Boston High School: Dan Cobban

D1 South Baseball: B-R 4, BC High 3

June, 10, 2013

BROCKTON, Mass. -— As Bridgewater-Raynham trotted onto the field for the top of ninth inning clinging to its 4-3 lead over Boston College High in Sunday’s Division 1 South final, it seemed like the already heart-pounding affair couldn’t inflict any more chaos on the players, coaches and fans in attendance.

But, sure enough, it did.

The Eagles put runners on first and second with one down in the ninth with No. 3 hitter Ryan Tufts stepping to the dish. And after Tufts worked the count full against Trojans closer Cody Medairos, BC High decided to send both runners on the pitch as Tufts blasted a shot towards the right-centerfield gap, causing both runners to try and motor on home to take the lead.

Fortunately for B-R, centerfielder Tyler Carey was there to save the game and the season.

Carey hauled in the fly ball on the run, then turned and fired to second to double-up the Eagles baserunner frantically trying to retrace back to the bag, providing the final moment of jubilation in a game full of them, as B.R. stormed onto the field with its 4-3 victory finally safe in its possession.

The Trojans will play D1 North champion Billerica Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the D1 Eastern Mass. Final at LeLacheur Park in Lowell.

Carey said he saw the runners take off when the ball came off Tufts’ bat, so he knew he would have a chance to double the runners up if he could get to the ball. But even he knew that wasn’t a sure thing.

“I made catches like that before so I knew it was possible, but I don’t know,” Carey said when asked if he thought he’d get to the ball. “I just tracked it down.”

B-R coach John Kearney said Carey’s grab was “one of the best catches you’ll ever see.”

“Everybody in the park probably thought that was going to be trouble. No question,” Kearney said. “But I looked up and I saw Carey got a great jump and I’m thinking, ‘He’s got a shot.’ I’ve seen him do that all year. He has tremendous speed and he’s made those kind of catches all year.”

“If that falls in, we’re gonna get two or three (runs) there,” B.C. High coach Norm Walsh said. “That puts a whole different spin on things.”

If the catch weren’t enough, it was Carey who gave the Trojans the lead in the bottom of the eighth. With David Miller on second, Carey worked the count full against Eagles pitcher Dan Cobban and ultimately lined a single through the infield and into left field, bringing Miller roaring around to score the go-ahead run.

Carey, who said he has been playing baseball since he was five-years-old, had trouble putting the game into words.

“I’m dreaming right now,” he said. “This isn’t real. This is crazy.”

B.C. High tied it up at three in the top of the eighth. After B.R. starter Mike Bruemmel walked Tommy Landry with one down, Kearney went to Medairos in the bullpen. But Medairos walked Andrew Jaehnig and then gave up an RBI single to Billy Mitchell to knot the score.

The Eagles nearly took the lead two batters later. With Landry on third and Jaehnig on second and two down, Tom Russo grounded a ball to second. But the ball ate up Connor Sullivan and ricocheted to his left, prompting the second baseman to slide to the dirt, spin and throw out the sliding Russo by half a step.

Bruemmel was tremendous on the mound, logging 7-1/3 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and four walks while fanning eight.

B-R jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first after a sacrifice fly by Joe Freiday, followed by an RBI triple by Miller and a passed ball to bring him in.

The score stayed that way until the sixth when Mitchell ripped an RBI double off Bruemmel to finally get the Eagles on the board. One batter later, Mitchell came around to score after a throwing error by the Trojans, cutting the deficit to 3-2.

D1 South Baseball: BC High 15, New Bedford 5

June, 1, 2013
BOSTON — Boston College High pitcher Dan Cobban was thrown onto the mound with the Eagles’ first-round matchup with New Bedford at a crossroads.

BC High ace Tommy McDonald had just surrendered a bases-clearing triple to Whalers senior Mike Rapoza in the third inning on Friday, bringing the underdog New Bedford squad within a run, 5-4, in the top of the third. And after Cobban hit Rick Moraes with his first pitch, the Whalers seemed to have the Eagles on the ropes.

But that proved to be Cobban’s one and only blemish.

Cobban set down the remaining 17 batters in his 5-2/3 dazzling innings of relief, keeping the New Bedford hitters off balance to record the win, while the BC High bats came to life with a four-run fourth and five-run sixth to top the Whalers, 15-5, at Boston College High School.

The sixth-seeded Eagles will play at No. 3 Silver Lake in Monday's quarterfinals.

BC High coach Norm Walsh said Cobban’s performance was similar to his April 26 outing in an extra-inning win against Chelmsford in which Cobban tossed 8-1/3 perfect innings of relief.

“He was totally the difference in the game because he shut them down and they couldn’t shut us down,” Walsh said.

McDonald struggled through 3.1 innings, allowing six hits while walking five —- one intentional —- and giving up five runs. The senior was working out of jams throughout his outing as New Bedford put runners in scoring position in all four innings he appeared in.

With McDonald struggling to find the zone, Cobban said he went in there to throw strikes.

“Tommy walked more than he usually does, so I figured if I give them strikes, it’ll make them hit,” Cobban said.

The game was stopped during the bottom of the fourth after the home plate umpire and field umpire had to switch duties after the home plate umpire appeared to show signs of fatigue as a result of Friday’s excruciating heat. The players returned to their respective benches for the 15-minute delay before the umpires returned to the field after switching equipment.

Once play resumed, the Eagles put an end to any talk about a potential upset. BC High scored four runs in the fourth -— including a two-RBI single by Tommy Landry -— to take a 9-5 advantage.

Landry drove in two more runs with a triple in the sixth as part of his 2-for-5, 5-RBI day.

Eight of the Eagles’ 13 hits came after the delay. Landry said he and teammate Jake Marotta spent the break hitting off the tee to get some more swings in, which he said paid off.

“It kind of gave us some momentum to stop and sit a little bit and we were able to focus up and crush the baseball a little bit,” Landry said.

New Bedford coach John Seed said he had never seen an umpire switch like that before in his 31 years of coaching high school baseball.

But Seed was hesitant to point to the delay as a turning point in the game.

“It seems like it took some wind out of our sails, but, I mean, I don’t know,” Seed said. “Who knows?”

“The health is more important than the game,” Seed continued. “BC’s a good team. We didn’t play our best game today so there’s not much you can do.”

Sean Webster went 3-for-5 at the dish for BC High, including two triples and a pair of RBIs.

Andrew Jaehnig plated two runs in the third and Webster added an RBI single of his own to push the Eagles lead to 5-1.

But the Whalers responded right back, loading the bases in the top of the fourth before Rapoza drilled a triple off McDonald to left field to clear the bases and cut the deficit to 5-4. Rapoza later scored on a sacrifice fly by J.T. Sylvia to even the score at five.

Recap: Lincoln-Sudbury 2, No. 3 BC High 1

May, 1, 2013

SUDBURY, Mass. -- It was a pitcher’s duel from beginning to end, and ultimately a clutch walk-off single from Lincoln-Sudbury senior Brian Carroll was the difference, giving the Warriors (6-4) a 2-1 win over third-ranked BC High (7-2).

Junior Owen Bautze, in his second start of the year, got the win for Lincoln-Sudbury, scattering three hits in seven innings pitched. BC High’s one run came by way of a home run by leadoff hitter Dan Dougherty (2-for-4) in the third inning.

“BC High--they can always swing the bats. Last year they put a quick eight runs on us. [Owen] pitched phenomenal for seven straight innings," Carroll said in praise of his teammate. "He came out against a very good team and performed well."

Lincoln-Sudbury coach Kirk Fredericks echoed his senior’s remarks on Bautze, pointing out Bautze’s gradual improvement in terms of his mentality on the mound.

“It’s all about getting better," Fredericks said. "Earlier in the year if he gives up a home run it would have affected him for the next couple batters. Here he gives up a home run, he comes right back, and he does a nice job."

Following Dougherty’s home run in the third, the Warriors come back in the fourth with a run of their own. Sid Warrenbrand hit a single up the middle to score Ian Kinney and tie the ballgame at one.

“We really worked on two strike hitting, it showed up today," Carroll said. "And working on keeping the ball on the ground, hopefully to get it through holes."

From there on out, Bautze and BC High starter Dan Cobban dominated the tempo of the game. Cobban avoided any jams until the bottom of the seventh inning, when Shane Sefton started off the inning with a base hit. Bautze bunted to the first base side soon after, and Cobban bobbled the ball before he could get a decent toss over to first.

With runners on first and second and no outs, Fredericks made the decision to pinch-hit Kieran Pathak. The move paid dividends, as Pathak’s sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third.

The next batter, Dylan DeFlorio, was intentionally walked—bringing up Carroll with the bases loaded. Carroll wasted no time, hitting a line drive up the middle on the first pitch he saw to win the game.

“The whole game I was seeing fastballs, so I just wanted to be aggressive at the plate and I didn’t want to get down in the count," Carroll said. "First ball I saw, I took a hack at it, and got up lucky for a single."

Fredericks added, on Carroll’s final at-bat, “That’s our best player, they put our best player at the plate. So if we’re going to beat BC High, it’s going to be with our best player. He gave us the best shot, got into one and got a nice pitch to hit.”

Fredericks admitted he was skeptical on how his team would come to perform, saying he kicked them off the field during pre-game for a lack of effort.

“There are some games we’ve executed and some games we haven’t," he said. "Today we had to kick them off the field. They came with a horrible attitude, a horrible effort [before the game]. On their own, wherever they went for a half an hour, they found it, figured it out, and came and matched BC High,” the coach said after the game."

He also sent out a challenge to his team after the game. A relatively young, but talented squad, Lincoln-Sudbury has taken its’ lumps this year, and Fredericks wants to see a more consistent effort from his squad from here on out.

“We worry about trying to get better, I tell them all the time that it’s not about the result, it’s about trying to get better. We got better today, but, we got better against Westford and then we laid an egg the next day against [Acton-Boxborough],” Fredericks said.

"So we’ll see how we do against Waltham, will we be two steps forward one step back again? Or will we take two more steps?”

Recap: No. 1 BC High 4, No. 20 Chelmsford 2 (9 inn.)

April, 26, 2013
CHELMSFORD, Mass. -- Norm Walsh thoroughly understands the importance of depth. The longtime BC High head coach is cognizant of the fact that you can never have enough of it when the situation calls for it.

On Friday, Walsh summoned two players from his deep bench who, in turn, performed remarkably in helping lift the Eagles to a thrilling 4-2 extra-inning victory over Chelmsford at Ayotte Field.

With his starter Zach Dunphy having already thrown 75 pitches in just 2 2/3 innings, and the season still in its early-stages, Walsh needed save his senior’s arm for the stretch run. Senior reliever Dan Cobban was brought in with his club trailing 2-1. For the remainder of the afternoon, Cobban was nothing short of brilliant in his 6-1/3 innings, allowing no hits and striking out five. The righty did his part, keeping BC High within striking distance until the offense flurried late.

“I just went out there throwing strikes and I knew my team could come back and get this,” said Cobban. “As long as I kept them in the game I knew we could win it. We really needed this after our loss to St. John’s Prep (6-5 on Wednesday). We had to get a bounce-back win and what better way to get it.”

After the Lions plated a pair of runs against Dunphy, Cobban came in and stifled Chelmsford the rest of the way with a mix of fastballs, curves and change ups.

“Cobban was just unbelievable,” Walsh said. “He completely shut them down by hitting his spots and keeping the ball down for the most part. He was simply outstanding.”

In spite of Cobban’s heroics on the mound, the Eagles were clinging to life support, down by a run with two out and no one on in the seventh inning. But good teams always seem to find way to come through and BC High (6-1) did just that.

Chelmsford pitcher Andrew Knightly, getting his first start of the year on the hill, was equally impressive. The senior limited the Eagles to a solo run on just two hits through his first six innings of work.

But in the seventh things changed dramatically. BC High senior Tommy Landry led off the frame by singling to left. Walsh had Nick Valicenti pinch-run for Landry. Valicenti advanced to second on a ground out and, following a botched pickoff attempt, took off for third. Lions centerfielder Tommy Bishop made a perfect throw to third baseman Conor Barry, who appeared to apply the tag on Valicenti just before the junior reached base. However, umpires called Valicenti safe.

Still in control, Knightly induced Sean Webster to pop out on the infield for the second out. Hoping for a miracle, Walsh opted to send out junior Andrew Jaehnig from the bench to pinch hit. The strategy worked to perfection as Jaehnig drove a Knightly outside fastball to right for a single to score Valicenti and even things at 2-2.

Knightly recorded the next out to avoid any further damage. But after Chelmsford failed to score in the bottom of the frame, Knightly, showing signs of fatigue, came out for the eighth and promptly issued a walk to No. 9 batter Nick Petchell. Lions head coach Mike O’Keefe made the decision to bring relief pitcher Joe St. Hilaire in.

“Andrew pitched a fabulous game for us today,” said O’Keefe, his team dropping to 5-3. “He’s a true pitcher who uses all of his pitches and changes speeds. He’s not an overly intimidating presence on the mound but once you get up to the plate you realize how quick he is. He never beats himself. Every time he pitches he gives you a battle. After today he deserves to get some more starts for us. I’m very proud of the performance he gave us.”

After Petchell was thrown out at second on a steal attempt, Hilaire surrendered a double to Dan Dougherty. But the senior managed to escape further trouble by and got out of the inning unscathed.

In the top of the ninth, however, he wasn’t as fortunate. Hilaire set down the Eagles’ first two batters with ease before Jaehnig singled to keep the inning alive. Luke Catarius followed with a long double to left plating Jaehnig and give the Eagles a 3-2 advantage. Billy Mitchell, pinch-running for Catarius, would later came around to score on Dougherty’s ground single to right.

“After our loss to St. John’s Prep on Wednesday it took us a while to get our act in gear," said Walsh. “Their pitcher did a very nice job keeping us off-balanced. It was getting somewhat frustrating but we were able to hang in there. Besides Cobban, Jaehnig was also unbelievable today. His hit ties it for us and later on he scores the winning run."

In the bottom of the inning, Cobban allowed a lead off walk before punching out the next three Lions batters to earn the victory.

Ryan Tufts put BC High ahead 1-0 in the first after stroking a Knightly fastball over the left field wall. But Chelmsford knotted things in the bottom of the inning courtesy of an opposite field RBI single from Mike Rosa. The Lions would take the lead in the third. Mike DeDonato tripled and scored moments later after Eagles left fielder Mike Roberts failed to corral Russell Olive’s hard liner.

“Give BC High credit,” O’Keefe said. “They’re a very good team and very well-coached. We hung with them to the end but it just didn’t work our way today. BC High will be in contention throughout the year but I truly believe we proved that we can play with them.”