Boston High School: Aaron Drummey
April, 18, 2013
By John Botelho | ESPNBoston.com
WESTWOOD, Mass. -- While Brendan Ryan might prefer skating around an ice rink to running on a baseball field, there was no one who had a bigger hand in ensuring the No. 6 New ton North baseball team remained unbeaten when they bested host and No. 11 Xaverian, 8-4, on Thursday morning.
“The kicker is, he’s a hockey player,” said North coach Joe Siciliano. “He’s tough and hard-nosed, and he wants to be out there. When they went up 4-2, a lot of kids would be looking over at the sidelines expecting to be out. This kid, if I walked out there, he’d have thrown the ball at me. He just did a great job today.”
Ryan (3-0) tossed his third complete game in as many starts, striking out five and scattering eight hits while surrendering three earn runs against a team that has historically had his number.
“Every game is significant, but this one is just a little sweeter,” Ryan said. “I pitched against them the last couple of years and they’ve teed off against me. This year, I didn’t get down on myself when they started hitting the ball early.”
Ryan was as good at the plate as he was on the mound for the Tigers (6-0).
He went 1-for-2 in the win, blasting a solo homer to left to lead off the second inning to get Newton North’s offense going. In the sixth inning, he walked and scored a run, pull the Tigers within one run. And in the seventh, he put them ahead for good with a sacrifice fly to deep center field.
“Quality teams are made of quality players,” said Xaverian coach Gerry Lambert. “That’s one of coach Sicilliano’s central guys this year. I’m sure he’s thrilled to have him. He’ll be a big problem for his opponents in games he starts the rest year and into the tournament as well.”
After Ryan’s solo shot, Kevin Alexy drew a walk, stole second and eventually scored on a single by Johnny Little, giving the Tigers a 2-0 advantage heading to the bottom of the second.
Xaverian (3-4) quickly cut into that lead when Aidan Desrosiers unloaded a solo homer of his own to center field.
Adam Chochrek singled, coming around to score on an Aaron Drummey (2-for-3, walk) base hit. Xaverian starting pitcher Austin DeCarr (2-for-2, walk) gave the Hawks a lead when he delivered a pop-up down the right field line that fell for a double. From there though, Ryan locked in on the mound, allowing just two more hits and one unearned run the rest of the way.
Newton North retook the lead in the sixth inning when Phil Biancuso belted a double that scored Ryan -– who had walked to lead-off the inning. A throwing error sent Biancuso to third before he scored on a passed ball.
Chochrek led off the sixth by reaching on an error. After advancing to second base on a sacrifice bunt, he scored on a single into right by Drummey.
Newton North took advantage of some command issues Xaverian relief pitchers experience to put the game away in the seventh. A Ben Porter walk, Alex Joyce single and Michael Courtney walk loaded the bases with no outs, setting up Ryan’s go-ahead sacrifice fly. With two outs in the inning, Biancuso crushed a ball deep to right center, one-hopping the fence. Biancuso hit third with ease and turned for home, scoring when Xaverian’s catcher dropped the ball while applying a tag.
Ryan sent the Hawks down in order in the seventh, striking out the final two hitters of the game.
“When you play a quality opponent and you don’t make pitches and don’t make all the plays you can make, they’re going to beat you,” said Lambert. They’re just going to keep coming. That was Newton today.”
April, 5, 2013
By Chris Bradley | ESPNBoston.com
DANVERS, Mass. -– Xaverian took an early lead and never looked back, even if things did seem to get a bit interesting along the way. The Hawks knocked off Catholic Conference foe St. John’s Prep 6-5, after taking a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Senior Austin DeCarr got the start on the mound for Xaverian, and he pulled through stongly -— giving up just two runs on two hits in four innings pitched. He struck out five Prep batters and threw 67 pitches. It was all according to Xaverian coach Gerry Lambert’s plan.
“Early season, I keep a pretty tight rein on the guys," Lambert said. I think he was at 66 or 67, and that is about our target early-season for our starters. As the year wears on, we’re counting on him getting stronger, the weather getting warmer, and eventually he’ll be fully stretched out.
"But I promised myself years ago as a coach, I will not sacrifice June 5 for April 5. He wanted to stay out there, I said no.”
The Hawks (1-1) got off to a quick start, scoring three runs on Prep starting pitcher Dustin Hunt (3.2 IP, 5 K’s, 7 hits, 6 runs) in the top of the first inning. Aaron Drummey started off the run for Xaverian with a base hit, Alex Person was hit by a pitch immediately after. Following a throwing error on a groundball to second base, DeCarr and Jake McLaughlin each chipped in with RBI singles.
“For us to get three in the first inning -— especially [after] they made a mistake, that’s an early-season mistake, and we broke the door through," Lambert said. "A good team takes advantage…we were able to parlay that with a couple of extra hits."
Person came up big once again in the second inning, notching a line drive to center field. AJ King scored off the hit, Drummey was thrown out at the plate, and Person was then thrown out trying to stretch his run to third base. However, the damage was already done -— giving the Hawks a 4-1 lead.
Prep added a run in the bottom of the second, sophomore Keith Leavitt came around to score on a base hit by catcher Paul Crehan. Leavitt (2-4, 2B, 2 runs scored) also helped initiate the Eagles’ rally in the bottom of the sixth—one inning after Andrew Elliot belted a two-run home run for Xaverian that narrowly cleared the fence in right center field.
“He’s been a little out in front," Lambert said. "We talked a little bit about how he has to stay within himself. He obviously has some pop in his bat. If that had only been a double...we’d still be playing right now. We’ll take it, it’s a game of inches -— sometimes you’re on the right side of it.”
Down 6-2 in the bottom of the sixth, senior Nick Bragole drew a leadoff walk for Prep. Five pitches later, Leavitt slammed a ground-rule double down the right field line.
In the next at-bat, designated hitter David Bornstein got on base on an error, scoring Bragole, then Crenan (2-2, BB) and pinch-hitter Natty Cabral each had a pair of RBI singles—bringing the score to 6-5 after six innings.
“We had a tough stretch there, we had a passed ball and an error or two, and they jump on you," Lambert said. "Prep is a very opportunistic baseball team. They always are. When they take the momentum, they take it 100%. They’ve always been like that."
Justin Snyder (2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R) got the job done on the mound in the top of the seventh the Eagles, forcing Drummey and Person to ground out and fly out, respectively, before striking out Elliot on a fastball to bring his team to bat with one last chance to tie the game.
Senior captain Tyler Noe started off the bottom of the seventh with a leadoff walk, stole second on the very next pitch, and advanced to third on a routine ground ball played by the third baseman. This brought up Bragole, Prep’s clean-up hitter, with one out.
Bragole laid down a bunt, but Noe was gunned down via an underhand toss to the plate by Xaverian reliever Worth Walrod. Leavitt flied out in the next at bat to end the game.
“It’s a step in the right direction for us early in the season," Lambert said. "We have a ways to go…so that maybe we only have one mistake rather than three or four -— but at least we didn’t make five, cause that fifth one would have been the one that would have put them over the top. We were able to stop the bleeding there.”
June, 13, 2012
By Brendan Hall | ESPNBoston.com
BROCKTON, Mass. -– Simply put, this was a scary situation for Xaverian lefty Mark Stefaniak to launch himself into. Or to be more polite, one that demanded gumption.
Clinging to a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh inning, under the lights at Campanelli Stadium, and with the meat of one of the state’s most feared lineups coming up, the senior came in to relieve Fairfield-bound lefty Tim Duggan. He promptly let Lowell load the bases up with no outs.
Stefaniak could have cracked after fielding Derek Reed’s bunt wildly with a bad relay to first to load the bases. And you couldn’t blame him if his heart skipped a beat when cleanup hitter Chad Gens, one of the state’s most feared deep-ball hitters, launched a 2-1 fastball over the left field fence -– but about 10 feet into foul territory.
Instead, Stefaniak went fastball again -– “I just thought hey, two strikes for me,” he later explained. Gens dunked the ball to third base, and the 5-2 putout at home was made cleanly. And then, an unreal sequence of events unraveled.
Matt Tulley popped up a fly ball to Xaverian second baseman Chris Hoyt. With the infield fly rule in play, Hoyt intentionally bobbled the pop-fly into the shallow infield grass, freezing pinch-runner Ricky Rosado at third with a quick throw to home.
Only, Hoyt’s throw sailed about 30 feet above catcher Andrew Elliott (unintentionally, of course), so Rosado gunned it for home after a split-second hesitation. First baseman Mike LaVita was there to cover, however, and Elliott fired from the backstop to make the 4-2-3 inning-ending double play.
And like that, the best threat of the night from Lowell (20-5) had been nullified. Six outs later, Xaverian (17-8) wrapped up its second Division 1 Eastern Mass. title in three years with a 3-2 win.
“We were all extremely fired up after that,” Hoyt said. “It was really, I thought, the momentum changer for them and for us. We were talking up real loud. It just changed the game, that whole entire play.”
Xaverian head coach Gerry Lambert commended his players for not giving up on the play.
“It’s hard to put into words,” he said. “You always hope that the guys have the presence of mind to realize something like that’s happening. Even as a coach who’s into the game and yelling all the time, I don’t have the time to communicate that. Guys just have to be able to react.
“You can’t practice that play right there, that situation. I’m proud of Mike, Andrew Elliott for getting back to the ball, Chris Hoyt for being able to initiate the play, and it just barely worked out in our favor. We’ll take it. It wasn’t executed picture-perfect, but we just did enough to get it done.”
Hoyt sends ‘em home: Years from now, Xaverian faithful are probably going to remember Hoyt’s throw to home more than they are the two-run single the inning prior that put the Hawks ahead for good. But it’s no less important.
With two outs, and runners on first and second, pinch-hitter Aaron Drummey got hit by a pitch from Cam Latta to load up the bases. Hoyt then shot a 1-0 dribbler through the left side of the infield, just out of reach of the outstretched arms of Gens, to score LaVita and Aidan Desrosiers. Wolfe was caught in a rundown trying to take an extra base during the sequence, but the runs came across before he was tagged out.
Hoyt finished the evening 3 for 5, with 2 RBI, a run and three stolen bases.
“He’s the guy we want,” Lambert said of Hoyt’s two-run single. “I remember when he stepped up with the bases loaded, I thought, you know, if I had to pick anybody on the team…that’s the guy. For him to come up the way he did, he’s done it for me for three years, and he did it again today. Obviously, that was an enormous single -- not his hardest-hit ball, but we’ll take it.”
Just Short: The Red Raiders came into this contest having completed one of the most impressive defensive runs in recent memory of the Division 1 tournament. Capped with two superb starts from Tulley, a Virginia Tech signee, the Raiders allowed just two runs in four games.
But on the flip side, they scored just 10 runs in the North sectional, with five of them coming in their semifinal win over Malden.
“The pitching, I couldn’t have been happier with,” head coach Danny Graham said. “Defense was good. It’s just, it would have been a little nice…I said, and my coaches agreed, at some point offense is going to have to win a game for us. Your luck’s going to run out.”