Boston High School: Joe Cunningham

Recap: Plymouth North 3, No. 8 Marshfield 2

April, 30, 2012
PLYMOUTH, Mass. — Dwayne Follette probably won’t put a victory on the last day of April in the pantheon of achievements that he’s had as head coach of the Plymouth North baseball team.

But that doesn’t mean the Eagles' win over a powerful Atlantic Coast League foe isn’t important.

Plymouth North ended Marshfield’s 10-game winning streak with an opportunistic 3-2 victory on Monday at Siever Field.

The loss hurts the Rams as they were seemingly making their way through the league and the rest of their schedule, but the first league loss to the defending Div. 2 state champions brings a little more parody to one of the strongest leagues on the South Shore.

“We aren’t afraid of situations like this,” said Follette, whose team is now 7-3 on the season and 3-2 in the Atlantic Coast League. “It was a good win for us. We needed it. That keeps the whole league up for grabs. If they beat us now, then they are basically running away with the league title.”

Creativity on the Base Paths: It’s been a slow start to the season with the bats, according to Follette, so the coach has been trying to get some giddy-up when his players get on base.

Some of the ideas work, and some don’t.

In the fourth inning one of Follette’s gambles didn’t work. With two outs in the inning and Cody Holmes on third base, the Eagles head coach gave his leftfielder the green light to try and steal home.

Holmes was easily tagged out at home when Corey Stevens delivered the ball to the plate, but it was outside the box thinking to jumpstart the offense in a tie ballgame.

“It was a straight steal,” Follette said when asked if it was a missed sign. “You try to push the buttons...You try to do the extra things, get a steal or do whatever you can. If we start hitting the ball like we are capable of, and we are capable of hitting, then we are going to be a scary team.”

Ryan Moskos’ efforts in the bottom of the fifth signified the creativity that is needed with the speed all over the Eagles lineup. Moskos hit a slow roller to the right side and he darted down the line to beat out the footrace to the bag.

Corey Stevens picked off Moskos at first, but the speedster put his head down and got his way to second base just before the throw. The centerfielder took third on a fly ball to the outfield and he was able to score the eventual game-winning run on an error — one of four by the Rams on the afternoon — at first base with two outs in the inning.

“Once we get on base we have to get in scoring position right away,” said Moskos. “That’s why we steal so much.”

Kingsbury Clutch With Glove: In the top of the seventh inning with the lead runner on first base, Joe Kingsbury all but sealed the game with his diving catch and heads up play to double up the runner at first.

Kingsbury just got his glove under a line drive to left by Max DiTondo and easily got Joe Cunningham at first base as the Rams’ base runner was unsure if the ball was caught or trapped.

“I thought we got the breaks today,” said Follette. “Now we’ve got to stop winning with breaks and start hitting the ball."

Recap: No. 22 Marshfield 3, East Bridgewater 0

April, 18, 2012
HULL, Mass. — William Battis thought the championship game of the Brian F. O’Donnell Memorial Tournament was going to be a low-scoring, tight contest between his Marshfield Rams and the Vikings of East Bridgewater.

Maybe professional prognosticator should be added to his work experience next to baseball coach.

Kevin Kwedor outdueled Casey DeAndrade in one of the best early-season pitching matchups, as the Rams claimed their fifth title in the April vacation tournament with a 3-0 victory against the Vikings today.

The Rams pushed their perfect record to 8-0, while the Div. 3 Vikings took their first loss on the season and are now 8-1 on the year.

“That was a great pitching matchup,” said Battis. “Any time you see that in a high school baseball game you’ve got to love that, very impressive. I was very happy with the way that my guys hung in there, dug in there.”

It was a classic lefty-righty matchup on the mound, and both pitchers were masterful.

Kwedor struck out 10 and scattered five hits in his complete-game effort, while DeAndrade — who is heading to UNH on a football scholarship next year — only allowed one hit and three runs, all unearned, in his 5.1 innings of work.

“He is a great athlete,” Kwedor said of his counterpart. “I’ve faced him in the past as a pitcher and a hitter, and I just tried to outduel him.”

No-Hit, No Lead: For most of the game, DeAndrade was in the unique spot of tossing a no-hitter, but not holding a lead at that point. The righty, with the flowing blonde hair under his brim, gave up three walks in the first five innings without allowing a hit, but one of those free passes came back to bite him.

In the top of the third inning, DeAndrade walked the No. 9 man Collin Ross on a 3-2 count. DeAndrade tried to keep Ross honest at first with a throw over, but the throw was low and in the dirt allowing the Rams’ baserunner to reach second.

Joe Cunningham bunted Ross over on the very first pitch he saw and Max DiTondo pounced on the second with a long fly ball to left-center in the gusty wind for the sacrifice fly and a 1-0 lead.

“It was perfect execution,” said Battis. “We talk about it all the time. We are trying to execute game-in-and-game-out, and against a guy like this you have to.”

DeAndrade again issued a leadoff walk in the top of the sixth inning, this time to Cunningham, and the Rams capitalized on another mishap in the field by the Vikings. Jon Ryan sent a shot to short, and the Vikings shortstop had some trouble with his footing on the throw to get the Rams third basemen in safely.

Mark Pomella earned a walk to load the bases, and the first hit of the game for the Rams gave them the insurance they needed as Mike McGuiggan singled up the middle with the infield drawn-in for a 3-0 lead.

The Real Story: East Bridgewater coach Pat Cronin didn’t beat around the bush with his assessment in his team’s first loss of the season.

“The real story was the kid on the mound for them and our inability to hit that little breaking ball,” he stated.

That little breaking ball from Kwedor was on display several times to get the strikeout numbers up. Kwedor recorded six of his 10 strikeouts with a nasty curveball that busted caught the bottom of the strike zone and had Viking hitters swinging over the top of the pitch.

Kwedor struck out the side in the final inning to use the 3-run cushion to his full advantage.

“His curveball was so good,” said Battis. “It kept the hitters off-balanced and then he straightens you up with his fastball. Inside, outside, it doesn’t get much better than that. He had a real strong day against a good, deep lineup.”