Franklin, 7 @ Attleboro, 6 – Final – Franklin battled to a one-run win over Attleboro in a tight-knit affair. Jake Fitzgibbons had two hits for the Panthers along with an RBI while Jack Nally (run, two walks), Cooper Ross (two runs, RBI), and JB Floris (run) each had one hit. Alex Haba added a run and Shane O’Neil scored the game-winning run for the Panthers. Liam Dailey got the win, tossing a complete game with eight hits allowed, three walks, and five earned runs. Tim Callahan and Nick McMahon each had two hits and two runs scored, Alvaro Espinal and Camden Fitzpatrick each drove in two runs, and Lorenzo Wilson had an RBI for the Bombardiers.
Foxboro, 0 @ North Attleboro, 2 – Final – North Attleboro scored one in the first and added another single run in the fourth, while sophomore Dennis Colleran (6IP, 2H, 4BB, 9K) had one of his best performance of the season. With the win the Rocketeers will finish no worse than second place in the Davenport division, which earns the defending D2 State champs a spot in the state tournament this year. Sophomore Jared Penta plated senior Brendan McHugh (single) with a sacrifice fly in the first. In the fifth, Shawn Watters singled and eventually scored on an error. Foxboro threatened with runners on second and third with one out in the sixth but Colleran got a fly ball and a strikeout. Kyle Bolger added two hits for North while Kyle Briere pitched a 1-2-3 seventh for the save. Foxboro’s Michael Devlin was strong in the loss, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and no walks in four innings.
King Philip, 6 vs. Bishop Feehan, 5 – Final – King Philip struck for four runs in the fifth inning to earn a win at home over visiting Bishop Feehan. Terry Murray pitched five innings and helped his own cause at the plate with two hits and three RBI. David Morganelli added two hits and an RBI for KP.
Mansfield, 0 vs. Bridgewater-Raynham, 2 – Final (8 Inn.)
Canton, 8 @ Sharon, 10 – Final – Sharon softball closed out its season with a victory against division rival Canton to finish with five wins this year. Sophomore Sneha Kini went 3-for-5 and scored three times for the Eagles and freshman Trinity Payne went 2-for-4 in the game and drove in four with a first inning grand slam. Freshman Savannah Gray and senior Lauren Yaffe each had three hits, while seniors Rebecca Clayman and Alli Small both had a pair of hits and combined for three runs scored. Julia Earley had a hit and two runs scored for Sharon as well.
Foxboro, 4 vs. Medway, 9 – Final
Milford, 0 @ Franklin, 8 – Final – Franklin took an early 2-0 lead and then saw its first four batters come around to score in the fifth on its way to a shutout win over Milford. Ally Shea (walk) and Maddy White (3-for-4, three runs, double) each scored on the first to put the Panthers ahead, and White (error), Sarah Jackson (triple), courtesy runnerKatie Smith (Jackie Cherry single), and Emily Valentino (single) all scored in the fifth. Cherry struck out 13 to earn the win for Franklin, allowing two hits and two walks over six innings.
Attleboro, 6 @ Stoughton, 5 – Final (OT) – Attleboro senior Cam Littig scored with less than a minute to go to lift the Bombardiers to a win on the road over Stoughton. Sophomore Mike Strachan and freshman Ryan Betts each scored twice while junior Thomas Shipman found the back of the net once for the Bombardiers. Senior Trevor Koppy made 14 saves in net to help Attleboro earn the win.
King Philip, 5 @ Franklin, 19 – Final – Franklin played a complete game, building a double-digit lead by halftime and never looking back to beat visiting King Philip in a non-league clash. Annie Walsh led the charge with seven goals and two assists, Erin Walsh added four goals and two helpers, and Kelsey MacCallum added three goals and two assists. Hailey Toolin anchored a strong defensive effort in front of Gianna Cameron (seven saves).
Mansfield, 22 @ Watertown, 20 – Final
Milford, 6 vs. Nipmuc, 15 – Final – Sophia Bucal scored three goals for Milford but the hosts fell to visiting Nipmuc. Emily Haley and Elena Bon Tempo each had a goal and an assist, Stella Amour scored once, and Jill Michelson added an assist.
Sharon, 10 @ Ursuline Academy, 20 – Final
North Attleboro, 5 @ Attleboro. 0 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this match. – North Attleboro juniors Will Redding and Isa Siddiq debuted at second singles, earning a straight set win in the Rocketeer’s sweep of rival Attleboro. Redding and Siddiq won 6-2, 6-0 while the first doubles of Tomas Bentley and Vikram Senthilakumaran picked up a 6-1, 6-4 win at first doubles. Sophomore Jonah Manso (first singles), sophomore Sam Gallagher (second singles) and senior Saketh Uppuluri each won 6-0, 6-0 for North.
Franklin, 2 vs. Hopedale, 3 – Final – Franklin’s Liam Marr, Saketh Saripalli, and Vayshnav Malhotra each won but the Panthers fell under the lights to visiting Hopedale. Marr won 6-2, 6-2 at first singles while Saripalli and Malhotra picked up a 6-3, 6-4 win at first doubles.
Stoughton, 5 vs. Brockton, 0 – Final – Stoughton picked up a pair of wins over the Boxers, playing two eight game pro sets and sweeping visiting Brockton. Waseem Sablon won 8-0, 8-0 at first singles, Erik Anderson earned a 8-2, 8-1 win decision at second singles, freshman Anish Sinha took an 8-2, 8-1 win at third singles, and Hassan Khan and LJ Ferrandiz each won 8-2, 8-3, respectively.
Mansfield, 3 vs. Westwood, 2 – Final – Mansfield won all three singles matches to edge Westwood in a non-league clash. Senior Luke Nickerson won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles, senior Luke Devine picked up a 6-3, 6-2 win at second singles, and junior Nilay Pangrekar clinched the win with a 6-3, 6-0 victory at third singles.
King Philip, 3 vs. Bishop Feehan, 2 – Final – King Philip won a pair of singles matches and one more in doubles action to edge non-league rival Bishop Feehan. Nick Putney picked up a 6-0, 6-2 win at second singles while Jack Cannon grabbed a 6-1, 6-0 win at third singles. The team of Nate Ihley and Zak Ryan emerged from first doubles with a 6-1, 6-2 win.
Milford, 3 @ Medway, 2 – Final – Milford senior Riley Lynch prevailed in a three set thriller, pulling out the win to secure the victory for the Scarlet Hawks. Lynch emerged with a 7-5, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4 at second singles while classmate Brendan O’Shaughnessy earned a 6-1, 6-2 win at first singles and senior Cam Doherty picked up a 6-2, 6-4 win at third singles.
Attleboro, 3 @ North Attleboro, 2 – Final – The Bombardiers went on the road and took two wins in singles action and prevailed in three sets at second doubles to secure the win over rival North Attleboro. The team of Jordan Benardo and Rena Danho battled back to earn a 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 win at second doubles to clinch the win. Ella Lynch-Bartek added a 2-6, 6-4, 6-0 comeback win at first and Bri Aronne notched a 6-1, 6-0 win at second singles for Attleboro. North’s Olivia Wills won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles and the team of Haley Strom and Sam Martino prevailed 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), retired/injury.
Franklin, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – Final – Oliver Ames defended home court, sweeping singles action and grabbing one more win in doubles play. Sarah Leger won 6-3, 6-1 at first singles and Maura Kiernan picked up a 6-0, 6-0 win at second singles. The team of Eva Belanger and Morgan Vasiliou emerged with a 6-4, 6-4 win at first doubles. Franklin’s Krissy Stoyonova and Vagmi Kantheti won 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 at second doubles.
Stoughton @ Brockton, 3:45
King Philip, 4 @ Bishop Feehan, 1 – Final
King Philip, 0 @ Taunton, 3 – Final – Taunton avenged a loss to the Warriors from earlier in the season to get a 3-0 sweep (25-10, 25-20, 25-23) on Senior Night and qualify for the state tournament for the third straight season. Senior Gage Kingman had a team-high 13 kills for the Tigers, senior Alex Tavares added nine kills, and senior Jason Khang chipped in with seven digs. King Philip’s Eric Altobello had a team-high nine kills, Jimmy Peterson added five kills, Kyle Desrochers added 14 digs, and Cam Corey dished out 21 assists for the Warriors, who finish their inaugural regular season at 14-3.
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.
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.”
“We knew we’d face Sinacola and he’s a great pitcher, and we knew it’d be a great game,” said Franklin head coach Zach Brown. “So we talked about competition, and I think sometimes people forget that competition is back and forth — they answer, then you answer, back and forth. So that was the message prior to the game. We knew there’d be a lot of swings, we just had to stay the course and trust each other. North Attleboro is a great baseball team, they made it really difficult for us today, so hats off to them.
“I thought Jake did a great job just setting the tone. Each time we needed him to settle us back down, he was able to do that.”
North Attleboro’s Zach DeMattio connected on a two-out solo home run in the bottom of the first inning to put Big Red ahead 1-0.
But Franklin sophomore Jack Nally answered in the top half of the second, ripping a line drive solo shot down into the bleachers in left field to make it 1-1.
“[Nick] pitched his tail off, there’s not much more to say,” said North Attleboro coach Mike Hart. “He did everything we asked him to. The kids have been behind him all year. He’s a great leader for us too. We knew scoring chances would be tough to come by for both teams. You have to take them when you have the opportunity.”
Those would be the only runs that the starting pitchers gave up, though each team had a golden chance to take the lead late in the game.
North had its best chance in the bottom of the seventh when Nick Raneri reached on a one-out single, and pinch runner Nolan Buckley went all the way to third after an errant pickoff attempt. The Rocketeers tried for a suicide squeeze to bring the winning run in, but Franklin’s defense was prepared.
Noviello purposely pitched high and junior catcher Jake Macchi fired down the third base line. Shortstop Alex Haba made a nice play to get back to the bag, took the throw, and then ran down the runner for the second out. Noviello struck out the next batter to end the inning.
“We had talked about it and how we wanted to defend it,” Brown said. “We decided that if they were going to do it, it’d be the first pitch so we went pitch out there and we were fortunate enough to get it done. And our shortstop did a great job coming over the top of that play, because that’s not an easy play. The guys did a great job executing it.”
“We’ve been aggressive all season, I’m not going to make any excuses for doing it,” Hart said about the decision. “I thought it was the time to do it…that’s the way we play the game and that’s how we’re going to continue to do it.”
That momentum carried into the top of the eighth for the Panthers. Evan Wendell (walk) and Scott Elliott (single) reached and then advanced a base on a throwing error. After going up 3-0, Haba was intentionally walked to load the bases.
That put an end to Sinacola’s day but senior Ben Arrighi came in and got the job done. The senior made a nice play on a grounder near the first base line to get the force out at home and got a swinging strikeout for the third out to escape the inning without any damage.
“That’s his spot right there,” Hart said of Arrighi. “His innings are down because our starters have been able to go deep into games. I give him a lot of credit. He came in with some serious guts and got the job done for us in that inning.”
Noviello didn’t slow down in the bottom of the eighth, sandwiching a pair of strikeouts around a pop up to keep the momentum on the Panthers’ side.
Nally got things started in the top of the ninth with a leadoff single and then stole second. Shane O’Neil laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Nally over, and the sophomore scored on a base hit from senior Michael Langmeyer to make it 2-1.
Langmeyer stole second, took third on a groundout, and crossed the plate on an RBI single from Colby Fitzgibbons. Elliott followed with a walk to put runners on first and second and then Haba — who had a two-run home run taken away by a leaping grab from North’s Nathan Pearce in the sixth inning — delivered the knock out blow with a three-run bomb over the press box at Community Field to give Franklin a 6-1 lead.
“[Alex] has been real steady for us,” Brown said. “He really stepped up big and delivered in a big spot for us. We really needed those insurance runs to beat a team like that because North is capable of scoring in bunches.”
Franklin senior Bryan Woelfel needed just 10 pitches to set North down in order in the ninth inning to close the door.
Franklin baseball finishes the regular season 17-5 overall and 12-4 in the Hockomock. If King Philip defeats Mansfield on Thursday, the Panthers will share the Kelley-Rex title with the Hornets. Franklin will find out its postseason fate June 3rd (Super 8) or June 5th (D1 South). North Attleboro (16-2 overall, 12-2 Hock) is back in action on Wednesday against Milford.
Attleboro, 1 @ Franklin, 2 – Final (8 Inn.) – Franklin senior Colby Fitzgibbons laced a two-out single into left center field to drive in Shane O’Neil as the Panthers walked off with a win over Attleboro. Fitzgibbons had two hits on the day, Steve Luttazi had an RBI, and Jake Macchi had a hit and a run scored for Franklin. Bryan Woelfel struck out 10, walked one, and scattered six hits in 6.1 innings of work. Attleboro threatened with runners on first and third in the top of the seventh but Jason Ulrickson (1.2 IP, win, 2 K) made an appearance in relief, getting a strikeout and then Attleboro was caught trying to steal home. Attleboro’s Matt Callahan (two hits) reached base four times, Alvaro Espinal had two hits and an RBI and Ryan Morry had a hit and a run scored. Eoin Kelleher allowed just four hits while striking out six.
Canton, 5 @ Foxboro, 10 – Final – Foxboro exploded for six runs in the fourth inning to break open a 3-3 game and never looked back to beat the visiting Bulldogs. Robert Theriault had a big day for the Warriors, going 3-for-4 with three RBI while Joe Freitas (RBI, two runs) and Joe Cavaleri (run) each had two hits. Chad Bearce added a double and an RBI for Foxboro. Steve McLaughlin struck out four, walked four, and allowed six hits in four innings of work while Sean Yoest struck out four and allowed five hits in three innings of relief. Canton’s Matt Pigeon went 3-for-3 with two runs, Nate Quan had three hits and two RBI, and Jake Aronson had two hits and an RBI.
King Philip, 1 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final – Mansfield was limited to just one hit but cashed in on its opportunities to beat King Philip. Sophomore Chris Jenkins drew a walk in the third inning, stole second and came around to score on two passed balls. Jenkins reached on an error in the fifth and came around to score after a throwing error on Michael Hargadon’s bunt. Sam Nugent executed a safety squeeze to bring Hargadon home from third. Connor Sheehan earned the win, striking out seven with one walk and six hits allowed in a complete game effort. KP’s David Morganelli was the tough-luck loser, allowing just one hit with seven strikeouts and four walks in a complete game. Liam Rohan had a hit and a run scored for KP.
North Attleboro, 6 @ Milford, 2 – Final – North Attleboro went on the road and clinched at least a share of the Davenport division title with a win over Milford. Big Red’s offense got off to a strong start with two runs in the first inning behind a Nick Sinacola RBI double (Brendan McHugh single, run) and a Zach DeMattrio triple and passed ball. Sinacola added another RBI in the third with a single that plated Aidan Harding. Milford cut the deficit to two with a run in the bottom of the third when Justin Applebee scored on a single from Matt Shaver. North responded with two runs in the top of the fourth when Nate Pearce drove in a pair with a double. Big Red added an insurance run in the sixth when Sinacola (three hits) singled and eventually scored on another double from Pearce. Aidan Wilde added an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh for Milford. Peter Cohen pitched a complete game for North, scattering six hits while striking out three.
Oliver Ames, 5 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames did all of its damage offensive during the second inning, plating all five of its runs in the frame. Jacob Levine (2-for-4) and Mitch Goulet each had two RBI hits in the inning while Jake Erlich had two hits and had a strong game behind the plate for the visiting Tigers. Michael Mulrean struck out nine with just two walks in 5.2 innings of work without allowing an earned run. Jakob Roberts was 2-for-3 with an RBI and Logan Lawrence added two hits for Taunton.
Stoughton, 7 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Stoughton’s Zak Paquette needed just 80 pitches for the complete game shutout, allowing four hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Evan Gibb (2-for-3, three runs, stolen base) and Mike Nazzaro (2-for-3, RBI) led the Black Knights’ offense.
Franklin, 4 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Franklin junior Jackie Cherry struck out nine in a complete game shutout to lead the Panthers to a win on the road. Franklin scored a pair of runs in the first, built a 3-0 lead in the second and tacked on an insurance run in the seventh inning. Ally Shea went 2-for-2 with an RBI and Maddy White reached base twice, scored once, and had an RBI. Franklin’s Peyton Arone helped end an Attleboro threat in the fourth, making a catch in left and getting a double play at second.
Foxboro, 10 @ Canton, 5 – Final
Mansfield, 0 @ King Philip, 12 – Final (6 inn.) – King Philip’s Jess Bonner launched a pair of home runs and Faith Turinese threw a no-hitter as the Warriors blanked Mansfield. Bonner finished with five RBI, Allison Kuchy had a three-run home run, and Hailey McCasland contributed three hits for KP. Turinese didn’t issue a walk and struck out seven in a complete game effort.
Milford, 5 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – Milford junior Emily Hartman had a day to remember at the play and senior Emily Piergustavo set a new program record in a win on the road at North. Hartman went 3-for-4 with a double and a three-run home run, finishing with five RBI. Piergustavo had two hits, including the 144th of her career to set a new Scarlet Hawk record. Kate Irwin (double, triple) and Maddie Bonvino each added two hits. Kelley Reichert earned the win, allowing just five hits with four strikeouts in a complete game. North scored its lone run in the fifth inning when Olivia Capobianco drove in Andrea Miceli with a single.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Taunton, 9 – Final – Jaime Brown had two hits and knocked in three runs and Kya Enos added two hits and an RBI to lead Taunton past OA. McKenzie McAloon also had two hits, including a double, while scoring two runs. Jaylin Couto struck out nine with two walks and five hits allowed in seven innings of work. OA scored three runs in the first inning with Caroline Mahoney (1-for-3, RBI, run) knocking in Lexie Campbell (2-for-4, run) on a double to right center. Katie Abreu and Rachel Han each knocked in a run in the first inning as well.
Sharon, 0 @ Stoughton, 12 – Final (6 Inn.) – Stoughton’s offense belted a season-high 19 hits while Gina Carafa allowed just two hits in six innings of work for the Black Knights. Jordan Lyons led the offense by going 4-for-4, Brianna Ferrandiz was 3-for-4 with an RBI, Karly Estremera had a two-run double, and Val Whalen and Sarah McGrath each had two hits and an RBI.
Stoughton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 20 – Final – Oliver Ames’ Eric LeBlanc was one of nine Tigers to find the back of the net in a win over Stoughton. LeBlanc scored his 100th career goal in the win while Nick Gillis recorded the shutout.
Canton, 11 @ Taunton, 10 – Final – Maggie Connolly and Leah McClellan both had hat tricks for the Bulldogs, as Canton pulled out a second straight one-goal win. Connolly also had an assist. Kaitlyn Goyetch scored twice and assisted on two other goals, while Molly Colburn and Caroline Tourgee both scored twice and Alexa Maffeo had a goal and an assist.
Attleboro, 3 @ Sharon, 17 – Final – Sharon coach Shara Ginthwain said that the Eagles “played great as a team” with six different goal scorers and assists on eight of the goals. Rose Wald made eight saves in the Sharon goal.
King Philip, 18 @ Milford, 2 – Final – Lauren Anderson paced the Warriors with four goals and Caroline Klim had a hat trick and an assist. KP also got a pair of goal from Ali Wilson and single goals from Claire Lawler, Callie Sullivan, Victoria Tormey, and Christina Hathaway.
North Attleboro, 17 @ Mansfield, 19 – Final – Katy Garvin scored seven times and Hannah Sternburg made 15 saves as Mansfield pulled out an important win on senior night. Olivia Murray scored a hat trick and Ann Maher, Hayliegh Crawford, Lauren Whitman, and Emily Vigeant all scored two goals for the Hornets. Maggie Danehy also scored in the win. Katie Lindstrom scored nine goals for the Rocketeers in the loss.
Franklin, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Franklin freshman Liam Marr didn’t lose a game in his match and the Panthers won all five in straight sets to pick up a win on the road. Marr won 6-0, 6-0 at second singles, Rohan Herur recorded a 6-2, 6-0 win at first singles, and Saketh Saripalli won 6-1, 6-1 at third singles. The team of Tony Calderone and Shoumik Sompally prevailed 6-2, 6-1 at first doubles and Tyler DiPalma and Tyler St. Marie lost just one game in a 6-1, 6-0 decision at second doubles.
Foxboro, 5 @ Canton, 0 – Final
Mansfield, 1 @ King Philip, 4 – Final – King Philip’s Sean Desroches and Nate Ihley rallied from a one-set deficit to pick up a win at first doubles in KP’s 4-1 win over Mansfield. Desroches and Ihley won 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 while Nick Ihley and Aidan Ignatius prevailed 6-2, 6-2 at second doubles. Nick Putney dropped just two games in a 6-2, 6-0 win at second singles and Jack Cannon earned a 6-2, 7-5 win at third singles for KP. Mansfield’s Luke Nickerson won 6-1, 6-4 at first singles.
Milford, 1 @ North Attleboro, 4 – Final – North Attleboro’s Alex Rinaldi and Sam Gallagher didn’t drop a game in their match at second doubles to help the Rocketeers beat Milford. Rinaldi and Gallagher won 6-0, 6-0 while Ben Pfeffer and Vikram Senthilakumaran won 6-2, 6-1 at first doubles. Richard Bermudez and Jonah Manso both won 6-0, 6-0 at first and second singles, respectively, for North. Milford’s Zach Austin won 6-3, 6-4 at third singles.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Taunton, 5 – Final – Taunton lost just two games total between its five matches to move within a game of qualifying for the state tournament. Francois Hennaux won 6-1, 6-1 at first singles while Brett Beaulieu (second), Mike Briggs (third), Charlie Fiske and Dylan Kullas (first doubles) and Kyle Dennehy and Trevor Hart (second doubles) all won 6-0, 6-0.
Sharon, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Sharon senior Andre Olivei prevailed in a tiebreaker to pick up a win over Stoughton freshman Waseem Sablon to complete the Eagles’ sweep. Danujan Thirumavalavan won 6-0, 6-1 at second singles and Ashwin Sreevatsa didn’t lose a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at third singles. Max Brody and Russell Rapaport won 6-0, 6-0 at first doubles and Alex Aspel and Jake Ross won 6-2, 6-0 at second doubles for Sharon.
Attleboro, 3 @ Franklin, 2 – Final
Canton, 0 @ Foxboro, 5 – Final – Freshman Pamela Nelson prevailed with a 6-3, 6-4 win at second singles over Canton freshman Natalie Keppler in a battle of two of the best young players in the league to help Foxboro earn the win. Sophia Prinos won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles and Kayla Prag won 6-1, 6-3 at third singles. The team of Sarah Prag and Julia Muise earned a 6-1, 6-2 win at first doubles and Olivia Dantona and Kendall Milender picked up a 6-1, 6-3 victory at second doubles.
King Philip, 5 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final – King Philip won all three singles matches in straight sets in a sweep at Mansfield. Erin Regnier won 6-1, 6-1 at first singles, Meghan Sepich picked up a 6-0, 6-1 win at second singles, and Caitlin Gonser was victorious (6-2, 6-2) at third singles. Grace Ely and Mia Valencia prevailed with a 6-2, 7-6 (4) win at first doubles and Lucy Barnard and Katarina Schneider won 6-2, 6-0 at second doubles.
North Attleboro, 5 @ Milford, 0 – Final – North Attleboro earned its third straight 5-0 sweep, this time taking down Milford on the road. Jordan Willis won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles, Emily Chiasson didn’t lose a game at second singles, and Tara Nair won 6-1, 6-2 at third singles. Azka Siddiq and Shurobhi Nandi teamed up for a 6-2, 6-0 win at first doubles and Leah Marceau and Samantha Martino won 6-2, 6-2 at second doubles.
Taunton, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Taunton’s second doubles team of Amanda Pugh and Brianna Fevrier emerged with a win in a three-set thriller to help the visiting Tigers pick up a win. Pugh and Fevrier won 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-2 to help Taunton win. McKenzie Lucie and Samantha Martin won 6-2, 7-5 at first doubles and Jillian Pagliuca picked up a 6-2, 7-5 win at first singles. OA’s Tate Hadges lost just two matches in a 6-1, 6-1 win at second singles and Maura Kiernan picked up a 6-2, 6-1 win at third singles for the host Tigers.
Stoughton, 0 @ Sharon, 5 – Final – Sharon’s Alysha Posternak played in her first varsity match, teaming with with Lauren Glass to pick up a 6-2, 6-2 win in doubles play. Emily Wen won 6-2, 6-0, at first singles, Katie Merport earned a 6-0, 6-0 victory at second singles, and Sachi Bhasin didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 decision at third singles for the Eagles.
Milford @ Catholic Memorial, 6:00
Taunton, 3 vs. Dighton-Rehoboth, 0 – Final
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – Franklin senior Steven Luttazi hadn’t had his best performance at the plate, held without a hit through the first seven innings. But his day changed with one swing of the bat.
When the Panthers needed him the most, the senior delivered a clutch two-out single to drive in the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth inning. Junior Jake Macchi followed with a monster two-run double and Franklin prevailed from Frothingham Park with a 5-2 decision in eight innings.
“It was a tie ballgame, senior at the plate, a kid who’s worked really hard in the offseason…I feel like he was pressing early on but he let the game come to him and put a good swing on it and sparked us,” said Franklin head coach Zach Brown. “Then Jake followed it up with the big blow.”
Franklin was three outs from earning a win in regulation, but Oliver Ames rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. But instead of wilting, the Panthers responded — all with two outs.
Senior Colby Fitzgibbons drew a two-out walk from the nine hole, and after stealing second, junior Alex Haba took first after another walk. In stepped Luttazi, who laced a 1-0 pitch into center field to bring pinch runner Shane O’Neil home.
Macchi then launched the first pitch he saw into deep left center field resulting in a two-run double and a three-run lead.
“It was one of those early New England high school baseball games,” Brown said. “OA is really well coached, they play a real sound game. We’re lucky to get out of here with an extra inning win. It was a character win for us. We were frustrated with the way we played in the opener, and we let a two-run lead bleed away here but the guys showed a lot of resolve and a lot of character, and we got a lot of contributions from guys up and down the lineup.”
Sophomore Will Pacheco, who escaped a jam in the bottom of the seventh, retired the side in order in the bottom of the eighth to earn his first varsity win.
Franklin built a 2-0 lead by scoring solo runs in the top of the second and the third, but Oliver Ames clawed back with a run in the fifth and the tying run in the seventh. OA senior Matt Muir reached with a one-out single, stole second, and came around to score on a double from classmate Nick Zwerle to tie the game.
OA had runners on first and second with one out, but Pacheco got a big strikeout, and Scott Elliott made a nice catch in foul territory in left field to send the game into extras.
“The kids showed a lot of heart there at the end to rally,” said OA head coach Joe Abarr. “We’ll reset…we’ll try to get our timing right with our hitters and then try to figure out our rotation, and see what happens from there.”
Elliott had a hand in both of Franklin’s first two runs. In the top of the second, the junior led off with a single and took second on a fielding error. He took third on a groundout from Jake Noviello and then scored on a bases loaded infield single from Haba to make it 1-0.
Macchi singled to lead off the top of the third and advanced to second base on a balk. Elliott delivered with an RBI double to bring Macchi home for a 2-0 lead.
“Scott has been doing a real nice job,” Brown said. “He’s been working hard, has had great at-bats, really competitive. He’s a hockey guy so he has that hand-eye coordination and we’re just excited with where he’s at.”
Oliver Ames cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the fifth inning. Muir drilled a triple into center field, through the branches of the tree at Frothingham. Muir came home to score on a groundout from Zwerle.
As a team, Oliver Ames posted just five hits.
“A lot of is just timing,” Abarr said. “You see it click with some guys, like Muir today, he came on line. But some of the guys we’re dependent on just haven’t picked up the in-season rhythm yet. The kids will come around…Franklin figured it out in the last inning there.”
Franklin senior Bryan Woelfel got into a nice rhythm over his 6.1 innings of work, allowing five hits while striking out seven.
“Bryan worked really hard in the offseason and was throwing a lot,” Brown said. “He did a good job building up his arm so that he can last longer. Then Will Pacheco came in and slammed the door for us.”
Oliver Ames senior Michael Mulrean had a strong outing in relief for the Tigers, striking out four in four shutout innings of work with just four hits.
“He was phenomenal, I was very impressed with him,” Abarr said of Mulrean. “There were a lot of positives that came out of that game, obviously we want the win, but a lot of guys stepped up and showed what they’re capable of. Mike did awesome, he kept us in the ballgame.”
Oliver Ames (0-2, 0-2) looks to bounce back on the same day when it hits the road to play at New Bedford.