Boston High School: Austin Batchelor

Recap: No. 3 BC High 2, No. 8 Malden Catholic 1

May, 3, 2013
DORCHESTER, Mass. —- Despite going 0-for-3 in his first three at bats, BC High’s Luke Catarius came through in the clutch during extra innings as the Eagles walked off with the 2-1 win against Catholic Conference rival Malden Catholic.

Catarius was up with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning against Malden Catholic (7-5) relief pitcher Joe Velozo. He started his at bat by missing a bunt, which resulted in Tom Russo being picked off third base as BC High (8-2) had the suicide squeeze on.

After failing to connect on the bunt, Catarius smashed a single to right. Pinch runner Billy Mitchell slid past the tag of Austin Batchelor at the plate giving the Eagles the win on the dramatic walk off play.

“I knew I had to make up for [the bunt].” Catarius said. “It would have bad if I didn’t make up for it. The ball was on the outside part of the plate. I just slapped it to right, I saw Bill come in to score, so I was just like lets go and got all amped up.”

BC High’s starting pitcher, Trent Berg, threw the first five innings, and limited the Malden Catholic offensive attack to only one run. Berg struck out five and although he had some control issues (3 BB) he battled through his start.

“Trent did a nice job for the most part,” BC High coach Norm Walsh said. “The walks are still an issue, but he battled through it, which is the most important far.”

The Eagles’ bullpen was called upon to throw four innings, and they did not disappoint keeping the Lancers at bay. Both Matt Nielsen (three innings) and Chris LaLiberte (one inning) combined for four scoreless innings of relief work.

“Neilsen is always rock solid, and LaLiberte came in and threw a big inning,” Berg said. Usually we don’t have to go that deep into our pitching, but today we proved that we have a strong [pitching] staff.”

Malden Catholic’s starter, Paul Campbell had a gutsy performance leading the Lancers into extra innings. Campbell threw eight strong innings striking out 11 and only allowing one run. Campbell only surrendered four hits and issued two walks during his eight innings of work.

“Campbell did a great job, and he is a bulldog,” Malden Catholic coach Patrick Driscoll said. “He loves to compete, and he went out there and compete all day today. He gave us a chance to win.

The Lancers drew first blood in the first inning, as Austin Batchelor who had singled was able to come in on a past ball. The lead did not last though. Jake Morotta laid down a perfect bunt scoring Nick Petchell on the suicide squeeze.

In the fifth inning, Malden Catholic was pressuring the Eagles with runners on first and third. Chris Lanzilli ripped a line drive down the third base line, but BC High third basemen Tom Russo nabbed the ball and tagged the runner out at third to turn the inning ending double play.

“The defense was unbelievable for me today, and Russo is always there to bail me out,” Berg said.

The BC High defense did not stop there though as Jake Morotta made a diving play in the hole at shortstop with the winning run on third base. Morotta got up and rifled the ball to first base just in time to beat Malden Catholic’s Steve Passatempo to first base.

With BC High’s timely defensive plays, the Eagles set themselves up for victory in extra innings.

Recap: No. 4 BC High 2, No. 6 Malden Catholic 1

April, 9, 2013
MALDEN, Mass. -- As far as league openers go, you can't get much better than Ryan Tufts' night.

Beneath the lights Monday night at Maplewood Park, the Virginia Tech-bound third baseman shone his brightest for Boston College High when it mattered most, in the Eagles' Catholic Conference opener against host Malden Catholic. Facing fireballing MC sophomore reliever Austin Batchelor with one out in the top of the seventh, tied 1-1, Tufts sat fastball and didn't have to wait long to get his pitch.

[+] EnlargeBC High Baseball
Brendan Hall/ESPNVirginia Tech-bound third baseman Ryan Tufts' sacrifice fly to deep center scored the winning run in the seventh inning for BC High.
Tufts blasted one deep to center, a ball that was eventually dropped but scored Dan Dougherty from third to make it 2-1. The Eagles then sealed it in the final frame with a double play, to improve to 3-0 and 1-0 in the conference.

"He's clutch, he can hit anybody," Eagles coach Norm Walsh said. "In fact, that ball might have been a little up and out of the strike zone, but he's got such talent that he just did the job for us. That was one fantastic baseball game."

Said Tufts of seeing the drop, "I was pumped. Any time you can get an extra baserunner there, it's really big, especially when we're trying push across a few runs."

BC High took the initial 1-0 lead in the top of the second with some smart baserunning from Ryan Tropeano. After reaching first on a fielder's choice and stealing second, the sophomore scampered home after the second baseman dropped the ball trying to tag out Sean Webster trying to steal second.

MC fired back in the bottom of the fifth with a dramatic shot from pinch hitter Paul Garozzo. Facing a full count with two outs and a runner at third -- Cam Lanzilli, who led the inning off with a triple -- Garozzo sliced one just inside the foul line down first base for an RBI triple and tie ball game.

McDonald grins and bears it: Clearly, there are divided schools of thought amongst MIAA coaches as to how to handle pitchers in the first month of the season, when temperatures are still cold and arms are still getting broken in after a winter with limited live throwing.

Some like to keep starters regimented around 60 to 70 pitches, approaching the subject like a faberge egg; then there are those like Walsh, who let senior righthander Tommy McDonald throw into triple-digits, watched as McDonald took a ball off his left knee trying to bare-hand a comebacker in the final frame, and said, "You can't get mad at him though, because he's just so competitive."

"He wanted to make that play," Walsh said. "I think [second baseman] Jake [Marotta] would have had it, but he's such a competitor. You can't fault him for that."

Said McDonald, "I had the adrenaline running, it didn't even faze me. I'm just glad I stopped the ball from going into centerfield."

McDonald, a UMass commit, threw close to 115 pitches in a complete-game effort, striking out seven and walking none while scattering five hits and allowing the one earned run.

"At this point, he's thrown a bunch of bullpens in the preseason," Walsh said when asked about pitch count. "He's not going to start again for eight or nine days. He was throwing strikes, he was pounding the zone. I talked to [catcher] Luke [Catarius], Luke said he was really throwing the ball well still, so at this point no. He was probably up around 115 or so, and that's reasonable for him. He's our horse."

It's easy to see why the reigns are a little looser on McDonald. The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder demonstrates good command of his fastball, locating it around the zone, and doesn't labor on the mound. He generates much of his power from his legs, and is the kind of type-A personality you want as a starting pitcher -- asked how he'd characterize himself, he laughed, "I'm kind of a jerk out there...I don't want to give anything up."

Asked how he felt after racking up a high pitch count this early, McDonald said he felt fine.

"I was going into this thinking four or five innings, and leaving the rest for the bullpen," he said. "But my adrenaline was going and I felt in mid-season form. I just feel really good right now."

Seamless transition: Forgive the Eagles if they've been spoiled the previous three seasons with Bobby Melley behind the plate. The UConn freshman catcher was one of the state's most feared hitters a season ago, hitting .370/.557/.685 totals with 13 RBI and drawing 22 walks to earn a spot on ESPN Boston's All-State Team.

But it looks like the equally-bulky Catarius, bound for Princeton University as a linebacker at a burly 6-foot and 230 pounds, will keep everyone comfortable despite his limited varsity experience. Catarius batted .267 a year ago in just 17 plate appearances.

Confidence around Catarius is apparent immediately.

"We didn't lose anything, he [Catarius] picked up right where Melley was coming back from," McDonald said. "Good presence behind the plate, good presence in the dugout, good presence with everything...He knows where I like to throw [and] where, inside, outside. He knows when to go out there, when I'm having a tough time."

Said Walsh, "[Luke] is a really tough, competitive kid. He's the heart and soul. He's got that fire to him."

Velozo battles: In five complete innings of work, senior lefty Joe Velozo worked his way out of jam after jam on the mound for MC. In the third, he retired the first two batters (K, 6-4) then loaded the bases up, then put out his own flames with some high heat to Tom Russo, getting him swinging up and out of the zone.

The next inning, he evaded trouble again thanks to a 3-2 double play from first baseman Steve Passatempo to Batchelor. Passatempo dove to his left for an unassisted out at first, then fired home to Batchelor, who made a terrific block at the plate for a tag on Tropeano. In his last go-around, the fifth, he struck out the first two batters then allowed batters to reach second and third before ringing up Russo again to end the scoring chance.

Velozo finished with six strikeouts and scattered six hits while walking three. Nick George relieved him in the sixth, followed by Batchelor in the seventh.

"Very little fazes him," MC head coach Pat Driscoll said of Velozo. "I think he likes being in the big pressure situations. He wants to be that guy in that situation, making the pitches and getting his team back in there to hit."

Recap: No. 6 St. John's Prep 3, Malden Cath. 2

May, 7, 2012
MALDEN, Mass. — Brandon Bingel sure didn’t look like a pitcher who went 10 innings in his last outing.

Bingel struck out six and didn’t allow a runner to reach base in three scoreless innings of relief as St. John’s Prep inched out a 3-2 victory at Malden Catholic (7-6) in a rare night game in the Catholic Conference.

The junior right-hander needed 44 pitches to get through his three innings after throwing 79 to go the distance and then some in the Eagles' last victory against Catholic Memorial.

“I felt pretty confident,” said Bingel, whose team is now 12-3 on the season. “I threw 10 innings against CM and it was a really good outing, so I was really confident. Everyone was swinging at the high fastball, so I just kept pumping that thing in.”

Bingel struck out five of the first six batters he saw and used a four-seam fastball with some good late movement on it to fool the Lancers hitters in a one-run ball game.

“He’s been tough all year,” said Prep head coach Pat Yanchus. “He gave up three real good innings after his last start, which was pretty incredible because I haven’t seen 79 pitches in 10 innings before.”

Wild Pitches in Wild Win: The Prep bats were quiet on a brisk night and only collected six hits against Jeremy Roberts and Paul Covelle. Instead, they used mistakes from the Lancers’ pitchers to their full advantage.

The Eagles scored all three of their runs on wild pitches to overcome their hitting woes.

In the first inning, Tommy Buonopane scored on a wild pitch to get the first run of the game, and Anthony Capuano got in standing up at home after a pitch from Roberts got away from Austin Batchelor.

In the top of the sixth inning, the Eagles capitalized again. Nick Sadler beat Covelle to the plate with a tremendous pop-up slide for the go-ahead run before Bingel shut things down.

“When I was coming down the line I didn’t even really see it,” said Sadler. “I saw the pitcher coming in fast and I thought he was going to overshoot the bag, so I just tapped the outside of the bag.”

Defense Comes Up Big: The Prep did have its share of miscues in the field, but there were several big plays to keep the Lancers from breaking the game open.

In the first inning, Nick Turco looked like he would score on a wild pitch by Bobby Woodworth, but Jake Barosin was able to shovel the baseball right to his pitcher to save a run.

Kenny Runge was gunned down at third with some aggressive baserunning on a perfect relay from Capuano, to the shortstop Bingel, to Tyler Noe at third.

Capuano also showed off his arm in right when he gunned down Anthony Carbone at the plate with a one-hop throw after Ryan January singled after the Lancers had plated two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.