ATTLEBORO, Mass. — Thanks to some aggressive baserunning and a fantastic pitching performance from Russell Dunlap, the North Attleboro baseball team avenged their loss earlier in the season to Attleboro with an 11-3 win at Hayward Field in Attleboro.
Despite the game being played in Attleboro, it was a home game for North as the game was previously scheduled to be played at Community Field before a time change necessitated the location be switched.
The Red Rocketeers got off to a quick start in the bottom of the first, as Jared Penta singled and stole second and then advanced to third on a Nick Raneri groundout. A wild pitch then brought Penta home to give North a 1-0 lead. Later in the inning, Todd Robinson singled and then stole second and came around to score on a throwing error by the catcher trying to nab him stealing third.
After Robinson scored, Jake Palmer singled and was brought home by Shawn Watters’ double to left to give North a 3-0 lead after an inning of play.
North’s aggressiveness on the basepaths paid dividends, as it tallied five steals in the game.
“We were just trying to put the pressure on, that’s the kind of team we are, that’s what we need to be, aggressive, and I know the kids really like to be,” North Attleboro manager Mike Hart said about his team’s strategy on the bases.
Attleboro picked up a run of its own in the top of the second, as Lorenzo Wilson singled and stole second and then advanced to third on a single by Ryan Morry. Wilson scored on a balk when North attempted to pick off Morry, who left early for second. Back-to-back strikeouts by Dunlap (CG, three hits, six strikeouts), stranded Morry at second.
“That was his first varsity start, not his first time pitching varsity this year, but his first start, he did a great job mixing it up and showed a lot of poise in his first time out there,” Hart said about his starter.
In the bottom of the second, the North bats got back to work, as Kyle Briere singled, stole second, and then came around to score on a hard-hit grounder to short by Brendan McHugh that Attleboro committed an error on. However, Eoin Kelleher (4.2 innings pitched, nine hits, four strikeouts) would strike out the next batter and strand McHugh on first.
Attleboro battled back from there, picking up a run in the top of the fourth, as Camden Fitzpatrick walked, stole second, Wilson walked, and on Fitzpatrick’s attempt to steal third, the throw hit the batter’s helmet and went out of play, which allowed Fitzpatrick score and moved Wilson to third. Wilson would then score on a double by Mason Houle, but Houle was stranded at second after Dunlap struck out the next batter to end the inning and leave North with a one-run lead.
The Rocketeers would get both runs back in the bottom of the fourth, as McHugh doubled home Nate MacKinnon from first after MacKinnon walked, and McHugh would come home on a sac fly from Penta. North Attleboro added another insurance run in the bottom of the fifth, as Robinson singled and stole second and Jake Palmer singled him home.
With a 7-3 lead in hand, North wasn’t done yet, as it tacked on four runs in the bottom of the sixth. After back-to-back singled by MacKinnon and McHugh to lead off the inning, Nick Raneri was hit by a pitch with one out and Robinson then singled home Joe Barrows (who ran for MacKinnon) and McHugh to extend the lead to 9-3.
Raneri scored on a passed ball, while Robinson scored on a throw to second to try to catch Watters stealing, who reached on a walk earlier in the inning. Kyle Bolger followed with a single, but Morry, in a relief appearance, was able to strike out the next batter to end the inning. Dunlap would get the first two batters he faced out in the top of the seventh, but Nick McMahon reached on an error but Dunlap was able to retire the next batter to give North an 11-3 win and finish the complete game.
Tuesday’s game was the final regular season game for both teams before playoff’s start.
“We got guys feeling good about themselves at the right time, and I’m interested to see what we can do,” Hart said about North Attleboro heading into the playoffs.
With the win, North finishes the regular season at 11-9. Attleboro closes out the regular season with an identical 11-9 record.
Oliver Ames, 7 @ Foxboro, 5 – Final (13 inn.) – For the second straight game, Foxboro rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning to force extras but saw the visiting team earn the win. With the win, OA keeps its postseason hopes alive with one game to go. OA plated five runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 5-2 lead before the Warriors rallied to score three runs in the seventh to send the game to extras for the second straight day. After five scoreless innings, OA tacked on two runs in the top of the 13th. Freshman Jack Richardson, who earned the win in relief, led off the inning with a single and Matt McCormack followed with a base hit of his own. Cam Perron brought the go-ahead run in with a sac fly and the second run scored on a wild pitch. McCormack (two runs) and Jake Erlich (RBI) each had two hits for OA while Kyle O’Connor had two RBI. Michael Devlin (RBI, run), Joe Cavaleri (RBI), and Sean Yoest (run) each had two hits for Foxboro while Cam Prescott was strong in relief, tossing 7.1 innings with six strikeouts, allowing one run on five hits.
Mansfield, 1 @ Walpole, 2 – Final – Mansfield took a lead in the third inning but Walpole used a pair of doubles in the sixth inning to jump in front and beat the Hornets. Kyle Moran was strong on the mound, allowing just four hits and one walk while striking out five. He also had one Mansfield’s two hits.
North Attleboro, 8 vs. Bishop Feehan, 3 – Final – North Attleboro jumped ahead in the first inning and senior Todd Robinson (3-for-3, two stolen bases, two runs, four RBI) belted his third home run of the season as the Rocketeers ran away with a win over Feehan. The Rocketeers took a 3-1 lead after an inning of play when Robinson drove in Brendan McHugh (HBP), Nick Raneri scored on a double steal, and Shawn Watters singled Robinson home. In the second inning, Robinson increased the Rocketeers’ lead with a two-out, two-run home to to make it 5-1. With the bases loaded in the fourth, Robinson was hit by a pitch to bring McHugh in and sophomore Jared Penta scored on a fielder’s choice from Jake Palmer. Robinson added another run by stealing home. Matt Seavey pitched a complete game, striking out six with three walks.
North Attleboro, 5 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final – Foxboro took a 1-0 lead into the sixth inning but the Rocketeers rallied to score five runs in the sixth inning, including four with two-outs, to upend the Warriors. Mandi Hanewich and Olivia Capobianco had back-to-back hits for the Rocketeers, and Abby Gallagher (double, two hits) drove in Hanewich to tie the game. With two outs, Katie Daby, Emily Nardelli and Alex Moulson (two hits, stolen base) strung together three consecutive singles to bring in four runs. Junior Bella Erti allowed just one earned run on two hits, striking out eight.
Franklin, 0 vs. Bridgewater-Raynham, 1 – Final
King Philip, 5 vs. Walpole, 4 – Final
Taunton, 6 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Taunton eighth-grader Ava Venturelli blasted a grand slam, her first career home run, in the sixth inning to spark a six-run frame that helped the Tigers beat the Hornets. Mansfield took a lead in the third when Megan Letendre put the ball in play and Sydney Woods came in to score. In the sixth, Peyton Ceglarski walked and Paige Silvia and Tayah DaCosta followed with base hits to load the bases for the Tigers. Venturelli then put one over the left field fence to put Taunton ahead. Hanna Aldrich drove in Jaime Brown with a double and scored on a squeeze from McKenzie McAloon to make it 6-1. Kelsey White earned the win, limiting Mansfield to six hits while striking out 13. Woods, Kara Bendanillo, and Mady Bendanillo (triple) each had two hits for the Hornets.
Canton, 8 @ Dartmouth, 7 – Final – Canton’s David Allen had one of his best games of the season and Dan Cohen made several key plays throughout to help the Bulldogs get a win on the road. Canton peppered the Dartmouth cage but Charles Gamache thwarted plenty of Bulldog chances. Allen had three goals, Andrew Canto added three goals and an assist, Griffin Roach scored once and had three helpers, and Tommy Vaughan chipped in with a goal and an assist.
Attleboro @ North Attleboro, 5:15
Foxboro, 5 vs. Xaverian, 9 – Final
Sharon, 11 vs. Pembroke, 10 – Final
North Attleboro, 18 @ Attleboro, 13 – Final
Mansfield, 22 vs. Milton, 12 – Final – Katy Garvin scored seven goals while Hayleigh Crawford and Olivia Murray each found the back of the net four times to lead the Hornets to a win over Milton. Lauren Whitman added three goals for Mansfield.
Taunton, 21 vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 0 – Final – Taunton sophomore Alana Tavares scored nine goals as the Tigers earned a big win over Coyle. Emma Sheehan added a hat trick while Mabel Smith, Tasia Lajoie, and Rosemary McGrath each scored twice for Taunton. Kamryn Li, Jade Holmes, and Kristen Hearrold each scored once while Emily Gannon made six saves in the shutout.
Franklin, 4 @ Bishop Feehan, 1 – Final – Franklin won three matches in straight sets and one more in a super tiebreaker to take care of Feehan. Rohan Herur won 6-1, 6-2 at second singles while Lucas Gulick picked up a 6-2, 6-0 win at second singles. The team of Saketh Saripalli and Vayshnav Malhotra earned a 6-1, 6-4, and the second doubles team of Saket Gandham and Shoyaib Shaik rallied for a 4-6, 7-5, 10-8 win.
King Philip, 4 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – King Philip swept both doubles matches and earned two wins in straight sets in singles action to knock off North Attleboro in a non-league clash. Nate Ihley and Jack Cannon won 6-2, 4-1 (retired) at first doubles while the team of Jake Mager and Zak Ryan picked up a 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 10-3 win at second doubles. Marco DiStefano won 6-2, 6-1 at first singles and Nick Putney won 6-1, 6-0 at second singles. North Attleboro’s Sam Gallagher didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at third singles.
Taunton, 0 @ Mansfield, 5 – Final – In a match continued from earlier in the week, Mansfield knocked off visiting Taunton. Luke Nickerson won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles, Luke Devine picked up a 6-3, 6-2 win at second singles, and Sam Donellan earned a 6-3, 6-3 win at third singles. The team of Max Bank and Sethu Odayappan prevailed 6-0, 6-1 at first doubles while Sam Shirmacher and Ben Newcomb won 6-3, 6-1 at second doubles.
King Philip, 5 vs. Walpole, 0 – Final
Franklin vs. Bishop Feehan, 4:00
Taunton, 5 vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 0 – Final
Taunton, 3 vs. Durfee, 2 – Final – Taunton earned a win over Durfee in five sets (26-28, 25-23, 18-25, 25-19, 15-11) to finish the season 11-9. Fabio Goncalves had a game to remember with a career-high 25 kills, sophomore Tyler Stewart added 12 kills, and Alex Tavares (nine blocks) chipped in with 10. Gage Kingman anchored the defense with 22 digs.
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.
Mansfield, 3 @ Xaverian, 2 – Final – Xaverian tied the game in the top of the seventh inning but the Hornets responded with the winning run in the bottom half to walk off with the win. Senior Sam Nugent (2-for-2, two runs) led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and then stole second. Mike Hargadon put a bunt down to advance the runner but a collision at first allowed Nugent to scamper around third and home for the winning run. Mansfield took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning when Hargadon drove in Jake Gerraughty and Nugent with a double. Mike Scibilia went five innings, scattering five hits and one walk, striking out two with one earned run allowed. Kyle Moran got the win in relief, allowing one run on two hits, two walks, and four strikeouts.
Sharon, 3 @ North Attleboro, 4 – Final – Sharon jumped ahead in the top of the seventh with a two-run home run but North Attleboro responded with two in the bottom half to walk off with the win. Eagles freshman Dan Zagoren smacked a two-run homer in the top of the seventh to give Sharon a 3-2 lead. In the bottom half, Shawn Watters reached on an infield error to lead off, Kyle Briere pinch ran and stole second, and Owen Harding single up middle advanced him to third. Briere scored on a slow roller single down the first base line by Brendan McHugh, moving Harding to third. North coach Mike Hart put Todd Robinson in as a pinch-runner at third and the senior rewarded him, racing home on a wild pitch for the winning run. Sharon went up 1-0 in the first on an RBI single from Noah Martinez but North sophomore Dennis Colleran scored classmate Jared Penta with an infield single to make it 1-1. North took a 2-1 lead in the fifth when McHugh drew a two-out walk and scored on a single from Penta. Matt Seavey struck out nine in five innings of work for North, allowing one earned run on four hits and three walks.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Brockton, 1 – Final
Foxboro, 17 vs. Ursuline Academy, 10 – Final – Morgan Sylvestre and Chelsea Gibbons each hit a home run and Foxboro’s offense exploded for 17 runs in a win over Ursuline Academy. Nicole Theriault had a big day offensively, going 4-for-5, and Jill Finn added three hits for Foxboro.
King Philip, 20 @ Milford, 0 – Final (5 inn.) – King Philip senior Heather Nix tossed her second straight shutout, allowing just two hits and one walk in five innings, striking out 10 to earn the win. Meghan Gorman paced the Warriors’ offense with a leadoff home run in the first, finishing with four hits and seven RBI. Paige Berdos (three-run home run) and Raegan Simeone each had three hits for the Warriors while Faith Turinese added a three-run home run.
Mansfield, 2 @ Braintree, 4 – Final – The Hornets put the tying run on base in the top of the seventh and had the go-ahead run at the plate but couldn’t connect for a timely hit, falling to Braintree on the road. The Hornets put a run on the board in the third off the bat of Ashlyn Conley (2-for-3), who doubled in Caty DeMassi (2-for-3). Mansfield added another run in the sixth when DeMassi knocked in Mady Bendanillo (2-for-4), who led off with a double. Megan Letendre and Sydney Woods also had a hit each for Mansfield. Sarah Cahill allowed six hits and struck out three for the Hornets.
Oliver Ames, 4 @ Walpole, 9 – Final – Oliver Ames had an early lead and got within one run in the fifth inning but Walpole scored four runs late to pull away with the win. OA jumped ahead with a suicide squeeze by Katie Mills (2-for-4, RBI, run) knocking in Katie Abreu (4-for-4, two runs scored) in the first inning. OA scored another in the second inning when Mollie Crabtree crossed the plate on an error. Grace Simone was 3-for-4, Kayla Georgeu was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Colleen Larson struck out two in six innings of work.
Taunton 7 vs. Bishop Feehan, 2 – Final – Taunton sophomore McKenzie McAloon led off the top of the second with her first career home run, sparking the Tigers to a big non-league win against a strong Bishop Feehan team. McAloon added a sac fly in the third to make it 2-0, Taunton added three more runs in the fourth on back-to-back doubles from Jaime Brown (two hits, two RBI) and Alexa White (3-for-4, three RBI) to make it 5-1. White then tacked on two more runs with a two-run double in the sixth. Feehan loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh but Kelsey White (7IP, 4H, 2BB, 9K 0ER) limited the Shamrocks to just one run. Paige Silvia and Ava Venturelli (double) each had two hits and scored twice for the Tigers.
Foxboro, 15 @ Bishop Feehan, 5 – Final – Junior Aidan Stapleton had a hand in five goals, helping the Warriors pick up a win on the road over Feehan. Stapleton scored twice and had three helpers, both Brendan Tully (three goals, assist) and Pete Conley (two goals, two assists) had four points, and Charlie Baughan scored a hat trick. Freshman Matt Tully made 12 saves in net for Foxboro.
Oliver Ames, 10 @ Ashland, 11 – Final – Junior Shane Kilkelly led Oliver Ames with four goals and three assists while Remi Creighton and Sandro Masciarelli each found the back of the net twice for the Tigers.
Attleboro vs. Norton, 4:00
Milford, 12 vs. Norwood, 10 – Final – Milford saw a three-goal lead disappear in the second half when Norwood tied the game at 8-8 but the Hawks scored four straight goals to earn a win over the Mustangs. Jillian Michelson, Eva Parson, Katie Maietta, Hanna Bangert, and Tatiana Martinez had strong defensive performances in front of Savannah Rosado to help preserve the win. Senior Captain Katie Drysdale scored her first goal of the season, Annie Flanagan netted three goals, Emily Haley, Sophia Bucal, and Elena Bon Tempo had two each, and Riley Campbell and Brianna Maietta both scored once for the Hawks.
Oliver Ames vs. Ursuline Academy, 4:00
Sharon, 15 @ Cardinal Spellman, 4 – Final – Sharon’s Rose Wald had a great game, making seven saves to limit the Cardinals to four goals, helping the Eagles punch their ticket to the state tournament with a win. Emma Eberhardt dominated at draws, winning 19-of-21 attempts and paced the offense with seven goals and four assists. Jenna Goldstein added four goals and an assist, Bridget McManus scored a pair of goals, Mia Lappen (goal, two assists) had three points, and Cass Barbera had a goal and an assist for the Eagles.
Milford, 0 @ Mansfield, 5 – Final – Mansfield won all three singles matches in straight sets and swept doubles play in a victory over visiting Milford. Luke Nickerson won 6-2, 6-0 at first singles, Luke Devine notched a 6-3, 6-1 win at second singles, and Nilay Pangrekar didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at third singles. The team of Dheeraj Valluru and Sam Donella picked up a 6-1, 6-3 win at first doubles while Justin Weiner and Peter Rouvalis emerged with a 4-6, 6-2, 10-7 win at second doubles.
Oliver Ames, 0 vs. Milton, 5 – Final
Stoughton, 1 @ Sharon, 4 – Final – Sharon won a pair of matches in singles action and took both doubles matches to beat Stoughton. Junior Alberto Olivei earned a 6-0, 6-2 win at second singles and freshman Rueman Bhattacharyya didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at third singles. Senior Max Brody and freshman Max Chen earned a 6-1, 6-0 win at first doubles while senior Alex Aspel and junior Jake Ross secured a 6-0, 6-0 win at second doubles. Stoughton sophomore Waseem Sablon battled to a 6-4, 6-3 win at first singles.
Taunton, 4 vs. Durfee, 1 – Final – Taunton senior Brett Beaulieu earned a win in straight sets at first singles for his 60th career victory, making him the program’s all-time wins leader. Beaulieu won 7-6, 6-0 at first singles, Charlie Fiske added a 6-2, 6-4 win at second singles, and Dylan Kullas secured a 6-1, 6-1 win at third singles. The team of Trevor Hart and Ryan Hebert dropped just two games at first doubles, winning 6-0, 6-2.
Mansfield, 4 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Mansfield went on the road and won two matches in singles action and swept doubles play to knock off host Milford. Lizzy Elsner shined in a 6-0, 6-1 win at first singles and Aryana Khosravani picked up a 6-2, 6-2 win at third singles. The team of Lauren Hobaica and Sam Sternburg recorded a 6-4, 6-3 win at first doubles while Alex Burnham and Alex Wendland prevailed 4-6, 7-5, 10-4 at second doubles. Milford’s Juliana France won 6-1, 6-1 at second singles.
Sharon, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final
Taunton, 3 @ Durfee, 2 – Final – Taunton once again swept singles play to get a close win over Durfee. Jillian Pagliuca earned a 6-2, 6-2 win at first singles, McKenzie Lucie won 6-0, 6-1 at second singles, and Jocelyn Pagliuca picked up a 6-1, 6-1 win at third singles.
King Philip, 3 vs. Bellingham, 0 – Final – King Philip improved to 13-2 on the season with its second sweep of Bellingham this season (25-8, 25-6, 25-14). Junior Kyle Desrochers had 14 service points, including five aces, and made the switch from libero to setter for the final set and recorded 11 assists. Cam Corey (four aces) and Max Armour (two aces) each had 10 service points for KP. Eric Altobello put down a team-high eight kills while Jimmy Peterson and Mike O’Brien each recorded six kills apiece.
Milford, 3 vs. Norton, 0 – Final – The Hawks defended home court to earn their 14th win of the season with a 3-0 (25-6, 25-14, 25-14) win over Norton. Milford had 12 different players record a kill, with Tiago Filadelfo putting down a team-high six kills and Zach Browne added five. Nathan LeBlanc had 10 digs for Milford.
Taunton, 3 @ Quincy, 2 – Final – Taunton rallied from a 2-1 deficit to win the final two games and the match, 3-2 (21-25, 25-18, 21-25, 25-22, 15-8) over the Presidents. Chris LaCourse led the way with 51 assists and 21 digs with Tyler Stewart (15 kills), Fabio Goncalves (14 kills), Alex Tavares (11 kills), and Gage Kingman (11 kills) having strong games at the net offensively.
Attleboro, 6 @ Franklin, 10 – Final – Franklin senior Scott Elliott blasted a two-run home run over the center field fence to lead the Panthers to a win over visiting Attleboro. Jake Macchi (two runs) and Cooper Ross (two RBI, run) each added three hits for the Panthers while Alex Haba had two hits, two RBI and two runs scored, JB Floris knocked in two runs, and Jack Nally had a double, walked twice, scored three times and had one RBI. Liam Dailey pitched for the Panthers, allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits, no walks, and two strikeouts. Attleboro Lorenzo Wilson went 2-for-4 with a double and a home run.
Milford, 9 @ Canton, 5 – Final (9 inn.) – Milford scored two runs in the top of the seventh to take a lead but Canton answered with one in the bottom half to send the game into extra innings. The Scarlet Hawks (13 hits) plated four runs in the top of the ninth inning to get the win on the road. Nick Marcolini (two walks, two runs, two RBI) and Colby Pires (two RBI) each had two hits for Milford.
North Attleboro, 9 @ Foxboro, 6 – Final – North Attleboro had three three-run innings to build a 9-0 lead and then held on as Foxboro rallied late. The Rocketeers scored three runs in second inning and then again in each the fourth and fifth innings. In the third, Shawn Watters (three stolen bases, three runs) knocked in Dennis Colleran (double) and Nick Raneri (2-for-3, two runs, walk) with a double and scored on a fielder’s choice. In the fourth, the Rocketeers cashed in on three batters being hit by pitch, a walk, a passed ball, an error and a sac fly from Jake Palmer to make it 6-0. In the fifth, Raneri scored on a drop third strike, Todd Robinson came home on a throwing error, and Watters scored on a wild pitch. Senior Matt Seavey had his best outing of the season, tossing six scoreless innings with just two hits allowed and eight strikeouts. Seavey retired the side in order in the first, second, and fourth innings. Foxboro scored used six consecutive singles in the seventh inning to score six runs. Michael Devlin (run, RBI) and Sean Yoest (two RBI) each had two hits for the Warriors.
Franklin, 14 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Franklin scored two runs in the top of the first inning and tacked on six more in the second en rout to a win over Attleboro. The Panthers put the game out of reach with six more runs in the seventh inning. Maddy White went 3-for-4 and knocked in six runs, including a two-run double in the first and a three-run home run in the seventh. Sarah Jackson launched her third home run of the year, this one a three-run shot, in the second inning to help Franklin build its lead. Jackie Cherry allowed six hits while striking out 10 batters to get the win.
Canton @ Milford – Postponed to Friday, 5/3 at 4:00.
Foxboro, 6 @ North Attleboro, 9 – Final – North Attleboro juniors Bella Erti and Ashley Cangiano each had a double in the sixth inning to help the Rocketeers rally past Foxboro. Cangiano also had a strong game defensively, picking off a runner and turned a 4-2-3 double play. Abby Gallagher, Emily Nardelli and Annabelle Hebard all scored two runs for North. Erti earned the win, striking out five and walking one.
King Philip, 9 vs. Bishop Feehan, 4 – Final – King Philip limited the Shamrocks to just two goals in each half to earn its ninth win of the season. Colin DeVellis had a team-high three goals and Chris Longobardi added two tallies for the Warriors, who led 5-2 at the break. Andrew Sajdak, Sam Mattson, Robbie Tartaglia and Wes Bishop each scored once for KP and Andrew McKinney made 10 saves in net.
King Philip, 19 @ Bishop Feehan, 11 – Final – King Philip senior Caroline Klim had 12 draw controls and recorded a team-high seven goals to lead the Warriors on the road. Jess added five goals, Olivia Tormey scored a hat trick, Dan Truini chipped in with a pair of goals, and Victoria Tormey netted one tally. Caroline Watson made 11 saves in the win.
North Attleboro, 5 @ Hopkinton, 17 – Final
Franklin, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – It was a clean sweep for Franklin’s singles players, all winning in straight sets without dropping a game. Liam Marr (first singles), Rohan Herur (second), and Vayshnav Malhotra (third) each won 6-0, 6-0, the team of Lucas Gulick and Shoumik Sompally earned a 6-3, 6-2 win while Ryan McSweeney and Thomas Broyles teamed up for a 6-1, 6-4 victory.
Foxboro, 0 @ North Attleboro, 5 – Final – North Attleboro defended home court with a sweep of visiting Foxboro in a clash of top Davenport teams. Jonah Manso battled for a 4-6, 6-3, 10-2 win at first singles, Alex Pfeffer won 6-0, 6-1 at second singles, and Sam Gallagher didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at third singles. The team of Vikram Senthilakumaran and Tomas Bentley picked up a 6-3, 6-1 win at first doubles and Saketh Uppuluri and Justin Strom battled for a 6-1, 6-3 decision at second doubles.
Taunton @ Milford – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Attleboro @ Franklin, 3:45
North Attleboro, 0 @ Foxboro, 5 – Final – The Warriors won all five matches to secure a victory against visiting North Attleboro. Pam Nelson won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles, Sarah Prag picked up a 6-2, 6-0 win at second singles, and Julia Muise secured a 6-0, 6-1 win at third singles. The team of Kendall Milender and Paige Krockta prevailed 6-4, 6-4 at first doubles while Maggie McAuliffe and Neha Jammula emerged with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 win at second doubles for Foxboro.
CANTON, Mass. – Entering Monday’s contest with Canton, the North Attleboro baseball team had just two wins in its first eight games.
The defending D2 State Champions had just finished warmups when head coach Mike Hart gathered his team in, delivering a passionate pregame plea for his Rocketeers to play to the best of their abilities.
The speech seemed to light a fire under the Rocketeers, scoring three runs in the first inning to set the tone for a 7-4 win on the road over Canton.
“We have to play the game the right way and we have a certain expectation to play a certain way,” Hart said of the pregame talk.
“I thought we’ve been playing really good baseball, just haven’t been making those winning plays. We’re starting to see that more and more as we’re going through. We played well today and got the win. Now we just have to continue to have those high expectations and put in the same effort each game.”
While North Attleboro’s big first inning was canceled by a three-run second from the Bulldogs, the tone had been set. The Rocketeers cashed in on bases-loaded situations in both the third and fifth innings and tacked on two more key insurance runs in the sixth inning for the win.
For the Bulldogs, it was a matter of missed chances to limit the Rocketeers. A trio of errors gave North second chances, while walks and wild pitches also hurt Canton’s chances.
North sophomore Jared Penta singled on the first pitch of the game, stole second, and came around to score when senior Jake Palmer singled, giving the Rocketeers a lead just five pitches into the contest. Senior Brendan McHugh reached when Canton couldn’t handle a potential double play ball up the middle, and both runners advanced on a wild pitch.
Sophomore Dennis Colleran brought a run home with a sacrifice fly and senior Todd Robinson smacked a single up the middle to bring McHugh in for a 3-0 lead. Canton starter junior Chris Rota escaped further damage, getting a fielder’s choice and a strikeout, stranding runners at second and third.
“I think, if anything, it just gives us confidence,” Hart said of the early runs. “It gives our pitcher confidence and everyone in the lineup. They see the guys in front of them are hitting so that carries over to them.”
In the bottom of the second, senior Max Macort earned a one-out walk and sophomore Sawyer Julier-Albert singled to put runners on first and second. North Attleboro senior starter Matt Wanless got a pop up to get to two outs but the Bulldogs were able to score three runs.
Senior Mike Konzal hit a line drive to bring Macort home and senior Matt Pigeon doubled to right field to bring in two more runs. North Attleboro limited the damage when senior Shawn Watters hit a relay throw to third, preventing a triple for Pigeon.
The Rocketeers quickly jumped back ahead, putting a run up in the top of the third. Colleran and senior Nick Raneri draw back-to-back walks and Robinson that could have potentially been a double play. Rota got back-to-back ground balls to third, and sophomore Steve Burbank got the lead runner both times with a throw home. With two outs, Robison came home on a wild pitch with senior Ryan Warren up at bat.
Rota issued another walk to load the bases again but got a fly ball to right for the third out.
“It comes down to mental mistakes,” said Canton head coach Ben Shuffain. “You can’t blame the kids for physical errors because they happen in baseball, especially high school baseball. But you have to be able to come back from it, let it go, and move on. Have to have a short memory.”
Canton had the winning run 90 feet away in the bottom half after senior Paul Corcoran doubled and moved to third, but Wanless induced a ground ball with Raneri making a nice scoop at first for the third out.
Robinson opened the fifth with a single and junior Russell Dunlap reached on a bunt. Senior pinch hitter Jake Carroll singled, giving the Rocketeers the bases loaded with no outs for the second time in the game. After getting an out with a shallow fly ball to left, Penta hit one deep enough for a sacrifice fly to score Robinson. Canton reliever senior Kevin McGonigle got a swinging strikeout for the third out.
“We left some runners on base but I’ll give Canton’s pitchers credit, they kept us off balance in certain at-bats and certain counts,” Hart said. “They made plays when they needed it.
“We’ve been grinding through some situations but we’re starting to finally come through with the plays we need. We’re trying to get guys more used to the varsity competition and meeting the expectations we have.”
North tacked on key insurance runs in the sixth inning. Back-to-back singles (from Colleran and Raneri) and then a fielder’s choice put pinch runner Joe Barrows and Robinson on the corners. After Robinson stole second, Dunlap slapped a deep rouble to right to bring both runners and a 7-3 lead.
Canton got one back in the bottom half when Julier-Albert and pinch hitter junior Lucas Bryant both singled, the former coming in to score on an infield error from the Rocketeers to make it 7-4.
Rocketeer junior reliever Kyle Briere allowed just one base runner (walk) in 1.2 innings of relief, striking out one to get the save.
North Attleboro baseball (2-4 Hockomock, 3-6 overall) is scheduled to play at home on Wednesday against King Philip. Canton (3-5, 5-5) will try to snap a two-game skid when it hosts Taunton on the same day.
Mansfield, 10 vs. Foxboro, 3 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. – Mansfield held a 2-1 lead through four innings of play but scored eight runs in the final three innings to pull away from Foxboro. The Warriors scored in the first inning as Anthony Mollica walked, advanced to second on a passed ball, took third on a ground out, and scored on an RBI triple by Joe Cavaleri. Mansfield answered back with two runs in the top of the second. Kyle Moran led off with a double and Eric Longley reached on an error. Both advanced on a wild pitch and Moran scored on a groundout from Nick Dumouchel. Longley scored on a double from Connor Smith.
In the fifth, Sam Nugent reached on an error, stole second and third, and scored on a sac fly from Dan Saraceno. Jake Gerraughty, who walked and stole second, scored on an RBI single from Moran to make it 4-1. Tim Rockett (John Carney single), Doumouchel, Chris Jenkins (3 RBI), and Nugent scored in the sixth inning while Will Giffen and Brandon Kemp came around for runs in the seventh inning.
Moran got the win for the Hornets, allowing three hits and one walk over five innings of work, striking out eight eight one earned run allowed. Foxboro sophomore Cam Prescott had a solid outing, allowing five hits and one walk in five innings of work, striking out three with five runs allowed but just one of them earned.
King Philip, 3 vs. Sharon, 2 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. – Sharon loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh but could only push across one run as the Warriors escaped the new Taunton turf field with a win. Junior Alec Filipkowski brought in a run with a sacrifice fly but KP starter Terry Murray (CG, 5H, 1BB, 2R, 0ER, 5K) got his fifth strikeout to end the game. KP sophomore Jake Silveria singled and took third on an error and scored on a double from Zach Zarba to make it 1-0 in the second inning.
KP added two more runs in the top of the fifth. Tom Weir reached on an error, stole second and third, and scored on an RBI single from Robbie Jarest. Jarest stole second and took third on a pop up, then came home when a throw from the catcher back to the pitcher got away. Sharon got on the board in the sixth as Filipkowski got to second on a two-base error and then came in to score on an infield error on a hit by Jared Reef.
Sharon junior Max LeBlanc pitched a complete game, striking out six while allowing four hits and two walks. He allowed a total of three runs but just on earned.
North Attleboro, 4 @ Taunton, 6 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. – In a back and forth contest, Taunton scored three runs in the top bottom of the fifth and added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth to get the win. North jumped out to a 2-0 lead, scoring in the first inning (Evan Melo walk, stolen base, to third on Danny MacDougall fly ball, scored on Josh Lajoie’s RBI groundout) and in the third inning (Lucas Martins walk, to second on Gavin Leahy grounder, and scored on an infield error).
North cut the deficit in half with a run int he top of the fifth (Russell Dunlap walked, took second on a wild pitch, to third on Shawn Watters sac bunt, scored on two-out single from Jake Palmer). Taunton had an immediate answer, plating three runs in the bottom of the inning. Martins walked and stole second. Leahy reached on an error and Melo hit an infield single to load the bases. Lajoie was hit by a pitch to bring a run in and Logan Lawrence drove in a pair with a single.
North Attleboro made it a one-run game with three run in the top of the sixth. Kyle Briere walked and came around to score on a single from Dennis Colleran, and Watters drove in two with a two-out single to make it 5-4. Taunton added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when pinch runner Curt Marshall (running for Colby Lariviere after a double) came home after a throw from home sailed into the outfield when Martins stole second. Lajoie got the win, striking out nine in six innings of work, scattering five hits and two walks with four runs allowed. Justin Rollo earned the save with a perfect seventh inning. Colleran (5.2 IP, 5H, 3BB, 6K, 6R, 2ER) was solid in his season debut.
Mansfield @ Holliston – Postponed to TBD.
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.”
In the win, the Red Rocketeers followed the same formula that won them 20 regular season games: riding the right arm of pitcher Nick Sinacola, the bat of catcher Zach DeMattio, solid defense, and a relentless aggressive approach.
“We’ve been on their backs pretty much the whole season,” Hart said of Sinacola and DeMattio. “They’re our leaders, there are a lot of guys that contribute and have stepped up big time, but tonight, stick with your strengths and those two guys are our strengths right there.”
The Rocketeers jumped out to an early start, as they have done all postseason. After Sinacola singled and stole second, DeMattio gave North a 1-0 lead in the first after hard hit ground ball took a crazy hop through the right side and plated Sinacola.
After Sinacola (7 IP, 0 ER, 9 K, 5 H, 2 BB) and Beverly pitcher Spencer Brown (7 IP, 4 ER, 10 K, 6 H, 1 BB) exchanged scoreless second innings, DeMattio and North struck again.
Leadoff hitter Brendan McHugh started the rally, getting hit by a pitch then stealing second. Sinacola then followed with an infield single to the left side to put runners on the corners. DeMattio laced a double into the left field gap scoring both runners and increasing North’s lead to 3-0.
“The first thing is getting [McHugh and Sinacola] on base, and that’s more important, but when they get on base, Brendan’s got great speed, Nick is a contact hitter and then you got Zach,” Hart said.
“I trust my guys every day, day in day out and I just did what I can do,” DeMattio said. “I looked for a pitch that I can get.
“They get all the credit. All my RBI’s come from [McHugh and Sinacola], there are just such pure hitters. McHugh gets on, speed, Sinacola always is getting base hits then it’s just a snowball effect.”
North followed a similar pattern just two innings later. After a McHugh leadoff walk and steal, he was then pushed to third on Sinacola’s fly out. DeMattio recorded his fourth RBI of the night on a shallow sacrifice fly into right field. McHugh raced home to beat the throw.
“We’re just going play aggressive and that’s what it comes down to,” Hart said. “I think it was a point in the game where if we could get extra one, go for it. Brendan is extremely fast, so that makes us feel more comfortable about it too.”
“Going up to the plate I knew that anything outside of the infield in the air, [McHugh] had the speed to get home,” DeMattio said. “I was just looking to get a ball and drive it up. I got the right pitch and put it to right field. You have to give him all the credit, he hustled home.”
Even with a 4-0 lead, North knew Beverly was more than capable of making a comeback, and that’s exactly what the Panthers did.
“We were expecting Beverly to make some sort of comeback,” Hart said. “They’re an incredibly great team and we’d expect nothing less in this game. Our guys, they’ve been through things like this before.”
The Panthers rally started with Ryan Munzing’s double, which was just Beverly’s second hit. An infield single by Tim McCarthy (on a close play at first) and walk by Matt Collins loaded the bases for Brown, who helped his own cause with a bases-clearing triple off the wall in left field.
But the Beverly rally didn’t seem to rattle the Rocketeers or Sinacola, who bounced back by striking out the next batter and stranding a runner at third. He continued that momentum with strong sixth and seventh innings.
“I picked up my pace a little bit more, worked a bit little quicker,” Sinacola said. “I thought that was my best inning, the sixth inning, coming after that tough inning which shut them down with their momentum and picked us back up where we had to be.”
“We have had a couple tight wins and some losses but I think all of that just builds and builds,” Hart said. “We just still stay confident with it through thick and thin we’re still going to keep pushing it… we’re still going to play our game despite what the score is.
“And Nick trusts his stuff, he’s a very, very skilled pitcher and we believe in him… he doesn’t let things bother him. I can’t say enough about him… He’s one of the top pitchers in this entire state, we had absolute confidence in him to finish it out.”
Drama was still to be found, however, as Beverly had the tying run on base in both the sixth and seventh innings. A strong pair of defensive plays from the Rocketeers allowed Sinacola to avoid any more damage.
Senior outfielder Jeff Gale fielded a Beverly single in right field with two outs in the sixth inning and gunned down the runner trying for second base to end the inning. Then in the seventh after a leadoff walk, DeMattio fired a relay to first baseman Aidan Harding, who caught Beverly’s runner in a pickle.
“That’s huge,” Hart said. “That was an incredible play and in these games, in this spot in the tournament, that’s where you win or lose.
“It was a good read by Zach, he’s been catching for three years, he’s done it a lot. He has a lot of confidence in his throwing ability. He’s an incredible player.”
“Me and Aidan, after practice, we always work on those because being able to throw it down,” DeMattio said. “Especially in that situation where they bunt and he’s looking to go when it’s on the ground. We work on those all the time and he was ready for it, got to give [Aidan] credit for it, he made the play.”
Sinacola got the second out with a strikeout, and after a two-out single, the senior induced a ground ball up middle and second baseman Ryan Warren flipped it to shortstop Shawn Watters for the force out at second, clinching the win.
The win marks North Attleboro’s first-ever baseball state championship. The Rocketeers (22-2) came into the South Section as the No. 1 seed and outscored their opponents 46-7 on their way to a title.
“It’s just insane, insane,” DeMattio said.
“This means everything,” Hart said. “These kids will remember this for the rest of their life’s. It’s such a great opportunity that they’re able to be here in the first place and then able to take home the win. It means a lot.”
Mansfield, 6 @ King Philip, 1 – Final – Mansfield scored in each of the first four innings on its way to a win over King Philip, clinching the Kelley-Rex division title with the result. The Hornets scored two runs in the first and third innings while tacking on single runs in the second and fourth. Tyler Dalton earned the win on the mound, allowing just three hits and one unearned run in the seventh inning, and struck out 12. Dalton helped his cause at the place by going 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs. Cullin Anastasia added two hits and an RBI for Mansfield.
North Attleboro, 7 @ Taunton, 3 – Final – North Attleboro plated four runs in the third inning, including what turned out to be the winning run, to conclude the regular season with a victory on the road at Taunton. Brendan McHugh (three runs) started the third with a leadoff walk and scored on a double from Zach DeMattio (2-for-4). DeMattio scored on a two-out double from Jeff Gale, and Nick Raneri (HBP) scored on an errant throw. Gale came in to score on a base hit from Nolan Buckley. Taunton scored two in the fifth behind three straight singles from Jack Moynihan, Evan Melo, and Tyler Pietrzyk, and then a sacrifice fly from Jacob Crawford. But North put the game away with two more runs in the top of the sixth. Shawn Watters (double) scored on a triple from McHugh, and McHugh came home on a sacrifice fly from Nick Sinacola.
North Attleboro, 7 @ Milford, 4 – Final (9 inn.) – North Attleboro struck for three runs in the top of the ninth inning, all with two outs, to hand Milford its second straight loss. Olivia Capobianco drove in Katherine Munley and came around to score herself on a base hit from Abby Gallagher. Gallagher scored on a hit from Ashley Cangiano. Annabelle Hebard had two doubles and scored a run for North. Bella Erti struck out five in the win.
North Attleboro, 7 vs. Walpole, 18 – Final