Boston High School: Coyle-Cassidy

Coyle's Gubala commits to Merrimack

August, 13, 2013
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Coyle-Cassidy softball rising senior first baseman Brooke Gubala has committed to Merrimack College, she announced via Twitter on Monday.

Last season, Gubala hit .434 and on-base percentage of .473 with two home runs and 21 RBI for the Warriors.

"Merrimack College was always on my list because of it great academic reputation and smaller class size," Gubala told ESPN Boston. "However, after visiting the campus twice and really getting to know Coach Jim [Cardello] and his philosophies on attitude, sports, education and winning, it became a really easy choice."

Gubala also plays for the Mass 18U Gold travel softball team and is a member of the Warriors volleyball squad.

ESPN Boston MIAA All-State Baseball Team

June, 28, 2013
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STARTING ROTATION

RHP – Tommy McDonald, Sr., BC High
The ace and the workhorse of BC’s rotation, which saw the Eagles make their first D1 South Final appearance since 2009, McDonald often went late into games to pick up a win. He was 7-0 on the season, with a 1.90 ERA, five complete games and just 10 walks. The Quincy resident will continue his career next year at UMass.

LHP – Ben Bowden, Sr., Lynn English
The state’s Gatorade Player of the Year, Bowden is a repeat selection, having also made the starting rotation of the All-State Team in 2012. On the season he was 4-2 with 84 strikeouts in 52 innings, with just 10 walks for an ERA of 0.67. He also recorded a .459 on-base percentage at the plate, with 13 RBI. Bowden will play at Vanderbilt next year.

LHP – Scott Tully, Sr., Reading
Another repeat All-State selection, Tully dominated the Middlesex League en route to winning the Liberty division’s MVP. For the season he went 7-1 with 96 strikeouts and an ERA of 0.54. For his career, he has 29 wins and over 400 strikeouts. Tully is headed to Notre Dame next year.

RHP – Evan Flanagan, Sr., Hingham
The Patriot League’s Co-MVP saved his best stuff for the playoffs, as the Harbormen won their first Division 2 state title in school history. On the season he was 6-2 with 79 strikeouts in 56 innings, with five complete games, a 1.75 ERA and a WHIP of 0.93. Flanagan will continue his career next year at the University of Rhode Island.

LHP – Mike Gaughan, Sr., Walpole
One of the state’s most elusive lefties, Gaughan helped lead the Rebels to the No. 1 overall seed in D1 South. He was 10-2 on the season with 117 strikeouts and a 1.88 ERA, and held opponents to a .180 batting average. Gaughan is headed to Division 2 Rollins College (Fla.) next year.

STARTING NINE

C – Joe Freiday, Jr., Bridgewater-Raynham
One of the state’s leaders in runs plated, Freiday finished the year batting .425, with a .573 on-base percentage, 31 RBI and five home runs. He also drew 21 walks and struck out just 10 times. Freiday is fielding interest from an assortment of Division 1 programs.

INF – Nick Bragole, Sr., St. John’s Prep
Part of one of the state’s most prolific hitting lineups, Bragole put up .403/.532/.758 totals with 21 RBI and six home runs, along with 10 stolen bases, as the Eagles captured the No. 1 seed in D1 North, won 22 straight games and made an appearance in the D1 North final. Bragole is headed to Division 2 St. Anselm College (N.H.) in the fall.

INF – Kenny Michael, Sr., Norwood
Michael catalyzed the Mustangs late in the season when they snatched the Bay State Conference’s Herget Division title in the last week of the regular season. He was named the Herget MVP as he hit .429 with 27 RBI and a home run. Michael will continue his career at Division 2 Southern New Hampshire University.

INF – Alex Toomey, Sr., Beverly
Toomey beat out a number of high-profile players to take the MVP in the Northeastern Conference’s Large division, and deservedly so. For the season he his .431 with eight doubles, 31 RBI and five home runs, only striking out five times. On the mound, he went 6-2 with a 1.33 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 42.1 innings. Toomey is headed to Salem State University next year.

INF – Brandon Bingel, Sr., St. John’s Prep
This year’s recipient of the prestigious ESPN Boston Mr. Baseball Award, Bingel was a force in all three phases of the game to take Catholic Conference MVP for the second straight year. He batted .302 with 20 RBI and two home runs, and went 9-0 on the mound with 76 strikeouts in 58.2 innings, walking just 10 batters, for a 0.97 ERA. Bingel will continue his career at Bryant University.

OF – David MacKinnon, Sr., Oliver Ames
MacKinnon took Hockomock League MVP honors after hitting .500 with 16 RBI. One of the best pure athletes of the bunch, MacKinnon is also an All-American soccer player, and will play both sports at the University of Hartford.

OF – Ian Strom, Sr., Hopedale
Strom was a monster on both the mound and at the plate as the Blue Raiders reached the Division 3 State Final. He hit .514 on the year with 21 RBI and 15 stolen bases, and didn’t strike out all season. On the mound, he was 9-2 with 107 strikeouts in 67.2 innings, for a 1.45 ERA. Strom will continue his career next season at UMass-Lowell.

OF – Mike Bruemmel, Sr., Bridgewater-Raynham
The Co-MVP of the Old Colony League saved his best stroke for last, carrying a no-hitter into the eighth inning to lead the Trojans to their first Division 1 state title in school history. On the season he batted .341 with a .505 on-base percentage, with 21 RBI and 11 stolen bases. On the mound, he was 6-1 with 69 strikeouts in 41.1 innings, with a 1.82 ERA. Bruemmel is headed to Wheaton College next year.

DH – Malcolm Nachmanoff, Sr., Boston Latin
The Dual County League’s MVP of the Large division, Nachmanoff carried a heavy bat, hitting .507 with 26 RBI and five home runs. He also recorded a 1.45 ERA in 53 innings pitched. Nachmanoff is headed to Loomis Chafee (Conn.) next year for a post-graduate season.


BEST OF THE REST

OF – Dan Avery, Sr., Blackstone Valley Tech
Avery excelled both ways for the Beavers, recording .492/.579/.689 totals at the plate with three triples, 26 RBI, 28 runs scored and 18 stolen bases. On the mound, he was 7-2 with a 1.02 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 62 innings, with just eight walks. He will play both football and baseball at Massachusetts Maritime Academy next year.

3B – Ryan Baldwin, Sr., Fairhaven
One of the state’s leaders in home runs, Baldwin hit eight and batted in 34 runs, to finish the season with a .500 average and take South Coast Conference MVP honors. Baldwin will continue his career next year at Barry University (Fla.).

2B – Tommy Buonopane, Sr., St. John’s Prep
Another key cog to the Eagles’ impressive hitting order, Buonopane registered .354/.457/.585 totals with 21 RBI and three home runs, as the Eagles won the Catholic Conference outright. Buonopane is headed to the University of Rhode Island next year.
.354/.457/.585, 21 RBI, 3 HR

2B – Dan Connors, Sr., Danvers
A three-time Northeastern Conference All-Star, Connors captured the Small division’s MVP award after hitting .390, as the Falcons were the top seed in Division 2 North and reached the district final. Connors, a career .365 hitter, will enroll at UMass-Amherst in the fall.

LHP – Mac Curran, Sr., Coyle-Cassidy
A repeat selection, Curran was once again a force on the mound, going 5-2 with a 0.98 ERA as the Warriors captured the Eastern Athletic Conference outright. He also batted .402 with a home run. Curran is headed to Niagara University next season to continue his career.

C – Kyle Devin, Sr., Lynn Classical
One of the state's best arms behind the plate, Devin threw out eight of 12 steal attempts and also had 11 pickoffs. He also hit .410 with 16 RBI, five doubles, two triples, a home run and six stolen bases for the Rams. Devin is headed to Stony Brook next season to continue his baseball career.

SS – Isan Diaz, Jr., Springfield Central
One of the top defensive talents outside of Eastern Mass., Diaz showed off quite a bit with his bat as well, plating 19 runs and registering three home runs as the Golden Eagles once again reached the Division 1 West tournament.

RHP – Drew Foster, Sr., Nashoba
One of the steadiest starters in Central Mass., with a 4-1 record and 0.97 ERA, Foster led the Chieftains through a loaded Division 1 Central field to capture their first district title in program history. Foster is headed to Ohio University next year, where he intends to play club hockey.

RHP – Dustin Hunt, Sr., St. John’s Prep
Arguably the state’s top closer, Hunt embraced the role as the Eagles reeled off 22 straight wins before falling in the D1 North Final. On the season he struck out 31 batters in 27.1 innings, with a 1.54 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. Hunt, an Andover resident, is headed to Northeastern University next season.

RHP – Thomas Jankins, Sr., Quaboag
Jankins was dangerous on the mound and in the batter's box this season for the Cougars. He hit .473 with 19 RBI and two home runs, and was 5-3 with a 0.53 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 52.1 innings. Jankins will continue his career next season at Quinnipiac University.

OF – Tom Landry, Sr., BC High
Landry registered .348/.378/.493 totals at the plate and added 16 RBI and two home runs for the Eagles, who reached their first D1 South Final since 2009. He also struck out just 11 times and drew four walks. Landry will play for Wheaton College next year.

SS – Steven Lee, Sr., Braintree
Lee manned the middle of the Wamps’ order for the last three years, and put up impressive numbers in his senior season. He batted .376 with 26 RBI, one home run, 27 runs scored and 10 stolen bases as Braintree captured its fourth straight Bay State Carey title. He also committed just five errors in the field. Lee is headed to Stonehill College next year.

RHP – David Longstreeth, Soph., Smith Academy
Longstreeth is already over the 300 career strikeout mark, with 21 wins, in his still-blossoming career for Smith. On the season, he went 11-2 with 132 strikeouts in 80.1 innings, as the Falcons reached the Division 3 West Final.

RHP – Mike Lundin, Sr., Silver Lake
Lundin helped lead the Lakers to a Patriot League Fisher division title with his proficiency on the mound, going 7-2 with 86 strikeouts in 65.1 innings with a 0.67 ERA. Lundin will continue his career at Massasoit Community College next season.

OF – Tyler Lyne, Sr., Agawam
Lyne was a catalyst for the Brownies, who won the Valley League and reached the Division 1 West Final. For the season, he registered 16 RBI and two home runs. Lyne will continue his career at Merrimack College next year.

RHP – Donny May, Sr., Coyle-Cassidy
The other overpowering ace for the Warriors’ staff, May went unbeaten as they captured the Eastern Athletic Conference outright. He was 11-0 on the year, with a 0.44 ERA and 89 strikeouts, along with a .438 batting average at the plate. May is headed to Fordham University next year.

SS – David Murphy, Sr., Plymouth North
The Atlantic Coast League’s MVP helped the Blue Eagles to another league title, hitting .429 with 29 RBI and three home runs. He only struck out twice all year. Murphy will take his talents to Massasoit Community College next year.

SS – Noah Parker, Sr., St. Mary (Westfield)
One of the more underappreciated talents across the state, Parker was the catalyst for the Saints, who reached the Division 3 West quarterfinals. Parker registered 28 hits, 20 RBI and two home runs on the season. He will head to Seton Hall University next season as a preferred walk-on.

OF – Anthony Perriello, Sr., Norwood
A powerful hitter manning the middle of the Mustangs’ order, Perriello led the Bay State Conference in batting average (.507) and added 15 RBI and a home run.

RHP – Alex Person, Sr., Xaverian
The Foxborough resident manned the top of the rotation, as the Hawks tried to defend their D1 state title. On the season he struck out 52 batters in 51 innings, going 5-1 with a 2.06 ERA. Person will continue his career at Southern New Hampshire University next year.

C – Matt Phelan, Sr., Northbridge
Phelan was a force at the plate for the Rams, who reached their fourth straight Division 2 Central Final. On the season he hit .484 with 28 RBI and four home runs, and on the mound was 4-1 with a 1.91 ERA. Phelan is headed to St. Anslem in the fall, where he will play football.

RHP – Brendan Ryan, Sr., Newton North
Ryan earned MVP honors in the Bay State Conference’s Carey division, after going 7-1 with a 1.64 ERA and six complete games. Ryan also batted .347 with 17 RBI. He will enroll at the University of South Carolina in the fall.

RHP – Endy Sanchez, Jr., Holyoke
Another member of the 100-K club, Sanchez had one of the best strikeout-to-ratios in Western Mass., fanning exactly 100 batters in 62 innings pitched for the Purple Knights.

RHP – Kevin Superko, Sr., Wellesley
Following in the footsteps of his brother Tim, Superko carried on the name holding down the front of the Raiders’ rotation. On the season he recorded 67 strikeouts in 49 innings, with a 1.02 WHIP and holding batters to a .184 average. He will do a post-graduate season at Philips Andover next year.

RHP – Ryley Warnock, Sr., North Reading
Warnock was dynamic both on the mound and on the basepath for the Hornets, who captured the top overall seed in D3 North. On the mound he was 10-1 with a 0.44 ERA and 72 strikeouts, and at the plate he was .360 with 17 stolen bases. Warnock will continue his career next year at the University of Rhode Island.

LHP – Cody Younger, Sr., Middleborough
Younger came on in the second half of the season and led the Sachems through a gauntlet en route to the Division 3 state title, their first since 1997. On the mound, he was 4-2 with 53 strikeouts and a 1.90 ERA, and delivered wins over the top two seeds in D3 South. At the plate, he had .415/.482/.507 totals with 27 RBI. Younger will do a post-graduate season at Bridgton Academy (Maine) next year.

RHP – Zach Zona, Sr., St. Peter-Marian
Zona led the top of the Guardians’ rotation as they came on late in the regular season to make the Division 1 Central tournament. On the season he was 5-2 with 64 strikeouts in 46.2 innings, with a 1.05 ERA and two no-hitters. Zona will continue his career next season at UMass-Lowell.

Recap: No. 19 Coyle-Cassidy 7, Bishop Feehan 3

May, 15, 2013
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ATTLEBORO, Mass. -– Clinch the out-right Eastern Athletic Conference baseball championship?

Check.

Clinch the championship at the field of your archrival?

Check.

Clinch the championship with your ace pitcher on the mound?

Check.

Or to put it another way, Coyle-Cassidy, the 19th-ranked team in this week’s ESPNBOSTON.com’s poll, accomplished all it set out to accomplish Wednesday when it beat Feehan, 7-3, and swept the season series from the Shamrocks (12-4, 4-3).

“We wanted to win the league out-right today and not take it into the last game, which is Friday at Somerset,” Warriors coach Ken Lalli said of his team that’s 14-2-1 overall and 8-0 in the EAC. “This is a rivalry so this is a perfect setting to play Feehan for the league championship.

“Also, they have a pretty good overall record and we needed to bump them down a little for the overall seedings. This game was big for us and we were well-prepared.”

Without question Warriors senior right-hander Donny May was “well-prepared.”

In the process of going the distance, May allowed four hits (one of the infield variety), three runs (two earned) and two walks replete with 14 strikeouts.

Overall, May threw 74 of 112 pitches for strikes.

Moreover, May got stronger as the game progressed as witnessed by the fact that he struck out six Shamrocks over the last two innings.

“I trained hard this winter to go deep into games and I think it paid off, especially in this game,” May said. “Sometimes, especially on the road, it’s hard to get warmed up in the 30 minutes you have on the field. As the game goes on, I start to feel my arm feeling like it does when I do what it needs to do. I get pumping as the game goes on.

“Being in a high-intensity game makes your body a little bit more amped up and your adrenaline gets going.”

Coyle’s offense “got going” in the second inning when it strafed Sam McQuaid for four runs.

John Monihan and Travis Benson drew leadoff walks, and after Alex Turner fanned, Ryan Peck lashed an RBI single.

Hunter Klough followed with another RBI single and, after the second out, Ryan Kowalski belted a two-run double.

A third-inning error plus Turner’s double and Peck’s second single upped the Warriors lead to 6-0 which, in retrospect, was more than enough support May needed.

“I wanted to pitch the best game I possible could to give my team the motivation and inspiration to go out and get the win today and wrap up the season,” May said. “Feehan’s a great team. But I knew I had to come and compete against them and try my best to get these hitters out.

“I’ve been on my game. The last time we played them (a 3-1 Coyle victory on April 24 during which May tossed a five-hitter), I felt that way today.”

Feehan scored its first run in the second on Drew Briggs’ infield hit and added another run in the third on Brendan Tamul’s sacrifice fly.

Coyle tacked on an insurance run in the sixth when Klough reach on an error and scored on Mac Curran’s groundout.

Despite Wednesday’s impressive performance, Lalli still felt there was room for improvement prior to the playoffs.

“I think we’re 90 percent there,” Lalli said. “We still have a lot of things to work on...things that can go wrong...things that we’ve seen go wrong this season that we’re trying to protect ourselves against happening to us.

“Also, we need to learn more ways to score some runs and learn to deal with distractions. That’s a huge thing especially going into the playoffs.”

St. John's Prep new No. 1 in baseball poll

April, 29, 2013
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We updated our statewide MIAA Top 25 baseball poll this morning. To view it, CLICK HERE.

The next poll update will be Monday, May 6.

A few notes and observations about this week's poll:

St. John's Prep is new No. 1: Following its 6-5 thriller over BC High last Wednesday, St. John's Prep ascends to the top spot in the land for the first time since last season. The Eagles have won 10 straight since their season-opening loss to rival Xaverian, and a big reason is for the explosion of bats. Offensively, they are averaging 8.5 runs per game.

Catholic Conference reigns supreme: Catholic Memorial makes its season debut at No. 18, following a 5-0 upset of Xaverian on Friday. With the Knights' entry into the poll, as the fifth Catholic Conference school, this marks the first time since 2011, a league's full membership has been represented in the poll. Along with Prep's ascent to No. 1 the Catholic Conference also boasts BC High (3), Malden Catholic (8) and Xaverian (10) this week.

For the unfamiliar, the last time all five Catholic Conference schools were represented was in ESPNBoston.com's very first baseball poll of existence, the 2011 preseason poll. That list had none other than CM, with three Division 1-bound arms, as the top team in the land.

SPM making moves: St. Peter-Marian scored a huge victory on Saturday afternoon when they knocked off Malden Catholic 2-1 in extra innings. It marked the first time all season they have reached .500, and it also avenged a 3-1 loss to the Lancers back on April 13. With the win, SPM makes its season debut this week at No. 17.

The Guardians had a brutal start to their 2013 campaign, opening at 1-5 with losses to Hudson, St. John's (Shrewsbury), Billerica, Shrewsbury and the aforementioned Lancers -- all of whom are currently ranked, or have been ranked, in our poll this season. Since then, the Guardians have won four straight, getting excellent production out of its pitching staff led by D1 commits Zach Zona (UMass) and Jack Riley (UConn).

Making returns: SPM and CM are the lone teams making debuts this week, while a number of teams make returns after short absences. Westfield (20) returns after a one-week hiatus, followed by Braintree (22), Coyle-Cassidy (23) and Hudson (25).

Here's how the poll breaks down by league affiliation:

Catholic Conference - 5
Bay State - 3
Central Mass. Conference - 2
Northeastern - 2
Old Colony - 2
Southern Worcester County - 2
Valley League - 2
Atlantic Coast - 1
Cape Ann - 1
Eastern Athletic - 1
Merrimack Valley - 1
Mid-Wach B - 1
Patriot - 1
Valley Wheel - 1

Recap: Coyle-Cassidy 3, Bishop Feehan 1

April, 25, 2013
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TAUNTON, Mass. -- It's a luxury for high school teams to have a burly, overpowering, Division 1-bound ace the top of the pitching rotation, an intimidator who can take on a big workload and quiet the opposition's bats on days when one's own aren't working.

To have two of them? That's an extravagance.

[+] EnlargeDonny May
Brendan Hall/ESPNFordham-bound right-hander Donny May needed just 76 pitches to pick up the complete game win for Coyle-Cassidy.
One day after 6-foot-5, 240-pound Niagara-bound lefty Mac Curran went the distance in a win over Bishop Stang, the Warriors turned to senior Donny May, a 6-foot-3, 235-pound righty bound for Fordham, in their tussle with unbeaten Bishop Feehan. May went the distance, striking out seven, as they beat the visiting Shamrocks 3-1 at Hopewell Park to claim first place outright in the Eastern Athletic Conference.

Along with the seven K's, May allowed four hits, walked none and allowed one earned run. But perhaps most impressive was the fact he needed just 76 pitches to do it.

"My fastball was up there, everything was pretty much in synch," May said. "Feehan's a great team, I knew had to come here and compete. Especially having a great trainer here at school, getting me stretched out and loose really helps, loosening up the arm, getting going. Today everything was stemming off my fastball. When I can do that, game over."

Coyle (8-1, 3-0) spotted May three runs in the first two innings to give him some room to work with.

In the bottom of the first, with two outs senior catcher Ryan Kowalski reached first safely on a throwing error, setting up Curran for the longest hit of the day. Facing a 1-2 count, Curran blasted Teddy O'Heir's fastball deep to the right-centerfield gap, the ball one-hopping off the fence for a stand-up RBI double.

"I figured he'd throw me a curveball, because I got fooled on that, but he threw me a fastball down the dish," Curran said. "It was literally right down the middle, so I took it and hit it. I came off my front foot a little bit, but I still got a good piece...I looked up and said, 'I gotta go, I gotta start running'."

Coyle plated two more runs in the second for a 3-0 lead. First, senior third baseman Hunter Klugh drew a walk with the bases loaded to send home Cam Dorsey, with one out. In the next at bat, senior centerfielder Robby Robinson hit into a 4-3 putout at first base to score Alec Turner on a sacrifice.

Feehan (7-1, 1-1) got one back in the next stanza on a one-out RBI single from Alex Perry. But they were unable to muster another hit the rest of the way, going down 1-2-3 the final four innings -- including three straight flyouts to Robinson in center in the top of the seventh to end the game.

"We always circle [this game]," Warriors coach Ken Lalli said when asked about the magnitude of this win. "One of us is probably going to win the league, but we always circle these. Feehan is our rivalry, so this is always a big game."

Little Laboring for May: Two factors continually contribute to days like today for May, where he needed just the 76 pitches to go the distance.

For one, May demonstrates surgery with his pitch sequences in at bats. His fastball has been clocked as high as 88 miles per hour so far this spring, and has movement that cuts inside on right-handed hitters. Mixing that in with a slider that moves hard in the opposite direction made for many a quick at-bat this afternoon.

"Donny's one of the smartest pitchers I've ever had the privilege of working with, because he understands about pitch efficiency," Lalli said. "He doesn't waste any pitches at all. Every pitch has a purpose, and that's why he's able to go the whole game all the time at only, like, 76 pitches."

The other major contributing factor is the speed with which he works. At 235 pounds, his legs can carry him deep into games -- "I honestly felt like I could go another three innings today," he quipped -- but he doesn't waste a lot of time on the mound getting ready for the next pitch. Think more Mark Buehrle, less Josh Beckett.

"He likes to get the ball and work," Lalli said. "Sometimes we've got to slow him down a little bit, but he just wants to get it done. He knows what he has to do, he's got a job to do, and he goes right at it. There's no messing around.

"He has great composure, so if the umpire calls it a ball it doesn't affect him. He's already thinking about the next pitch, where most guys would take their time and walk around. Great composure out there."

New England Roundup: Rhode Island

March, 6, 2013
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At the risk of using a culinary metaphor, the regular season comprised the appetizer for boys’ basketball.

Rhode IslandThe soup and salad comprised the division tournaments. And the entrée is what 16 teams have been anxiously waiting to devour.

After Hope, Cumberland and North Smithfield annexed the Division I, II and III tournament championships, respectively, they’ll join 13 other teams for the third year that the Interscholastic League has held a tournament to determine the overall state champion.

The 16 teams are placed in four regions and seeded according to the final Power Point standings for the first round which tipped off Wednesday night:

Region 1: No. 16 West Warwick (17-8) vs. No. 1 Classical (17-5); No. 9 North Providence (16-5) vs. No. 8 Westerly (17-5).

Region 2: No. 16 Hendricken (11-10) vs. No. 2 La Salle (16-6); No. 10 Coventry (13-10) vs. No. 7 Hope (14-12).

Region 3: No. 14 Cranston West (14-9) vs. No. 3 North Kingstown (20-3); No. 11 Barrington (17-7) vs. No. 6 Mount Pleasant (13-8).

Region 4: No. 13 Prout (15-8) vs. No. 4 Cumberland (22-3); No. 12 Shea (16-8) vs. No. 5 North Smithfield (24-0).

How the three division champions reached their destination is an interesting story in each case.

Hope, for example, only was seeded eighth in the Division I Tournament. Yet the blue Wave captured their first championship since 1994 by beating fifth-seeded Coventry, 65-62 in the semifinals and upsetting third-seeded Classical, 69-65, in the finals.

Manny Kargbo scored a game-high 32 points (including 16-of-18 free throws) in the win over the Oakers while Ben Vezele posted a triple-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocked shots.

The Purple, who averaged 70 points per game during the regular season, connected on only 18.7 percent (3-for-16) of their 3-point shots against the Hawks and needed a free throw from Kealen Ives with eight seconds left in regulation to break a 44-44 tie and earn a 45-44 victory in the other semifinal.

Ives led Classical with 20 points.

Without question the parents of the Cumberland players weren’t even born the last time the Clippers won a state title – 1936 when the school annexed the former Class C crown.

Do the math and that championship ended a 77-year drought.

A late 16-4 run enabled Cumberland to build an 11-point lead over the Raiders and eased the pressure going down the stretch.

Dylan Boisclair led Cumberland with 22 points while Tom Lazarus chipped in with 21, including the last nine from the charity stripe.

All North Smithfield did en route to the D-III championship was post the best record (24-0) in school history.

The Northmen beat East Greenwich, 66-55, in the finals, which enabled them to become the first team since Classical in 2008 to go undefeated and win a division title.

North Smithfield’s Cody L’Heureux arguably played a game he’ll remember for the rest of his life.

Not only did he score a game-high 31 points, but he notched his 1,000th career point in the process on one of his five treys.

DOUBLE DRIBBLES

In other games of note prior to the division tournaments:
  • Hope’s Kargbo scored his 1,000th career point during a 52-51 victory over Cranston East, which clinched a playoff berth. Kargbo finished with 14 points and an assist on Vezele’s game-winning basket.
  • Vezele recorded a double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds (to go with five blocked shots) as Hope beat East Providence, 66-51, in a Division I preliminary round game.
  • L’Heureux delivered a premonition of things to come when he scored 27 points, including six treys, as North Smithfield whipped Davies, 79-53.
DOBSON IN ELITE COMPANY

Westerly’s Hannah Dobson moved into second place on the school’s all-time scoring list (boys and girls) as the Bulldogs belted Coyle-Cassidy, 48-31 in a non-league game.

Dobson now has 1,514 career points.

Scituate (14-2) clinched first place in Division II-North by beating Johnston, 52-40, with Sadie Ross contributing a double-double (16 points, 11 rebounds).

HAWKS LEAD THE PACK

Hendricken (13-2-1) remained atop the standings in the Division I Cimini Division by beating Cranston West, 5-2.

Three was the magic number in that game because Matt Creamer recorded a hat trick while Ed Markowski was credited with three assists.

Mount St. Charles (13-3-0) remained right behind Hendricken thanks to a 5-1 win over Barrington. Brian Belisle played a superb game by scoring two goals and assisting on the other three.

HENDRICKEN WRESTLERS THE BEST

Maybe what Hendricken’s wrestling team did on Feb.14 should have been an indication of things to come.

Coach Kevin Hennessey’s team handed Cumberland its first dual-meet loss in five years by coasting to a 47-9 victory, improving the Hawks’ record to 15-0.

Then, in the state championships, Hendricken won its first title since 2004 even though it only had one boy win an individual crown – Jason Davol at 106 pounds.

Hendricken amassed 168 points while Exeter/West Greenwich and Johnston tied for second with 133.5 points each.

The key for Hendricken was its ability to score points in the “wrestle-backs.”

Nicholas Celico, Rob Lanni, Anthony DiMauro, Chris Barone and Dallas Sauer lost in the quarterfinals but maintained their composure and annexed victories that earned them third-place finishes.

In other matches of note:
  • Warwick Vets’ John Alteri won his third state title by blanking Cumberland’s Cody Beaudette, 2-0, at 113 pounds.
  • Alteri’s teammate, Nathaniel Colicci, defended his 126-pound state title by beating Moses Brown’s Andrew Howard. The bout was tied at 2-2 after three regulation periods and three overtime sessions. The tiebreaker was Colicci’s ability to hold Howard for 30 seconds.
  • While the 126-pound bout was the longest of the day, the 138-pound final was the shortest since defending champion Christian LaBrie of Exeter/West Greenwich pinned Cumberland’s Jon Mancini in 24 seconds.
Mike Scandura has been covering high school sports, college basketball, football and hockey plus minor league baseball in Rhode Island since the early 1970s. A native of Oswego, N.Y, he’s a member of the Words Unlimited Hall of Fame, which is the statewide organization of sportswriters, sportscasters and sports publicists.

Recap: Latin claims Quinn Tourney title

February, 22, 2013
2/22/13
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Boston Latin hockeyJoshua Perry for ESPNBoston Latin claimed the inaugural Joseph Quinn Tournament championship with a 2-1 win over host Coyle-Cassidy.
RAYNHAM, Mass. -- If the Joseph Quinn Tournament is any indication, the Division 2 state tournament is going to be exciting. All four games at the Raynham Ice Plex were played with playoff-like intensity, with very few penalties, and each was decided by a single goal.

With 7:22 remaining in the championship game and the score tied 1-1, Boston Latin senior forward Joe Gillespie turned with the puck against the near boards. Heeding his coach’s advice, Gillespie flipped the puck towards the net where it ricocheted off the stick of a Coyle-Cassidy defenseman, past goalie Brent Petrowski, and into the far post.

In tight games, sometimes it is the bad bounce that decides the outcome. In the tournament final, the Wolfpack was the beneficiary of a fortunate bounce and turned it into the trophy-winning goal in a 2-1 victory.

It may not have been the prettiest of goals, but following the trophy presentation Boston Latin head coach Frank Woods was not complaining.

“We have a lot of kids that work hard and we preach throw the puck at the net because you never know what can happen,” he explained. “It’s just kind of our game. You give yourself a chance to bang an ugly one or two in, in games like this with competitive teams it’s usually the difference.”

When asked about how unlucky the final goal was, Coyle head coach Dave Borges simply smiled and shrugged.

“Like we told our guys, come next week those are the kind of pucks that go in the net,” Borges said. “You have to get pucks to the net in tight games and you never know what can happen. That’s a perfect example. Unfortunately, we’re on the short end, but I thought it was a great game.”

The Wolfpack (11-6-3) made a conscious effort to get the puck to the net as frequently as possible. Boston Latin dominated the first period, outshooting Coyle ,14-5, and opened the scoring with just 15.9 seconds remaining. Senior captain Ryan Dougherty made a great move through the Coyle defense and punched the puck in on the second attempt.

In the second period, the hosts asserted themselves. Coyle (13-5-1) outshot Latin 10-6 in the period and had a number of scoring chances before finally finding the equalizing goal. Nick Cambria laid the perfect pass in the path of captain Ryan Jones. The forward outskated the defenseman to the net and finished with a backhand over the pads of goalie Michael Murray before following the puck into the back of the net.

Borges praised Petrowski for keeping the team in the game and giving them the chance to turn the game around.

“I told Brent before the game that it’s their style,” Borges said. “They like to throw the puck at the net and he did a great job of either holding them or kicking the rebounds out to the corners.”

He added with a chuckle, “It was a great game…other than losing.”

Boston Latin won both games in Raynham by 2-1 scores (the first was on Tuesday against Franklin) and Woods feels that this will give his team plenty of confidence ahead of the state tournament.

“we have a group of seniors that have had a lot of success with this team, been in tournament games and won the league, but it’s good to get wins with this particular group,” Woods said.

CANTON 3, FRANKLIN 2
The consolation game featured Hockomock League division champions No. 24 Canton and Franklin meeting for the third time this season. The teams had split the opening two games so, in addition to finishing third in the tournament, the game would give one team the edge in the season series.

After losing third period leads in each of its last two games (including Tuesday’s overtime loss to Coyle), Canton (15-3-2) held off a late Franklin (13-7-2) flurry to win 3-2 and clinch the top seed in the upcoming Division 2 South sectional.

Bulldogs head coach Brian Shuman understood the importance of his team managing to hold on and get the victory over its league rival.

“In the third period against a good team, you need a lot of things to go right,” he remarked. “You’ve got to give credit to Franklin, they’re a phenomenal team, two very even teams and we just scored one more goal than them tonight.”

Canton stormed out of the gates and jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first period.

Just 2:50 into the game, senior captain Pat Ward scored his third goal of the tournament as Franklin goalie Devon Maloof was caught too deep on his line and the puck squeezed across the line at the near post. The first goal was fortunate, but the second was a great shot from J.C. Marcone just underneath the crossbar.

At this point, it seemed like Canton would cruise to victory, but Franklin showed the heart of a team that has been to consecutive state finals.

The Panthers got on the board on a redirected shot by sophomore Alec Borkowski, who got his stick to a shot by defenseman Kyle Filbert and sent it through Rich Nee’s five-hole. A minute later, captain Mike Patjane pounced on a rebound to make it 2-2 and give the Panthers momentum.

The momentum was short-lived as Canton fully controlled the second period, outshooting Franklin, 14-1. After Maloof robbed Brian Brooks, the Bulldogs got the go ahead goal from junior Ben Lodge, who found space in the slot and fired into the top corner.

Franklin head coach Chris Spillane emphasized the need for his team to play a full 45 minutes if they hope to be successful in the state tournament.

“It’s sort of been the season for us,” Spillane said. “We haven’t played three periods. We always take a period off and tonight it was the second. We had one shot on goal and the puck was in our zone the entire time and it takes a lot of gas out of you.”

Canton withstood a strong third period from the Panthers and Shuman was pleased to see that other players besides his top two scorers (Brooks and Ward) got on the scoreboard.

He said, “We had our second power play out there, which doesn’t get much run because our first line is pretty talented. They just kept it simple. We always say to win this time of year, you need twenty-four guys. You need those second and third liners contributing and we got it tonight.”

Quinn Tournament: Coyle, Latin advance

February, 20, 2013
2/20/13
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RAYNHAM, Mass. -- The inaugural Joseph I. Quinn Memorial Tournament kicked off on Tuesday night at the Raynham IcePlex. The tournament pits four Division 2 state tournament qualifiers: Boston Latin, No. 24 Canton, Franklin, and host team No. 21 Coyle- Cassidy. It’s a chance for all four teams to challenge themselves against playoff competition.

Coyle head coach David Borges noted that the tournament, which was named in honor of former Warriors coach Joe Quinn, who passed away this summer, meant a lot more to the Coyle program than just the chance to play good teams.

“The guys that played for him can’t say enough about how much he gave of his time, his money… it means a lot to us,” Borges said. “These guys [the current Coyle team], even though they haven’t been around him, we’ve tried to convey the history of Coyle hockey and they wanted to win for Joe tonight.”

Quinn was the head coach of Coyle for 35 years and won 11 division titles during his tenure, before stepping down in 2005. He founded the program and financially supported it while coach.

“He owned the shirt on my back when I played here,” Borges said.

Coyle (13-4-1) rallied to earn an overtime win over Canton (14-3-2) in the nightcap.

But, until the game-tying goal went in, the Bulldogs were dominating. This is the time of year when one mistake or one slip can turn a game around and send a team home and the Bulldogs saw that firsthand in 3-2 loss.

Leading 2-1 in the third period, Canton’s top line created four great scoring opportunities, but failed to finish any of them.

First, senior captain Pat Ward had the puck roll off his stick in front of an open net after slipping past two Coyle defenders. Then leading scorer Brian Brooks missed short side on a breakaway chance. Minutes later, Ward rifled a shot off the post. Finally, senior Michael Denehy had his one-timer in the slot saved by Warriors goalie Brent Petrowski.

Coyle made Canton pay with 4:13 left in the third period. Senior captain Ryan Jones flicked a pass from behind the net to a wide open Greg DiBona and the senior forward roofed his backhand to make it 2-2. Coyle had chances to win it in regulation but Canton goalie Rich Nee made several great stops to send it to overtime.

In the overtime, both goalies were tested before a slip by Bulldogs senior defenseman Stephen Mullaney gave Coyle an opening. Nick Cambria fired in a wrister just under the crossbar to win the game for the Warriors.

“We sensed desperation down 2-1, but once we scored that goal, we had the confidence that we could keep doing that,” Borges said about changing his team’s approach in the third period from carrying the puck to chipping it in deep. “That’s a great Canton team. They’re disciplined, they work hard, and they make you earn every inch of the ice.”

As far as the MIAA is concerned, the game finished in a 2-2 tie. This is the second consecutive game that Canton has allowed a third-period lead slip to a D2 tournament team.

That is a pattern that head coach Brian Shuman is working hard to change.

“I think one of the things that we have to learn is when we don’t get our scoring opportunities, or when we miss our chances, that we still have to pick up defensively,” he explained. “What you saw there was guys get frustrated that they couldn’t bury the puck and they lose their defensive responsibility. We’ve got to figure out a way to close out games.”

Jones had the opening goal of the game for Coyle on an assist from DiBona. Ward scored twice in the opening period, including a blistering slapshot into the top corner, to give Canton the lead which the Bulldogs held until the final period.

BOSTON LATIN 2, FRANKLIN 1

The cliché says, “You can’t score if you don’t shoot.”

That was especially true for Boston Latin (10-6-3), which had two deflected goals in its 2-1 win over Franklin (13-6-2) in the tournament opener.

The opening goal came with 5:28 remaining in the first period as defenseman Brian Forgione carried the puck into the attacking zone. The senior had few options so he fired a shot at Franklin goalie Devon Maloof. The puck ricocheted off the post and off the goaltender to make it 1-0.

Following a Troy Donahue short-handed goal that tied the game at 1-1, Wolfpack forward Greg Penella turned and fired a hopeful shot towards the Panthers net. The puck deflected off the skate of a Franklin player and past Maloof to make it 2-1.

Boston Latin head coach Frank Woods admitted after the game that these are the types of goals that his team has to score to be successful.

“That’s how we score,” he said. “We don’t have a very skilled team this year. We have a bunch of kids that work hard and we preach put the puck on net and go get the ugly goals or bang in a rebound.”

Despite trailing by a goal, Franklin was outshot in the third period, 12-2, and Panthers head coach Chris Spillane was disappointed that there was no reaction from his team to get back into the game.

“You expect everyone to step up and have a little extra offensive jump in your step and we didn’t see that,” he said. “We were content just backing up. Anytime that you put the puck on net in a close game, it’s a good shot and we just didn’t do that.”

Spillane added, “I guess if you’re going to have a bad game it’s better to have it this week than next week. We still have an opportunity to play a good team on Thursday. If we come out and play a good solid hockey game, we’ll go into the tournament feeling comfortable.”

Thursday night, Hockomock League rivals Franklin and No. 24 Canton will face-off for the third time this season in the consolation game at 6 p.m. and No. 21 Coyle will take on Boston Latin in the nightcap at 8 p.m.

Recap: No. 12 Archies 5, No. 22 Coyle 1

January, 31, 2013
1/31/13
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CANTON, Mass. – For what Cam Mariani might lack in stature, he makes up for in moxie.

After Wednesday night’s 5-1 non-league victory over Coyle-Cassidy at the Canton Sportsplex, the Archbishop Williams sophomore forward strutted around showing off the garment he earned after his two-point game.

“I bagged one [goal] tonight, and got an apple [an assist],” the Lilliputian-sized winger said casually. “I can’t complain.”

Mariani was wearing the sport coat handed out to the Bishops’ player of the game. The green paisley print on the jacket, which is an heirloom of Archies head coach Derackk Curtis, made it look as though it was plucked from Don Cherry’s wardrobe. Mariani’s teammates, who’ve given him the nickname “Nugget,” egged him on as he talked to reporters postgame. He was proudly wearing the blazer, which looked about six sizes too large for his frame.

“He’s a little guy, who we love,” Curtis added.

Mariani earned the right to wear the coat after pacing the Bishops to a fast start in a three-goal first period, dishing out an assist on their first goal and following with his first goal of the season at 9:18.

Mike Sorenti tallied Archies’ third goal, with assists from Mike Davis and Mike Jessman with 1:43 remaining in the period.

“I was happy that I had some playing time, I like getting out there early and getting in to the swing of things,” Mariani said. “My second shift of the game, got that goal, that really brought up the intensity for the whole game.”

Coyle (10-3-0) got back into the game in the second period on Frank Cambria’s slapshot and series of big saves from goaltender Brent Petrowski.

While neither side was able to capitalize on two power-play opportunities a side in the second, the Bishops (9-2-3) closed out the game with two goals in the third. Eric Keefe’s rising wristshot tucked underneath the crossbar at 9:12 of the third for Archies’ fourth before Nick Menzel rounded out scoring inside of four minutes.

MAKE SURE TO FINISH
Curtis emphasized his message to finish to his team, and the Bishops made good on that promise, coming out with a more spirited third.

It’s a trend that Curtis noticed earlier in the season, that his team would become complacent after taking an early lead. But the Bishops have responded of late, posting goal totals of seven, 10, seven and five in the last four wins, respectively.

“I think we still have a lot of work to do in keeping the competitiveness up,” Curtis said. “We have the ability to get on teams right away, but then we’ll ease up on the throttle because kids are trying to do too much.”

BATTLE TESTED, TOURNAMENT READY
For a Division 2 school like Coyle, Warriors head coach Dave Borges always makes sure his teams are prepped for the intensity level of the tournament. Borges schedules up to include many of the state’s premiere programs, such as Super 8 perennial contender Hingham, and Wednesday’s opponent.

While all three of the Warriors’ losses have come against D1 opponents, the longtime bench boss sees it as no worse for the wear.

“That’s why we play these games,” Borges said. “Hingham was a tough battle for us because they skate four lines and they keep coming at you in waves. [Archies] only skated three lines tonight, but this shows us the type of hockey that we have to play if we want to be successful in the tournament.”

Walpole enters boys' hockey Top 25 poll

January, 23, 2013
1/23/13
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For the first time in three weeks, our No. 1 team returns in this week's edition of the MIAA boys' hockey Top 25 poll.

Springfield Cathedral holds on to the top spot after avoiding a third-period comeback from No. 8 Central Catholic on Monday. There was just one change to our Top 5 this week with Austin Prep sliding back into No. 5 after Reading moved to No. 6, following a tie with No. 7 Hingham.

MOVING IN
For the first time since the 2010-11 season, Walpole snags a spot in the 25 this week, checking at No. 24. The Rebels are undefeated in the New Year (3-0-3) and haven't lost since Dec. 28, a loss to No. 22 Coyle-Cassidy. Burlington also returns to the Top 25 this week after a three-week absence. The Red Devils claimed two Top 25 victories last week -- both shutouts -- over No. 13 Winchester (3-0) and No. 18 Barnstable (2-0).

RISING TIDE
Newburyport makes its highest-ever showing in the poll, jumping to No. 16 following a 0-0 tie against No. 11 Beverly. Also hitting the high-water mark this week were No. 20 Duxbury (after a big 4-2 win over a peaking Marshfield squad) and No. 21 Lincoln-Sudbury (momentous DCL/MVC D2 win over Tewksbury).

BC High assumes No. 1 spot in hockey Top 25

January, 9, 2013
1/09/13
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With Malden Catholic facing its first MIAA defeat in nearly two calendar years last week, we have a new No. 1 atop this week's ESPN Boston MIAA boys' hockey Top 25 poll.

Unbeaten BC High (5-0-2) makes its first-ever appearance in the No. 1 spot. Catholic Memorial, which handed the Lancers their second straight loss on Tuesday evening with a 7-4 thumping, slide into the No. 2 spot and have yet to drop a point against MIAA competition. Springfield Cathedral holds steady in the No. 3 position, while St. John's Prep (which defeated MC on Saturday) reaches its high-water mark on the season at No. 5, followed by Malden Catholic.

(Note: Rankings do not reflect Tuesday's results)

UPHEAVAL ALL AROUND
Aside from the jockeying at the top of the poll this week, we also saw significant movement to the back end. We welcomed five new teams to the poll this week, including three schools which are making their first-ever poll appearance.

The resurgent Arlington program, which boasts an unbeaten record through the season's first month, makes its debut, slipping inside the Top 20 at No. 19.

Lincoln-Sudbury finds its way into the poll for the first time in our history after displacing Franklin with a 3-2 win in a non-league matchup that could be revisited in the Division 2 Eastern Mass. tournament.

Newburyport (4-1-3) found its way back into the poll for the first time since the 2010-11 season after a hot start and some good showings against Div. 1 opponents at the Cape Cod Freeze Out.

Duxbury makes its first foray into the poll at No. 24 this week and Coyle-Cassidy is back in the Top 25 for the first time this season, rounding out the poll this week.

THE DEPARTED
The turbulence during the last week also cost some much-talked-about team their space in the poll. Braintree (4-3-1), who started the season in our Top 10, fell out of the poll this week after hitting some speed bumps, as did Westford Academy (2-4-1), which has spent the greater portion of the last two seasons ensconced in the Top 25.

Coyle hockey coaching legend Quinn dies

July, 16, 2012
7/16/12
11:51
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Coyle-Cassidy hockey patriarch Joseph Quinn has died.

Quinn, 87, who founded the Warriors' program in 1972, passed away Sunday at his Taunton home surrounded by his family. A member of Boston College's national championship team in 1949, the Dedham native was behind Coyle's bench for 35 seasons and was a United States Marine Corps veteran, serving during World War II.

"He was a second father to me," current Coyle hockey head coach Dave Borges said Monday morning. "I spent a lot of time with him during my life, whether it was playing or coaching, and we're certainly going to miss him. It's a big loss for the Coyle family."

Quinn led the Warriors to 13 division titles during his head coaching tenure before retiring in 2005, when Borges stepped in.

"He was a great person and a great coach who lived a long, full life," Borges said.

ESPN Boston's MIAA All-State Baseball Team

June, 22, 2012
6/22/12
2:09
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STARTING ROTATION

All-StateRHP – Matt Tulley, Sr., Lowell
The Virginia Tech signee lived up to every ounce of his preseason hype, taking ESPN Boston’s 2012 Mr. Baseball Award earlier this week as the state’s top player. He earned his third consecutive Merrimack Valley Conference Player of the Year honor, going 7-1 with 90 strikeouts in 59 innings and one save, for a 1.46 earned run average. Opponents batted just .159 against Tulley on the season. At the plate, Tulley batted .306 for the Raiders, leading the team in RBI (20) and ranking second in runs scored (19). For his career, Tulley went 20-2 with a 1.57 ERA and 200 strikeouts in 140 innings.

All-StateRHP – Pat Ruotolo, Jr., Peabody
The 5-foot-10 craftsman caught national attention this year after throwing three no-hitters in a span of four starts, and finished the season as the state’s runner-up in strikeouts (130). In 76 innings of work, he went 8-1 with two saves, 31 hits allowed and 12 walks, for an ERA of 0.83, to earn Northeastern Conference MVP honors. He has 232 strikeouts since the start of his sophomore season, and over 300 for his career. Ruotolo is considering interest from a handful of Division 1 schools.

All-StateRHP – Alex Rozak, Sr., Plymouth North
The UMass-bound Rozak catapulted himself into discussion as one of the state’s best pitchers with his postseason play, winning three games as the Blue Eagles made their fourth Division 2 state final appearance in five seasons. He also carried a no-hitter into the final out in the Division 2 Eastern Mass final. For the season, Rozak was 8-3 with 61 strikeouts and 13 walks, with a 1.02 ERA. He won 24 games in his career at North, including a 9-1 campaign in the Eagles’ 2011 state championship season.

All-StateLHP – Steve Moyers, Sr., East Longmeadow
One of a handful of returning All-Staters, the University of Rhode Island signee is making his second appearance in the “Starting Rotation” after compiling a 7-2 record with 106 strikeouts. Over his last two seasons, he has gone 15-3 with 194 strikeouts, and he leaves East Longmeadow as one of the school’s winningest, compiling a 30-3 career record.

All-StateLHP – Ben Bowden, Jr., Lynn English
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound southpaw got off to a hot start, throwing a perfect game on April 7, and didn't cool off. On the mound he had six wins, with 82 strikeouts in 51.2 innings for a 2.19 ERA. At the plate, he played a key role in the Bulldogs' stunning upset of Peabody in the Division 1 North tournament; on the season, he batted .394 with 21 RBI, two home runs and nine extra-base hits, and also drew 17 walks.

STARTING NINE

All-StateCF – Casey DeAndrade, Sr., East Bridgewater
The speedster joins exclusive company as one of several players to make All-State in two sports, having made the football squad last fall. This spring, he put up .455/.506/.682 totals at the plate, with 25 RBI, two home runs, 19 runs and 15 stolen bases. On the mound, he went 5-2 with 67 K’s in 50.2 innings, holding opponents to a .106 average as the Vikings captured their first Division 3 South title since 1993. DeAndrade is headed to the University of New Hampshire in the fall for football.

All-State2B – Chris Hoyt, Sr., Xaverian
Nobody elevated their stock in the playoffs more than the Stonehill College-bound Hoyt, who pounded out eight RBI in the MIAA tournament – including four in the Division 1 state final. Batting out of the leadoff spot this spring, Hoyt batted .411/.477/.526 totals, with 19 RBI, two home runs, stole 19 bases and only struck out three times in 107 plate appearances. He also posted a ridiculous OPS of 1.003.

All-StateC – Bobby Melley, Sr., BC High
A returning All-Stater, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Centerville resident was one of the state’s most dangerous power hitters, compiling .370/.557/.685 totals with 13 RBI, three home runs and drawing 22 walks. Behind the plate, only two runners attempted to steal on him, both of which were caught out. Melley will continue his career next year at UConn.

All-State1B – Chris Shaw, Sr., Lexington
A returning All-Stater, Shaw was one of three Bay Staters taken in this year’s MLB Draft, going to the New York Mets in the 26th round. This spring, he batted .480 with seven home runs and 27 RBI, and also went 5-0 on the mound with 95 strikeouts in 45 innings. Shaw will be honoring his commitment to Boston College rather than signing.

All-State3B – Frank Crinella, Sr., Springfield Cathedral
In addition to flawless defense, Crinella was a tough out at the plate, hitting .456 on 26 hits, with 27 RBI and four home runs to go along with it as the Panthers went 18-2 before a surprise upset in the Division 1 West quarterfinals. Crinella will continue his career next year at Merrimack College.

All-StateSS – Matt O’Neil, Sr., East Longmeadow
Coupled with Moyers, the returning All-Stater formed an imposing 1-2 punch on the mound for the Spartans, who suffered a surprise upset in the Division 1 West semifinals. O’Neil batted four home runs to go along with 21 RBI; on the mound, he was 4-3 with 70 strikeouts in 41.1 innings. O’Neil will continue his career next year UConn.

All-State1B – John Jennings, Sr., Newton South
The Dual County League’s Large Division MVP was a force at the plate for the Lions, batting .415 with five home runs and 31 RBI. On the mound, he was 4-1 with 31 K’s in 27.2 innings, for a 1.27 ERA. He will continue his career next year at UMass.

All-StateSS – Regan Aghdam, Sr., Burncoat
One of the state’s premier leadoff hitters, Aghdam was solid at the plate, leading the Inter-High league in batting average (.463). On the mound, he went 6-0 with 43 strikeouts in 49 innings pitched. Aghdam will continue his career next year t the University of Rhode Island.

All-StateSS – Brandon Bingel, Jr., St. John’s Prep
The Catholic Conference’s co-MVP was a driving force for the Eagles, hitting .418 with 25 RBI and five home runs. On the mound, he was 5-1 with a 1.20 ERA in 40.2 innings pitched. Bingel is currently committed to Bryant University.

BULLPEN

All-StateLHP – Scott Tully, Jr., Reading
Tully had a breakout junior season, going 8-2 with four saves with a 0.99 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 63.1 innings, tied for third-most K’s in the state. Tully also allowed just 27 hits this spring. He is currently committed to Notre Dame.
All-StateRHP – Pat Delano, Sr., Braintree
Nearly two years after Tommy John surgery, the 6-foot-7 fireballer found his way back to the top, going in the 35th round to the Boston Red Sox in the MLB Draft, and earning MVP honors in the Bay State Conference’s Carey Division. He posted a 1.21 ERA with four wins and 50 strikeouts in 57 innings, and added four home runs at the plate. He was also named a Region 1 All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association. Delano is currently committed to Vanderbilt, but has until the August 15 deadline to decide whether he’ll sign or not.

RHP – Charlie Butler, Sr., Nashoba
A returning All-Stater, Butler was once again dominant on the mound for the Chieftains, striking out 90 in 54 innings for a 0.91 ERA and 6-2 record. At the plate, he batted .365 with 14 RBI and two home runs. Butler will continue his career next year at the University of Maine.

All-StateRHP – Mike Walkowicz, Sr., Amherst
Another one of the state’s strikeout kings, Walkowicz went 5-4 on the mound as he rang up 112 batters in 65 innings of work for an average of nearly two K’s per inning. He will continue his career next year at Endicott College.
All-StateLHP – Tyler Buck, Sr., Franklin
One of the state’s most elusive lefties, Buck went 7-1 on the mound with 80 strikeouts and a 1.42 ERA for the Panthers, who were the No. 1 overall seed in Division 1 South. He also went .378 at the plate with 18 RBI and two home runs. Buck will play next year at St. Anselm College.

All-StateLHP – Mac Curran, Jr., Coyle-Cassidy
The hard-throwing 6-foot-4, 240-pound Lakeville resident was an intimidator for the Warriors, going 6-1 with a 0.52 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 49 innings. He also batted .351 at the plate, and is 14-3 so far as a starter for Coyle. Curran is currently fielding a slew of Division 1 interest.

All-StateRHP – Brandon Shileikis, Jr., Dighton-Rehoboth
The workhorse logged 68 innings and struck out 74 while walking just 12, going 9-1 with three saves, an ERA of 1.75 and a WHIP of 0.96. At the plate, Shileikis had .427/.456/.524 totals with 28 RBI and 27 runs. Shileikis is currently fielding various Division 1 interest.

All-StateRHP – Keegan Dellacona, Sr., Barnstable
The 6-foot-3 Dellacona formed a dynamic 1-2 punch on the mound along with UConn-bound Willie Nastasi, as the Red Raiders won the Old Colony League outright. For the season, Dellacona struck out 67 in 49.1 innings, for a 4-0 record and 0.89 ERA. He also threw 70 percent of his pitches for strikes, registered a 0.67 WHIP, and held opponents to just a .136 batting average. Dellacona is undecided on college plans.

All-StateLHP – Ryan McDonald, Sr., Acton-Boxborough
Another of the state’s most deceiving lefties, McDonald went 5-2 with 71 strikeouts in 46 innings, for a 1.98 ERA. He also led the Dual County League in batting average (.468) and plated 16 runs, including two homers. McDonald had previously signed with Bryant University, but is currently uncommitted.

All-StateRHP – Lee Albertson, Sr., Westfield
Albertson was the ace of a Bombers staff that won its third Division 1 West title in five years this spring. He went 6-2 on the mount with two saves, and struck out 58 batters in 54 innings. Albertson will be heading to Holyoke Community College next season.

UTILITY

All-State3B – Joelfi Arias, Sr., Springfield Central
The Eagles scored one of the biggest upsets of the MIAA tournament by knocking off Springfield Cathedral, and Arias played a big role. He had five home runs on the season to go with 24 RBI, and on the mount he had 65 strikeouts in 62 innings, logging a 5-2 record. Arias is headed to Juco power Indian Hills Community College, in Ottumwa, Iowa.

All-StateOF – Adam Benvie, Sr., Dighton-Rehoboth
One of several mashers on a lineup that batted nearly .400 as a team, Benvie posted .386/.538/.771 totals with 37 RBI and five home runs, scoring 27 runs and drawing 22 walks. Benvie will continue his career next year at UMass.
All-StateC – Joe Walsh, Sr., Taunton
The Old Colony League MVP led the Tigers on a surprise run to the Division 1 South final, where they lost to eventual state champ Xaverian. He batted .447 with 31 RBI, 23 runs scored and three home runs, for an on-base percentage of .562. He leaves Taunton a career .379 hitter with a .486 on-base percentage and 50 RBI. Walsh will play next year at Eckard College in St. Petersburg, Fla.

All-StateSS – Evan Mondor, Sr., Dighton-Rehoboth
One of several big bats that led the Falcons to the No. 1 seed in Division 2 South, Mondor posted .478/.617/.791 totals with 10 doubles, three home runs, and 20 RBI. Mondor also scored 35 runs and only struck out three times all year. He will continue his career next year at Bentley University.

All-StateSS – Brendan Skidmore, Sr., Franklin
Skidmore took home Hockomock MVP honors this season after batting .467 with five home runs and 21 RBI for the Panthers, who won the league outright as well as the No. 1 seed in Division 1 South. Skidmore will do a post-graduate year at Bridgton Academy next season.

OF – Jarrod Casey, Sr., Milford
A returning All-Stater and the reigning Mid-Wach A MVP, Casey put in another dominant season for the Scarlet Hawks, batting .490 with 22 RBI. On the mound, he was 6-2 with 73 strikeouts in 47 innings, for a 0.91 ERA. Over the last two years, Casey has gone 14-3 on the mound.

All-StateSS – Sean O’Neill, Sr., Norwood
The senior played a significant impact on the Mustangs’ run to the Division 1 South quarterfinals, taking MVP of the Bay State Conference’s Herget Division in the process after batting .416 with 16 RBI and a home run in the wood-bat league. O’Neill will play next year at Merrimack College.

All-StateSS – Dan Cellucci, Sr., Lincoln-Sudbury
Another returning All-Stater, Cellucci was consistent once again for the Warriors, batting .435 with 18 RBI and two home runs as the Warriors came up short in the Division 1 state title defense. Cellucci will continue his career next year at Bryant University.

All-State1B – Adam Mayhew, Sr., Westfield
His numbers probably don’t reflect his importance to the team (12 RBI; 3-0, 15 IP), but his defensive presence was without question as the Bombers won their third Division 1 West title in five years. Mayhew will continue his career next year at Westfield State University.

Photos of Adam Mayhew, Mike Walkowicz, Lee Albertson, Matt O'Neil and Joelfi Arias are courtesy of the Springfield Republican. Photos of Pat Ruotolo, Ben Bowden and Mac Curran are courtesy of the Area Code Games.

ESPN Boston MIAA softball All-State team

June, 22, 2012
6/22/12
2:21
AM ET
Starting Rotation – First Team
All-StateKiara Amos, Sr., Malden
The Providence College signee led the Golden Tornadoes to their first-ever state finals appearance after claiming the Eastern Mass. title. Amos went 15-1 for Malden, notching 195 strikeouts in 105 innings thrown all while boasting a 0.47 ERA. The right-hander set another first for Malden’s program as its first-ever Div. 1 college scholarship player.

All-StateMeghan Rico, Sr., King Philip
Rico concluded her high school career as one of the most decorated players in the state, a winner of two state championships and last year’s ESPN Boston Miss Softball. The George Washington signee went 17-3 for the Warriors this season, striking out 274 in 142 innings thrown while surrendering just 10 earned runs all season.

All-StateSarah Ropiak, Sr., Acton-Boxborough
Headed to Brown University next year, Ropiak was a three-time Dual County League All-Star and earned MVP honors in the large division this season. The right-hander posted an ERA of 0.69 while leading the Colonials to a Division 1 North final appearance.

Kendal Roy, Soph., Grafton
The second-year sensation lifted the Indians to their first-ever state championship with a win over Abington in the Div. 2 final. Roy went 18-1 with an ERA of 0.72 in 126 innings thrown with 176 strikeouts while allowing just 11 walks.

All-StateShannon Smith, Jr., Milford
The University of Kentucky commit was near unhittable this season while leading the Scarlet Hawks to an undefeated season and the Division 1 state title. This year’s ESPN Boston Miss Softball Award recipient was also named Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year for the second time (2010, ’12) in her career.

Starting Nine – First team
Katie Caruso, Sr. SS, Newton North
Caruso won the Bay State Conference’s triple crown, leading the league in batting average (.662), home runs (10) and RBI (47) while also clubbing a conference-best 51 hits. The Bay State MVP was also a standout on the Tigers’ hockey team. The four-year starter will continue her playing career next year at Southern New Hampshire University.

Lexi Gifford, Sr. SS, Natick
While Caruso may have been named Bay State Conference MVP, Gifford has been the league’s most valuable lead-off hitter during the last four years. The UConn signee hit at a .615 clip while driving in 33 runs for the Red & Blue this season. Gifford was also a true three-sport athlete at Natick, as a four-year letter-winner in soccer, basketball and softball.

All-StateBri Chiusano, Sr. CF, Mansfield
One of the most feared lead-off hitters in the state and a superb slap hitter, the Hockomock League All-Star showed off her power as well with four home runs this season. The Coastal Carolina signee finished second in the Hock in hitting with a .521 batting average.

All-StateOlivia Godin, Sr. C, King Philip
The UMass-Amherst signee was a four-year starter for the Warriors, helping guide the program to back-to-back state titles in 2010-11. The backstop hit .299 this season with three home runs and 18 RBI.
All-StateAlexis DeBrosse, Jr. SS, New Bedford
Already a three-time New Bedford Standard-Times Player of the Year award winner, the three-time Big Three All-Star hit .521 for the Whalers this season. The three-sport athlete also hit five home runs with 26 RBI and a slugging percentage of 1.099.

All-StateJulie LeClair, Sr. 3B, Coyle-Cassidy
Comprising one half of the state’s best left side of the infield, along with shortstop Patty Borges, the St. Anselm signee led the Warriors to the EAC crown with a league-best .527 average. The three-sport athlete also clubbed a league-leading five home runs along with 32 RBI.

All-StateBella Picard, Jr. SS, Blackstone Valley Tech
The nation’s leading hitter resided in Upton this year with the Beavers’ shortstop hitting an astounding .877 (57-for 65). The converted soccer player also tied for the state lead in home runs with 10 while driving in 43 runs.
All-StateMadi Shaw, Soph. SS, Bridgewater-Raynham
The second-year shortstop powered the Trojans to their first-ever Division 1 South sectional crown. Shaw hit .471 with eight home runs and 34 RBI for the Old Colony League champions.

Reilly Weiners, Jr. C, Agawam
Weiners helped lead the Brownies to the Division 1 West sectional title this season. The backstop led all Div. 1 players in Western Mass. with 35 RBI while knocking out 38 hits on the season, including three home runs.

Bullpen – second team
Megan Colleran, Soph., North Attleborough
Megan Cook, Soph., Bellingham
Mackenzie Coopinger, Sr., Lynn Classical
Audrey Dolloff, Sr., Bridgewater-Raynham
Courtney Girouard, Soph., Fairhaven
Trish Hansen, Sr., Mansfield
Shelby Higgins, Sr., Lowell
Kelly Norton, Sr., Abington
Shannon Orton, Sr., Case
Lauren Ramirez, Jr., Dracut
Jurnee Ware, Sr., Hudson

Bench – second team
Patty Borges, Sr. SS, Coyle-Cassidy
Tori Constantin, Jr. 2B, King Philip
Caroline Fairbanks, Jr. 3B, Milford
Courtney Hoban, Sr. OF, Boston Latin
Emily Hoffman, Sr. C, Malden
Nicole Lundstrom, Jr. C, Dighton-Rehoboth
Michaela Mazure, Fr. INF, Burlington
Kelsey Perron-Sovik, Sr. CF, Fairhaven
Christina Raso, Sr. SS, Burlington
Dakota Smith-Porter, Jr. P/SS, Turners Falls

COACH OF THE YEAR
John Furlong, Malden

D2 South softball: Abington 3, Fairhaven 1

June, 10, 2012
6/10/12
11:11
PM ET


TAUNTON, Mass. -- A year ago, the Abington softball team was in the midst of a comeback bid against Coyle-Cassidy in the Div. 1 South semifinals when third baseman Stephanie Cornish slid into second base and broke two bones in her leg.

After undergoing surgery and not being able to walk for two and a half months, Cornish missed the fall soccer season while rehabbing. She was able to get back in time for basketball in the winter, but when spring rolled around, Cornish and her Green Wave teammates felt they had some unfinished business to take care of.

With Cornish playing a pivotal role in what was a stellar defensive performance, No. 1 Abington finished what they tried to do last year by capturing the south sectional title with a 3-1 victory over No. 3 Fairhaven Sunday at Taunton High School.

"Last year I broke my ankle. We were in the middle of a comeback too," Cornish recalled. "We were playing Coyle-Cassidy and I slid into second base and I broke my ankle - but I was safe though so that was good. But I think that kind of slowed our comeback a little and we ended up losing. Making it all the way this year is a great feeling. I can't describe it."

Cornish recorded a putout and three big assists in the later stages of Sunday's contest, emblematic of the way the Green Wave (22-2) settled down defensively after committing a pair of first inning errors that led to Fairhaven's (20-3) only run.

The defense provided a big boost behind Abington ace Kelly Norton, who scattered four hits and struck out six while setting down 16 of the last 17 hitters she faced from the third inning on.

"Since I have been at Abington Kelly has won 43 games and only lost four," said Green Wave coach Ernie Ortega. "That will tell you what kind of competitor she is and she does not let things get her down. It was very easy for them to get down after being down 1-0.

"We weren't making contact but once we tied the game and then took the lead, there was no looking back" he continued. "It's only the second time we've been down since I think the beginning of May. That was a testament to these girls. They showed they can play with the best of them."

A bit of nervousness played a role in a choppy start for Abington as the Lady Blue Devils put together a run when Kayli Moniz led off the game with a double and scored two batters later on a throwing error.

The Green Wave were to cash on mistakes as well, as Liz Morgan tied the game in the second, scoring after a double and a throwing error. Abington took the lead for good in the third when both MacKenzie Gillis and Jill Marella came all the way around after a pair of errors on Marella's bunt attempt.

Norton slammed the door shut from that point on, shaking off the nerves and allowing just a sixth inning double over the final five innings.

"Everyone just needed to take a deep breath because we always get nervous," Norton admitted. "Everyone's on the bus freaking out and jittery and we all just need to remember its just a game. We've played what, 23 times before this game? Everyone just relaxed and got back at it and collectively we did our job."

Norton added, "After the first two innings, I could tell I wasn't fully warmed up. Yesterday I was on it, I could feel I was in the zone. But after those first couple of innings I got down to basics and it just worked I guess."

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