Boston High School: Padraic Donovan

No. 8 A-B moves on behind McDonald

June, 2, 2011
ACTON, Mass. -- There was no way Ryan McDonald was coming out of the game.

The junior left-handed pitcher for Acton-Boxborough was determined to finish what he started last night. McDonald did just that, stifling Lowell on just five hits while striking out 10, as the Colonials prevailed 3-0 in the first round of the Division 1 North playoffs.

No. 8 A-B (16-5) moves on to the quarterfinal round when it will face either Lexington, Malden or Westford Academy on Sunday at 4 p.m. at a site to be determined. The ninth-seeded Red Raiders close out their season at 14-7.

McDonald kept the Lowell bats off-balanced throughout with his mix of fastballs and off-speed pitches. In fact, he didn’t allow a Red Raiders to reach third until the seventh frame.

“As a pitcher you’re thinking you want to go as long as you can and give it everything you’ve got,” said McDonald. “I felt great and the adrenaline was flowing. In the beginning I was able to established my off-speed stuff and then as the game progressed I picked it up more with my fastball. I realized over the last couple of innings they weren’t able to catch up to my fastball.”

McDonald was accurate in that statement as he wrapped up this contest by striking out four of the last five batters he faced.

In what was expected to be a low-scoring affair, the Colonials were able to strike first against Red Raider starter R.J. Noel. A single by Jared Tamulynas was followed by a line double to left by McDonald scoring Tamulynas and putting A-B on top 1-0.

The Colonials would add a solo run in the following frame thanks to Chris Murphy’s RBI single which drove in Dana Flood, who had led off the inning with a single.

While Lowell’s puzzlement against McDonald continued, a two-run lead was looking better with each passing inning. In the sixth however the Red Raiders threatened after putting a pair of runners on base. But McDonald was able to get out of the jam without issue.

In the bottom of the inning A-B added some insurance. Brian Bowler and Tamulynas opened with back-to-back walks. A McDonald sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position. Noel was then pulled in favor of Matt Tulley. Much to the surprise of Red Raiders, Matt Sweet laid down a perfectly-executed suicide squeeze on Tulley’s first delivery allowing Bowler to cross the plate.

“We’re not the type of team that’s going to put up 9 or 10 runs in a game,” said A-B coach Pat Grucela. “We knew we needed to manufacture runs in order to be successful and I was happy with the way we executed tonight. Ryan was a horse for us out there tonight. He got stronger as the game went on.”

In the seventh, Lowell had it best chance to get on the board. With two out and two runners on James Ricoy lofted a pop up in foul territory on the right side of the infield. Gusty wind conditions pushed ball back into fair territory and out of the reach of first baseman Devin Santilli. The ball dropped but Santilli displayed his alertness by throwing out Padriac Donovan out at the plate after a rundown ensued. After that, the Red Raiders were done.

“A lot of it was [McDonald] and some of it was us not being able to execute when we had the opportunities,” Lowell coach Dan Graham said. “On that squeeze play, I was kind of expecting it but just wasn’t expecting it on Matt’s first pitch.”

Lowell capitalizes on miscues to beat BC High

May, 14, 2011
DORCHESTER, Mass. -- Lowell’s Matt Tulley found himself in a jam in the first inning of his team’s game against BC High Saturday. After walking two of the first four batters he faced, BC High was threatening to get on the board with runners on the corners and two outs.

On the first pitch to Justin Silvestro, Bob Sabatino tried stealing second to put two runners in scoring position. However, instead of throwing down to second or ignoring the runner altogether, Lowell catcher Padraic Donovan threw to third, where he caught Dan Dougherty too far off the bag, getting the third out of the inning and getting his pitcher out of a jam.

It was that kind of an afternoon for the Eagles. Lowell capitalized on almost every error they made, both physical and mental ,and came away with an 8-1 victory. Its offense gave it the lead, and its defense held it.

“Every time we come to play we can be the best team in the state I think,” said Tulley, who was 2-for-4 at the plate. “We just have to bring it every day and sometimes we don’t.”

Luke Barkowski was holding his own on the mound for BC High (9-5) through the first 1.2 innings, until he hit R.J. Noel on the arm with a pitch. James Ricoy, the next batter up and No. 7 hitter in the Lowell (10-5) lineup, hit a double to the gap in right-center to plate Noel. The ensuing walk to Donovan put runners on first and second with two outs. Kyle Edwards hit a grounder to second that normally would end the inning, but not Saturday. The second baseman misplayed the ball, making all runners safe and allowing Noel to score.

Momentum seemed to be shifting in BC High’s direction in the third when Mike O’Donnell relieved Tulley, who recorded three strikeouts, two walks, and no hits over his two innings of work. O’Donnell appeared to have trouble with his location, walked two batters on eight pitches, and was removed after one-third of an inning. However, the Eagles could not capitalize, and left both runners stranded.

It surprised some when Tulley was removed from the game after two innings, given how well he was pitching. Coach Dan Graham said he was just conserving his ace for later in the season.

“If anything, Matt was only going to go three tops, and that was if he was super efficient,” Graham said. “Big picture is that we’re trying to win a league championship and already qualified for the state tournament, and we have a game Friday. He was pitching on four days rest, so I wasn’t going to ask him to do too much for us today. He has to get ready for his next start.”

In the fourth, Edwards took over on the mound for Lowell. He surrendered the first three BC High hits, but the team still had trouble getting on the scoreboard. With one out in the fifth, Edwards had given up a hit and two walks to load the bases. Silvestro hit a line drive into right that it appeared would get at least one run home.

However, Ricoy was able to make a running catch coming towards the infield for the second out of the inning. Sean Duggan, the runner on third, had assumed the ball was going to drop in for a hit, so he was halfway to home. When he saw the ball was caught, he had to go back to third to tag-up, but by then, Ricoy had thrown the ball back in, making Duggan stay at third.

The only BC High run came later when Edwards walked Jake Ohanesian, forcing home a run.

Barkowski kept Lowell off the board through his last three innings and gave way to Jack Higgins in the seventh, hoping he could keep the score at 3-1 going into the bottom of the seventh. The Raider bats exploded in the inning however, putting up five runs to give the team an almost insurmountable lead.

“He gave us fastballs in two-strike counts,” said Graham. “I thought the guys just did a good job of bearing down when they were in counts where they had two strikes on them. I think for the most part they put balls in play and made things happen.”

Lowell harriers keep pace, motivation

November, 13, 2010

BOSTON, Mass. -- Saturday’s Eastern Massachusetts Division I meet was proof that not much can slow Lowell High boys’ cross country team.

Raiders head coach Phil Maia knows his team didn’t run its best race collectively, but they were still good enough to win the sectional crown. The Raiders finished 20 points better than second-place finisher, Brookline, at Franklin Park.

Padraic Donovan led the Lowell charge with a seventh-place finish, navigating the 5K course in 16 minutes and 24 seconds. Michael Giardina finished two spots behind in 16:34. Patrick Coppinger (16, 16:48), Michael Gendron (36, 17:15) and Nathan McCarthy (39, 17:18) rounded out the top five for Lowell.

The Raiders have already claimed titles this season at the Manhattan Invitational and the Catholic Memorial Invitational in addition to a Merrimack Valley Conference championship.

Lowell now turns its attention to All-States.

“We rested boys for the MSTCA Invitational last week,” Maia said. “We knew we would be good enough to qualify for All-State and we wanted to plan out our postseason. I think we can regroup for next week, have a couple of kids improve on their times. Hopefully, we can put that together.”

Maia laughed when asked if his harriers might have been tad slow-footed because they were in attendance at Friday night’s eight-overtime football bout between Lowell and Andover.

“No, we had the guys over to watch ‘Prefontaine’ and pizza,” Maia said. “We want them to be fresh and we try to make sure that they’re not out late – like at a football game.”

The leaderboard of the Division IV boys’ race went as follows: Pembroke, Pembroke, Pembroke.

The Titans authoritatively cruised to the team title with three runners taking the top three spots. Senior Ryan Kelley placed first in 15:58. He virtually could have crossed the finish line holding hands with his teammates who finished second and third. Junior Wesley Gallagher was only two seconds behind with senior Brendan Adams a second behind him.

Overall, Pembroke placed seven runners in the top 30.

“This team is incredibly deep,” Kelley said. “We went one-two in the sophomore meets, too, so I think this team should be set for the next couple of years.”

Senior Ryan Moran placed 15th in 17:03 just ahead of teammate Joe Vercollone, who claimed 16th in 17:06. Freshman John Valeri crossed in 17:11 for 20th and Jesse Fine was 28th in 17:23.

As to whom of the Titans harriers was to take the top spot, that was worked out amongst themselves.

“It really doesn’t matter who wins,” Gallagher said. “I led through around the Wilderness and then I hung onto Ryan [Kelley] on the way down through the second loop. It just helps each of us to work off of each other.”


1. Stephen Sollowin, Sr., Weymouth, 15:47
2. David Melly, Sr., Newton South, 16:05
3. Nickolas Christiansen, Jr., Peabody,16:09
4. Ben Halpin, Sr., St John's Prep, 16:19
5. Simon Voorhees, Sr., Andover, 16:20


1. Lowell, 107
2. Brookline, 127
3. Methuen, 164
4. St. John’s Prep, 169
5. Acton-Boxborough, 176


1. Shayne Collins, Sr., Mansfield, 16:02
2. Josh Lampron, Jr., Mansfield, 16:09
3. Kevin Thomas, Jr., Marshfield, 16:13
4. Joel Hubbard, Jr., Marshfield, 16:36
5. Matthew Cioe, Sr., Mansfield, 16:45


1. Mansfield, 42
2. Westford Academy, 80
3. Chelmsford, 152
4. Lincoln-Sudbury, 172
5. North Andover, 179

1. Tyler Sullivan, Sr., Whitman-Hanson, 16:03
2. Drew Beck, Jr., Oliver Ames, 16:18
3. Pat Ryan, Jr., Whitman-Hanson, 16:32
4. Peter King, Sr., Wellesley, 16:35
5. Justin Connolly, Jr., Walpole, 16:38


1. Oliver Ames, 67
2. Whitman-Hanson, 69
3. Walpole, 128
4. Gloucester, 160
5. Concord-Carlisle, 170


1. Ryan Kelley, Sr., Pembroke,15:58
2. Wesley Gallagher, Jr., Pembroke,16:00
3. Brendan Adams, Sr., Pembroke, 16:01
4. Brendan Sullivan, Jr., Foxborough, 16:17
5. Stephen Robertson, Jr., Wakefield, 16:28


1. Pembroke, 37
2. Bishop Feehan, 98
3. Sandwich, 161
4. Marblehead, 171
5. Dighton-Rehoboth, 228


1. Dana Dourdeville, Sr., Old Rochester, 16:20
2. Mark Rollfs, Sr., North Reading, 16:42
3. John Mantia, Sr., Coyle-Cassidy, 16:45
4. Patrick O’Donnell, Sr., Westwood, 16:49
5. Conor Lyons, Sr., Hamilton-Wenham, 16:49


1. Hamilton-Wenham, 58
2. Newburyport, 97
3. Medfield, 110
4. Old Rochester, 149
5. Westwood, 174


1. Kieran Kinnare, Sr., Ipswich, 16:34
2. Nate Larrimer, Sr., Seekonk, 16:43
3. Ben Girard, Sr., Manchester-Essex, 16:52
4. William Harrington, Sr., Bishop Fenwick, 16:58
5. John McKeon, Sr., Abington, 17:15


1. Seekonk, 55
2. Ipswich, 133
3. East Bridgewater, 133
4. Norwell, 161
5. Dover-Sherborn, 170