Boston High School: Joe St. Hilaire

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.”

Recap: Haverhill 30, Chelmsford 23

October, 6, 2012
Tommy Morgan Ryan Kilian for ESPNBoston.comQB Tommy Morgan tossed the game-winning touchdown pass for Haverhill with 7.7 seconds left.
HAVERHILL, Mass. – “This is a program game,” Haverhill head coach Tim O’Connor told his team after their thrilling 30-23 win over Chelmsford (4-1) on Saturday evening.

With the game tied at 23-23 senior quarterback Tommy Morgan led the Hillies on a 71-yard drive that ended with a 10-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Jordan Javier with 7.7 seconds remaining on the clock.

“I actually called for a field goal first and I said to myself, there is too much time,” O’Connor explained after the game. “I have a senior quarterback and a great receiver so I pulled them aside and said, let’s throw a fade. Everyone in the house knew the fade was coming. Either Javier is catching it or nobody is catching it.”

On the final drive Haverhill (4-1) star running back Chance Brady ran for 33 of his game-high 204 yards on two big carries up the middle. Morgan also connected with wide receiver Shane Roche for a chain-moving completion that brought the ball into Lions territory.

“We knew that Jordan was going to be double covered so I just threw the ball up to Shane over the middle and he made a great play,” Morgan said of the play.

The touchdown pass to Javier was his second touchdown reception of the second half. The 6-foot-4 standout wide receiver totaled five catches for 62 yards on the night.

“A big difference is that we have weapons on the outside this year,” O’Connor said. “Every week it is someone different and if you want to put eight in the box, go ahead, as we have a 6-foot-4 receiver who we can throw the ball up to in the end zone.”

Special teams were also crucial for both teams as both place kickers came up with big kicks down the stretch in the pouring rain.
After a 32-yard Patrick Yale field goal that broke a 20-20 tie late in the final quarter Chelmsford kicker Charlie Calenda matched him by booting a 29-yard field goal with 55.2 seconds to tie the game at 23-23.

Chelmsford led 14-7 at the half and 20-7 in the third quarter before the Hillies mounted their second half comeback.

Morgan’s Magic: A three-year starter at the quarterback position, Morgan has seen the Hillies go from 0-11 in 2010, to 4-7 in 2011, to 4-1 to start the 2012 season.

“This was a program changer,” Morgan said after the game. “Nobody thought we were going to win this game. For us to come out and win a game like this will make teams think twice about coming in and thinking they have a definite win.”

The senior captain completed 13 of 20 passes on the night for 154 yards and two touchdowns. He also proved his worth as he stood strong in the pocket on multiple occasions to complete passes under heavy duress.

“I have told him all along that he was going to have to win us some big games this year,” said O’Connor of his quarterback. “Chance cannot do it all for us every game. Chance is a great player and he had a great game but Tommy more than won us this one.”

D’Auria continus to run wild: D’Auria was tough to stop all night as the junior followed up his 290 yard performance last week in a win against Dracut with 158 yards rushing on 28 carries on Saturday. D’Auria’s speed and ability to stay low and run through defenders make him one of the most dangerous backs in the Merrimack Valley Conference this season.

Chelmsford sophomore Jack Campsmith also played well in his first varsity start as he completed 13 of 21 passes for 119 yards and alos had a rushing touchdown.

Calenda and tri-captain linebackers Matt Rabbito and Chris and Tony Marino all played well defensively for Chelmsford.

Upcoming Games: Both teams have one more game remaining before they dive into league play. Haverhill will travel to Billerica next Friday while Chelmsford hosts MVC D2 newcomer North Andover. Both Billerica (1-4) and North Andover (1-3) are off to slow starts but in a balanced MVC D1 and D2 this season every game is a battle and every game is up for grabs.


HAV (4-1) 0 7 13 10 --- 30
CHE (4-1) 0 14 6 3 --- 23

Second Quarter
C – Jack Campsmith 3 run (Charlie Calenda kick)
C – Jeff D’Auria 2 run (Calenda kick)
H – Chance Brady 42 run (Patrick Yale kick)

Third Quarter
C – Joe St. Hilaire 30 pass from Eric Van Gelder (kick failed)
H - Brady 7 run (Yale kick)
H - Jordan Javier 16 pass from Tommy Morgan (kick failed)

Fourth Quarter
H – Yale 32 field goal
C – Calenda 29 field goal
A – Javier 10 pass from Morgan (Yale kick)

Recap: No. 14 Chelmsford 6, No. 7 MC 3 (8 inn.)

April, 5, 2012
Joe VelozoBrendan Hall/ESPNBoston.comJunior lefty Joe Velozo (8 K's) looked promising despite picking up the loss for Malden Catholic.
MALDEN, Mass. — Mike O’Keefe knows that nothing is going to come easy for his Chelmsford baseball team this season, and he got a real good sense of his team’s resolve in the very first outing of the year.

The Lions watched a 2-run lead dissipate with one swing of the bat in the seventh inning, but rallied back with three runs in the top of the eighth without recording a hit to snare a 6-3 extra-inning affair over host Malden Catholic (0-1) yesterday.

“I was really proud of our guys,” said O’Keefe. “We didn’t put our head down and we sort of clawed back right away. That’s the type of team that we are going to have to be. Those are the types of games that we are going to be in all the time. We aren’t the type of team that is going to pound people and score 10 or 15 runs.”

Jake Kelley was maneuvering his way through the Lancers lineup through 6.2 innings, but hit a bit of a thud on the way to the complete game victory. Lucas Lott worked a two-out, pinch-hit walk and the next batter, Steven Passatempo, made everyone’s afternoon a little longer with an opposite field home run to right to tie things at 3.

The Lions wasted little time to help pick up their starting pitcher.

David DeDonato worked a leadoff walk and Mike DeDonato had an interesting time trying to get the former into scoring position. Mike DeDonato fouled off his first two bunt attempts and fought off a couple pitches before the Lancers' catcher had a tough time handling a high pitch from Paul Campbell. David DeDonato moved to second base and Mike DeDonato finally worked a walk after a nine-pitch at-bat.

Matt Rabbito got the intentional pass to set up the force at any base, and Tom Murphy put the go-ahead run back on the board with a sacrifice fly to right.

“I saw fastball right down the middle and saw the infield in, so I had to get a sac-fly to get the runner home,” said Murphy, who went 1-for-3 with two RBI. “That was the most effective way to do it.”

Mason Trubey stung a grounder to shortstop, but the throw to first was high and mishandled by the first basemen to allow two more runs to come home for a 3-run lead and silence the Lancers bench after the tying home run seemed to energize the home dugout.

“When you grab momentum like that you have to finish it off,” said Malden Catholic head coach Steve Frecker.

Joe St. Hilaire closed things out with a 1-2-3 inning for the victory. Kelley was charged with three earned runs on five hits with four strikeouts and three walks in seven innings of work.

Lancers' Lefty Sharp Early: For three-plus innings it looked like the Lions wouldn’t be able to touch Joe Velozo.

The Lancers lengthy junior lefty was hitting both corners with his fastball and challenging right-handed hitters inside to burn through the first 10 hitters of the game. He struck out six in the process — including back-to-back on six pitches to start things.

The second look for the Lions’ heart of the lineup was a little bit different. The Lions stung three straight hits in the top of the fourth to grab a run, and Mike Rosa tacked on another run with a sac-fly to right for a 2-1 lead.

“We were just looking to stay back on his ball,” said Murphy. “He’s a good pitcher.”

“He was dominating,” added O’Keefe. “The first time around we tried to muscle up a little bit and swing harder instead of staying within ourselves and try to shoot the ball the other way.”

Velozo was tagged for three runs on four hits in 6.1 innings with eight strikeouts.