the bases before Sean O’Brien did the same with two-outs bring Goulet in for a 4-0 lead.
“That was huge and this time we didn’t take our foot off the gas,” Abarr said of the opening offense. “We were able to keep putting runs up there. The top of our order has guys that at any given at-bat can do big things. It’s nice to see them stringing them together consistently.”
OA starter Michael Mulrean (5.2 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 1 K) ran into a bit of trouble in the top of the third. Not only was he taking on a strong Duxbury lineup, an issue with the mound caused issues for both pitchers. North Attleboro starter Peter Cohen had a similar issue during the game prior.
John Roberts led off the third with a walk but was erased when Sam Reagan reached on a fielder’s choice. A soft line drive from Luke Eggers put runners on the corners and then the ump called a balk, bring a run in and moving Eggers to second. A passed by and a single from Charles Coon brought in another run, making it 4-2. Coon made it into scoring position at second but Mulrean got back-to-back outs on two pitches to escape further damage.
Arguably OA’s most important was the bottom of the third. After Duxbury made a move to get back into it, the Tigers landed a deflating shot in the form of four runs.
Goulet walked and took second on an errant pickoff attempt. Erlich drew a walk and Deveau, who tried to sacrifice them both over, ended up safe at first after his speed down the first base line forced a high throw.
Nick Zwerle delivered a one-run base hit through the left side and O’Brien brought a run home on a groundout. With runners on second and third, Muir roped a hard line drive to right center field for a two-run triple to give OA an 8-2 advantage.
Mulrean was picked up by some solid defense in the fourth inning. A hard hit high bouncing ground ball was picked up by Zwerle on the first base line for an out. After a walk, Muir nearly made a spectacular leaping grab at short. The ball fell down but the senior stuck with it and got the force at second. And Friel snagged a tailing line drive at second for the third out.
“This isn’t a knock on the facilities but that mound was tough, I saw it when I went out for warmups,” Abarr said. “I think both sides really had to deal with that adversity. You could see their guy slipping and sliding. And the way Mulrean pitches, he pushes himself down and really does land in a slide with his front foot. He was almost doing a little split at times. I have to hand it to him, he did a good job hanging in there and gave us a chance to win and that’s all we can ask for.”
A leadoff single from Reagan sparked another comeback attempt for Duxbury in the top of the fifth. Eggers and Coon both walked to load the bases with no outs. Pat Melampy singled in one run and Frank Tower’s sacrifice fly made it 8-4.
Duxbury loaded the bases again but Mulrean got a big ground out to third to prevent any further damage.
True to form, Oliver Ames responded to recreate a comfortable separation. Sophomore pinch hitter Jacob Levine crushed a ball to left center field for a one-out triple and scored on an RBI single from Pearsons. A single from Goulet pushed Pearsons to third after, after Goulet stole second, Erlich walked to load the bases.
It looked as though Duxbury had its second out when Deveau hit a slow roller up the first base line. But once again, his effort down the line forced a second of indecision by the fielder and he slid in safely at first and Pearsons came racing in to score.
“It’s stuff like that that you need in these games,” Abarr said of Deveau’s two hustle plays. “That was unbelievable, they were both great hustle plays. We said last night, it’s going to be tough for everyone, so don’t take anything granted, we have to run everything out. And I have to really hand it to these guys, I don’t think I’ve had to talk to anyone about not running a play out, which is awesome.
With O’Brien up, Goulet sprinted home on a wild pitch to make it 11-4.
Duxbury pushed back with three runs in the top of the sixth inning but reliever Tom Parker came in and eventually got the third out – a swinging strikeout – to strand runners at second and third.
OA’s Reid Latham inherited a runner at first when he came in to pitch in the top of the seventh. Latham got a strikeout, fly ball to center field, allowed a two-out walk, but closed the door on a groundout to second base.
“We were here last year, we got knocked out here [by a similar score],” Abarr said, the Tigers having lost 10-6 to Westwood at this point a season ago. “We battled back [in that game] but came up short. We’ve tried to work on specific things throughout the season. And these guys, from top to bottom, have done a tremendous job working on those things in order to get better.”
Oliver Ames baseball (16-7) will take on the Rocketeers in the D2 South Final on Saturday at 10:00AM at Campanelli Stadium.
The two teams opened the season against one another back on April 9th with Big Red prevailing 5-2. The Tigers loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh before North got the final out to secure the win.
“We faced [Nick] Sinacola, who is the real deal and their catcher [Zach DeMattio] is unbelievable, he crushes the ball, he’s one of the best high school hitters I’ve ever seen,” Abarr said. “Just thinking back, we had a couple of errors, we aren’t on time with our hitters. I’m hoping with two and a half months under our belt now, we’ll come in and give them a better game. I think we lost by three runs but they were just a step ahead. Hopefully we’re even now and have a good game on Saturday.”
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – With the way the game started, it was looking like it was going to be a blowout win for Oliver Ames.
But by the end, the Tigers were just happy to survive and advance.
OA built a 5-0 lead through the first three innings of play but saw that advantage shrink to just one run after the next two. The Tigers added a big insurance run in the fifth and escaped a seventh-inning threat from Nauset to emerge with a 6-4 win.
“I tip my cap to Nauset,” said OA head coach Joe Abarr. “Their first base coach just kept saying ‘play the game’ which I thought was a cool mantra. You could see their guys stay in the moment and getting hits when they needed to. But we were able to get enough runs across early in the game and protect the lead in the end.”
“As soon [Nasuet] battled back it was like a wake-up call and all the guys got behind each other. I’m hoping they remember that and keep that attitude moving forward because the games won’t be any easier moving forward.”
Some heads up base running in the bottom of the first inning helped the Tigers grab an early lead. Michael Friel (4-for-4, RBI, run) had a one-out single and stole second with two outs. Chris Pearsons (3-for-4, RBI, run) hit a ground ball to the left side of the infield but raced down the line and beat the throw for an infield hit.
With two outs, Friel was off and running, but didn’t stop at first. The senior infielder alertly sped around third and took off for home. The Nauset first baseman held the catch at first while the ump made the call and Friel crossed without a throw home. With no one covering second, Pearsons sprinted to the open bag for a free base but was stranded there.
“My assistant coach was just saying that’s what wins tournament games,” Abarr said of the alert base running. “I really can’t say enough about both of those guys, their baseball instincts are tremendous. But it’s not just instincts, they work at it. We have two rounds during batting practice that you have to run the bases after and those two guys take all their reps very seriously and it pays dividends. We’re hoping to get more guys to buy into that too because it makes a big difference.”
Oliver Ames starter Reid Latham (3.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 2 K, 0 BB) worked around a hit in both the first and second innings. In the first, Nauset’s Stephen Kalnick was gunned down by Sean O’Brien after trying to turn a single into a double. And in the second, Harrison Field’s leadoff single didn’t result in anything when Latham got three straight outs.
Jake Erlich (2-for-4, RBI, run) got the bottom of the second started with a single and moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt from Nick Zwerle. CJ Deveau battled his way through a nine-pitch at-bat, ending it with an RBI single to score Erlich. Matt Muir followed up with a two-out single to bring Deveau in and Muir took second on the throw.
Friel grabbed his second hit of the day with a double to bring Muir home to give the Tigers a 4-0 lead.
Pearsons led off the third with a bloop single into left field and made his way all the way to third after a throwing error. Junior Matt McCormack grounded out but Pearsons came in to score to make it 5-0.
Nauset came firing back in the top of the fourth, taking care of some miscues by the Tigers. Latham got the first out with a strikeout but a high fly ball from Kalnick dropped in left center field. Latham bounced back with another strikeout but Chris Beach singled with two outs to put runners on first and second.
Latham induced a ground ball to the left side but miscommunication allowed John Dysart to reach and load the bases. Kurtis Thomas and John Paul LaBarge hit back-to-back singles, though each only scoring one run apiece. Henry Blanchard was then awarded first after a catcher’s interference call, bringing a third run in.
“This was the first time he’s been on the mound in a real game in probably five or six weeks so I have to give it to him,” Abarr said about Latham. “He did a tremendous job. When he had the cast on his hand, he was still the first one at the park each day. As soon as he was able to get the hard cast off, he could throw some and he came straight from the doctors to practice and wanted to throw. I think this was a moment he’s been waiting for and as far as I’m concerned, he shouldn’t be deflated about that inning, he just didn’t have some things go his way, and that’s the way baseball goes.”
Abarr went to the bullpen and brought in junior Tom Parker (2.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 K, 3 H). The lefty needed just one pitch to get a fly ball to right to leave the bases loaded for Nauset.
“I give Tommy credit, coming in there and throwing that one pitch to get us out of it, which I thought was a huge momentum changer for us,” Abarr said.
A single from Friel and a walk to Mitch Goulet put runners on first and second for OA in the bottom half of the fourth but an infield pop up ended the threat.
Kalnick helped get Nauset one run closer with a one-out triple in the fifth inning. Harrison Field followed with a triple of his own to bring Kalnick in but Parker didn’t let Field get any further, getting two ground balls to end the inning.
OA got the insurance run it needed in the bottom of the fifth. McCormack led off with a walk and took second on a passed ball. Erlich hit a hard grounder down the third base line for an RBI double to plate McCormack to put the Tigers up 6-4.
After Zwerle was hit by a pitch, Deveau’s sac bunt moved the runners to second and third with one out but Kalnick, Nauset’s third pitcher of the day, prevented any further damage with a strikeout and 6-3 ground out.
Parker worked around a one-out error in the top of the sixth, getting back-to-back strikeouts after the runner reached. OA had a chance to blow the game open when it loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth behind three straight singles from Friel, Pearsons, and McCormack.
But this time it was Kalnick with back-to-back strikeouts to prevent any further damage.
Nauset threatened in the top of the seventh behind a one-out single from Kalnick and a walk to Field. Abarr brought in Muir to close the game out and the senior did just that, getting a line drive to center and a ground ball to short for the final two outs.
“[Parker] kept himself really composed when their three and four hitters had those triples,” Abarr said. “He was able to get out of that inning with just the one run which I’ll take all day. He was jacked up for that last inning and then we had that pause for the base runner and I think that hurt his momentum. And Matt Muir has probably been our most consistent guy out of the pen this season.”
Oliver Ames baseball (15-7) advances to the D2 South Semifinal for the second straight year. The Tigers, seeded sixth, will take #7 Duxbury (14-8) on Wednesday at 7:00 at Rockland Stadium.
Milford, 2 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Canton senior Robbie Wilkinson allowed just two runs on five hits in 6.1 innings of work and added an RBI on offense to help the Bulldogs edge the Hawks. Milford loaded the bases in the top of the seventh against reliever Paul Cocoran but the junior got the final two outs to escape the jam. Wilkinson had an RBI double in the third while Jake Aronson had two doubles and an RBI for the Bulldogs. Aidan Wilde went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk for the Hawks while sophomore Luke Rosa allowed just one earned run in five innings of work, striking out four.
Mansfield, 6 vs. Bishop Feehan, 1 – Final – Mansfield broke open a tie game with a five-run sixth inning to beat Bishop Feehan. The Shamrocks had a total of just two hits and no walks but plated the first run in the first inning. The Hornets tied the game in the top of the third and then pulled away in the sixth. Sam Nugent and Kevin Dow each had two hits and scored a run for the Hornets while pinch hitter Jake Gerraughty knocked in a pair of runs. Connor Sheehan earned the win on the mound, striking out eight with just two hits in six innings of work. Sophomore John Carney struck out one in a 1-2-3 seventh inning.
Oliver Ames, 6 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames pushed across four runs in the top of the third inning and tacked on solo runs in each the fourth and seventh innings to beat Stoughton. Michael Friel went 3-for-3 with an RBI while Reid Latham struck out five and allowed six hits in six innings of work to get the win. Stoughton’s Ruben Gonzalez allowed just one earned run in three-plus innings of work and went 3-for-4 at the plate.
Attleboro, 5 @ Mansfield, 4 – Final – Attleboro took a 2-0 lead with single runs in the first and the third innings but Mansfield scored three in its half of the third to jump in front. Sarah Cahill, who struck out three in six innings in the circle, led off with a single and scored on a base hit by Kara Bendanillo. Mady Bendanillo made it 3-2 with a two-run homer. Attleboro rallied with a pair of runs in the fifth to get the lead back and then added the eventual game-winner in the sixth. The Hornets got within one in the sixth after Mady Bendanillo (3-for-3) tripled and was brought in by Caty DeMassi, but couldn’t find another run. Mansfield coach Lori Letendre called it a “good back and forth game” and said the Hornets had chances late but “couldn’t come up with the timely hit we needed.” Freshman Ashlyn Conley went 2-for-3 in her varsity debut for Mansfield.
Milford, 19 @ Canton, 6 – Final (6 inn.) – Milford scored 10 runs in the top of the second inning to earn a big win on the road at Canton. Sabrina Haarstick (three-run), Jess Tomaso (3-for-5, triple five RBI), and Maddy Bonvino (3-for-4, three RBI, three runs) each had a home run in the win for the Hawks. Shannon Cormier added two hits and four runs, Emily Piergustavo reached base four times and scored four runs, and Kate Irwin (2-for-4) had a double, stolen base, and three runs scored. Kelley Reichert struck out eight with one hit allowed in three innings of work in a relief appearance.
North Attleboro, 4 vs. Dartmouth, 2 – Final – Bella Erti allowed three hits and one walk, while striking out one to pick up the win for North. Katie Daby (2-for-3) broke a 2-2 tie in the fourth inning with a solo homer and North added a fourth run in the following inning when Abby Gallagher scored on an Erti fielder’s choice. Katherine Munley and Gallagher each made nice catches in the outfield, according to North coach Bill Wallace, and Olivia Capobianco robbed Dartmouth of a homer in the seventh that would have cut the lead to one.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Walpole, 12 – Final (5 inn.)
Stoughton vs. Milton, 11:00
Sharon, 0 @ Taunton, 17 – Final (5 inn.) – Alexa and Kelsey White combined to strike out 10 batters with three hits allowed and no walks in five innings of work to lead Taunton to a win. Alexa struck out eight, scattering three hits in four innings of work to get the win. Kelsey struck out two of the three she faced in the fifth inning. Offensively, Alexa White went 3-for-3 with a triple and a pair of doubles, knocking in three runs. Mackenzie Handrahan had three hits, including a home run, and four RBI while Kya Enos (2-for-3) and Abbie McDonough (2-for-3) each had a double and two RBI.
King Philip, 13 @ Sharon, 5 – Final – KP used seven different goal scorers and allowed only one goal in the second half (head coach Kourtnie Wilder described it as a “huge defensive effort!”) to pull out the non-league victory. Caroline Klim was the top scorer for the Warriors with five goals. Jess Sullivan and Lauren Anderson each tallied twice, while Alli Meehan (five draw controls), Olivia Tormey, Mackenzie Mazur and Dana Truini (four draw controls) each had one for KP. Shayla Weirzman had an assist. The Warriors also got 13 saves from Caroline Watson. Abbi Solomon and Sabrina Robbins each scored a pair of goals and Emma Eberhardt scored a goal, had a pair of assists, and five draw controls for the Eagles.
Mansfield, 16 @ Oliver Ames, 13 – Final – Ann Maher scored six goals to pace the Hornets, including the game-winner with just over two minutes remaining. Coming out of a timeout in a tie game (13-13), Maher scored her fifth goal of the game to give Mansfield the lead for good. Katy Garvin and Maher each added another goal in the closing minutes to seal the win. Olivia Murray had a hat trick for the Hornets, while Hayleigh Crawford, Lauren Whitman, and Garvin each scored twice. Hannah Sternburg made 14 saves in the win.
Milford, 5 vs. Nipmuc, 14 – Final
Franklin, 5 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Franklin continued its perfect start with a sweep on the road at Taunton. Rohan Herur won a battle at first singles, emerging with a 7-5, 6-4 win while Liam Marr (6-2, 6-0) and Saketh Saripalli (6-0, 6-0) also picked up wins to sweep singles play. The team of Tyler DiPalma and Derek Wu won 6-1, 6-1 at first doubles while Tony Calderone and Dan Angermeier didn’t lose a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at second doubles.
Stoughton, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Stoughton junior Erik Anderson stepped into the first singles spot and picked up a 6-2, 6-2 win, helping the Black Knights edge neighboring Oliver Ames. Hassan Khan added 6-3, 7-5 win at third singles and Brendon Buckley and Mike Veliotis notched a 6-1, 6-2 win at second doubles. Oliver Ames’ Henry Simone won 6-1, 6-1 at second singles and the team of TJ Clifford and Liam McMorrow rallied for a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win at first doubles.
Mansfield @ Attleboro – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Milford, 1 @ Canton, 4 – Final – Canton swept doubles play and picked up two more wins in singles to earn a victory over visiting Milford. Rachel Kupferman didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at second singles and Sarah Hernandez won 6-0, 6-2 at third singles. The team of Jena Moyle and Stelina Michaelidis picked up a 6-0, 6-2 win at first doubles and Canton’s pairing of Caitlin Matthews and Sophie Le earned a 6-3, 6-2 win at second doubles. Milford’s Julie Rabinowitz won 7-5, 6-4 at first singles.
Taunton, 5 @ Franklin, 0 – Final – Taunton dropped just two games total in four matches to get a win on the road. Jillian Pagliuca won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles, Vanessa Rosa picked up a 6-0, 6-2 win at second singles, and Jocelyn Pagliuca won by forfeit at third singles. Samantha Martin and McKenzie Lucie (first singles) and the team of Amanda Pugh and Kayla Parrett (second doubles) both won without losing a game.
Stoughton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 5 – Final – OA sophomore Sarah Barron made her varsity debut at third singles and came away with a 6-1, 6-1 win to help the Tigers sweep Stoughton. Sarah Leger picked up a 6-2, 6-0 win at first singles and Tate Hadges won 6-2, 6-0 at second singles. OA’s pairing of Kristin Bloumbas and Emily Yu won 6-4, 6-3 at first doubles and Olivia Groebe and Rachel Stryke paired up for a 6-1, 6-3 win at second doubles.
Boys Outdoor Track
North Attleboro, 45 vs. Bishop Feehan, 35, @ Attleboro, 24 – Final
North Attleboro, 61 vs. Bishop Feehan, 38 @ Attleboro, 5 – Final
Milford, 1 vs. Lawrence, 3 – Final
2017 Record: 6-14 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Matt Bosh
After missing out on the postseason a year ago, Attleboro head coach Matt Bosh believes his team’s depth and versatility will help the Bombardiers get back there.
Junior Eoin Kelleher is back to lead the pitching staff after a stellar sophomore season in which he earned HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year honors. Kelleher posted a 1.00 ERA in 35 innings of work, including throwing a no-hitter against rival North. Senior captains Jason Weir and Jon Candiales, senior Drew Pagano along with junior Sam Larkin will all see time on the mound for Big Blue as well.
Candiales and Weir also anchor the offense with the former patrolling shortstop and the latter seeing time in both the outfield and first base. Candiales gives the Bombardiers power from the left side of the plate while Weir is a three-year starter that gives Bosh flexibility in the lineup. Larkin will be in the outfield when he isn’t pitching and can use his speed to hurt teams. Corey McKenna returns as the starting second baseman while senior Dakota Kirby is back behind the dish after a year off. Kirby will add pop to the lineup as he hit 0.425 as a sophomore with 10 RBI.
“The biggest improvement that I see from last year is our team speed and athleticism,” Bosh said. “We have a lot of guys that can play multiple positions and we’re very athletic. We have a high number of kids who can play anywhere.”
A strong core of returning players and a good amount of depth will be keys for the 2018 Canton Bulldogs baseball team.
After losing just four players from last year’s team, there is a good mix of experienced players and talented youth for head coach Greg Digirolamo to work with. The Bulldogs will look to three senior captains to the lead the way: Matt Casamento, Robbie Wilkinson, and Tommy DeLello. Casamento is a three-year starter in center field, DeLello will man first base and Wilkinson will try to carry over the momentum from an impressive junior year into 2018. Wilkinson went 3-1 last year with a 1.58 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 31 innings pitched.
Wilkinson will be joined in the pitching staff by seniors Austin Maffie, Niko Donovan, and Ryan Hickey, along with juniors Paul Corcoran, Robbie Sullivan, and Kevin McGonigle. Freshman Matt Connolly will also figure into the mix on the mound.
Casamento anchors the defense from the center field spot while junior catcher Matt Pigeon and sophomore shortstop Nate Quan bolster the defense up the middle.
“It’s a good group of kids that like to compete every day, what else can you ask for as a coach?” Digirolamo said. “For us the biggest thing will be seeing live pitching. If we’re to have any success this year we’ll need to do a better job at the plate.”
2017 Record: 7-14 2017 Finish: Reached D3 South First Round Coach: Derek Suess
New Foxboro head coach Derek Suess sees a little bit of the past in his first team as head coach. Suess, a former Warrior himself, said the 2018 version of Foxboro reminds him of a team that won 15 games during his senior year just over a decade ago.
“This team is hungry to put the program back on the map,” Suess said. “I couldn’t ask for a better senior group to lead us. They remind me of the senior group I was a part of in 2007 in which we won 15 games. With a good mix of underclassmen, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s hard work pay off on the field.”
After losing a painful eight games by just one run a season ago, including a near upset of third-seeded and D3 South Finalist Norton in the playoffs, the Warriors will be looking to turn those losses into wins this time around.
“We need to make more winning plays to put those tallies in the win column,” Suess said.
Junior Anthony Mollica will spearhead the offense after leading the Warriors with a 0.367 batting average a year ago. Senior Chad Bearce and sophomore Joe Cavaleri will bolster the middle of the lineup, freshman Sean Yoest has shown flashes early on at the dish, and seniors Joe Freitas, Matt Rongione, and Jack Franceschelli provide the Warriors with some speed.
Senior Steve McLaughlin returns after an impressive 2017 season. Despite posting an 0-6 record, McLaughlin struck out 24 batters in 32.2 innings of work and posted a 1.73 ERA. McLaughlin will be joined by Cavaleri, Yoest, and junior Guy Quartarone in the rotation while senior Robert Theriault returns behind the dish after getting a year of experience last season.
2017 Record: 18-6 2017 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Zach Brown
Focusing on pitching and defense, the Panthers will be looking to get better each and every day as they try to replicate the success from a season ago.
Franklin won the Kelley-Rex division last year, its first league title since 2012. And the mix of pitching and offense put the Panthers in some conversations for Super 8, but the Panthers ended up in the D1 South and bowed out in the quarterfinals after being forced to play on back to back days.
The arms that helped the Panthers have so much success last year as almost all back, starting with staff ace senior Jake Noviello. The Fairfield-commit struck out a Hockomock-best 61 batters a year ago, going 6-2 with a 1.65 ERA in 55.1 innings of work. Noviello is complemented by lefty Jason Ulrickson (7-0, 0.80 ERA, 35 K), Bryan Woelfel (3-2, 0.91 ERA, 4 SV, 31 K) and senior James Leofanti.
The defense will be anchored by a pair of returning starters in junior shortstop Alex Haba (0.360, 12 runs) and junior catcher Jake Macchi.
“While we are returning a number of experienced arms we are also turning over a number of positions last season,” said Franklin head coach Zach Brown. “So, we will be young or inexperienced at a number of positions. Offensively, my hope is that as the season progressing we will be able to develop an identity and find a way to manufacture runs.”
After just squeaking into the postseason a year ago, first-year KP head coach Greg Kessler is hoping his team will be in contention for a Kelley-Rex division title in 2018.
One reason for that is the senior class and the handful of returning players that have plenty of experience at the varsity level. Ben Furfari returns as a key piece of the Warriors’ outfield and lineup. He hit 0.298 last season and will provide the power on offense. Senior Pat Limerick, committed to play at St. Joseph’s (ME), will set the tone as the leadoff hitter.
On the mound, senior Jeremy Rhines (2-1, 1.45 ERA) and junior David Morganelli will be the main options while hard-throwing senior Liam Rohan will also be in the mix. Nolan Bradley returns behind the plate as one of the top catchers in the league while sophomore Robbie Jarest will step in to take over at shortstop.
“We have a great group of senior this year,” Kessler said. “They have been dedicated to the weight room and leading our underclassmen. They continuously strive to build a team that will compete for the Hock championship. They deserve to have a great year. I guarantee that will be the most vocal and most energetic team in the Hock. We pride ourselves on being positive and enthusiastic every pitch.”
2017 Record: 14-8 2017 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Joe Breen
There is a lot of optimism surrounding the Mansfield baseball program this season. And with the arms they have back, there’s good reason for it.
Senior Tyler Dalton, a UMass Amherst commit, returns after missing the majority of his junior year with an injury. Dalton was tremendous during the 2016 season as a sophomore, posting a 6-2 record while striking out 35 batters and posting a 1.78 ERA. He will be joined on the Hornets’ staff by senior Kevin Dow (UMass Amherst commit, 4-1, 1.93 ERA), junior lefty Connor Sheehan (2.82 ERA, 28 K), and junior Kyle Moran (three saves). Sophomore John Carney will also likely see time on the mound for the Hornets.
Senior catcher Cullin Anastasia returns after being named to the 2017 HockomockSports.com Second Team. Anastasia had 19 hits a year ago, knocking in 10 runs and scoring 10 runs as well. Sam Nugent will give the Hornets a spark in center field and on the base path with his speed, Moran picked up plenty of experience at third base last season, and Eric Longley will provide Mansfield with some pop in the middle of the lineup.
“We will rely heavily on our pitching staff this season to keep us in games and look to make the plays behind them and be aggressive with our offensive and baserunning approach to get those guys a few runs per game,” said Mansfield head coach Joe Breen. “As always, we will turn to our senior class to set the tone and for our underclassmen to blossom under their leadership.”
2017 Record: 12-10 2017 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinals Coach: Alex Dion
Milford baseball starts a new chapter in its historic history as longtime assistant Alex Dion takes over the reigns of the program.
Dion’s first challenge will be having to overcome the loss of a dozen seniors, including team ace Alex Macek, reliable infielders Zack Tamagni and Anthony Arcudi, and hard-hitting outfielder Ryan Goncalves. However, the good news is that Dion has one of the best players at his disposal in Stonehill-commit Aidan Wilde. Wilde had 59 hits between his freshman and sophomore years and added 21 more in the regular season a year ago. After seeing time as a catcher last season, Wilde will mainly man the corner infield positions in 2018.
Wilde will be complemented by junior Matt Shaver, who picked up some experience a year ago at both shortstop and on the mound. The Hawks will rely on Shaver to anchor the defense from short and give the offense a spark from the leadoff position. Junior Tyler Almeida will step in behind the dish and will provide some offense from the left side of the plate. Sophomores Luke Rosa and Colby Pires look to be in the mix as well as junior Nick Marcolini, who will pitch and patrol the outfield.
“We graduated a strong senior class this past year and are now in a situation where we have a lot of new players who we will look to take advantage of new opportunities,” Dion said. “I am excited about the athleticism that we have on our roster and the energy that these guys bring to practice each day. I think our philosophy is simple, but we preach a team-first mentality to our guys and strive to get quality pitching, play clean defense and get timely hits to win games.”
2017 Record: 8-10 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Mike Hart
North Attleboro didn’t have to go far to find its new coach. Mike Hart takes over for Paul Tobin and Hart truly bleeds Big Red – a graduate from the school and three-sport coach.
And expectations are high for the Rocketeers after just missing out on the postseason a year ago. Senior captain Nick Sinacola returns after having an MVP-caliber junior season. Big Red will rely on Sinacola on both sides of the plate, leading the offense (he batted 0.415 last year with 15 runs scored) and being the ace of the staff (48.1 IP, 49 K, 2.01 ERA). Senior captain Zach DeMattio is also back after being named to the 2017 HockomockSports.com First Team, batting 0.333 with 15 RBI and three home runs. Big Red also gets senior Nate Pearce (0.371) back after a strong junior year.
Senior Peter Cohen (24 IP, 0.29 ERA) will look to build upon a superb junior year while Nolan Buckley and Jeff Gale bring experience to the outfield. Aidan Harding also has varsity experience and will be in the mix to get innings on the mound along with juniors Matt Wanless, Jake Palmer, Matt Seavey, Nick Raneri, and Ben Arrighi.
“We have a truly industrious group of players,” Hart said. “We’re going to keep moving guys around until we find the lineup that works for us. Some may have to play multiple positions, depending on whose pitching on any given day. We had a decent season last year, with many guys getting some varsity time, but we’re still unproven. We need to continue to improve every day and only worry about the things we can control. Guys will be competing every day all season, which will only make us better. We will approach each day, with a great attitude, high effort, and a steadfast approach.”
2017 Record: 14-9 2017 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinals Coach: Joe Abarr
A lot of the players that helped Joe Abarr have a successful first season as head coach last year are back, which means the Tigers are aiming to replicate that success.
Despite finishing in a tie for third in the Kelley-Rex, the Tigers put together the best playoff run of any Hock team, knocking off #2 Dighton-Rehoboth on the road to reach the sectional semifinals. Junior Matt McCormack is back after earning a spot on varsity late in the season this year, and along with classmate Tom Parker, should give OA a solid 1-2 punch. With a handful of capable arms in the mix, the third spot in the rotation is still up for grabs.
Abarr won’t have to worry much about anything hit to the left side of the infield as the Tigers return third basemen Chris Pearsons and shortstop Matt Muir, two of the top defensive players at their positions. Both are capable hitters as well and will provide some pop to the lineup. Another returning starter is senior Mitch Goulet. Goulet had a breakout junior campaign in center field (0.347, 7 RBI), catching fire in the second half of the year. Abarr is hoping that momentum will carry over to this season.
The Tigers have a battle for the spot behind the plate as both junior Jake Erlich and junior Reid Latham are back, both with experience behind the dish.
“We have a great core of returning players that will be the backbone of the program,” Abarr said. “We have to fill positions in the outfield and at first. If we have some guys step up in that role we should have a decent lineup from top to bottom.”
Sharon is aiming to improve on its six-win season in 2017, and will be looking to ride its senior leadership to do so.
Senior captains Max Tarlin and Drew Naisuler are two of the most experienced players in the league and will be spearheading the Eagles’ offense and defense this year. Tarlin (5-4, 46 K, 1.11 ERA) is the anchor of the pitching staff, picking up five of Sharon’s six wins last season. When he’s not on the mound, expect to see Tarlin patrolling shortstop. Naisuler returns as the team’s No. 4 hitter to provide some pop to the lineup and will be a key defensive piece at both center field and first base.
The Eagles will also rely on senior Ben Schwartz, who will mainly be catching this year as well as being a major offensive contributor. Junior Noah Kamens will be a major piece of the pitching puzzle after impressing during his sophomore year. Similar to Tarlin, Kamens will be a major player in the offensive lineup and will see time off the mound spent in the outfield. Spencer Singer is transitioning to the outfield and will continue to be one of the players the Eagles look at for offensive production.
“I have a lot of guys who are multifaceted baseball players and I can foresee a lot of games being played with straight nine in the lineup,” Arguimbau said. “We have great senior leadership and some very promising sophomores that are going to play a major role in our season’s success.”
2017 Record: 15-6 2017 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Coach: Mike Armour
There are a lot of questions to be answered for this year’s Stoughton baseball team, but head coach Mike Armour is excited for his players to rise to the challenge.
The Black Knights graduated nearly their entire team (10 of its 13 rostered players), which won its second straight Davenport division title. So not only will Armour be leaning heavily on his three returning players, he is looking for new faces to seize the opportunity.
“This is an exciting year for our program,” Armour said. “It’s an awesome opportunity for our younger guys. The JV and freshmen teams both over 15 or more games last year, so we’re looking for them to carry that winning attitude into this season. I expect our team to play with heart and execute the fundamentals to make us a competitive team.”
2017 HockomockSports.com First Team selection and senior captain Ruben Gonzalez returns as one of the top players in the league, both defensively at shortstop and offensively at the plate. Senior Matt Hadley and junior Evan Gibb, both captains, are the other two returning players for the Knights. Gibb has plenty of varsity experience behind the plate and Hadley, although he will miss some time with injury, will be key piece in the outfield.
Meanwhile, Armour is looking for sophomores James Genest (first base) and Michael Nazzaro (third base/catcher) to step up and play important roles both offensively and defensively this season. Juniors Kyle Gagnon, Kevin Dixon, and Cian Swierzewski will see time in the outfield and classmate Robbie Seaman will be in the mix for middle infield.
For pitching, Gibb will see time on the mound as well as behind the play. Senior Will Eckhart has some varsity experience and junior Zak Paquette will likely log some meaningful innings for the Knights. Seniors Tim Kellogg, Talyor Atkinson, and Mike Anderson provide infield depth and Jack Brown and Ryan Semler will be in the mix in the outfield.
2017 Record: 12-10 2017 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Blair Bourque
There are a lot of good pitchers in the Hockomock League this year, and it looks like the Tigers’ staff could be right near the top of the list.
Taunton returns senior Tyler Medeiros, who had a terrific junior campaign and will get junior Jack Moynihan back on the mound. Moynihan was impressive during his freshman year two seasons ago but an injury limited his action on the mound last season. Medeiros fanned 68 batters in 56.1 innings of work, posting a 1.98 ERA to anchor the staff. Look for senior Trevor Pietrzyk and juniors Griffin Tomaszycki and Josh Lajoie to get some meaningful innings on the mound as well.
“Tyler clearly emerged as our top pitcher last year,” said second-year head coach Blair Bourque. “Fortunately, he’s a big kid and was able to put us on his back and carry us. Hopefully, we’re able to provide more support for him this year.”
Moynihan will also play a big role in Taunton’s offense this year. While patrolling third base, Moynihan will try to provide some pop in the middle of the lineup. The Tigers also get their top two batters back with senior shortstop Jacob Crawford (0.350, 15 runs) and senior Christian Simoes (0.340, 12 RBI).
Taunton will carry nine seniors and eight juniors this season so experience will be key.
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – It’s been nearly a year since Oliver Ames pulled out a stunning two-out ray to beat Mansfield at Frothingham Park.
But it was fresh in the minds of many Mansfield players as they returned to North Easton in the Hornets first matchup with the Tigers this season. And this time, they made sure to finish the game off.
Mansfield took the lead with a four run fifth inning, Oliver Ames cut the deficit to one in the sixth but the Hornets tacked on two more in the seventh to pick up a key 6-3 division win over OA.
“OA plays hard and you knew they weren’t going away,” said Mansfield head coach Joe Breen. “We brought it late in the game and talked about how OA would keep fighting to the end so we need to get at least one more to get some breathing room. The guys responded and had a nice inning there to cap it off.
“[OA] is certainly a very strong team, there’s really not a whole lot of weaknesses on that team. We knew we’d have our hands full with OA, especially with the way they’ve played this season. Coach Abarr has done a great job with those guys, they obviously play very hard for him. But our guys played hard today too. I think we had last year’s late inning loss in the back of our minds, a lot of our returners remembered and had a little extra incentive to get a win today.”
Both teams put a runner in scoring position in the first inning, with Mansfield’s Matt Farragher (fielder’s choice, stolen base) getting to second and Oliver Ames’ Matt Muir (double, stolen base) reaching third but neither crossed the plate.
Oliver Ames sophomore and left handed pitcher Tom Parker retired the side in order in the second inning while his counterpart, Mansfield junior Kevin Dow did the same.
Mansfield threatened in the third when Dow walked, stole second, advanced to third on a single from Anthony DeGirolamo but Parker escaped, getting a fly ball to right and a line drive to short.
OA finally broke through in the third inning, with sophomore Reid Latham reaching on an error and moving to second on a base hit from Muir. Muir was forced out on a fielder’s choice but Latham moved to third but OA loaded the bases with a steal from Michael Friel and a walk to Mitch Goulet.
Senior Kyle Gagliardi delivered, driving a 1-0 pitch to the outfield for a two-run single.
Parker cruised through the top of the fourth with the help of a double play while Dow put the Tigers down in order to keep the deficit at two.
Mansfield’s offense finally came to life in the top of the fifth to take the lead. Cullin Anastasia set things up with a lead off single and Dow helped his own cause with a deep double. The throw home was high, allowing Anastasia to cross and Dow to take third, cutting OA’s lead to 2-1. DeGirolamo drew a walk and stole second with one out. With a 3-1 count, OA elected to intentionally walk Farragher to load the bases.
Mansfield senior Aidan Cahill came through, taking a 1-0 pitch for a ride with a line drive for a two RBI single that pushed Farragher to third. The Hornets weren’t done in the inning as sophomore Kyle Moran singled off OA reliever Jay Fruci to bring Farragher home for a 4-2 lead.
“He’s come up big for us all year,” Breen said of Cahill. “He started off in the two-hole because he’s a very good situational hitter and can go gap to gap. We moved him back to the three hole because he couldn’t stop hitting. He had a huge two-run homer to win a game against Feehan, he’s been on fire this season. He’s a super hard working kid and I love seeing guys work as hard as he does reap the benefits of it.”
Oliver Ames’ offense had its response in the bottom of the sixth inning. Sophomore Chris Pearsons was hit by a pitch by Mansfield reliever Kyle Moran to start the bottom half and advanced to second on a dropped third strike. Pearsons took third on a fielder’s choice and then scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-3.
Farragher was hit by a pitch to lead off the top of the seventh to get Mansfield’s offense in gear. He went to second on a passed ball and Cahill came through one again with an RBI double. Pearsons got two outs in relief for OA but Cahill took third on a wild pitch. Colin Gibbons looped a hit into shallow center field to bring Gibbons home.
“We’ve been preaching to our guys to be aggressive as much as possible and get up there and swing the bat and try to drive the ball as much as possible,” Breen said. “I think early on we were probably too aggressive swinging at balls outside the zone but we made a little bit of an adjustment and started to swing at better pitches. Our guys, one though nine, anyone can do the job right now and that’s kind of where things turned around for us offensively.”
Moran closed the game with a 1-2-3 inning to earn the save. Dow earned the win in 4.1 innings of work, allowing four hits with one strikeout. The Hornets lost their #2 pitcher Tyler Dalton for the season, so Breen was looking for someone to step up.
“We knew we needed guys to step up,” Breen said. “Both Kevin and Kyle have pitched well in relief for us. We knew going into today it would be a combo effort and I think they split the game pretty well and got their jobs done. Kevin set the table for us and Kyle got some big pressure outs in the late innings.”