Boston High School: Mark Brodd

Legion District 10 announces award winners

September, 24, 2012
District 10 American Legion Baseball announced its postseason All-District Team over the weekend, as well as the establishment of postseason awards. Barnstable Post 206 manager Sean Walsh passes along the postseason accolades for what was a successful summer for the district:

MVP - Dylan Morris, Barnstable Post 206
44 hits (team record), .488 BA, .586 OBP, 37 runs, 22 RBI, 22 BB, 14 SB

Pitcher of the Year - Keegan Dellacona, Barnstable Post 206
7-0, 52.2 IP, 70 K, 15 BB, 0.79 ERA

Umpire of the Year - Peter Marciano

Coach of the Year - Sean Walsh, Barnstable Post 206

1st Team All-District Team

Rockland Post 147:
1B - John Mulready
RHP-SS - Brody Loughlin
RHP-SS – Sean Roache

Hingham Post 120:
RHP/3B - Sean Greene
SS - Chuckie Connors
1B - Eddie Bowler

Plymouth Post 40:
RHP -- Alex Rozak
SS -- David Murphy
3B -- Mark Mineo

Marshfield Post 88:
LHP – Kevin Kwedor
SS – Brett Morgan
3B – Mark Pomella

Sandwich Post 188:
3B/RHP – Bobby Bray
OF – Michael Pratt

Kingston Post 387:
RHP - Mike Lundin
SS - Matt Woodman
LHP - Zach Schindler

Bridgewater Post 203:
CF - Mike Muir
1B/DH - Matt Rubino
RHP - Cody Medairos

Orleans Post 308:
RHP-3B-1B - Nick Taber
LHP-1B - Wes Brown
RF - Joey Ogden

Whitman Post 22:
1B - Chris Adams

Brockton Post 35:
3B - George Bradshaw
RF - Joel Woodbridge
LHP - David Tarr

Duxbury Post 223:
C - Brian Hocking

Pembroke Post 143:
P - Luke Nagle

Barnstable Post 206:
CF – Dylan Morris
RHP – Keegan Dellacona
2B – Mark Brodd
DH – Alex Pernick
RHP – George Bent

Hawkeye Athletic Club:
1B - Nicholas Cogliano
RHP - Zac Cooney

Middleboro Post 64:
RF-1B-LHP - Patrick Nicholson

Wareham Post 220:
P - Matt Beatty
SS/3B - Jimmy Gamache
2B/Utility - Billy Peterson

D1 Baseball: Barnstable 5, Framingham 0

June, 7, 2012
HYANNIS, Mass. -- Keegan Dellacona had been itching for another crack at it since his last playoff appearance with Barnstable, some two seasons ago when the then-sophomore got tossed around by Catholic Memorial for a quick exit in a 19-0 loss.

But part of Dellacona's pre-game routine involves blasting heavy metal on his headphones, so naturally he might have been a little too fired up. Especially after fanning 14 batters in a complete-game win that gave himself goosebumps.

"The anxious factor really gets to you sometimes," he said, stumbling over his words. "When you get anxious is when you start making mistakes and, you've got to take it one pitch at a time. You've got to be...not really think that much, but try and keep them off-speed, I mean, off-balance at the same time."

Then he cracked a smile -- "I mean, I'm still hyped up, I've still got the adrenaline in my body, so I'm stuttering here."

The 6-foot-3 senior turned in one of his best performances of the season in going the full nine, allowing just three hits in addition to the 14 K's, as the Red Raiders advanced to Friday's Division 1 South semifinals with a 5-0 win over Framingham.

And try as he might, he couldn't stay calm.

"I try not to get hyped up [before starts], I try to keep to myself," Dellacona said. "But I was really excited for today. Sophomore year, Catholic Memorial shelled me -- I was horrible -- so I was really anxious for today, to get back out here in the playoffs and do good."

Meanwhile, the bats of the Red Raiders (16-4) gave Dellacona plenty of run support against a Flyers (12-8) squad still beaming from a shocking upset of state championship contender BC High yesterday afternoon. Mark Brodd and Sam Holway each stole a base to start off the bottom of the second, and Dennis Beynor blasted a two-out single to the left-centerfield gap to send them both home and make it 2-0.

The Raiders plated two more runs in their next trip up, with Everett Walsh hitting a sacrifice fly to right, followed by a Brodd RBI single. Walsh popped another sac-fly to right in the fifth for the 5-0 advantage.

Dellacona retired the final 17 batters he face in succession to pick up the win, and he did it with an efficient combination of a hanging curve and two-seam fastball with some late life.

"His two-seamer had some run on it today, so he was eating the outside corners," Barnstable head coach Joe DeMartino said. "Just throwing it, and having to come back over the plate. Those guys looked like they'd never seen a two-seamer like that before, he could put it where he wanted it today."

Dellacona's outing is the second straight complete-game outing for the Raiders in as many playoff games. UConn-bound righthander Willie Nastasi, who struck out seven and allowed five hits against Catholic Memorial on Saturday, will get the nod Friday night at Quincy's Adams Field, against the winner of tomorrow's quarterfinal between Franklin and Taunton.

Heist in Hyannis: The Raiders stole second a whopping eight times to manufacture the runs -- including five times over the second and third innings alone, and two each from Morris, Brodd, and Tyler Adams. DeMartino said after getting a look in the first inning, when Dylan Morris dove into second cleanly, he put on the green light.

"We try to at least get a look early," DeMartino said. "We happened to get one in the first inning, and it was apparent we could take bags, so we kept on going."

Like Framingham, the Raiders also belong to a league that plays nine innings with wooden bats. How much did those games -- where small-ball tactics are often deployed in lieu of the lighter amount of hits -- condition them for these playoff-type games?

"I think ever since I got in here, we wanted to do those little things correctly," DeMartino said. "Once you get a guy on, if there's no outs get him over and try to get him in. We practice that a lot. It helps, and it's apparent that we do practice that, because we got it done [today]."

Flying High: The Flyers came up goose-egg this afternoon, but after yesterday's turn of events, can you blame them? Led by a lights-out performance from ace Johnnie Lacy on the mound, Framingham delivered the upset uppercut of the MIAA tournament -- and, possibly, the year -- with a 3-2 win over Catholic Conference juggernaut BC High, a team many had pegged as a favorite for the Division 1 state championship.

"That's a win these kids are always going to remember, let's face it," head coach Dan Avery conceded. "Lacy was phenomenal yesterday, pretty much dominated, just really gave intensity. We looked tired, but you know, you get a win like that, you expound a lot of energy.

"I'm afraid of saying something like that and taking away from them [Barnstable], because they're a good-looking team. I didn't see any weaknesses -- if you saw them, I don't know where they were."

Recap: No. 15 Barnstable 14, No. 24 Taunton 2

May, 26, 2012
TAUNTON, Mass. -– If all of Barnstable coach Joe DeMartino’s predictions prove to be as accurate as the one he made Saturday morning, perhaps he should consider playing the state lottery.

“At batting practice this morning before we drove up here, everybody was stroking the ball,” DeMartino said after Barnstable belted Taunton, 14-2, in an Old Colony League game. “I had a feeling that we were going to come out of our shoes, so to speak, and kind of let the bats loose and that’s exactly what happened.

“We had a great batting practice. There wasn’t any joking around. Everybody was serious. They had a great BP and I said to my assistant coach right after batting practice ‘I think these guys are going to really swing the bats today.’ “

Swing the bats, indeed.

Barnstable (14-4, 5-1), who clinched the league title, sprayed 15 hits around Taunton’s field and broke the Tigers’ 11-game winning streak.

Leading the way were designated hitter Sam Holloway and third baseman Mark Brodd.

Holloway was 4-for-4 (which included one double and a two-run homer) with two runs scored and four RBI.

Brodd was 4-for-6, including a double, with three runs.

Luke Besse chipped in with a single, double and an RBI while Dylan Morris added a two-run single.

“Sam’s been our DH and has had a little bit of a down year,” DeMartino said. “But he looked good at batting practice this morning.”

Key Hits: The Red Raiders led 6-1 entering the fifth when Holloway smacked his two-run homer.

Then, after Taunton (14-4, 2-2) failed to score in its half of the fifth, Barnstable erupted for a quartet of runs in the seventh which was highlighted by Morris’s two-run single.

As impressive as the Red Raiders were at the plate, the same was true of their pitchers –- especially Keegan Dellacona.

Dellacona relieved eventual winner Pete Liimatainen (who served up solo home run to Joey Walsh in the third plus two singles to the Taunton catcher) in the sixth with one run in and a Tiger on third and two outs.

He retired Matt MacLean on a fielder’s choice and went on the earn the save by tossing 3 1/3 innings of one-hit scoreless relief replete with zero walks and two strikeouts.

“Keegan’s been a starter for us and he’s pitched great all year,” DeMartino said. “He threw 99 pitches on Wednesday so I knew he had a little more left in the tank. That’s what I was looking for him to do, come in and shut it down and kind of win the game for us.

“He’s a kid that can throw a lot of pitches a lot of the time so I knew exactly what I could get from him and I was confident with him.”

Who Needs Rest? The fact Dellacona worked on only two days’ rest made his performance even more impressive.

“I took a no-hitter into the ninth inning against Dartmouth, one of our league rivals, and ended up blowing it (i.e. the no-hitter because Barnstable prevailed, 3-1),” Dellacona said. “Everybody knows that I kind of have a rubber arm. I have since Little League. I was playing catch with my dad (Jim Dellacona) since I could play catch.

“I got used to taking care of my arm and it’s been very good to me. I’m grateful for that and, hopefully, I don’t run into any problems.”

Celebration Time: In retrospect, the Red Raiders had few problems capturing a rare Old Colony League championship.

“This is my fourth year coaching and this is our first championship since then,” DeMartino said. “I don’t think we’ve won it in six or seven years.

“This was a big one for me personally but it was a really big one for our team. We’ve had a couple of good years but got bounced from the tournament in the second game a couple of times. So, it was a good job. These guys played well and they deserved it.”

Nastasi's 'Nasty' competitive streak paces Barnstable

April, 25, 2012
HYANNIS, Mass. -– In the very first at-bat of his first career varsity start for Barnstable High, Willie Nastasi did something that most high school baseball players can only dream about.

He stepped to the plate, dug in, took a big swing and sent a two-run shot over the right field fence at Attleboro High, propelling the Red Raiders to a 10-3 victory over the Bombardiers.

It was a surprising smash from the freshman catcher, who had been called up from the JV just a few days earlier. And it was an impressive one, which not only caught the attention of his coaches, his teammates and the opposing players, but a Chicago White Sox scout who happened to be at the park that day.

Three years later, Nastasi is still raising eyebrows, only now he does it with a ball in his hands instead of a bat.

The star senior righty, who signed with UConn last November, has been the ace of the Barnstable staff since converting from catcher to pitcher his junior year. Last spring, he was named co-pitcher of the year in the Old Colony League, and this season he's off to a strong 3-0 start with 28 strikeouts in 21 innings.

[+] EnlargeWille Nastasi
Eric Adler for ESPNBoston.comBarnstable righty and UConn commit Willie Nastasi is off to a strong start, fanning 16 batters in Tuesday's win over Taunton.
"Willie looked great behind the plate his freshman and sophomore years, but with his strength and his 6-foot-3 frame, he was destined to be a pitcher," said Barnstable coach Joe DeMartino. "After he put that one out against Attleboro, the White Sox scout came up to me and wanted to know all about him. I knew back then that Willie was going to eventually become a pitcher, but it goes to show just how much of a natural athlete he is."

He's also a cutthroat competitor.

By his own admission, Nastasi lives off his four-seam, two-seam and cut fastball, but he's also got a tricky circle change-up and sharp 12-6 curveball to boot. With a wide range of weaponry, he sees himself as the dealer and the house, and has the percentages on his side. All he has to do is use the cruel odds of the game to torment hitters.

"Every team I face I want to dominate," said Nastasi. "When I'm on the mound, I always have a good confident feeling. I know what I'm doing out there and I trust that my team has my back. I have the mindset that I'm the best on the field and I'm going to do whatever I can to win."

A pair of teams in the Atlantic Coast League can certainly attest to Nastasi's ironclad confidence.

In his season debut a few weeks ago, he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning against Falmouth and finished with four strikeouts in Barnstable's 8-4 win over the Clippers. He followed that with an 8 K, four-hit effort as the Red Raiders downed Dennis-Yarmouth, 5-3.

Nastasi's ability to throw good pitches, mix them up and hit his spots have been the keys to his success. But many times, he has batters beat long before the ball leaves his hand thanks to a deliberate delivery that's predicated on rhythm and tempo.

He begins his throwing motion holding the ball with both hands at his waist, then raises both arms high over his head (and a little behind it), kicks up his right leg, reaches back and fires away. It's almost as though he's pitching on a metronome.

"It's a little bit of funky, old-school motion yet he hides the ball real well," said DeMartino. "When the ball comes out of his hand, it sneaks up on you. He's throwing in the mid-80's, but the way he hides it, it looks like it's coming at you ever harder than that."

What's more, Nasasti's experience as a backstop has given him a distinct advantage on the bump. Said DeMartino, "He can read hitters, and he has a good feel of what pitches hitters are expecting and when to throw them. He's got a little more knowledge of the game than the average pitcher."

Nastasi's immense skill set was on display Tuesday when he struck out a career-high 16 batters in a complete-game, nine-inning victory to lead Barnstable (6-1) to a 3-1 victory over Taunton in the OCL opener for both teams.

Simply put, Nastasi was nasty.

He tied the Tigers in knots, allowing just three hits, three walks and one unearned run while throwing a career-high 155 pitches. It was even more amazing considering it had been 15 days since he pitched in a live game.

"This was one of Willie's more gutsy performances," said DeMartino. "He got behind in a lot of counts, but he battled back, and when he need a strike on a 3-2 count, he got it. We didn't have a hit after the fourth inning, so this was all Willie today. He obviously threw a lot of pitches, and had the game gone into extras we would have taken him out, but he put the team on his back and carried us."

Nastasi set the tone from the start, striking out the side in order in the first. He fanned four in the second inning after a batter reached on a passed ball, and he struck out the side in the fourth and the ninth.

"After that long layoff, I wondered how I was going to do, but as soon as I started throwing, my arm felt really good and loose, and I kind of knew it was going to be a good day," said Nastasi. "Nine innings is a lot to throw, but I knew I had it in me to finish the game. My arm felt great so I knew I could keep going."

His endurance aside, Nastasi also proved how well he fields his position. After Taunton capitalized on two Barnstable errors to plate a run in the fifth, the Tigers threatened for more with two runners on, but Nastasi knocked down a hard shot hit back to him and fired to first for the third out. In the seventh, he teamed up with first baseman D.J. Crook to record a rare 3-1 double play.

Barnstable got all the runs they would need in the third thanks to an RBI single by Dylan Morris, who stole second and scored on Mark Brodd's triple to deep center. The Red Raiders padded their lead in the eighth when Taunton botched a pick-off play.

Barnstable's 3-1 lead came in jeopardy in the ninth after Deitrich Wahl drew a two-out walk and Zach Grady reached on an error to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. But Nastasi showed tremendous poise and punched out Travis Ritchie to secure the win.

"My dad has been my main pitching coach all my life and he instilled in me that when you get on the mound, nothing else matters," said Nastasi. "I try to focus, relax, be nice and smooth with my mechanics and throw strikes. That's how you get people out."

Nastasi will bring that same approach with him when he suits up for UConn next year. He said his goals are to lead the Huskies to the College World Series, and they came awfully close last year, making it to the Super Regionals before falling to defending and eventual champion South Carolina.

Nastasi's other dream is to play in the Cape League. When he was in middle school, he was a bat boy for the Cotuit Kettleers, and his freshman and sophomore years, he was the team's bullpen catcher. His family has also hosted players for the past 13 years.

"Playing in the Cape League would be the Holy Grail, because Cape League baseball is as good as it gets," he said.

But for now, the main focus is leading the Red Raiders to the promised land.

"At the end of last year, all of the incoming seniors and myself talked about how we knew we were going to have a good team this year and how we're aiming for a state championship and nothing less," he said. "Every team talks about that, but we feel this is our best shot. We feel like we can do it."