Boston High School: Mike Krupczak

Recap: No. 6 Springfield Cathedral 3, Amherst 0

April, 30, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. -- There are certain aspects within the game of baseball that coaches fear and loath. Among them is giving opposing teams extra outs in an inning.

After begrudgingly watching his infield boot and toss the ball all over the place in yesterday’s Valley League contest against Springfield Cathedral, Amherst head coach Greg Vouros can now relate.

The Hurricanes committed seven errors in all, but the four made in the third inning proved to be a backbreaker. The ever-so-gracious Panthers took full advantage of Amherst's defensive issues during the frame by scoring three times en route to a 3-0 victory at Stan P. Ziomek Diamond.

“I think we’re a little rusty and we’re starting to put some pressure on ourselves,” said Vouros, whose club fell to 7-4. “It was a tough day for our defense which has been a strength for us and it kind of fell apart today, particularly in that third inning.”

While the defense will take much of the heat over this defeat, fingers can also be pointed to the Hurricane offense which was non-existent against Cathedral ace Harrison Paige. The senior put up another brilliant complete game performance, allowing just one hit, walking two and striking out eight. The righthander is now 4-0 and has allowed just one run in 28 innings pitched this season.

“It was another ho-hum performance by him,” quipped Panthers coach Pat Moriarty. “He takes the hill and we are very confident when he does. Harrison throws strikes and keeps our defense in the game."

Amherst junior righty Asher Young also put forth a solid outing in spite having little support behind him. Young went the distance, giving up five hits and no earned runs.

“Asher pitched great and mixed it up well,” Vouros said. “He’s a competitor. He battled throughout and gave us a shot to win. He was accurate, threw strikes and got ahead in the count all game.”

Cathedral, now 10-1 and qualified for the MIAA Division 1 Western Mass. tournament, had an opportunity to grab the lead in the second inning but Young was able to get out of a bases-loaded jam unharmed. The next frame, however, was a different story.

After Young retired the first batter he faced, Tim Danehy and Frank Crinella each reached base on back-to-back errors by shortstop Justin Carey. Mike Krupczak followed with another bouncer to Carey but this time the junior fielded the ball, however his throw to force Crinella at second was a tad late.With still time to get Krupczak at first, Hurricane second baseman Jack Berg-Schrader bounced a throw which skipped past first baseman Mike Walkowicz.

Meanwhile, Danehy -- who had never stopped running -- was sprinting toward the plate. Walkowicz recovered the ball quickly, but his throw home sailed past catcher Jose Cabrera giving Cathedral a 1-0 lead.

The inning continued for the Panthers. With runners on second and third and the infield playing in, sophomore Andrew Noonan chopped a single to center field scoring Crinella and Krupczak giving them a three-run cushion.

"We know we have to get runners moving and get them into scoring position and find ways to get them in," Moriarty said. "We were fortunate enough today, especially with Andrew's big single with two out to do that by putting guys in motion."

As it turned out, that was all Paige and Co. needed. As tough as Young proved to be on the hill, Paige was tougher. The AIC commit threw 104 pitches, displaying a lot of movement and keeping the Hurricanes off-stride throughout.

“He’s been really hitting his spots and that’s what he and I try to focus on the most,” said Noonan, the Panthers’ catcher. “Even when he doesn’t have his best stuff which I felt was the case today, he still got us the win. His curveball was really on today. He didn’t throw a lot of off-speed today but when he did he executed them well, expecially when the count was 0-2 and 1-2.”

Recap: No. 21 Springfield Cathedral 1, Agawam 0

April, 13, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Harrison Paige wasn’t so much concerned about keeping his no-hitter intact as he was protecting his club’s slim lead.

With little run support being generated behind him, everything fell squarely on the shoulders of the Springfield Cathedral senior righthander. Looking the least bit fazed, Paige maintained total command of his pitches yesterday afternoon, mixing an 86 mile per hour fastball with a lethal slider and baffling changeup, to record his first high school no-hitter in a 1-0 victory over Valley League foe Agawam at Walker Stadium.

“I just wanted to attack their line up and stay ahead in the count,” said Paige, who will attend American International College next season. “It was important to allow our defense to make the plays behind me and I just tried to make things simple out there.”

Simple indeed. Paige tossed only 77 pitches to complete his seven-inning gem, while striking out 12. At no time did he allow the count to exceed two balls against any batter he faced.

“At any time Harrison can throw any of his three pitches for strikes,” said Cathedral coach Pat Moriarty, who calls all the pitches. “His fastball has ton of movement on it and his slider moves in the other direction and then you have his change up. All three pitches come out of the same arm slot. He can be very tough out there. He had a great mix today.

"I felt we kept (Agawam) off-balance a lot and we thought when they were guessing fastball we went off-speed against them which proved to be effective. Harrison was very impressive out there today.”

Just a quarter of the way into the season, things could not be finer for the Panthers as they improve to 5-0. This is a program, mind you, that expects to win and expects to be a major contender in its quest for a Division 1 state championship.

"We always feel like we want to be one of the top teams," Moriarty said. "We want to feel that the (Western Mass.) title goes through Cathedral. When tournament time comes we'll go at it and see what everybody's got, but I'm pretty comfortable in what we have here."

Moriarty, however, is also quick to point out that in order for his Panthers to get out of Western Mass. and move onward, the offense needs to be more consistent. Against the Brownies, Cathedral managed just six hits. Twice late in the contest the Panthers had opportunities to tack on a few more runs in support of Paige's effort. In the bottom of the fifth Cathedral opened the frame by loading the based with none out.

Josh Beliveau reached on an error followed by back-to-back bunt singles from Pete Crinella and Tim Danehy. But Agawam junior righty Joe Viens, in his first game back since coming off academic ineligibility, tightroped his way out of danger by striking out Josh Coon and Frank Crinella and getting Mike Krupczak to fly out.

In the sixth, with one out, consecutive errors by the Brownies put Panther senior Tom Weldon at third. A botched suicide squeeze attempt ensued resulting in Weldon being tagged out at the plate to snuff out the threat.

“Their pitcher got real tough on us in those situations," Moriarty said. “He started basically just throwing sliders and we were getting on top of them. As a team we know we need to be better in those situations."

Cathedral’s inability to supply Paige with added insurance could have easily left him a bit flustered knowing a mistake here or a timely hit there could spell disaster. Instead, the lanky righty stayed calm and collected, retiring the side in the each of the final two innings to secure the no-no.

“It’s a good feeling but it hasn’t really sunk in yet,” said Paige of his accomplishment. “I think by us not adding more runs late in the game kept my adrenaline up and I knew I had to execute my pitches.”

The Panthers’ only run came in the second when Cullen Geary blasted a triple and scored on Andrew Noonan’s line single to center field.

“We played with some heart today because we’ve sort of been in a down swing of late,” said Agawam coach Austin Kimball, whose club has now dropped four straight after starting the season 3-0. “That was Joe’s first game back for us and I think he learned his lesson. He’s got his grades up and is expected to make the honor role. I thought he pitched very well for us today but their pitcher did a great job keeping us off-balance throughout.”

ESPNHS preseason All-State baseball team

March, 1, 2012
ESPNHS kicks off its baseball season coverage by unveiling its preseason All-State Teams for all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. A number of stars litter its Massachusetts squad, including BB&N's Rhett Wiseman, Lowell's Matt Tulley, Lexington's Chris Shaw and Braintree's Pat Delano.

You can find the entire list, which includes "Other Top Players" by clicking here. Below is ESPNHS' All-State Team for Massachusetts:


Anthony Capuano, St. John's Prep, OF, Senior
Led SJP in hits, runs and stolen bases last year.

Jarrod Casey, Milford, OF/LHP, Senior
Batted .530 and posted an 8-1 record on the mound.

Dan Cellucci, Lincoln-Sudbury, SS, Senior
Posted a .536 BA and scored 44 runs for Division 1 state champs.

Chris McCarthy, Everett, C, Senior
Hit .585 and drove in 28 runs as a junior.

Bob Melley, BC High, C, Senior
Productive backstop has signed with UConn.

Matt O'Neil, East Longmeadow, SS/RHP, Senior
Batted .447 with 15 stolen bases last year, committed to UConn.

Christopher Shaw, Lexington, 1B/RHP, Senior
Boston College recruit hit eight home runs last year.

Ryan Summers, Westfield, C, Junior
Hit six home runs and drove in 27 last year; headed to Louisville.

Matt Tulley, Lowell, SS/RHP, Senior
Has signed to play at Virginia Tech.

Rhett Wiseman, BB&N, OF, Senior
Vanderbilt recruit hit .447 with 11 HRs and 29 SBs last year.


Austin DeCarr, Xaverian, RHP/SS, Junior
Strong-armed athlete also took snaps as a quarterback in the fall.

Patrick Delano, Braintree, RHP, Senior
Big power pitcher is headed to Vanderbilt.

Tyler Dowd, Springfield Central, RHP/OF, Senior
Should be among state leaders in K's this spring.

Mike Krupczak, Springfield Cathedral, RHP, Senior
Went 7-0 with a 1.85 ERA last year.

Ryan McDonald, Acton-Boxboro, LHP, Junior
Posted a 0.90 ERA last year, striking out 71 batters over 55 innings.

Steve Moyers, East Longmeadow, LHP/OF, senior
Went 8-1 last year while posting a 0.44 ERA; career record of 23-2.

John Nicklas, St. Sebastian's, RHP, Senior
Has signed to play at Boston College.

Pat Ruotolo, Peabody, RHP, Junior
Struck out 102 batters last year, including three games of 15-plus K's.

Max Tishman, Lawrence Academy, LHP, Senior
Polished left-hander has signed with Wake Forest.

Troy Whitty, Dexter, RHP, Senior
Transferred from Oliver Ames, where he posted a 0.90 ERA last year.