2018 Hockomock League Baseball Preview

2018 Hockomock League Baseball Preview

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2018 Hockomock League Baseball Preview

Attleboro

2017 Record: 6-14
2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Matt Bosh

After missing out on the postseason a year ago, Attleboro head coach Matt Bosh believes his team’s depth and versatility will help the Bombardiers get back there.

Junior Eoin Kelleher is back to lead the pitching staff after a stellar sophomore season in which he earned HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year honors. Kelleher posted a 1.00 ERA in 35 innings of work, including throwing a no-hitter against rival North. Senior captains Jason Weir and Jon Candiales, senior Drew Pagano along with junior Sam Larkin will all see time on the mound for Big Blue as well.

Candiales and Weir also anchor the offense with the former patrolling shortstop and the latter seeing time in both the outfield and first base. Candiales gives the Bombardiers power from the left side of the plate while Weir is a three-year starter that gives Bosh flexibility in the lineup. Larkin will be in the outfield when he isn’t pitching and can use his speed to hurt teams. Corey McKenna returns as the starting second baseman while senior Dakota Kirby is back behind the dish after a year off. Kirby will add pop to the lineup as he hit 0.425 as a sophomore with 10 RBI.

“The biggest improvement that I see from last year is our team speed and athleticism,” Bosh said. “We have a lot of guys that can play multiple positions and we’re very athletic. We have a high number of kids who can play anywhere.”

Canton

2017 Record: 6-12
2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Greg Digirolamo

A strong core of returning players and a good amount of depth will be keys for the 2018 Canton Bulldogs baseball team.

After losing just four players from last year’s team, there is a good mix of experienced players and talented youth for head coach Greg Digirolamo to work with. The Bulldogs will look to three senior captains to the lead the way: Matt Casamento, Robbie Wilkinson, and Tommy DeLello. Casamento is a three-year starter in center field, DeLello will man first base and Wilkinson will try to carry over the momentum from an impressive junior year into 2018. Wilkinson went 3-1 last year with a 1.58 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 31 innings pitched.

Wilkinson will be joined in the pitching staff by seniors Austin Maffie, Niko Donovan, and Ryan Hickey, along with juniors Paul Corcoran, Robbie Sullivan, and Kevin McGonigle. Freshman Matt Connolly will also figure into the mix on the mound.

Casamento anchors the defense from the center field spot while junior catcher Matt Pigeon and sophomore shortstop Nate Quan bolster the defense up the middle.

“It’s a good group of kids that like to compete every day, what else can you ask for as a coach?” Digirolamo said. “For us the biggest thing will be seeing live pitching. If we’re to have any success this year we’ll need to do a better job at the plate.”

Foxboro

2017 Record: 7-14
2017 Finish: Reached D3 South First Round
Coach: Derek Suess

New Foxboro head coach Derek Suess sees a little bit of the past in his first team as head coach. Suess, a former Warrior himself, said the 2018 version of Foxboro reminds him of a team that won 15 games during his senior year just over a decade ago.

“This team is hungry to put the program back on the map,” Suess said. “I couldn’t ask for a better senior group to lead us. They remind me of the senior group I was a part of in 2007 in which we won 15 games. With a good mix of underclassmen, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s hard work pay off on the field.”

After losing a painful eight games by just one run a season ago, including a near upset of third-seeded and D3 South Finalist Norton in the playoffs, the Warriors will be looking to turn those losses into wins this time around.

“We need to make more winning plays to put those tallies in the win column,” Suess said.

Junior Anthony Mollica will spearhead the offense after leading the Warriors with a 0.367 batting average a year ago. Senior Chad Bearce and sophomore Joe Cavaleri will bolster the middle of the lineup, freshman Sean Yoest has shown flashes early on at the dish, and seniors Joe Freitas, Matt Rongione, and Jack Franceschelli provide the Warriors with some speed.

Senior Steve McLaughlin returns after an impressive 2017 season. Despite posting an 0-6 record, McLaughlin struck out 24 batters in 32.2 innings of work and posted a 1.73 ERA. McLaughlin will be joined by Cavaleri, Yoest, and junior Guy Quartarone in the rotation while senior Robert Theriault returns behind the dish after getting a year of experience last season.

Franklin

2017 Record: 18-6
2017 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Zach Brown

Focusing on pitching and defense, the Panthers will be looking to get better each and every day as they try to replicate the success from a season ago.

Franklin won the Kelley-Rex division last year, its first league title since 2012. And the mix of pitching and offense put the Panthers in some conversations for Super 8, but the Panthers ended up in the D1 South and bowed out in the quarterfinals after being forced to play on back to back days.

The arms that helped the Panthers have so much success last year as almost all back, starting with staff ace senior Jake Noviello. The Fairfield-commit struck out a Hockomock-best 61 batters a year ago, going 6-2 with a 1.65 ERA in 55.1 innings of work. Noviello is complemented by lefty Jason Ulrickson (7-0, 0.80 ERA, 35 K), Bryan Woelfel (3-2, 0.91 ERA, 4 SV, 31 K) and senior James Leofanti.

The defense will be anchored by a pair of returning starters in junior shortstop Alex Haba (0.360, 12 runs) and junior catcher Jake Macchi.

“While we are returning a number of experienced arms we are also turning over a number of positions last season,” said Franklin head coach Zach Brown. “So, we will be young or inexperienced at a number of positions. Offensively, my hope is that as the season progressing we will be able to develop an identity and find a way to manufacture runs.”

King Philip

2017 Record: 10-11
2017 Finish: Reached D1 South Preliminary Round
Coach: Greg Kessler

After just squeaking into the postseason a year ago, first-year KP head coach Greg Kessler is hoping his team will be in contention for a Kelley-Rex division title in 2018.

One reason for that is the senior class and the handful of returning players that have plenty of experience at the varsity level. Ben Furfari returns as a key piece of the Warriors’ outfield and lineup. He hit 0.298 last season and will provide the power on offense. Senior Pat Limerick, committed to play at St. Joseph’s (ME), will set the tone as the leadoff hitter.

On the mound, senior Jeremy Rhines (2-1, 1.45 ERA) and junior David Morganelli will be the main options while hard-throwing senior Liam Rohan will also be in the mix. Nolan Bradley returns behind the plate as one of the top catchers in the league while sophomore Robbie Jarest will step in to take over at shortstop.

“We have a great group of senior this year,” Kessler said. “They have been dedicated to the weight room and leading our underclassmen. They continuously strive to build a team that will compete for the Hock championship. They deserve to have a great year. I guarantee that will be the most vocal and most energetic team in the Hock. We pride ourselves on being positive and enthusiastic every pitch.”

Mansfield

2017 Record: 14-8
2017 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Joe Breen

There is a lot of optimism surrounding the Mansfield baseball program this season. And with the arms they have back, there’s good reason for it.

Senior Tyler Dalton, a UMass Amherst commit, returns after missing the majority of his junior year with an injury. Dalton was tremendous during the 2016 season as a sophomore, posting a 6-2 record while striking out 35 batters and posting a 1.78 ERA. He will be joined on the Hornets’ staff by senior Kevin Dow (UMass Amherst commit, 4-1, 1.93 ERA), junior lefty Connor Sheehan (2.82 ERA, 28 K), and junior Kyle Moran (three saves). Sophomore John Carney will also likely see time on the mound for the Hornets.

Senior catcher Cullin Anastasia returns after being named to the 2017 HockomockSports.com Second Team. Anastasia had 19 hits a year ago, knocking in 10 runs and scoring 10 runs as well. Sam Nugent will give the Hornets a spark in center field and on the base path with his speed, Moran picked up plenty of experience at third base last season, and Eric Longley will provide Mansfield with some pop in the middle of the lineup.

“We will rely heavily on our pitching staff this season to keep us in games and look to make the plays behind them and be aggressive with our offensive and baserunning approach to get those guys a few runs per game,” said Mansfield head coach Joe Breen. “As always, we will turn to our senior class to set the tone and for our underclassmen to blossom under their leadership.”

Milford

2017 Record: 12-10
2017 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Alex Dion

Milford baseball starts a new chapter in its historic history as longtime assistant Alex Dion takes over the reigns of the program.

Dion’s first challenge will be having to overcome the loss of a dozen seniors, including team ace Alex Macek, reliable infielders Zack Tamagni and Anthony Arcudi, and hard-hitting outfielder Ryan Goncalves. However, the good news is that Dion has one of the best players at his disposal in Stonehill-commit Aidan Wilde. Wilde had 59 hits between his freshman and sophomore years and added 21 more in the regular season a year ago. After seeing time as a catcher last season, Wilde will mainly man the corner infield positions in 2018.

Wilde will be complemented by junior Matt Shaver, who picked up some experience a year ago at both shortstop and on the mound. The Hawks will rely on Shaver to anchor the defense from short and give the offense a spark from the leadoff position. Junior Tyler Almeida will step in behind the dish and will provide some offense from the left side of the plate. Sophomores Luke Rosa and Colby Pires look to be in the mix as well as junior Nick Marcolini, who will pitch and patrol the outfield.

“We graduated a strong senior class this past year and are now in a situation where we have a lot of new players who we will look to take advantage of new opportunities,” Dion said. “I am excited about the athleticism that we have on our roster and the energy that these guys bring to practice each day. I think our philosophy is simple, but we preach a team-first mentality to our guys and strive to get quality pitching, play clean defense and get timely hits to win games.”

North Attleboro

2017 Record: 8-10
2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Mike Hart

North Attleboro didn’t have to go far to find its new coach. Mike Hart takes over for Paul Tobin and Hart truly bleeds Big Red – a graduate from the school and three-sport coach.

And expectations are high for the Rocketeers after just missing out on the postseason a year ago. Senior captain Nick Sinacola returns after having an MVP-caliber junior season. Big Red will rely on Sinacola on both sides of the plate, leading the offense (he batted 0.415 last year with 15 runs scored) and being the ace of the staff (48.1 IP, 49 K, 2.01 ERA). Senior captain Zach DeMattio is also back after being named to the 2017 HockomockSports.com First Team, batting 0.333 with 15 RBI and three home runs. Big Red also gets senior Nate Pearce (0.371) back after a strong junior year.

Senior Peter Cohen (24 IP, 0.29 ERA) will look to build upon a superb junior year while Nolan Buckley and Jeff Gale bring experience to the outfield. Aidan Harding also has varsity experience and will be in the mix to get innings on the mound along with juniors Matt Wanless, Jake Palmer, Matt Seavey, Nick Raneri, and Ben Arrighi.

“We have a truly industrious group of players,” Hart said. “We’re going to keep moving guys around until we find the lineup that works for us. Some may have to play multiple positions, depending on whose pitching on any given day. We had a decent season last year, with many guys getting some varsity time, but we’re still unproven. We need to continue to improve every day and only worry about the things we can control. Guys will be competing every day all season, which will only make us better. We will approach each day, with a great attitude, high effort, and a steadfast approach.”

Oliver Ames

2017 Record: 14-9
2017 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinals
Coach: Joe Abarr

A lot of the players that helped Joe Abarr have a successful first season as head coach last year are back, which means the Tigers are aiming to replicate that success.

Despite finishing in a tie for third in the Kelley-Rex, the Tigers put together the best playoff run of any Hock team, knocking off #2 Dighton-Rehoboth on the road to reach the sectional semifinals. Junior Matt McCormack is back after earning a spot on varsity late in the season this year, and along with classmate Tom Parker, should give OA a solid 1-2 punch. With a handful of capable arms in the mix, the third spot in the rotation is still up for grabs.

Abarr won’t have to worry much about anything hit to the left side of the infield as the Tigers return third basemen Chris Pearsons and shortstop Matt Muir, two of the top defensive players at their positions. Both are capable hitters as well and will provide some pop to the lineup. Another returning starter is senior Mitch Goulet. Goulet had a breakout junior campaign in center field (0.347, 7 RBI), catching fire in the second half of the year. Abarr is hoping that momentum will carry over to this season.

The Tigers have a battle for the spot behind the plate as both junior Jake Erlich and junior Reid Latham are back, both with experience behind the dish.

“We have a great core of returning players that will be the backbone of the program,” Abarr said. “We have to fill positions in the outfield and at first. If we have some guys step up in that role we should have a decent lineup from top to bottom.”

Sharon

2017 Record: 6-14
2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Kee Arguimbau

Sharon is aiming to improve on its six-win season in 2017, and will be looking to ride its senior leadership to do so.

Senior captains Max Tarlin and Drew Naisuler are two of the most experienced players in the league and will be spearheading the Eagles’ offense and defense this year. Tarlin (5-4, 46 K, 1.11 ERA) is the anchor of the pitching staff, picking up five of Sharon’s six wins last season. When he’s not on the mound, expect to see Tarlin patrolling shortstop. Naisuler returns as the team’s No. 4 hitter to provide some pop to the lineup and will be a key defensive piece at both center field and first base.

The Eagles will also rely on senior Ben Schwartz, who will mainly be catching this year as well as being a major offensive contributor. Junior Noah Kamens will be a major piece of the pitching puzzle after impressing during his sophomore year. Similar to Tarlin, Kamens will be a major player in the offensive lineup and will see time off the mound spent in the outfield. Spencer Singer is transitioning to the outfield and will continue to be one of the players the Eagles look at for offensive production.

“I have a lot of guys who are multifaceted baseball players and I can foresee a lot of games being played with straight nine in the lineup,” Arguimbau said. “We have great senior leadership and some very promising sophomores that are going to play a major role in our season’s success.”

Stoughton

2017 Record: 15-6
2017 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Mike Armour

There are a lot of questions to be answered for this year’s Stoughton baseball team, but head coach Mike Armour is excited for his players to rise to the challenge.

The Black Knights graduated nearly their entire team (10 of its 13 rostered players), which won its second straight Davenport division title. So not only will Armour be leaning heavily on his three returning players, he is looking for new faces to seize the opportunity.

“This is an exciting year for our program,” Armour said. “It’s an awesome opportunity for our younger guys. The JV and freshmen teams both over 15 or more games last year, so we’re looking for them to carry that winning attitude into this season. I expect our team to play with heart and execute the fundamentals to make us a competitive team.”

2017 HockomockSports.com First Team selection and senior captain Ruben Gonzalez returns as one of the top players in the league, both defensively at shortstop and offensively at the plate. Senior Matt Hadley and junior Evan Gibb, both captains, are the other two returning players for the Knights. Gibb has plenty of varsity experience behind the plate and Hadley, although he will miss some time with injury, will be key piece in the outfield.

Meanwhile, Armour is looking for sophomores James Genest (first base) and Michael Nazzaro (third base/catcher) to step up and play important roles both offensively and defensively this season. Juniors Kyle Gagnon, Kevin Dixon, and Cian Swierzewski will see time in the outfield and classmate Robbie Seaman will be in the mix for middle infield.

For pitching, Gibb will see time on the mound as well as behind the play. Senior Will Eckhart has some varsity experience and junior Zak Paquette will likely log some meaningful innings for the Knights. Seniors Tim Kellogg, Talyor Atkinson, and Mike Anderson provide infield depth and Jack Brown and Ryan Semler will be in the mix in the outfield.

Taunton

2017 Record: 12-10
2017 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Blair Bourque

There are a lot of good pitchers in the Hockomock League this year, and it looks like the Tigers’ staff could be right near the top of the list.

Taunton returns senior Tyler Medeiros, who had a terrific junior campaign and will get junior Jack Moynihan back on the mound. Moynihan was impressive during his freshman year two seasons ago but an injury limited his action on the mound last season. Medeiros fanned 68 batters in 56.1 innings of work, posting a 1.98 ERA to anchor the staff. Look for senior Trevor Pietrzyk and juniors Griffin Tomaszycki and Josh Lajoie to get some meaningful innings on the mound as well.

“Tyler clearly emerged as our top pitcher last year,” said second-year head coach Blair Bourque. “Fortunately, he’s a big kid and was able to put us on his back and carry us. Hopefully, we’re able to provide more support for him this year.”

Moynihan will also play a big role in Taunton’s offense this year. While patrolling third base, Moynihan will try to provide some pop in the middle of the lineup. The Tigers also get their top two batters back with senior shortstop Jacob Crawford (0.350, 15 runs) and senior Christian Simoes (0.340, 12 RBI).

Taunton will carry nine seniors and eight juniors this season so experience will be key.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 04/28/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Taunton, 4 @ Foxboro, 1 – FinalTaunton’s offense plated its first run in the top of the first inning, added two more in the fourth inning and tacked on another insurance run in the seventh inning to record a win on the road. Christian Simoes went 2-for-3 for the Tigers with an RBI and a run scored while Matt Machado (run) and Tyler Medeiros (RBI) each went 1-for-3 for the Tigers.

Mansfield, 3 @ Sharon, 5 – FinalSharon junior Max Tarlin impressed on the bump, tossing six innings with just four hits allowed to earn the win. Tarlin allowed two unearned tuns, walked just one and struck out six for the Eagles. Sharon scored once in the second and then exploded for four runs in the third inning. Aiden Arnold (RBI, run) and Jake Teven (run) each had two hits for the Eagles while Spencer Singer (RBI, run), Drew Naisuler (run), Ben Schwartz (RBI), Danny Emerman (two RBI) and Jake Marglous (run) each had one hit. Mansfield’s Zack Peterson (two RBI) and Kevin Dow (home run) each went 1-for-3 for the Hornets.

Oliver Ames, 2 @ Milford, 1 – FinalOliver Ames sophomore Matt McCormack made an immediate impact in his varsity debut, coming on in relief to pick up the win for the Tigers. McCormack came on with the bases loaded and just one out, but escaped the jam with a pair of strikeouts. The sophomore threw 3.2 innings, collecting the win by allowing just one hit while striking out four. OA head coach Joe Abarr praised the defensive work of sophomore Chris Pearsons (six putouts, run) at third base. OA took the lead in the fourth inning when Kyle Gagliardi singled with two outs, stole second and came home on an outfield error. Milford tied the game in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single from Alex Coady. OA scored the winning run in the sixth, with Pearsons scoring on a passed ball. Alex Macek threw a complete game for Milford, allowing just four hits with seven strikeouts and two unearned runs allowed.

Softball
Foxboro, 1 @ Taunton, 12 – FinalTaunton scored in every inning and picked up a seventh win of the season. Courtney Fisher went the distance in the circle, striking out three. Jaime Brown, Liana Duarte, Kya Enos, and Hannah Aldrich each had three hits for the Tigers and Hailey Medeiros had two hits. Duarte drove in three runs and Medeiros and Aldrich each had two RBI.

Stoughton, 0 @ King Philip, 14 – FinalElise Pereira tossed six shutout innings for the Warriors, striking out 11 in the process. KP hit three homers and pounded out 13 hits on the day. Meghan Gorman went 2-for-5 with a homer and three RBI, Betsy Walsh went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBI, and Paige Kuchy went 2-for-3 with a solo homer. Stoughton only managed three hits – a double by Jordan Lyons and singles from Gina Carafa and Alesandra Lofredo.

Sharon, 3 @ Mansfield, 9 – FinalThe Eagles held a 3-0 lead into the sixth inning before the Hornets rallied with nine runs to pick up the victory. Mady Bendanillo started the rally with a walk and Liz Mackin reached on an error. Sarah Cahill, who picked up the win an struck out nine, singled in the first run and Marissa Staffer followed with a single that plated two and tied the game. Caty DeMassi had an RBI on a fielder’s choice to give the Hornets the lead and Megan Letendre doubled home two runs. Mady Bendanillo came up for a second time in the inning and capped the scoring with a three-run homer.

Milford, 9 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalShannon Cormier collected a pair of hits and knocked in three runs to pace Milford to a win on the road. Cormier also had a stolen base while Emily Piergustavo went 3-for-3 with two runs and a stolen base. Kelley Reichert (1-for-3, home run) earned the win, tossing a complete game with no earned runs allowed. OA’s Katie Abreu went 2-for-3, Lexie Campbell was 2-for-4 and Victoria Ziner had a hit and scored a run for the Tigers.

Boys Lacrosse
Sharon, 14 @ Canton, 6 – Final

Mansfield @ Taunton, 3:45

Stoughton, 11 @ Milford, 10 – Final

Girls Lacrosse
Canton, 5 @ Sharon, 9 – Final

King Philip, 7 @ Medfield, 10 – Final

Taunton, 5 @ Mansfield, 18 – FinalMansfield used eight different goal scorers to pick up a division win. Ann Maher led the way for the Hornets with five goals and Maire Foley added four. Hannah Sternburg made 10 saves for Mansfield. Alana Tavares had a hat trick and Delaney Powell a pair of goals for the Tigers.

Boys Tennis
Foxboro, 5 @ Taunton, 0 – Final

Stoughton, 0 @ King Philip, 5 – FinalKing Philip dropped just a total of four games across five matches to earn a win over visiting Stoughton. Blake Ginter won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles, Martin Matous won 6-0, 6-1 at second singles and Marco DiStefano took a 6-0, 6-0 decision at third singles. The team of Ryan Gemelli and Aidan Igantius won 6-0, 6-0 at first doubles and Jake Webster and Tim Costanzo won 6-2, 6-0 at second doubles.

Sharon, 5 @ Mansfield, 0 – FinalThe Eagles won all five matches in straight sets and dropped just three games in doubles play to pick up a win on the road. Senior Griffin Fein won 6-2, 6-3 at first singles, junior Fred Bondar won 6-4, 6-0 at second singles and junior Andre Olivei won 6-2, 6-3 at third singles. The team of senior Alex Romantz and freshman Alberto Olivei won 6-1, 6-0 at first doubles and sophomore Danujan Thirumavalavan and junior Ashwin Sreevatsa won 6-1, 6-1 at second doubles.

Milford, 5 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final

Girls Tennis
Taunton, 4 @ Foxboro, 1 – FinalTaunton notched a key win on the road at Foxboro, losing just four games total in doubles play to beat the Warriors. Ashleigh Eason won at second singles, taking the first set 6-3 before Foxboro retired due to injury. Jillian Pagliuca won 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 at third singles for the Tigers. The team of Emily Moor and Callie Hebert won 6-2, 6-0 at first doubles and Vanessa Rosa and Jordan Martin won 6-1, 6-1 at second doubles. Foxboro’s Lexi Nelson won 6-2, 6-3 at first singles.

King Philip @ Stoughton, 3:45

Mansfield, 0 @ Sharon, 5 – Final – Sharon lost just two games total in singles play and five games in doubles play in a sweep of Mansfield. Nupur Shukla won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles, Emily Zhang won 6-1, 6-0 at second singles and Lulu Yuan won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles. The team of Katie Merport and Emily Wen won 6-0, 6-2 at first doubles and Sophia Fein and Akhila Sanadi won 6-3, 6-0 at second doubles.

Oliver Ames, 3 @ Milford, 2 – FinalOliver Ames’ Claudia Ferrara battled through a three set thriller and its second doubles team rallied from an 0-5 deficit to help the Tigers prevail with a win at Milford. Ferrara won 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 at second singles and Olivia Groebe and Emily Gordon battled for a 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) win at second doubles. OA’s first doubles team of Tori Wyman and Kristin Bloumbas notched the team’s first win with a 6-1, 6-3 decision at first doubles. Milford’s Julie Rabinowitz won 6-3, 8-6 at first singles and Caitlin Cafarella won 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 at third singles for the Hawks.

Boys Volleyball
Milford, 3 @ BC High, 2 – Final

Taunton, 3 vs. Quincy, 0 – FinalTaunton punched its ticket to the postseason for the first time since 2013 with a sweep of Quincy, 26-24, 25-19, 25-18. Lance Law had a team-high 12 kills as well as six digs, two blocks and an ace, David Fusiecki had nine kills, 10 digs and an ace and Nick Sorm chipped in with 11 digs, seven assists and four kills for the Tigers.

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 04/13/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 3 – FinalJunior Tyler Dalton dazzled on the mound, tossing a complete game shutout to lead the Hornets. Dalton allowed just two hits, didn’t issue a walk and struck out a season-high 11 batters. Mansfield scored single runs in the second, third and fifth innings, totaling seven hits as a team. Zach Peterson went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored while Max Boen was 1-for-2 with a walk, RBI and a run scored. Attleboro’s Dylan Maskell also had a solid outing on the mound, throwing six innings with six strikeouts.

Sharon, 5 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final (9 inn.)Sharon’s offense was quiet for the first six innings but scored in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, eventually prevailing with a one-run victory over Foxboro. Trailing 1-0, the Eagles put up three runs in the top of the seventh to go ahead. Foxboro tied the game in the bottom half to send the game to extra innings. Both Sharon and Foxboro scored a run apiece in the eighth before Sharon scored the final run of the game in the top of the ninth. In the seventh, Aiden Arnold’s leadoff single preceded singles from Ben Stamm (3-for-4, RBI, run) and Jason Hertz. Jake Marglous tied it up with an RBI single. Spencer Singer connected on a two-run double to put the Eagles up 3-1. Foxboro got two back but Hertz threw the would-be winning run out at home to send the game to extras. Stamm knocked in Ben Schwartz in the top of the eighth but Foxboro knotted the game in the bottom half. In the top of the ninth, Arnold drew a lead off walk, stole second and scored on base hit from Jake Teven. Arnold earned the win in relief, and closed the game with a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Sophomore Noah Kamens had a strong start on the mound, throwing six innings without allowing an earned run while striking out two. “All the kids contributed and the way they fought back in the seventh, eighth and finally the ninth shows incredible resiliency from this group,” said Sharon head coach Kee Arguimbau.

Franklin, 1 @ Milford, 5 – Final – Milford scored in five different innings to pick up its second straight win. The Scarlet Hawks scored single runs in the first, second, fourth, fifth and sixth against the Panthers. Aidan Wilde tossed a complete game without giving up an earned run, striking out seven and letting up just two hits. Ryan Goncalves went 2-for-4 with an RBI, a run scored and two stolen bases, Alex Coady had a home run and Anthony Arcudi was 1-for-3 with a double, a run and two stolen bases.

North Attleboro, 7 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalNorth Attleboro’s offense got off to a strong start for the second straight game, scoring a pair of runs in each of the first and second innings, adding two more in the fourth and one more in the sixth inning. Senior Matt Iaconis didn’t allow an earned run in six innings of work, scattering six hits, walking just one batter and striking out three to earn the win. Junior Peter Cohen pitched a scoreless seventh inning for the Rocketeers. Junior Nick Sinacola recorded four hits for Big Red, knocking in a pair of runs, Kyle McCarthy had two hits and two RBI and Iaconis also added a pair of hits. OA’s Chris Pearsons had a strong showing in relief, tossing five innings without surrendering an earned run.

Taunton, 7 vs. Durfee, 6 – Final – Taunton rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to earn a walk-off win over non-league rival Durfee. The Tigers took a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning but Durfee scored four in the top of the second and took the lead with two runs in the fourth. Billy Emerson tied the game in the seventh with a pinch hit single and Chris Gomes knocked in the game-winner with a single. In the first inning, Jacob Crawford (3-for-4) and Matt Machado scored on a double from Christian Simoes. Gomes also had a two-run double in the first inning. Senior Danny Keogh earned the win, tossing three scoreless innings in relief.

Softball
Sharon, 2 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final (8 inn.)Sharon used extra innings to pick up its first win of the season. Senior catcher Sam Marglous (3-for-5) singled in the top of the eighth to drive in the game-winning run. Clara Cook went the distance to pick up the win, striking out eight and allowing only four hits. Sophomore Alli Small had two hits and scored the opening run in the third inning on a single by classmate Rebecca Clayman. Lexi Buckner tied the game for Foxboro with a solo homer in the sixth and it stayed tied into the eighth.

Milford, 6 @ Franklin, 1 – FinalMilford senior Ali Atherton inherited a two-on, no out situation in a relief appearance and struck out three straight batters to help the Hawks escape danger in the sixth inning. Atherton picked up the save with two innings of work. Kelley Reichert earned the win, striking out five while allowing five hits in five innings of work. At the plate, Maggie Farrell was 2-for-4 with two doubles and Emily Hartman was 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Milford head coach Steve DeVitto praised the defense play of shortstop Emily Piergustavo and third baseman Kaitlyn DeCapua.

King Philip, 5 vs. Bishop Feehan, 7 – Final

Oliver Ames, 1 @ North Attleboro, 13 – Final (6 inn.)North Attleboro’s offense has been clicking lately, scoring 46 runs over the past three games. Bella Erti, who threw a perfect game earlier this week, allowed only one hit and an unearned run, while striking out five. Meg Barlow went 4-for-4 with three RBI for North and Liz Morehouse and Erti both had a pair of hits in the win. For Oliver Ames, Victoria Ziner was 1-for-3 with a run scored and was knocked in by Caroline Mahoney (RBI).

Boys Lacrosse
Stoughton, 2 @ Canton, 14 – FinalCanton baptized its brand new turf with a big win over neighboring Stoughton. The Bulldogs raced out to a 8-1 lead at halftime with a big second quarter and capped its second half scoring with six goals in the third. Joey Vaughan scored the first goal on the new turf as Canton finished with ten different scorers. Sophomore Mike Shaw led with way with four goals and three assists while sophomore midfielder Matt Martin netted his first career goal.

Milford, 0 @ Franklin, 18 – Final

North Attleboro, 11 @ Plymouth North, 5 – FinalFor the second straight game, the Rocketeers dominated the second half and came away with a win on the road. North was up 4-3 at half but allowed just two goals in the second half and scored seven goals to beat Plymouth North. Junior Jason McNeany had a dominant day at the face off X, winning 10 of 14 draws while adding two goals and one assist. Tommy Lockavitch also stepped up with a big game defensively, recording four ground balls. Zach McGowan (three goals, four assists) had seven points to pace the offense while Tommy Lindstrom chipped in with two goals and one assist and Colin Young had a pair of helpers. Paul Yeomans added a goal and an assist, Nick Ward, Owen Costello and Nick Moore each had a goal and David James had an assist.

Girls Lacrosse
Franklin, 9 @ Bishop Feehan, 5 – FinalFranklin clamped down defensively, allowing just one goal in the second half to pull away from the Shamrocks. Franklin built a 6-4 lead by the break but won the second half 3-1. Annie Walsh had four goals, Erin Walsh had two goals and Jordan Jette recorded three assists to pace the offense. Freshman Gianna Cameron had five saves in net for the Panthers.

Sharon, 18 @ Taunton, 12 – FinalSharon had eight players score at least one goal, led by Alex Rabb with five and Christina Linehan added four. Sabrina Robbins added a hat trick for the Eagles and Anna Crosby had a pair of goals. Eighth grader Alana Tavares had four goals for the Tigers, while Abbey Kingman and Delaney Powell each had hat tricks.

Boys Tennis
Attleboro, 2 @ Stoughton, 3 – FinalStoughton avenged a loss to the Bombariders from a week ago, claiming a 3-2 decision in a non-league contest. Stoughton senior Stephens Bontemps won 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 at first singles, sophomore Erik Anderson won 6-2, 6-4 at second singles and the team of seniors Jon Podesta and Conor Kavanaugh won 6-3, 6-1 at first doubles. Attleboro’s Eli Araujo won 7-5, 6-4 at third singles and Ronaldo Salgueso and Hans Estrada won 6-1, 0-6, 10-7 at second doubles.

Foxboro, 0 @ Sharon, 5 – FinalSharon senior Griffin Fein had his back against the wall, down to his last point trailing 9-3 in a 10 point tiebreaker. But the defending Hockomock League MVP rattled off eight straight points to win 5-7, 6-3, 11-9 at first singles. Sharon’s Fred Bondar won 6-1, 6-2 at second singles and Danujan Thirumavalavan won 6-4, 6-4 at third singles. The team of senior Alex Romantz and freshman Alberto Olivei won 6-2, 6-1 at first doubles and senior Sammy Kirshenbaum and junior Ashwin Sreevatsa won 6-2, 6-0 at second doubles for the Eagles.

King Philip, 2 vs. Bishop Feehan, 3 – FinalThe Warriors were edged out by the Shamrocks in a close match, dropping a close first singles match and then losing in a tiebreaker in doubles play. KP’s Blake Ginter won 6-7 (7-4), 6-3, 10-6 at second singles and Martin Martous won 6-1, 6-2 at third singles.

Girls Tennis
Stoughton @ Attleboro, 3:45

Sharon, 4 @ Foxboro, 1 – FinalSharon picked up a key division win, winning at second and third singles and both double matches. Freshman Emily Zhang won 6-2, 7-6 (7-1) and junior Lulu Yuan won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles. Sharon’s Emily Wen and Sydney Gordon won 6-3, 6-2 at first doubles and Rithika Neti and Sophia Fein won 6-1, 6-2 at second doubles. Foxboro’s Sophia Prinos won a marathon match at first singles, prevailing 6-7 (7-9), 6-0, 7-6 (7-4).

King Philip @ Bishop Feehan, 3:45

Boys Volleyball
Milford, 0 @ Taunton, 3 – FinalTaunton bounced back from its first loss of the season with a sweep of Milford, pulling off a 25-20, 25-19, 28-26 victory. Nate Grant recorded 35 assists and had one kill to set up the offense. Lens Esquil had 13 kills, two aces and three blocks, David Fusiecki added seven kills, three aces and a block and Malik Charles notched seven kills and two blocks for the Tigers.

Boys Outdoor Track
Foxboro, 47 @ Sharon, 89 – Final
Franklin @ Oliver Ames, 3:45

Girls Outdoor Track
Foxboro, 32 @ Sharon, 100 – Final
Franklin @ Oliver Ames, 3:45

2017 Hockomock Baseball Preview

2017 Hockomock Baseball Preview

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2017 Hockomock Baseball Preview

Attleboro

2016 Record: 13-10
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South Semifinal
Coach: Matt Bosh

Coming off a great run in the state tournament a year ago, the Attleboro Bombardiers will be looking for a repeat performance in 2017. This year, instead of relying on just one or two pitchers, Attleboro will trust the depth of its pitching staff to get things done on the mound.

Senior Tyler McGovern will be the anchor of the staff while classmates Matt Callahan, Dylan Maskell and Tyler Davis will also factor in on the mound. Juniors James Weir, Drew Pagano, Erik McCormick and John Candiales, along with sophomore Eoin Hammel-Kelleher could all see innings on the mound as well.

Callahan will also see time in the field at shortstop while Weir looks to be a reliable option at first base. Matt Marguerite will patrol the outfield while Steve Hamerski, Tyler Davis, Drew Pagano, Sam Larkin and Alex Whittingham are all likely candidates for spots in the outfield as well. Head coach Matt Bosh said there is a lot of internal battles for most positions.

“Every year brings new challenges and elements,” said head coach Matt Bosh. “The biggest difference from last year I think is the depth of the pitching staff. While last year we were top heavy with Nate and Tyler, this year I think we have more guys that can compete and spread the wealth in eating up innings. But we’ll see how that plays out. The Hock will be tough, like always”.

Canton

2016 Record: 11-11
2016 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Greg Digirolamo

First year head coach Greg Digirolamo likes what he sees from his Bulldogs so far, but the challenge has been finding some grass to play on. Heading into the first week of the season, the weather has prevented the Bulldogs from getting to play outside yet.

Nonetheless, there are some experienced varsity players that will likely factor in right away for Canton. Junior outfielder Matt Casamento might be the most experienced player of the returnees but seniors Jackson Maffeo, Danny Hartnett, Kevin Monagle, Tommy Kilduff and Matt Crandall are all likely to factor in during the season.

A trio of juniors will be Digirolamo’s go-to for pitching to start out the season. Ryan White, Austin Maffie and Rob Wilkenson are all likely to see a lot of innings as the season gets underway.

“It will take the first couple weeks of the season for me to know what we have from a talent perspective,” Digirolamo said. “I will tell you, it only took a week of tryouts to find out I have a good group of kids. They work hard and they’re eager to learn. As a first year coach, that’s all I can ask for right now.”

Foxboro

2016 Record: 8-13
2016 Finish: Reached D3 South Preliminary Round
Coach: Chris Sullivan

Foxboro will be looking to get back to the postseason again this year and will rely on its starting pitching and experience to get there.

Hockomock League All Star Aaron Wentling is back on the mound while Colin Thoener – who missed nearly all of last season – is healthy and ready to produce on the mound. Steve McLaughlin, who has some varsity experience, will also get starts on the mound for the Warriors.

There aren’t many players more experienced at the varsity level than catcher Jesse Galanti, who enters his fourth year as a starter and third as captain for Foxboro. Outfielders AJ Bubencik and Cam Feldman have also played a lot of games at the varsity level and will be counted on to lead the way for the Warriors along with infielder Chad Bearce.

“This group has been through a lot of adversity both on and off the field and has shown a ton of resiliency,” said Foxboro head coach Chris Sullivan. “At this point, nothing really fazes these guys they just keep showing up ready to play every day.”

Franklin

2016 Record: 13-10
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Zach Brown

Between Franklin’s pitching staff and its lineup, there is a lot of experienced players with success at the varsity level ready to go this season.

After relying on a trio of sophomores on the mound last year, all three are back ready for strong junior campaigns. Jake Noviello and Jason Ulrickson logged a lot of innings are starting pitchers while Bryan Woelfel emerged as one of the best bullpen options in the league. Now they are poised to be one of the top starting rotations in the league.

“We are optimistic that the three of them will give us a chance to have a solid rotation this season and be competitive in every game,” said Franklin head coach Zach Brown. “All three guys are very different but all of them are competitive.”

Offensively, Franklin brings back outfielders Ryan Hodgkins (.388) and Jake Lyons (.368) along with first baseman Josh Macchi (16 RBI) and catcher Tyler Gomes (16 RBI). While there are spots to fill left by talented seniors that graduated, having those four back is a very good sign for the Panthers.

King Philip

2016 Record: 15-6
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Pat Weir

It’s going to be a challenge for King Philip to replace three all-star caliber pitchers in one season, but head coach Pat Weir and his Warriors are ready to try.

Jake Cavanagh, Jack DiCenso and Jon Rolfe are all pitching at the collegiate now after helping guide the Warriors to a Kelley-Rex title a season ago. This season, Stephen Murray and Chris Wing are back as two of the more experienced arms available for Weir. Will Weir, known for his bat and defensive play at shortstop, could also emerge as an option on the mound.

Will Weir is also one of the key bats back for King Philip, along with senior centerfielder Ryan Coulter. Both had impressive seasons as juniors and will be relied to lead the way in 2017 for KP.

“I’m hopeful we can improve on yesterday and compete today, all we ask is all you got,” said head coach Pat Weir.

Mansfield

2016 Record: 9-11
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Joe Breen

After just missing out on the postseason a year ago, there is a lot of optimism for the 2017 Hornets squad. With two top pitchers and a solid lineup returning, there’s plenty of reasons to be optimistic.

One main reason is the return of senior pitcher Nolan Dousa, who missed last year after undergoing Tommy John surgery. After a standout sophomore campaign, Dousa had to watch last season from the dugout. With Dousa on the self, sophomore Tyler Dalton emerged as the team’s ace, giving the Hornets a great 1-2 combination for 2017.

Offensively, the Hornets bring back shortstop Max Boen – one of the team’s top hitters a season ago – along with senior outfielder Zach Peterson, who led the team in runs last year, and senior infielder Aidan Cahill.

“We look to combine the experience of our senior class with the ambition of our underclassmen to create a competitive team for the upcoming season,” said head coach Joe Breen. “Our goal is to be the hardest working, most passionate high school baseball team in the state and let the pieces fall where they may.”

Milford

2016 Record: 8-12
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Paul Pellegrini

Milford will be looking to get off to a better start in 2017 after a slow one a year ago played a big part in the Scarlet Hawks missing out on the postseason.

The good news for head coach Paul Pellegrini is that he has the majority of his impactful players back this season. Senior Alex Macek really impressed after missing the beginning part of the season with injury and could be one of the top pitchers in the league this season. Tylor Renaud also provided quality innings a year ago.

Aidan Wilde has been one of the top players in this league for two years yet he’s only a junior this season. Not only is he very good defensively, he’s one of the toughest at-bats in the league and will certainly be a spark plug for the Hawks. Expect senior Anthony Arcudi and sophomore Alex Coady to be contributions this season as well.

North Attleboro

2016 Record: 7-13
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Paul Tobin

The Rocketeers will boast a young squad, but not one that lacks in talent. After graduating 13 seniors last year, Big Red will rely heavily on the players they do have returning this season.

The strength of the squad will be up the middle of the field, starting senior captain Kyle McCarthy in centerfield, senior captain John Brennan patrolling shortstop and junior Zach DeMattio – and his big bat – manning the catcher position. From there, each spot is open for competition according to head coach Paul Tobin. Matt Iaconis and Peter Cohen are competing for time at third while Nick Crawley, Aidan Harding, Billy Drummond, Jackson Billingkoff and Nick Sinacola are all batting for infield spots.

Nick Sinacola, Nathan Pearce, Aidan Harding and Matt Iaconis are all candidates to form Big Red’s starting rotation while Peter Cohen, Ryan Prince and Ryan Pasquel are likely to see time out of the bullpen.

“We are talented but inexperienced, so there will be some learning and growing to go through,” said head coach Paul Tobin.

Oliver Ames

2016 Record: 11-11
2016 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Joe Abarr

Oliver Ames has a lot of players back from a year ago and first year head coach Joe Abarr believes that should translate into a potent lineup for the Tigers.

2016 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year Matt Muir will be captaining the team as a junior and will make the transition from second base to shortstop. He will likely fill the leadoff role for Oliver Ames and will also see time on the mound. Senior Sam Burr is also a team captain, will be the team’s number one starter and also man first base for the Tigers.

Sophomore third baseman Chris Pearsons is back after making some noise during his freshman year and senior Kyle Gagliardi will bring a lot of experience while he patrols center field for the Tigers. Michael Mulrean will see a lot of time on the mound again this year and sophomore catcher Jake Erlich will look to give the Tigers a boost after transferring from Xaverian this year.

“We should hit this year with lots of players with power potential,” Abarr said. “Our pitching staff is very deep with an abundance of arms available from day to day. The challenge will be writing the right lineup. We have a solid infield with underclassmen that should be able to get comfortable in their positions over the next couple of years.”

Sharon

2016 Record: 2-18
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Kee Arguimbau

The Eagles had a lot of young pieces a year ago and will be looking to take the next step in 2017. Leading the way will be two three-year varsity players in captains Jake Marglous and Aiden Arnold.

Marglous will be back behind the plate for another season while Arnold, one of the top power hitters in the league, will be back at first and also be an option to come in to pitch in relief situations. Other returning Eagles with varsity experience include Jake Teven, Danny Emerman, Jason Hertz, Ben Schwartz, Drew Naisuler, Ben Stamm, Brad Zongetti and Spencer Singer.

Max Tarlin had a very strong season as a sophomore a year ago and will be at the top of the rotation as a junior this season. Sophomore Noah Kamens also picked up some valuable varsity time a year ago and will be a top option for Sharon this season.

“Our strength will be in the experience we have in our pitching staff,” said head coach Kee Arguimbau. “We’re looking forward to the season behind the leadership of our captains, Jake Marglous and Aiden Arnold.

Stoughton

2016 Record: 16-7
2016 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinals
Coach: Mike Armour

There aren’t many teams in the area that have the luxury of returning their top three pitchers, but the Black Knights of Stoughton do.

Justin Hutchinson, Ryan Sullivan and Nico Parmeggiani are all back after stellar junior seasons on the mound, putting Stoughton is a good position to start the season. Luke Johnson will also see time on the mound, adding another experienced arm for the Black Knights.

Jack Connelly is back at first base after a breakout junior season, Ruben Gonzalez will shift over to take over at shortstop while Matt Hadley and Michael Batte will both see time in the infield as well. Both Hutchinson and Sullivan will see time in the outfield when they aren’t pitching while Pat Hagerty and Nick Hardy are back as well. Johnson and sophomore Evan Gibb will battle for the starting catcher spot.

“We have a lot of experience returning, with 10 seniors on the roster, and look forward to competing in the always tough Hockomock League,” said head coach Mike Armour.

Taunton

2016 Record: 14-7
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Blair Bourque

While there is a new coach in the dugout for the Tigers, there will be a lot of the same faces on the field for Taunton in 2017.

Blair Bourque takes over the reigns for the Tigers, who also lost league MVP Luke Figueira to graduation. However, Matt Machado and Joe Manchester are back in the outfield, Jacob Crawford is back in the middle infield, Jimmy Hoye is back and ready to take over as starting catcher, and Danny Keogh and Jack Moynihan return as two experienced pitchers.

With the battle for the number one pitcher open, Keogh and Moynihan will be the main two options to begin the season.

“Both of these guys saw success last year pitching at the varsity level and we are looking to continue and build on that success,” Bourque said.

Machado, one of the top defensive players in the league, had a breakout junior season at the plate and will look to be one of the top offensive producers again this season. Manchester shined in his sophomore season and will give the Tigers some power in the middle of the lineup. Crawford is easily one of the best defensive infielders in the league and Hoye will look to prove he’s one of the top catchers.

Baseball: Davenport Division Preview 2016

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

By HockomockSports.com Staff

CANTON

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

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

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

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

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

FOXBORO

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

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

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

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

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

MILFORD

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

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

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

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

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

OLIVER AMES

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

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

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

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

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

Sharon

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

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

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

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

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

Stoughton

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

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

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

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

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