Boston High School: Ryan Bassinger

L-S captures third state title in seven seasons

June, 18, 2011
6/18/11
11:57
PM ET




LYNN, Mass. -- Keith Anderson is a big boy at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, but today he was Orca big for his team.

He opened up the offense for the Lincoln-Sudbury Warriors with a drop-in to center field to spark a seven-run second inning. On the flip side, he made a potentially game-altering snag with the bases loaded to end the fourth inning, leading L-S (24-4) to its third state championship in seven years with a 10-2 win over Minnechaug.

“I was just trying to the offense going,” Anderson said of his shallow center chip that turned into more than he had imagined. “I was just thinking that it was going to drop in front of him, but as I got to first, I saw that it was past him so I just took second base.”

Anderson did not consider the ball being caught, although he admitted that upon reflection had the ball been dove for, the game could have had a different outcome, but the ball fell in, he took and extra base and the rest is history.

“No one has hit the ball better than Keith in this tournament,” said Lincoln-Sudbury head coach Kirk Fredericks. “Earlier in the tournament, he scooped a ball that saved us a couple of runs. He has turned himself into a really good player.”

Juniors Ricky Antonellis and Ryan Bassinger smacked grounders into left field, respectively, after Anderson got the team going, the second knocking in Anderson. The next batter, junior Matt Cahill, executed a bunt down the third baseline that kept the inning going for the Warriors, a part of their game that was not so heralded early in the year, but something that Fredericks has had the team work on during the season just for situations like this.

“Kids don’t practice bunting in the offseason, so we worked on it during the season,” said Fredericks. “Knowing that the last two years when we lost in the north semifinals, we lost because we couldn’t hit, so if you can’t hit you’ve got to get on base somehow and bunting is one of the options.”

With the bases now loaded, sophomore Brian Carroll smacked a shot to the third baseman, who dove to make the catch, but unfortunately made one of the Falcons’ three errors in the second inning, overthrowing the second baseman after, and allowing L-S to tally another five runs.

SOLID SECOND OPTION

Scoreless in the second, the Falcons (15-11) capitalized on opportunities given them as L-S senior righthander Adam Ravenelle walked four straight batters. He gathered himself and struck out clean-up hitter Matthew Warren, then gave up a right field pop fly to Kevin Sugermeyer that yielded the second and last run of the game for the Falcons.

Kevin Baker fanned for the second time to end the inning, but after Kevin White drove one into dead center in the top of the fourth, Fredericks pulled the plug on Ravenelle on brought in Matt McGavick who allowed two hits during his four innings on the mound.

“I knew I had my team behind me and they have been all year,” said Ravenelle. “I have the utmost faith that they’ll pick it up when I’m not at my best.”

Like Ravanelle, McGavick walked the bases loaded, and was unsure how things would turn out, as he usually comes into the game during either the seventh or eighth inning, but the fielding of Keith Anderson was all that he needed, as he snatched a line drive that would have rolled into shallow right, potentially scoring two runs. A five-run lead is much easier to pitch with than a three-run lead and McGavick was appreciative of the defensive support he received from Anderson and the rest of the Warriors.

“That catch by Keith Anderson the first inning I was in really got me going and gave me confidence to keep throwing the ball in there, pitching strikes knowing that my defense would be there to back me up,” said McGavick.

THIS IS NOT HOW WE GOT HERE…

Although it was a long ride from Main Street in Wilbraham, Minnechaug coach Erik Mandell did not recognize the play that he saw in the field from his team and did not yank his pitcher, or scream at his players, but let them know that he expected to see them making the little plays that made the big differences in the game, such as the one Anderson made two innings later to potentially save the game.

“Baseball is a game of inches,” said Mandell. “And to get here, we’ve had to make a number of plays like that one on first base just to get here. A few inches to the left, a few inches to the right, it may be a different ball game… but I told my guys they needed to make those plays.”

Despite giving up 10 runs, Mandell stuck through the eighth inning with his starting pitcher, Gregory Heineman, because he felt he was pitching a good game.

“We needed to be better on defense, we had one particularly bad inning, and overall we weren’t as sharp as we needed to be, but I don’t think that Greg pitched poorly. On top of that, they’re a good ball club.”

L-S hammers its way back to D1 state final

June, 16, 2011
6/16/11
1:49
AM ET



LOWELL, Mass. -- The clock has finally struck midnight on Franklin's magical, even Cinderella-ish run through the Division 1 tournament.

Lincoln-Sudbury's bats struck often and early, to the tune of 20 total hits, as they cruised to a 16-2 win over the Panthers (16-9) at Alumni Field to make their third state final appearance in seven seasons.

The Warriors (23-4) will face Western Mass champion Minnechaug -- themselves a surprise contender, entering the postseason a No. 10 seed at 10-10 but winning five straight -- Saturday at Lynn's Fraser Field for the state title.

"We hit the ball very well," L-S head coach Kirk Fredericks said. "We took advantage of and used a lot of the things we practice all the time, to get up on them and work some things in, which is great."

L-S wasted little time getting on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning, with senior catcher Mike Barry (2 for 4, four RBI) driving in Carl Anderson with a sacrifice fly to left field out of the cleanup spot. Keith Anderson (3 for 4, three RBI) and Ricky Antonellis (2 for 4) each drove in a run in the next two at bats to make it 3-0.

Then in the fourth, already ahead 5-0, the Warriors exploded for five more to blow this thing wide open, with Keith Anderson, Ryan Bassinger and Barry all driving in runs. Barry then made it 12-0 in the fifth, blasting an 0-2 curveball over left.

"I thought they were going to throw me a curveball, and I guess I got a good piece of it," Barry said.

Said Fredericks of Barry, "Michael's been struggling a little bit when we've been taking batting practice, I was concerned that his technique was a little off. But in games, he brings it right home." Asked to elaborate on what techniques, Fredericks simply said, "That's between Michael and myself."

The Warriors beat Worcester Tech for the Division 2 title in 2005, and Algonquin two seasons later for the D1 crown. Based on a snapshot of tonight, one has to like their chances for a third title.

Like the Panthers one day earlier in their walkoff win over Xaverian for the South crown, L-S demonstrated mature plate instincts, balance patience and aggression at the right times. Adam Ravenelle, Dan Cellucci and Brian Carroll (two RBI) also drove in runs to help the effort.

All of it made the job for its starter, Bryant-bound senior lefty Carl Anderson, that much more comfortable. In five innings of work, he Anderson struck out four batters, allowed four hits and gave up one earned run. Five pitchers combined for the final four innings of relief.

"I don't think Carl will tell you, but I'm sure he's sore," Fredericks said. "He had to pitch on three days' rest during the tournament, through five innings...And I'd betcha if we're in the state championship and we need another inning or two, he'd come on too. So, Carl has been an awesome player at Lincoln-Sudbury, and he'll continue to be until the end."

After such a dramatic win less than 24 hours earlier, Franklin head coach Dave Niro's fears of a day-after letdown came true.

"It's tough to get up two days in a row," Niro said. "We're coming off a big emotional win yesterday. I could tell on the bus ride up that we're gonna come out flat. The guys usually have a lot of energy coming to games, they're usually pretty loose. But today [it] was real quiet on the bus ride up, and I kinda thought we didn't have much energy left."

Surely, the Panthers were without key arms used in yesterday's win, leaving junior lefty Tyler Buck with the start after throwing 166 pitches in his start in last week's D1 South quarterfinals against BC High, a 17-6 win. Buck was knocked out of the game with one out in the third, with the score already well in hand at 8-0.

"I don't know if they [the team] knew that, but I knew that," Fredericks said when asked about Buck's 166-pitch start. "And as the rain kept coming and moving games back, it worked to our disadvantage, because it gives him more rest.

"But I talked to BC High, who played them, and got a pretty good scouting report on what he had, and what to do against him. Our kids executed, and did a great job."


Draftee Ravenelle leads L-S into D1 North Final

June, 9, 2011
6/09/11
1:04
AM ET
LOWELL, Mass. -- It would be very difficult to find a baseball player in Massachusetts that had a better day than Adam Ravenelle Wednesday.

Mere hours after the Lincoln-Sudbury senior was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 44th Round of the Major League Baseball entry draft, he went out and hit for the cycle in a Division 1 North quarterfinal game against Chelmsford, helping propel his team to an 8-1 victory at Alumni Stadium.

The Warriors will play the winner of Thursday night's matchup between Lawrence and Acton-Boxborough, at Alumni Stadium, for the Division 1 North Championship Saturday at LeLacheur Park.

“I would definitely say this is a pretty good day for me,” he said after the game. “There was a lot of anxiety all day, leading up to the final moment I did get drafted, but once I did get drafted, the weight was lifted off my shoulders and I kind of got to relax a little bit and play a game that I love. So it was a good day.”

The Vanderbilt commit had no problem focusing on the task at hand, even with it being such a momentous day. He went 4 for 4 at the plate with a walk.

“If anything, it made me have more of a positive attitude because I was up and I was excited so I came in here excited and we got the job done,” he said.

On the field, L-S (21-4) was able to overcome a tough fielding day for the position players with exceptional offense and pitching. Carl Anderson pitched five scoreless innings, and was able to get himself out of trouble when in difficult spots in the game. In the fourth inning, with runners on second and third with one out, he struck out one hitter and got the next to fly to center to get out of the jam.

“He gave us fits,” Chelmsford head coach Mike O’Keefe said. “We got a little bit out of our comfort zone and tried to do things that we’re not really capable of doing and got a little bit away from the plan that we had. You tip your hat to the kid.”

The lefty exited the game with six strikeouts, while giving up only three hits and two walks.

“He did that on four days rest,” L-S head coach Kirk Fredericks said of Anderson. “We were looking for five innings, but didn’t know if we’d get two, didn’t know if we’d get seven, but we were looking for five. He did a great job and gave us a chance to win the game.”

A walk, fielding error, and single gave Chelmsford (16-8) the bases loaded with one out in the fifth, but L-S caught a break to keep the game scoreless. Dom Zaher, Chelmsford’s No. 3 hitter, hit a scorching ground ball at second baseman Ryan Bassinger, who was unable to handle it.

The ball ricocheted off Bassinger’s body, however, right into Dan Cellucci’s waiting glove at second base. He tagged the bag and threw to first to finish the double play and keep the Lions off the board.

Those breaks in the game and the scoreboard helped mask the five errors the defense made, which was uncharacteristic for a team like Lincoln-Sudbury.

“We were gross today, absolutely awful,” Fredericks said. “We hit the ball a little bit but we were awful. Defensively, mentally, we’re a very tired team. We’re terrible defensively and we’re struggling to be able to get bunts down, base running, etc. etc. So we’re not playing well right now.”

The Chelmsford bats did not come through until the eighth inning when back-to-back hits by Matt Rabbito and Kevin Driscoll plated the only Lion run of the game. Even then, the L-S bats answered back in the bottom of the inning with back-to-back triples by Ravenelle and Michael Barry and a single by Keith Anderson to put two more runs on the board.

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