Boston High School: North Reading

Carey, state's winningest, coaches final game

June, 10, 2014

LOWELL, Mass. -- Tuesday’s 2-1 extra inning loss meant the end of the storied career of North Reading coach Frank Carey.

After 47 years coaching the varsity, he is retiring as the all-time winningest coach in Massachusetts high school baseball history with 736 career wins.

“I’m at ease with (retirement),” he said following the loss. “I honestly didn’t know if we were going to make the tournament. We had a lot of kids that had to play up and a lot of kids that had to make big improvement from last summer. I kept telling them that we have to wait for that perfect game and today was about as close as the perfect game and I can’t think of a better place and time to do it than a game of this magnitude.”

His teams won 25 league titles, three Eastern Mass titles, five North sectional championships, and two state titles. His most recent state championship came in 2012 when North Reading won Division 3. Not bad for someone who started his career as a science teacher in 1964 and began coaching varsity baseball in 1968.

North Reading had an opportunity to keep its season alive in the top of the eighth. A walk and two singles loaded the bases with no outs. Ryan Sanborn lined out to third, then Angelo DiSanto was picked off third by Bellingham catcher Michael Ryan. Scott Allan grounded out to third to strand two runners.

Ryan led off the bottom of the inning with a double to deep left. After a sacrifice bunt moved him over to third, Allan balked in the losing run to end the game.

Carey is the first to tell anyone that the players make the program. When the game was over, he encouraged his players to keep their heads up and shake Bellingham’s hands. As noble in defeat as he is in victory, Carey never missed an opportunity to teach a player a lesson regardless of how tough the situation is.

“I’m going to miss the kids,” he said. “I missed the kids when I stopped teaching. There’s some days where it’s a little challenging, but I’ll really miss the camaraderie, dealing with the kids, the give and take. The regimen of practice and hopefully within the regimen of practice, there’s certain lessons we learn. There’s some things there that go beyond the baseball field.”

Carey’s successor has not been named yet. Whoever it ends up being will have a large legacy to live up to.

“There’s no regrets, not on my part and not on the players’ part,” he said. “It was a terrific year. From a personal standpoint, it can’t get any better than retiring on a sectional championship.”

“I don’t know what I’m going to do next year,” he added. “I know one thing: I won’t be coaching.”

Carey becomes state's all-time wins leader

May, 9, 2014

NORTH READING, Mass. -- When it was over, there was no pomp and circumstance.

After North Reading defeated Newburyport twice on Thursday, the team gathered at the foul line in front of its dugout, briefly exchanged high-fives, slapped its coach on the back, then went to shake its opponents hand.

It was not until the Hornets took care of business and came back to the dugout that the coach allowed himself to soak in the moment.

[+] EnlargeCarey
Brendan Hall/ESPNNorth Reading's Frank Carey notched his 726th career win Thursday to become the state's all-time wins leader.
The parents, loyalists, and players all stood to give Frank Carey a standing ovation. He was now a part of history after all.

With the two wins, he passed Leominster’s Emile Johnson for first place on the all-time Massachusetts high school baseball wins list. Johnson retired last season, so Carey’s 726 wins and counting will not be threatened any time soon.

“I see Emile at our state coaches clinic all the time,” said Carey. “Emile is a terrific coach in his own right. The other coaches would say, ‘Hey, how many more do you need?’ and I’d say I don’t know. Emile is a great coach.”

As he stood alone almost like it was his own personal on-deck circle, he raised both arms in the air and in the most Frank Carey-like show of gratitude said, “Thank you! And I’m sorry what I might have said to your son earlier!”

For a 70-year old coach, he still moves with the speed and energy of a younger man. He still runs his team’s fielding practice before every game, hitting the baseball to both the outfield and spots in the infield with ease. On the field, he never misses an opportunity to teach, no matter the score.

Before playing their regularly scheduled game Thursday afternoon, the teams first had to finish a game that was suspended back in April. They picked up the game in the top of the tenth inning tied 2-2. North Reading went to work early and put up seven runs in the top of the inning. Even with the game 9-2 and well out of reach, Carey was chiding his players whenever possible.

On a pickoff attempt at first base, he asked the baserunner why he did not slide head first back to the bag, even though he was safe anyway. There was a sequence later in the inning where two runs came around to score on a base hit, but the second run was a play at the plate.

As the team was offering congratulations at home plate, Carey walked over and asked again why a player chose not to slide, which put an abrupt end to the celebration. It did not matter that his team had just gone up by five runs. It was an opportunity to make his team better.

Throughout his 49-year career Carey has won 25 league titles, three Eastern Mass titles, four North sectional championships and two state titles. His most recent state championship came in 2012 when North Reading won Division 3. That is remarkably consistent for someone who started at the school as a science teacher in 1964 and just hoped to supplement his income by coaching baseball.

“There are three characteristics I look for in a team,” he said, after getting doused with ice water by his team. “I look for kids with character. We don’t have a tryout system, everyone is part of the program. The kids that come eventually to the varsity are the kids that have character. They also have a certain mental toughness, because we put them through an awful lot.

“The last thing is loyalty here. There’s loyalty from me as a coach to them, I’ll do whatever I can to help them get into college. In the meantime, when they get into college and get out of college, they do whatever they can to help my kids right now. So over that period of time we’ve built up a real good group of alumni here.”

His teaching and attention to detail manifested itself early in the record-breaking 3-2 win. Tommy Day walked to start off the bottom of the first. Shane Driscoll laid down a bunt to move Day to second. Noticing the defensive coverage had shifted and there was no one covering third, Day took off in a sprint to the next base. The first baseman overthrew the play and Day was able to score after he was only supposed to take second. His heads-up play gave his team the early lead.

It is those minute details practiced on field bearing the coaches name and in the school gymnasium on rainy days that give his team the advantage it needs to win all the games he has. His team won its 2012 state title hitting only six extra-base hits all season.

“I never said a word about (the record) to the team,” Carey said as the crowd was dispersing. “We never said a word about it or focused on that. We just took it one game at a time and whatever happens, happens. It happened, so.. I’m glad.”

Like almost all of his teams over the years, this one has postseason aspirations. The two wins Thursday made North Reading 10-3 on the season. Carey has admitted last year was the first time he thought about retirement. How long will he keep coaching? Only he knows. With the record now broken, he can turn his attention back to what he loves: coaching baseball.

“This record means we’ve had some good players that have come through this program over the six decades that we’ve been here,” he said. “This is a tribute to all the kids that have played here because we play good baseball here at North Reading. Our kids take it pretty serious. Down the road 10 years from now I’m going to think about it, but right now I’m just glad that we won two games.”

Top 10 performances from Thanksgiving football

November, 29, 2013
1. Troy Flutie, Sr. QB, Natick
Broke the state single-season passing touchdown record with a near-perfect day through the air, completing 16 of 20 passes for 263 yards and a record seven TDs, as the Redhawks beat Framingham 48-13. He is now the state’s single-season (47) and career (112) touchdown pass record holder.

2. Brooks Tyrrell, Jr. RB, Marblehead
Carried 25 times for 300 yards and six touchdowns in the Magicians’ 51-13 win over Swampscott.

3. Emmanuel Almonte, Jr. QB, Boston English
Threw game-winning touchdown pass with no time remaining, as the Blue and Blue upset Boston Latin, 14-12, for their first win over the Wolfpack since 1997. English had allowed 49 points per game in the three previous installments of this rivalry.

4. Conor Moriarty, Sr. RB, Walpole
Racked up 300 rushing yards and three touchdowns on just 10 carries, in the Rebels’ 48-14 win over Weymouth.

5. Peter Gallant, Sr. RB, Gardner
In the Wildcats’ 39-6 win over Oakmont, carried 23 times for 298 yards and two touchdowns, the highest single-game rushing total in series history.

6. Drew Belcher, Sr. QB, Reading
Totaled six touchdowns (three rushing, three passing) as the Rockets rallied from 24 points down in the final six minutes of regulation to beat Stoneham in triple overtime, 44-36.

7. Luke Morrison, Sr. TE/DE, Attleboro
Recorded five tackles for loss, including four sacks, in the Blue Bombardiers' 34-19 win over North Attleborough.

8. C.J. McCarthy, Sr. RB, North Reading
Carried 48 times for 276 yards and four touchdowns in the Hornets’ 42-35 thriller over Lynnfield.

9. Jeff Costello, Soph. QB, Lexington
Ran wild in the Minutemen’s 56-21 win over Burlington, totaling 197 rushing yards and five scores, and adding 169 yards and a score through the air on 10 of 19 passing.

10. Shaquille Anderson, Sr. RB, Cambridge
In the Falcons’ 41-7 rout of Somerville, carried 13 times for 209 yards and three scores, and added a 47-yard touchdown reception.

LA's Knight commits to Alabama-Huntsville

October, 31, 2013
Lawrence Academy hockey senior defenseman Cam Knight has committed to the University of Alabama-Huntsville, he announced via his Twitter account Wednesday.

The news of Knight's commitment was first reported by Mike McMahon of the

Knight, a North Reading resident, started his high school career at North Reading High before missing most of his sophomore season due to injury at Lawrence Acacemy.

ESPN Boston MIAA All-State Baseball Team

June, 28, 2013

RHP – Tommy McDonald, Sr., BC High
The ace and the workhorse of BC’s rotation, which saw the Eagles make their first D1 South Final appearance since 2009, McDonald often went late into games to pick up a win. He was 7-0 on the season, with a 1.90 ERA, five complete games and just 10 walks. The Quincy resident will continue his career next year at UMass.

LHP – Ben Bowden, Sr., Lynn English
The state’s Gatorade Player of the Year, Bowden is a repeat selection, having also made the starting rotation of the All-State Team in 2012. On the season he was 4-2 with 84 strikeouts in 52 innings, with just 10 walks for an ERA of 0.67. He also recorded a .459 on-base percentage at the plate, with 13 RBI. Bowden will play at Vanderbilt next year.

LHP – Scott Tully, Sr., Reading
Another repeat All-State selection, Tully dominated the Middlesex League en route to winning the Liberty division’s MVP. For the season he went 7-1 with 96 strikeouts and an ERA of 0.54. For his career, he has 29 wins and over 400 strikeouts. Tully is headed to Notre Dame next year.

RHP – Evan Flanagan, Sr., Hingham
The Patriot League’s Co-MVP saved his best stuff for the playoffs, as the Harbormen won their first Division 2 state title in school history. On the season he was 6-2 with 79 strikeouts in 56 innings, with five complete games, a 1.75 ERA and a WHIP of 0.93. Flanagan will continue his career next year at the University of Rhode Island.

LHP – Mike Gaughan, Sr., Walpole
One of the state’s most elusive lefties, Gaughan helped lead the Rebels to the No. 1 overall seed in D1 South. He was 10-2 on the season with 117 strikeouts and a 1.88 ERA, and held opponents to a .180 batting average. Gaughan is headed to Division 2 Rollins College (Fla.) next year.


C – Joe Freiday, Jr., Bridgewater-Raynham
One of the state’s leaders in runs plated, Freiday finished the year batting .425, with a .573 on-base percentage, 31 RBI and five home runs. He also drew 21 walks and struck out just 10 times. Freiday is fielding interest from an assortment of Division 1 programs.

INF – Nick Bragole, Sr., St. John’s Prep
Part of one of the state’s most prolific hitting lineups, Bragole put up .403/.532/.758 totals with 21 RBI and six home runs, along with 10 stolen bases, as the Eagles captured the No. 1 seed in D1 North, won 22 straight games and made an appearance in the D1 North final. Bragole is headed to Division 2 St. Anselm College (N.H.) in the fall.

INF – Kenny Michael, Sr., Norwood
Michael catalyzed the Mustangs late in the season when they snatched the Bay State Conference’s Herget Division title in the last week of the regular season. He was named the Herget MVP as he hit .429 with 27 RBI and a home run. Michael will continue his career at Division 2 Southern New Hampshire University.

INF – Alex Toomey, Sr., Beverly
Toomey beat out a number of high-profile players to take the MVP in the Northeastern Conference’s Large division, and deservedly so. For the season he his .431 with eight doubles, 31 RBI and five home runs, only striking out five times. On the mound, he went 6-2 with a 1.33 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 42.1 innings. Toomey is headed to Salem State University next year.

INF – Brandon Bingel, Sr., St. John’s Prep
This year’s recipient of the prestigious ESPN Boston Mr. Baseball Award, Bingel was a force in all three phases of the game to take Catholic Conference MVP for the second straight year. He batted .302 with 20 RBI and two home runs, and went 9-0 on the mound with 76 strikeouts in 58.2 innings, walking just 10 batters, for a 0.97 ERA. Bingel will continue his career at Bryant University.

OF – David MacKinnon, Sr., Oliver Ames
MacKinnon took Hockomock League MVP honors after hitting .500 with 16 RBI. One of the best pure athletes of the bunch, MacKinnon is also an All-American soccer player, and will play both sports at the University of Hartford.

OF – Ian Strom, Sr., Hopedale
Strom was a monster on both the mound and at the plate as the Blue Raiders reached the Division 3 State Final. He hit .514 on the year with 21 RBI and 15 stolen bases, and didn’t strike out all season. On the mound, he was 9-2 with 107 strikeouts in 67.2 innings, for a 1.45 ERA. Strom will continue his career next season at UMass-Lowell.

OF – Mike Bruemmel, Sr., Bridgewater-Raynham
The Co-MVP of the Old Colony League saved his best stroke for last, carrying a no-hitter into the eighth inning to lead the Trojans to their first Division 1 state title in school history. On the season he batted .341 with a .505 on-base percentage, with 21 RBI and 11 stolen bases. On the mound, he was 6-1 with 69 strikeouts in 41.1 innings, with a 1.82 ERA. Bruemmel is headed to Wheaton College next year.

DH – Malcolm Nachmanoff, Sr., Boston Latin
The Dual County League’s MVP of the Large division, Nachmanoff carried a heavy bat, hitting .507 with 26 RBI and five home runs. He also recorded a 1.45 ERA in 53 innings pitched. Nachmanoff is headed to Loomis Chafee (Conn.) next year for a post-graduate season.


OF – Dan Avery, Sr., Blackstone Valley Tech
Avery excelled both ways for the Beavers, recording .492/.579/.689 totals at the plate with three triples, 26 RBI, 28 runs scored and 18 stolen bases. On the mound, he was 7-2 with a 1.02 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 62 innings, with just eight walks. He will play both football and baseball at Massachusetts Maritime Academy next year.

3B – Ryan Baldwin, Sr., Fairhaven
One of the state’s leaders in home runs, Baldwin hit eight and batted in 34 runs, to finish the season with a .500 average and take South Coast Conference MVP honors. Baldwin will continue his career next year at Barry University (Fla.).

2B – Tommy Buonopane, Sr., St. John’s Prep
Another key cog to the Eagles’ impressive hitting order, Buonopane registered .354/.457/.585 totals with 21 RBI and three home runs, as the Eagles won the Catholic Conference outright. Buonopane is headed to the University of Rhode Island next year.
.354/.457/.585, 21 RBI, 3 HR

2B – Dan Connors, Sr., Danvers
A three-time Northeastern Conference All-Star, Connors captured the Small division’s MVP award after hitting .390, as the Falcons were the top seed in Division 2 North and reached the district final. Connors, a career .365 hitter, will enroll at UMass-Amherst in the fall.

LHP – Mac Curran, Sr., Coyle-Cassidy
A repeat selection, Curran was once again a force on the mound, going 5-2 with a 0.98 ERA as the Warriors captured the Eastern Athletic Conference outright. He also batted .402 with a home run. Curran is headed to Niagara University next season to continue his career.

C – Kyle Devin, Sr., Lynn Classical
One of the state's best arms behind the plate, Devin threw out eight of 12 steal attempts and also had 11 pickoffs. He also hit .410 with 16 RBI, five doubles, two triples, a home run and six stolen bases for the Rams. Devin is headed to Stony Brook next season to continue his baseball career.

SS – Isan Diaz, Jr., Springfield Central
One of the top defensive talents outside of Eastern Mass., Diaz showed off quite a bit with his bat as well, plating 19 runs and registering three home runs as the Golden Eagles once again reached the Division 1 West tournament.

RHP – Drew Foster, Sr., Nashoba
One of the steadiest starters in Central Mass., with a 4-1 record and 0.97 ERA, Foster led the Chieftains through a loaded Division 1 Central field to capture their first district title in program history. Foster is headed to Ohio University next year, where he intends to play club hockey.

RHP – Dustin Hunt, Sr., St. John’s Prep
Arguably the state’s top closer, Hunt embraced the role as the Eagles reeled off 22 straight wins before falling in the D1 North Final. On the season he struck out 31 batters in 27.1 innings, with a 1.54 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. Hunt, an Andover resident, is headed to Northeastern University next season.

RHP – Thomas Jankins, Sr., Quaboag
Jankins was dangerous on the mound and in the batter's box this season for the Cougars. He hit .473 with 19 RBI and two home runs, and was 5-3 with a 0.53 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 52.1 innings. Jankins will continue his career next season at Quinnipiac University.

OF – Tom Landry, Sr., BC High
Landry registered .348/.378/.493 totals at the plate and added 16 RBI and two home runs for the Eagles, who reached their first D1 South Final since 2009. He also struck out just 11 times and drew four walks. Landry will play for Wheaton College next year.

SS – Steven Lee, Sr., Braintree
Lee manned the middle of the Wamps’ order for the last three years, and put up impressive numbers in his senior season. He batted .376 with 26 RBI, one home run, 27 runs scored and 10 stolen bases as Braintree captured its fourth straight Bay State Carey title. He also committed just five errors in the field. Lee is headed to Stonehill College next year.

RHP – David Longstreeth, Soph., Smith Academy
Longstreeth is already over the 300 career strikeout mark, with 21 wins, in his still-blossoming career for Smith. On the season, he went 11-2 with 132 strikeouts in 80.1 innings, as the Falcons reached the Division 3 West Final.

RHP – Mike Lundin, Sr., Silver Lake
Lundin helped lead the Lakers to a Patriot League Fisher division title with his proficiency on the mound, going 7-2 with 86 strikeouts in 65.1 innings with a 0.67 ERA. Lundin will continue his career at Massasoit Community College next season.

OF – Tyler Lyne, Sr., Agawam
Lyne was a catalyst for the Brownies, who won the Valley League and reached the Division 1 West Final. For the season, he registered 16 RBI and two home runs. Lyne will continue his career at Merrimack College next year.

RHP – Donny May, Sr., Coyle-Cassidy
The other overpowering ace for the Warriors’ staff, May went unbeaten as they captured the Eastern Athletic Conference outright. He was 11-0 on the year, with a 0.44 ERA and 89 strikeouts, along with a .438 batting average at the plate. May is headed to Fordham University next year.

SS – David Murphy, Sr., Plymouth North
The Atlantic Coast League’s MVP helped the Blue Eagles to another league title, hitting .429 with 29 RBI and three home runs. He only struck out twice all year. Murphy will take his talents to Massasoit Community College next year.

SS – Noah Parker, Sr., St. Mary (Westfield)
One of the more underappreciated talents across the state, Parker was the catalyst for the Saints, who reached the Division 3 West quarterfinals. Parker registered 28 hits, 20 RBI and two home runs on the season. He will head to Seton Hall University next season as a preferred walk-on.

OF – Anthony Perriello, Sr., Norwood
A powerful hitter manning the middle of the Mustangs’ order, Perriello led the Bay State Conference in batting average (.507) and added 15 RBI and a home run.

RHP – Alex Person, Sr., Xaverian
The Foxborough resident manned the top of the rotation, as the Hawks tried to defend their D1 state title. On the season he struck out 52 batters in 51 innings, going 5-1 with a 2.06 ERA. Person will continue his career at Southern New Hampshire University next year.

C – Matt Phelan, Sr., Northbridge
Phelan was a force at the plate for the Rams, who reached their fourth straight Division 2 Central Final. On the season he hit .484 with 28 RBI and four home runs, and on the mound was 4-1 with a 1.91 ERA. Phelan is headed to St. Anslem in the fall, where he will play football.

RHP – Brendan Ryan, Sr., Newton North
Ryan earned MVP honors in the Bay State Conference’s Carey division, after going 7-1 with a 1.64 ERA and six complete games. Ryan also batted .347 with 17 RBI. He will enroll at the University of South Carolina in the fall.

RHP – Endy Sanchez, Jr., Holyoke
Another member of the 100-K club, Sanchez had one of the best strikeout-to-ratios in Western Mass., fanning exactly 100 batters in 62 innings pitched for the Purple Knights.

RHP – Kevin Superko, Sr., Wellesley
Following in the footsteps of his brother Tim, Superko carried on the name holding down the front of the Raiders’ rotation. On the season he recorded 67 strikeouts in 49 innings, with a 1.02 WHIP and holding batters to a .184 average. He will do a post-graduate season at Philips Andover next year.

RHP – Ryley Warnock, Sr., North Reading
Warnock was dynamic both on the mound and on the basepath for the Hornets, who captured the top overall seed in D3 North. On the mound he was 10-1 with a 0.44 ERA and 72 strikeouts, and at the plate he was .360 with 17 stolen bases. Warnock will continue his career next year at the University of Rhode Island.

LHP – Cody Younger, Sr., Middleborough
Younger came on in the second half of the season and led the Sachems through a gauntlet en route to the Division 3 state title, their first since 1997. On the mound, he was 4-2 with 53 strikeouts and a 1.90 ERA, and delivered wins over the top two seeds in D3 South. At the plate, he had .415/.482/.507 totals with 27 RBI. Younger will do a post-graduate season at Bridgton Academy (Maine) next year.

RHP – Zach Zona, Sr., St. Peter-Marian
Zona led the top of the Guardians’ rotation as they came on late in the regular season to make the Division 1 Central tournament. On the season he was 5-2 with 64 strikeouts in 46.2 innings, with a 1.05 ERA and two no-hitters. Zona will continue his career next season at UMass-Lowell.

D3 North Baseball: N. Reading 6, Swampscott 1

June, 2, 2013
NORTH READING, Mass. -— The old adage in baseball is that pitching wins championships, and with the way North Reading pitcher, R.J. Warnock threw against Swampscott on Saturday, the Hornets must like their chances.

"Whenever R.J. pitches, we are always in the game," North Reading coach Frank Carey said.

Warnock threw a complete game only throwing 70 pitches, as No. 1 seed North Reading (19-2) cruised past No. 17 seed Swampscott (10-11), 6-1, in the first round of the Division 3 North playoffs. He allowed an unearned run in the first inning, but had few problems after that. He was shaken up on a play in the first inning, but he retired 10 batters in a row after the run scored to get on track.

"I kind of slammed my head into the ground going for the ball, I got a little dizzy, but I was fine after that," he said. "I was basically in the zone the entire game, I felt good and threw strikes."

Although Swampscott’s run came as a result of an error it isn’t something the Hornets are overly concerned about as it was their only error of the game.

"If we only make one error in a game, I will take it the rest of the playoffs," Carey said.

North Reading’s hurler was not too shabby at the plate recording two hits, an RBI, and a run. On the mound, he struck out seven and only allowed three hits; as his team’s defense picked him up when he needed them.

"My teammates picked me up by turning a double play, [and] they were catching everything," Warnock said. "If they hit the ball over their heads that is on me."

The Hornets surged offensively in the second and fourth innings by scoring three runs in both. In the second, Warnock and third basemen Thomas Day highlighted the inning at the plate. Warnock smacked a single up the middle brining home Michael Brandano. Day followed Warnock by driving a ball deep into the gap, in left, scoring Warnock as Day ended up on second, with a double.

"Tom is very underrated," Carey said. "He isn’t going to hit the balls out and off the trees here, but he has a very good swing, a good inside out stroke, and he has a good of a swing as anyone on my team."

Swampscott pitcher Al Wallach walked home the third run of the inning before getting out of the jam as he got Dennis Rollfs to pop out to shortstop.

When the Hornets surged again, in the fourth, Eric Gordon picked up two RBIs on a single and Shane Driscoll drew a walk with the bases loaded. The six runs were more than enough for Warnock as he was in cruise control on the mound.

"He is a very good pitcher, and I have all the confidence in the world in him," Carey said about Warnock.

Wallach battled for Swampscott throughout the game, but errors came back to bite The Big Blue as only two-of-the-six runs he allowed were earned.

"[Al] gave us a chance to win, but we didn’t help him out," Swampscott coach Jason Calichman said. "We had too many errors. When you don’t play your best against a team like [North Reading] this is what happens."

North Reading will next host No. 8 seed Newburyport (15-7) in a Tuesday quarterfinal.

Updated Top 25 baseball poll

April, 22, 2013
We updated our statewide MIAA Top 25 poll this morning. To view it, CLICK HERE.

The poll was initially planned for a release this past Friday, but was postponed. From herein, you can expect a baseball poll update each Monday by noon through the end of the regular season.

A few notes and observations about this week's poll:

North makes a splash: The Bay State Conference made another big turn this week with a win over a Catholic Conference power. Newton North jumps up one spot to No. 5 following a big Thursday morning win over Xaverian, doubling up the defending D1 state champs 8-4.

Notable newcomers: We've got a slew of debut this week following some exciting April vacation baseball. The most notable entrance this week is Bridgewater-Raynham, which storms into the poll at No. 12 following wins over New Bedford and Silver Lake in the Brad Martin Tournament. Silver Lake, for its own regard, comes in at No. 15 on the heels of a win over Plymouth North en route to the final with B-R.

Shrewsbury (16), North Reading (19) and Chelmsford (20) also make debuts this week, while Amherst (22) returns to the poll after a one-week hiatus.

Here's how the poll breaks down this week by league affiliation:

Catholic Conference - 4
Bay State - 3
Northeastern - 3
Merrimack Valley - 2
Old Colony - 2
Southern Worcester County - 2
Valley League - 2
Atlantic Coast - 1
Cape Ann - 1
Central Mass. Conference - 1
Mid-Wach A - 1
Patriot - 1
South Coast - 1
Valley Wheel - 1

Lynn English storms into Top 25 boys hoop poll

February, 19, 2013
We updated our statewide MIAA Top 25 boys basketball poll this afternoon. To view it, CLICK HERE.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This will be the final boys basketball poll update of the regular season. The next poll update will be on March 18, following the MIAA state championships in Worcester.

A few notes and observations about this week's poll:

Bulldogs bite heavyweights: Two state title contenders, Springfield Central and St. John's Prep, were upset on consecutive days by Lynn English in the IAABO Board 130 Classic, at Central Catholic's Memorial Gymnasium. In the championship game over Prep, junior guard Freddy Hogan sank a 10-foot runner at the buzzer to send the place into a frenzy. With the win, the Bulldogs have now won 11 of their last 12, and make their season debut at No. 12 in our poll.

Big shifts: A number of upsets to ranked teams made for quite the interesting shuffle. Follow along:

*** Central Catholic drops one spot for its loss to St. John's Prep in the IAABO 130 semifinals, but avoids dropping further on account of an impressive win over Springfield Central, thrashing the Golden Eagles by 25 in the consolation game.

*** North Andover takes a drop six spots to No. 11 following its loss to Westford Academy on Monday. Hard to drop the Scarlet Knights much further, on account of their record in the Merrimack Valley Conference -- the Knights have a win each over Central (4), Lowell (8) and Andover (21).

*** Danvers drops five spots to No. 9 following losses to Brighton and Newton North in the Comcast Tournament. The previously-unbeaten Falcons lost point guard and Northeastern Conference MVP Eric Martin to an ankle injury in the second half of the Brighton loss, and his presence was sorely missed in a 58-42 North thrashing the following day.

*** Mansfield and St. John's Prep each suffered a loss this week -- the Hornets in overtime to rival No. 23 Franklin, and Prep to Lynn English in the IAABO 130 final, at the buzzer. Considering the scenarios, everybody else losing, each team following up with a win over a Top 25 squad, and both teams holding wins over No. 3 BC High, we decided to keep Mansfield and Prep at the Nos. 1 and 2 spots respectively.

*** Two Western Mass. powers stumbled. Putnam fell six spots to No. 14 following its first loss of the season, to West Springfield. Springfield Central took the most dramatic drop of any team this week, plunging 12 spots to No. 22.

Debuts and returns: In addition to Lynn English, North Reading is also making a season debut in the polls, at No. 25. The 19-0 Hornets are one of two remaining unbeatens in Massachusetts, along with No. 5 Melrose (19-0). Westford (19) and Franklin (23) make returns to the poll this week after extended absences.

Here's how the poll breaks down this week by league affiliation:

Merrimack Valley - 4
Boston City League - 2
Catholic Conference - 2
Hockomock - 2
Mid-Wach A - 2
Northeastern - 2
Valley Wheel - 2
Bay State - 1
Big Three - 1
Cape Ann - 1
Central Mass. Conference - 1
Dual County - 1
Dual Valley - 1
Middlesex - 1
South Coast - 1
Valley League - 1

Roundtable: Midseason All-State, Superlatives

January, 25, 2013
At the midpoint of the MIAA basketball season, we've asked our panel of experts to submit their picks for ESPN Boston All-State, as well as Mr. and Miss Basketball along with a number of superlatives:


Brendan Hall
ESPN Boston High Schools Editor

All-State Super Team
G – Tyler Nelson, Jr., Central Catholic
G – Darien Fernandez, Sr., Wareham
G – Jameilen Jones, Sr., BC High
G/F – Kamari Robinson, Sr., Springfield Central
F/C – Tyler Gibson, Sr., Rockland

Second Team
G – Jaylen Blakely, Sr., Brockton
G – Nick McKenna, Sr., Danvers
F – Nick Cambio, Jr., Central Catholic
F – Brendan Hill, Soph., Mansfield
F – Isaiah Nelsen, Sr., North Andover

Third Team
G – Riyadh Asad, Sr., West Springfield
G – Juwan Gooding, Soph., New Mission
F - Sam Dowden, Sr., Andover
C - Dakari Wornum, Sr., Dorchester
C – Chris Baldwin, Soph., Springfield Central

Girls Super Team
G - Infiniti Thomas-Waheed, Jr., Newton North
G - Donnaizha Fountain, Sr., Cambridge
F - Olivia Healy, Sr., Reading
F - Caitlyn Abela, Sr., Oliver Ames
C - Molly Reagan, Soph., Braintree

Mr. Basketball Finalists
Tyler Nelson, Jr., Central Catholic – WINNER
Darien Fernandez, Sr., Wareham
Jameilen Jones, Sr., BC High
Tyler Gibson, Sr., Rockland
Kamari Robinson, Sr., Springfield Central

Defensive Player of the Year – Drew Healy, Lowell
Coach of the Year – John Walsh, Danvers
Best Shooter – Tyler Nelson, Central Catholic
Biggest surprise (player) – Dakari Wornum, Dorchester
Biggest surprise (team) – St. Peter-Marian
Most underrated (player) – David Stewart, Madison Park
Most underrated (team) – Melrose

G – Tyree Weston, Soph., New Bedford
G – Marcus Middleton, Sr., Stoughton
F – Isshiah Coleman, Sr., New Mission
F – Prince Unaegbu, Sr., Brighton
C – Drew Healy, Sr., Lowell

Tyler Nelson, Jr., Central Catholic
Tommy Mobley, Soph., Newton North
Daivon Edwards, Sr., Brighton
Giulien Smith, Soph., Catholic Memorial
Ben Judson, Soph., St. John's Prep

Second half sleepers to watch

The Bears are a streaky team, but also a gritty one, as shown in their 58-57 loss to East Boston on Wednesday. Dakari Wornum has been one of the breakout stars of the first half of the season, but a number of athletic shooters -- including Jeduan Langston, Khalil Newson, Ceejae Agnew-Carter and Dean Lee -- can make this team explode at any moment. The expected return of 6-foot-7 junior D'Bryant Coraprez should bolser the frontcourt too.

We knew junior point guard Brian Mukasa (18.8 points per game) was good, and we though he had potential to be this good, but we had questions about the Eagles' supporting cast. Jimmy Fritzon (14.2 points per game) has some answers.

Hawks are my favorite to win the Dual County League's Large division, in a year of parity across the board. Keep an eye on Mike Gelineau, one of the area's more underrated shooters.

Most expected Wareham to run away with the South Coast Conference (again), but guess who's sitting at 11-2 and 8-1 in the league? The Cardinals are allowing a league-best 46 points per game, and face Wareham on Wednesday for a first-place battle in the SCC. Keep an eye on 6-foot-8 senior center Matt Plante.


Chris Bradley
ESPN Boston correspondent

All-State Super Team
G - Darien Fernandez, Sr., Wareham
G - Tyler Nelson, Jr., Central Catholic
F - Jameilen Jones, Sr., BC High
F - Kamari Robinson, Sr., Springfield Central
C - Tyler Gibson, Sr., Rockland

Second Team
G - Jaylen Blakely, Sr., Brockton
G - Riyadh Asad, Sr., West Springfield
F - Nick Simpson, Sr., Brighton
F - Nick Cambio, Sr., Central Catholic
F - Brendan Hill, Soph., Mansfield

Third Team
G - Nick McKenna, Sr., Danvers
G - Rod Milton, Sr., Worcester South
F - Sam Dowden, Sr., Andover
F - Isaiah Nelsen, Sr., North Andover
C - Chris Baldwin, Soph., Springfield Central

Girls Super Team
G - Kayla Burton, Sr., Newton South
G/F - Donnaizha Fountain, Sr., Cambridge
G/F - Olivia Healy, Sr., Reading
F - Morgan Lumb, Sr., North Andover
C - Molly Reagan, Soph., Braintree

Mr. Basketball Finalists
Tyler Nelson, Central Catholic - WINNER
Darien Fernandez, Wareham
Jameilen Jones, BC High
Tyler Gibson, Rockland
Kamari Robinson, Springfield Central

Defensive Player of the Year - Isshiah Coleman, New Mission
Coach of the Year - Sean Connolly, St. John’s Prep
Best Shooter - Tyler Nelson, Central Catholic
Biggest Surprise (Team) – Wachusett
Biggest Surprise (Player) – KayJuan Bynum, Springfield Putnam
Most Underrated (Player) – Sam Dowden, Andover
Most Underrated (Team) – Dorchester

G - Marcus Middleton, Sr., Stoughton
G/F - Nate Anderson, Sr., New Mission
F - Isshiah Coleman, Sr., New Mission
C - Alex Cooper, Sr., Wachusett
C - Drew Healy, Sr., Lowell

Tyler Nelson, Jr., Central Catholic
Tim Dufficy, Sr., Whitinsville Christian
Tommy Mobley, Soph., Newton North
Zack Berman, Sr., Wachusett
Jaylen Blakely, Sr., Brockton

Second-half sleepers:

If Connor Merinder is back in time for the tournament, then consider Andover a favorite in Division 1 North. Central Catholic has clearly separated themselves from BC High, St. John’s Prep, Lowell, and Andover so far, but if Andover gets a healthy, productive Merinder back, they will make a run to the Division 1 North final. The Golden Warriors have gone 10-2 thus far without the 6-foot-5 forward, who is considered one of the MIAA’s best in a loaded 2015 class. Sam Dowden has done a great job of leading Andover so far, but getting a healthy Merinder makes them a legitimate contender to be at the DCU Center come March.

Worcester South
South became the first team to finally knock off previously undefeated Wachusett in Central Mass. The Cononels, who with the win moved to 8-2, did so without junior point guard Kasheen Cunningham, one of the area’s best outside shooters. South has the best scorer in Central Mass. in Rod Milton, a strong young big man in Khalil Bryan-Robinson, and a constant threat from outside in Cunningham—with Central Mass. Division 1 as up in the air as it has been in years, look for South to make a run to the Division 1 finals at WPI.


Ryan Kilian
Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Mass. Prep Stars (

Boys Super Team
G - Tyler Nelson, Jr., Central Catholic
G - Jameilen Jones, Sr., BC High
G - Malik James, Jr., Brighton
F - Brendan Hill, Soph., Mansfield
C - Chris Baldwin, Soph., Springfield Central

Girls Super Team
G - Morgan Lumb, Sr., North Andover
G/F - Alana Gilmer, Soph., Archbishop Williams
G/F - Donnaizha Fountain, Sr., Cambridge
F - Olivia Healy, Sr., Reading
C - Molly Reagan, Soph., Braintree

Mr. Basketball
Tyler Nelson, Jr., Central Catholic

Miss Basketball
Olivia Healy, Sr., Reading

Defensive Player of the Year
Boys: Kendall Hamilton, Sr., Wakefield
Girls: Infiniti Thomas-Waheed, Jr., Newton North

Coach of the Year
Boys: Mike Kasprzak, Melrose
Girls: John McNamara, Pentucket

Best Shooter
Boys: Tyler Nelson, Jr., Central Catholic
Girls: Morgan Lumb, Sr., North Andover

Biggest Surprise
Boys: Frantzdy Pierrot, Jr., Melrose
Girls: Molly Bent, Soph., Barnstable

Most Underrated Player
Boys: Doug Gemmell, Sr., Central Catholic
Girls: Tess Noguiera, Sr., Pentucket

Most Underrated Team
Boys: Melrose
Girls: Ipswich

Second Half Sleepers

Boys: Wakefield – They have been hanging in the wings with a few losses and have battled some injuries but with a healthy Bruce Brown and continued improved play of Kendall Hamilton, Mikol Blake-Green and others they should be back in the title hunt by the end of the regular season.

Girls: Westford Academy – Westford Academy has played a very difficult schedule, losing to Bishop Feehan, Wachusett and Billerica by a combined five points. They have wins over Lincoln-Sudbury and Arlington Catholic as resume boosters and can play with any team in the state. Juniors Sam Hyslip and Hannah Hackley lead the Grey Ghosts in most statistical categories.


Rob Sarmiento
Founder and Editor, Beantown Hoops (

First Team
G - Jameilen Jones, Sr., BC High
G - Darien Fernandez, Sr., Wareham
F - Sam Dowden, Sr., Andover
F - Tyler Gibson, Sr., Rockland
F - Doug Gemmell, Sr., Central Catholic

Second Team
G - Jaleel Bell, Sr., Wayland
G - Jaylen Blakely, Sr., Brockton
G - Malik James, Jr., Brighton
G - Tyler Nelson, Jr., Central Catholic
F - Isaiah Nelsen, Sr., North Andover

Third Team
G - Giulien Smith, Soph., Catholic Memorial
G - Juwan Gooding, Soph., New Mission
G/F - Bruce Brown, Soph., Wakefield
F - Brendan Hill, Soph., Mansfield
F - Nate Anderson, Sr., New Mission

Girls Super Team
G/F - Donnaizha Fountain, Sr., Cambridge
G/F - Olivia Healy, Sr., Reading
G/F - Molly Bent, Soph., Barnstable
G/F - Morgan Lumb, Sr., North Andover
F - Sarah Hope, Sr., Medway

Mr. Basketball - Jameilen Jones, BC High
Miss Basketball - Olivia Healy, Reading
Coach of the Year - Mark Antonelli, Somerville
Best Shooter - Tyler Nelson, Central Catholic
Biggest Surprise (player) - Molly Bent, Barnstable (Girls)
Biggest Surprise (team) - North Reading
Most Underrated (player) - Jaleel Bell, Wayland
Most Underrated (team) - Melrose

Tyler Nelson, Jr., Central Catholic
Sam Dowden, Sr., Andover
Sam Bohmiller, Sr., Franklin
Tommy Mobely, Soph., Newton North
Mike Gelineau, Sr., Waltham

Second Half Sleepers

Boys: Franklin - Well-coached and playing in a tough conference will make them battle ready come playoff time. Plus, they have a player who can make threes in bunches with Bohmiller.

Girls: Arlington Catholic - Seem to always make a run and their style of play is tough to prepare for. They are young in some key positions, but first half of the season experience will show during the playoffs.

Five on the Rise from Turkey Day

November, 23, 2012
Presenting to you five, players, groups, teams and scenes on the rise heading from Turkey Day into the postseason.

Perhaps no team impressed more on the defensive side of the ball than St. John’s Prep, which authoritatively stamped its postseason pass book with a 9-0 shutout against Xaverian. Of course, the Hawks were equally up to the task with a huge day from its four-man line of Joe Gaziano, Ray Gobbi, Mo Hurst, and Elijah Jolly.

Yet, the Eagles were also able to control the line of scrimmage coming off their blocks. Chris Newton, a lunch pail linebacker turned defensive tackle, might have had the game of his life with two sacks, including a strip-sack. Feeding off the double-teams generated by fellow tackle Corey Jean-Jacques, the duo were able to create an interior pass rush, and help bottle up the Hawks’ physical backfield of Hurst and Hunter Taute.

Still, the performance of the day belonged to the Newton North secondary. The Tigers terrorized Brookline for six interceptions in the 116th annual meeting between the Bay State Conference rivals. Newton North also returned two of the picks to the house, a difference-maker in a 21-0 defensive maelstrom. Junior defensive back Jack Boucher led the charge with three interceptions, including a pick-six.

In lifting Westwood to a 42-14 win over perennial Tri-Valley League Large favorite Holliston, the Wolverines punched a card to their first postseason date since their Super Bowl season of 2004.

Leading Westwood’s aerial attack was Alex Berluti. The senior completed 14 of 17 attempts for 269 yards and three touchdowns in the victory. Naturally, his top target was brother Bo Berluti. Bo finished the game with five catches for 107 yards and a touchdown.

"It’s nice throwing to him," Alex Berluti told correspondent Bruce Lerch on Thursday. "It’s fun. It was memorable. I’ll have that for the rest of my life."

In projecting the result of the penultimate CAL/NEC Tier 3 game between Lynnfield and North Reading earlier this week on our podcast, I talked about Pioneers quarterback Mike Karavestos and his ability to change the game with his arm. Turned out I was partially right, but I underestimated Karavestos’ running ability. The tough-nosed signal-caller’s 157 yards on the ground on 19 carries set the tone for Lynnfield and his rushing touchdown truly was the difference-maker in a tightly contested 14-7 win over the Hornets, propelling Lynnfield into the playoffs.

We all know what Austin Roberts means to Brockton and its offense. When one of the state’s toughest pound-for-pound athletes is running the Boxers’ Georgia Tech-style option game, few teams can find an answer. But in Thursday’s win over Bridgewater-Raynham, another encouraging sign for Brockton’s postseason hopes emerged. While Roberts dropped back to pass just five times against a stingy Trojans’ defense, he managed to complete four of those passes for 90 yards – all of those completions went to game MVP – and one could argue – Boxers’ MVP Micah Morel. Morel also grabbed a touchdown pass against B-R. While the ground game will continue to be the Boxers’ key to success, if Roberts and Morel can continue to dial up big plays in the passing game through the playoffs, Brockton will be that much more difficult to dissect defensively.

While Upper Cape Tech has plenty to be thankful for, what with securing the program’s first-ever playoff berth with a 42-18 win over Cape Cod Tech. However, if Holbrook/Avon beat West Bridgewater on Thanksgiving, the Rams would’ve had to sweat out a coin flip in a three-way tie-breaker procedure to determine who would represent the Mayflower Small in Saturday’s Super Bowl against Dorchester.

Thankfully, it didn’t come to that as West Bridgewater beat H/A, alleviating any potential agony.

As a token of thanks, we wonder if Rams coach Mike Hernon picked up anything on Black Friday as a thank you gift to the Wildcats?

Bay State Games: July 10 recap

July, 10, 2012
Bay State Games communications coordinator Craig Kaufman sends along results from today's baseball action:

WALTHAM, Mass. -– The second day of the 2012 Bay State Games baseball tournament saw a pitcher’s duel and two convincing wins as the Northeast and West teams picked up their second wins of the tournament. Those two teams will try to stay undefeated tomorrow when they play in the first game of Day 3 at 9:00 pm at Bentley University.

Coastal 2, Central 0
The Coastal Region out-dueled Central and scored the only two runs in the game in the fourth inning to improve to 1-1 in the 2012 tournament. A sacrifice fly from shortstop James Marcello (Duxbury) and an RBI single from right fielder Joshua Cabucio (East Freetown) brought across Cody Younger (Middleboro) and Matthew Peterson (South Dennis). Coastal had loaded the bases on walks to Younger and Peterson and a hit batsman.

Mike Bruemmel (Bridgewater) was outstanding on the mound for Coastal, pitching three innings and scattering just two hits while striking out three.

Central had their best threat in the sixth inning, loading the bases on singles by Owen Shea (Northborough) and Mike Vaitkunas (Auburn) but Bruemmel, who struck out four, shut the door. Central was held to just three hits in the game.

Central starter Jack Riley (West Boylston) went the first two innings and struck out two, allowing just one hit.

West 11, Metro 1
West got on the board early and often and scored six unearned runs in their second win of the tournament. The damage started in the first on a bloop RBI single from catcher Phillip Jasak (Palmer). Andrew Noonan (Springfield) followed with a single through the left side to plate another run, and Mackenzie Hale (Florence) drew a bases loaded walk to give the West a 3-0 lead.

West tacked on another run in the third inning, two more in the fourth and five unearned runs in the fifth, capped by a two-run double by Kenny Potts (Southwick). Metro escaped further damage when center fielder Mark Fusco (Medford) made a spectacular diving catch to end the top of the third inning with West stranding two base-runners.

West got great production out of their four-spot as Evan Delaney (Hadley) walked, singled and hit an RBI double and scored three times. He crossed the plate after his run-producing hit on Jasak’s second RBI single of the day before giving way to Potts.

West second baseman Mike Paleologopoulos (South Hadley) was 3-5 in the game, scoring twice and driving in a run.

Metro grabbed their lone run in the fifth when Tom McDonald (Quincy) doubled to lead off the inning and crossed the plate on after singles by Nathan Spielvogel (Brookline) and Seth Coiley (Arlington).

John Lavoie (Medford) pitched a perfect final two innings of relief for Metro, striking out four.

Northeast 9, Southeast 3
Northeast broke open a tight game with five runs on five hits in the top of the seventh inning to squash a Southeast comeback attempt. The Southeast, down 4-1, had scored twice in the bottom of the sixth.

Rory McHarg (Wayland) smacked a two-run single in the seventh and Jordan Roper (Lynnfield), Colby Ingraham (Georgetown) and Nicholas Comei (Bradford) also drove in runs for Northeast.

The top of the order for the Northeast was on base four times. Leadoff starter Cam Farnham (Andover) singled in the first and fourth, the second time driving in two runs before bein replaced by Ingraham.

Dan Connors was 2-2 with two RBI singles for the Northeast, who got five innings of one-run ball from starter Ryan McAuliffe (North Reading).

Southeast tied the game at one run apiece in the second inning when Gino Larossa (Braintree) doubled and scored on a single by center fielder Jake Fishman (Sharon). They pulled within a run in the sixth when substitute catcher Connor Goetz (Cohasset) delivered a two run single to center, scoring Sean Roche (Rockland) and Mark Saulnier (Norwood).

Northeast leadoff man Cam Farnham (Andover) opened the game with a single and stole second before scoring on a two-out single by second baseman Dan Connors (Danvers).

Southeast could have grabbed a run in the fifth as well on a single by Steven Gilbert (Franklin), but a tremendous play and a great lead by Northeast catcher Jose Cedrano (Lawrence) gunned out Brandon Eccher (Franklin) who was trying to score from second base.

Bay State Games: July 9 recap

July, 9, 2012
Bay State Games communications coordinator Craig Kaufman sends along results from today's action, which included the first games of baseball and softball:

WOBURN, Mass. –- The opening day of scholastic competition saw the softball and baseball tournaments of the 2012 Bay State Summer Games get underway from the campus of Bentley College and the Veterans Field Complex in Waltham, Mass. Three baseball games and six softball games began the showpiece events of the 31st Bay State Games.


Southeast 7, Metro 2
Metro took a 2-1 lead in the third inning on a two-run single by Malcolm Nachmanoff (Boston), but Southeast scored the next six runs, with pairs in the third, fifth and sixth. Pinch hitter Sean Roche (Rockland) scored twice and Southeast took advantage of two late errors to score three unearned runs.

Patrick Hurley (West Roxbury) was dominant in relief for Metro, striking out five in two innings but was victimized by those miscues. Third baseman Cameron Hanley (Walpole) was on base twice for Southeast, scoring a run, stealing a base and driving in a run with a single to left field in the third.

Northeast 4, Coastal 3
Northeast clinched a walk-off victory in the bottom of the seventh when pinch hitter Colby Ingraham (Georgetown) delivered a bases loaded single up the middle to score pinch runner Mike Driscoll (North Reading).

Coastal shortstop Jimmy Gamache (Mattapoisett) was 2-2 on the afternoon, scoring two of Coastal’s runs and swiping a base in the process. He hit a triple in the fourth inning and crossed the plate on an RBI single by Ryan Kowalski (Taunton).

Andrew Deloury (Andover) had himself a 2-2 day and drove in a run in the fifth, scoring Brendon Canavan (Carlisle) to give the Northeast a 3-2 lead, before Coastal re-tied the game a half-inning later.

Coastal starter Matthew Peterson (South Dennis) went three innings of work, yielding two hits and no earned runs, while not issuing a walk and striking out three. Victor Molle (Peabody) got the victory for Northeast.

Coastal had a chance to take the lead in the top of the seventh, but Drew Wethington (Fairhaven) was tagged out trying to score from third base on a passed ball.

Mike Bruemmel (Bridgewater) and Ian Chaney (Fall River) also drove in runs for Coastal.

West 2, Central 0
Andrew Ringie (Pittsfield) rocked a triple to left center field in the fifth inning to score catcher Dan McGuill (East Longmeadow) and break a scoreless tie. The West added another run in the bottom of the sixth when Justin Carey (Shutesbury) walked, stole second and advanced on a groundout before scoring on a wild pitch. McGuille almost made the score 3-0 with an RBI double, but Liam Nolan (Pittsfield) was called out on an appeal play for missing third base and the teams went to the seventh inning with the West up 2-0, where pitcher Asher Young (Amherst) closed the door.

The West pitching was superb, holding Central hitters to three hits, one by Mike Woll (Millbury) in the fourth, who reached second base but was caught stealing trying to swipe third, ending the best threat for the Central on the day.


Coastal 3, Southeast 1 (10 am)
Coastal scored first in the 4th inning by Julia Sullivan (Sandwich) who also scored in the 6th by an in the park home run by Ashley Truman (Berkley). Sullivan had 2 hits in the game. Southeast got there only run in the 7th taking advantage of two errors by the Coastal team. Danielle Burgess (Millis) who was on base 3 times had the only run for the Southeast team.

Northeast 7 Metro 0 (10am)
After a slow start for both teams Northeast was the first team to score in the 5th inning. Marissa Cammarano (Bedford) came across the plate for Northeast to score their first run followed by Mikayla Wallace (Peabody) and Courtney Green (North Andover). In the 6th the Northeast bats came alive again erupting for 4 more runs to seal the win. Gia Raczkowski (Stoneham) scored twice along with Danielle Moran (Lynn) and Terri Ferrazzani (North Reading) each scored one run. Metro had three hits in the 5th inning but had one runner cut down and left the other two on base.

Metro 5 Central 0 (noon)
Metro came out on fire in the 1st inning scoring two runs by Courtney Leddy (Cambridge) and Marlene Sullivan (Waltham). Sullivan started things off in the 3rd by hitting a single following Allison Caloggero (Medford) hitting a double who both came into score in the 3rd. In the 5th to seal their win, Alexandria Craig (Waltham) hit a single and came into score. Central put up a fight the whole game. Nicole DeFazio (Northbridge) hit a single for them along with Alicia Wagner (Uxbridge) also having a single. Their efforts came up short with Metro getting the win.

West 9 Southeast 1 (noon)
West started things off in the first inning with an inside the park homerun by Tasha Polaner (Orange). Sami Stolar (Hampden) then followed with a double and was driven in by Mary Greco (Hatfield) who hit a double. The West bats came alive again in the 4th where Polana hit her second in the park home run of the day. Stolar and Greco followed with singles. An additional three runs where scored by Rebecca Carkhuff (Amherst), Brooke Fairman (Huntington), Courtney Newsome (Sunderland). Stolar also scored in the 6th. Southeast battled with two hits by Danielle Burgess (Millis) and Meghan Shay (Abington) a piece along with Caroline Shay (Abington) having one hit on the day. Christine scored the Southeast only run off of a double by M. Shay. Due to their efforts they fell short to West.

Coastal 4 West 3 (2pm)
Megan Logan (Westfield) West started things off in the 4th by walking, where she was then driven by MacKenzie Yelle (Belchertown) who hit a double. In the 5th inning, Polana hit a double followed by Stolar hitting a single both players scored in that inning. Coastal came alive in the 7th, where Jackie Kielty (Middleboro) got on base due to a third baseman error. Meghan Riley (North Reading) then came up to the plate; hit a single, which scored Kielty. Mickayla Cobb (Middleboro) hit a single followed by Juliana Fergurson (Sandwich) getting walked. Katie Wood (Westport) and Sullivan both hit singles to score Cobb and Fergurson to win the game.

Northeast 9 Central 1 (2pm)
Northeast started things off in the 2nd scoring three runs by Rachel Couto (Chelmsford), Meaghan Leary (Andover) and Jordan Day (Andover). In the 3rd and 4th inning they scored Olivia Brothers (Peabody) and Couto. In the 5th Leary, Cori Simmons (Salisbury), Day, She Carney and Couto to put the Northeast in good standing to clench the win. Central put up a fight having hits by Olivia Peterson (Westford), Nicole DeFazio (Northbridge), Mackenzie Brisbois (Douglas) and two hits by Samantha Wise (Uxbridge) who was also the only one to score for Central.

Final Baseball Top 25 Poll of 2012

June, 19, 2012
Following last weekend's MIAA state championships, we have updated our MIAA Top 25 poll for the final time in 2012 this evening.

Division 1 state champion Xaverian finishes at No. 1, after winning 13 of its final 14 games. The Hawks came into the spring as the No. 4 team in our preseason poll, but fell out of the countdown at the halfway point of the season following a five-game losing streak.

For the complete poll, CLICK HERE. A few notes about the final poll:

-- Two teams finish in the poll with losing records. South Hadley (12-13) won its first Division 2 state title in school history, and was seeded No. 2 in the West sectional despite a 7-13 record. This is in part to the 16 regular-season games played against Division 1 competition. Springfield Central (10-12) comes in at No. 25 after knocking off state title contender Springfield Cathedral in the D1 West quarterfinals.

-- Of the eight teams that played for a state championship in Divisions 1 through 4, only one team -- Plymouth North -- was ranked in the final regular season poll released on May 28. The Eagles came into the Division 2 South tournament ranked No. 20, and finish No. 8 after making their fourth state final appearance in five years. Going one step further, of the 12 teams that made the state semifinals in Divisions 1 through 3 (In Division 4, the North-South final represents the state championship), only four were ranked in the May 28 poll -- Auburn, Lowell, Westfield, and the aforementioned North.

-- No team finished exactly where they started in the preseason. Only Lowell (No. 2, preseason No. 3), St. John's of Shrewsbury (No. 6, preseason No. 9), Plymouth North (No. 8, preseason No. 5), Lincoln-Sudbury (No. 17, preseason No. 15), and the aforementioned Xaverian come close to finishing near their first ranking of 2012.

-- There are 11 teams in the final poll that were unranked in the May 28 poll. That includes the three state champions (Xaverian, South Hadley, North Reading) in the final poll. Of the 11 teams, only three have previously been ranked this season -- Xaverian, Taunton and East Bridgewater.

Here is how the final poll breaks down by league affiliation:

Bay State Conference - 3
Catholic Conference - 3
Dual County - 2
Old Colony - 2
Southern Worcester County - 2
Suburban League - 2
Atlantic Coast - 1
Cape Ann - 1
Central Mass. Conference - 1
Hockomock - 1
Merrimack Valley - 1
Mid-Wach A - 1
Middlesex - 1
South Coast - 1
South Shore - 1
Valley League - 1
Valley Wheel - 1

As always, thanks for following along in 2012. Any questions or comments can be sent to

Video: Breaking down baseball state finals

June, 17, 2012
WORCESTER, Mass. -- ESPN Boston High Schools co-editor Brendan Hall, correspondent Andy Smith and host Lynn Herman break down the action from Fitton Field, where baseball state champions were crowned in three divisions:

D3 Baseball: North Reading grabs championship

June, 17, 2012

WORCESTER, Mass. -- The North Reading Hornets had a slow first inning, but in the second, sophomore catcher Keith Linnane's ground ball to left field would start a six-run rally from which the Mount Everett Eagles could not recover. Juniors John Ormsbee and Erik Derwitsch would drive in two runs each in the second and third innings, but that was the extent of their offensive production as the Hornets took him the division three state title with an 8-4 victory.

“Since day one, this team has had written on the black board in my locker room, since the very first day, ‘Win the states’, said North
Reading coach Frank Carey. I’m going, shaking my head, ‘That’s enviable, but we’ve got a long way to go before we win the states.”

After Linnane's single, Kyle Boucher was walked and Eric Gordon bunted to advance the runners and put Linnane in scoring position, Dyland Wheeler struck out Michael Brandano and Ryan McAuliffe grounded out and drove in Linnane, both Dennis Rollfs and Thomas Day were hit by pitches, the second bringing in the Hornets second run of the inning. Ryley Warnock drove in two runs on a pop fly single to center field making the score 4-0 in the top of the second.

[+] EnlargeNorth Reading baseball
Jon Mahoney for ESPNBoston.comNorth Reading captured its first baseball state title since 1974 with a win over Mt. Everett for the Division 3 championship.
Mount Everett coach Jesse Carpenter called in his second left hand pitcher, Erik Derwitsch, and he gave up a single to left field to Colby Maiola, a hit which drove in two more runs, making the game 6-0. Maiola was picked off after the cycle had batted and Linanne was up to bat for the second time in the second, but the damage had been done and the Hornets had a commanding 6-0 lead and the momentum.

In the bottom of the third, Mount Everett’s Ormsbee took a McAuliffe pitch over the left fielder’s head to drive in Alex Crane and Will Danz, putting the Eagles in the game at 6-2. McAuliffe struck out the next batter and the following hitter popped out to left field, the Hornet defense ensuring that the Eagles would not score again in the second and their attempt to tie the game stymied well short of their goal.

After scoreless third inning for North Reading, Mount Everett took to the plate in the third and although Ethan Chamberlain struck out, Wheeler and Garrett Torrico both got hits to the right side of the field. Coach Carey pulled McAuliffe after 2 1/3 innings on the mound and called in RHP Ryley Warnock with the score 6-2.

Warnock would walk Danz, Crane popped out to second base but Derwitsch would hit a 2-run single and advance to second on the throw home from the outfield making the score 6-4, ending the Eagles offensive production. Ormsbee would pop out to center field on the next at bat, stranding two batters.

“Each game, you just have to be ready for 21 outs, you never know what’s going to happen,” said sophomore Thomas Day of his team’s fielding, especially his at third. “Most of the time, I’m ready to make a good play to help my team out and win the state championship.”

Warnock would go on to drive in Rollfs in the top of the fifth and Linnane would steal home on a wild pitch by Derswitch for the final score of 8-4.

“Grav[alesse]’s one of my best friends, he lives for this”, said sophomore Linnane, who would go on to steal home for the final run of the game. He was referring to senior captain Jonathan Gravelesse who made the first out in the 7th, snagging a smoking line drive at second. “He lives for this. He’s always wanted a championship to end his high school career and this is the best thing that could happen."