Boston High School: Sam Ashline

Recap: No. 19 Nashoba 26, Marlborough 17

October, 8, 2011

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. -- Hey, luck is where opportunity meets preparation, right?

Of course, how else are you going to explain 20 points off turnovers, which is what the No. 19 Nashoba Chieftains rode tonight to a 26-17 comeback victory over Marlborough at Kelleher Field that kept them undefeated at 5-0.

Nashoba came into the contest having not allowed a point in eight quarters. But it took all of two plays to erase that, with quarterback Mike Yates selling an option pitch hard as Paul Goulet (13 carries, 129 yards) took a dive handoff straight up the gut, 81 yards to paydirt.

But overshadowing a solid offensive performance by the Panthers (3-2) was their own undoing when it came to holding onto the ball. Nashoba's Brandon Steff tried to coffin-corner his first punt of the night, early in the second quarter, only to watch the Marlborough returner field the ball clumsily along the sideline. A Nashoba player landed on the loose ball, and Zach Arsenault plunged in from three yards out one play later to knot the score at 7.

Yates found tight end Michael Tirpak wide open in single-coverage down the right seam for a 39-yard touchdown and a 17-13 lead midway through the third quarter ("We were in straight man coverage, the guy missed him, and he knew it as soon as it happened," Nashoba head coach Ken Tucker said). But that lead unraveled in the final four minutes.

Another well-placed Nashoba coffin corner gave the Panthers a starting drive at their own five with 4:20 left in the game. Yates fumbled the snap on the first play, and on the next play Nashoba linebacker Sam Ashline fell on a fumble in the end zone for the lead with 3:38 to go.

The Panthers coughed it up again on the first play of the ensuing drive, with Brady Schartner (8 catches, 97 yards) squaring up and slamming Austin Garvey (88 rushing yards) to the ground to prevent a clean option pitch and give Nashoba the ball at the Marlborough 22. Five plays later, Arsenault plunged in again from three yards out to make it 26-17.

Three plays into its next drive, the Panthers fumbled the ball away again on a waggle to the right sideline, and the Chieftains kneeled off the remainder of the clock.

"We won ugly," Tucker said. "Marlborough's a good football team, I said it to the kids all week. I thought they were the best team we were going to play up to this point. We've played a pretty tough schedule, but I really do think that they're a very good football team. They're well-coached, and they came out and gave us everything we could handle. I'll give our kids credit, we found a way to win."

Said Marlborough head coach Sean Mahoney, "We gave them a short field. Our defense, it looks like we gave up [26] points, but one was a kickoff return for a touchdown, and then the short fields. We take away a few mistakes...but you can't make those mistakes against a team like that."

Lightning and...Lightning: For the last several years, Mahoney has deployed a plethora of spread formations, both under center and out of the shotgun, sprinkled with misdirection out of the triple option. But unlike traditional triple-option attacks, the Panthers don't utilize a true power back, instead relying on a speedy dive back to hit the hole quick and the quarterback to sell the veer or option fake to the edge.

Combined, the two-horse tandem of Goulet and Garvey ran for 205 yards on a stingy Nashoba defense, beating them at the point of attack not with power or size, but deception.

"It's really tough to stop," Tucker said. "You ask younger kids and your backups a look in practice, and it's hard to simulate. Marlborough's offensive line really gets off the ball well, they take people down low, and it's a tough play to stop because it happens so quickly. And then they run the option off of it, which we did a pretty good job on, but we didn't do as good a job on the dive as we had hoped to."

Backchecking: The return of Ashline tonight gave the Chieftains a boost at inside linebacker (more on that in a second), but more than that the linebacking corps played the run well tonight. Junior Zack Hume (seven tackles) is turning out to be one of the premier Class of 2013 prospects in Massachusetts, and has received substantial interest from Big East schools such as UConn (NCAA rules prohibit schools from offering a scholarship in writing until the summer between junior and senior year, but let's just say the Huskies are very interested at this point).

"The defenses that we play, both Marlborough and us, are linebacker-predicated, and you've gotta have good ones," Tucker said. "Zack Hume is one of the best around, and we're fortunate that we had Sam Ashline back tonight. He's not back full-strength, but it's great to have him back."

True Grit, pt. I: Tucker said Ashline is "lucky to be back" and admitted he thought the senior captain might miss the whole season with a blood clot.

Ashline plays for the Chieftains' baseball squad during the spring time, and a combination of throwing and lifting may have led to the cause of the clot, which first had him on blood thinners before undergoing surgery on August 17 to remove a rib just below the right side of his collarbone.

He was cleared by doctors to work out three weeks ago, and only last week was cleared for contact. In last Saturday's win over Holy Name, the senior saw action in maybe a dozen plays. But tonight, even though he's still not 100 percent, he made some crucial stops, and most importantly fell on the winning touchdown ball.

"We need him, he's a great player," Tucker said. "Great story, too."

True Grit, pt. II: Panther linemen Steve Randall and Chris Cook both played with broken hands, with a cast covering everything from the mid-forearm down. The good news, as Mahoney joked, is they couldn't hold anybody.

The Panthers dress close to four dozen for their varsity contests, but realistically about 15 or 16 see major time both ways, including Randall and Cook tonight.

"The kids we have playing are pretty tough kids," Mahoney said. "They want to play football, and they're fighting through injuries. They get a cast, they're padded up, and they go out there and play great."

Asked if it's tough telling a kid "No" when they're willing to go to the lengths of Randall and Cook, Mahoney pointed out that they've been cleared by doctors.

"They're football players," he said, smiling. "Football players are a little crazy...and we've got enough of those."


NSH (5-0) 0 7 6 13 --- 26
MAR (3-2) 7 3 7 0 --- 17

First Quarter
M - Paul Goulet 81 run (Alex Tello kick) 10:01

Second Quarter
N - Zach Arsenault 3 run (Brandon Steff kick) 6:59
M - Tello 38 field goal

Third Quarter
N - John Ojukwu 90 kickoff return (kick failed) 10:45
M - Michael Tirpak 39 pass from Mike Yakes (Tello kick) 6:29

Fourth Quarter
N - Sam Ashline 0 fumble recovery (rush failed) 3:38
N - Arsenault 3 run (Steff kick) 2:03

Bay State Games: Day 2 Recap

July, 6, 2011
Courtesy Bay State Games media relations director Peter Cohenno:

Bentley University – Waltham, MA

Northeast 8, Metro 5

Northeast opened the first inning with four quick runs and hung onto their early lead, going on to defeat Metro by an 8-5 margin.

Metro scored once in the first inning, followed by scoreless second and third innings for both squads. Northeast answered in the fourth inning, with a double by sophomore second baseman Riley Warnock (North Reading, North Reading HS), who stole third base as well. Junior catcher Brendon Canavan (Carlisle, Concord Carlisle) and junior shortstop Jenssy Troncoso (Salem, Salem HS) both crossed the plate, increasing the lead to 6-1.

Metro kept working to battle back in the fourth inning with another sole unearned run scored by junior second baseman Adam Lucey (Malden, Malden HS).

The squads traded two runs each in the fifth inning. Northeast earned its runs on a series of three singles by junior Hector Perez (Lawrence, Lawrence HS), junior first baseman Sean Glabicky (Peabody, Malden Catholic), and junior catcher Brendon Canavan (Carlisle, Concord Carlisle). Metro answered with a single by sophomore catcher Jake Porrazzo (Medford, Malden Catholic) and an unearned run by junior catcher Connor Murray (Lexington, Lexington HS).

Metro held Northeast scoreless through the sixth. Metro’s junior first baseman Robert Wesoloski (Arlington, Arlington Catholic) singled up the middle during the bottom of the sixth, going on to earn Metro’s fourth run of the game. However, it wasn’t enough to overtake Northeast’s commanding lead.

Northeast pitcher, sophomore Scott Tully (Reading, Reading HS), picked up the win, allowing four runs in as many innings, and striking out four batters. He was buoyed by closer junior Ben Panunzio (Middleton, Masconomet Reg. HS), who allowed one run and struck out one in the final two innings.

Southeast 7, Central 6

Junior second baseman Chuckie Connors (Hingham, Boston College HS) went 3-for-3 with a walk, RBI and two runs scored and helped ignite a comeback in the bottom of the sixth inning that lifted Southeast over Central, 7-6.

Southeast scored four runs in the first two innings to take control of the game, 4-0. In the first, batting in the leadoff spot, Connors walked and then came around to score on a double by junior first baseman Phil Sciretta (Duxbury, Nobles and Greenough). With two outs, sophomore leftfielder Cameron Hanley (Walpole, Walpole HS) singled up the middle to drive in Sciretta and junior designated hitter Will Cousins (Medfield, Medfield HS) followed with a base hit to score Hanley. Southeast tacked on an unearned run in the second.

Central took a big bite out of the deficit in the fourth with three runs. After a pair of walks, junior designated hitter Andrew Montiverdi (Worcester, Worcester Tech HS) singled to right center to push home junior catcher Daniel Whigham (Barre, Quabbin Reg HS). With two outs, junior right fielder Thomas Paine (Upton, Nipmuc Reg HS) singled to right to drive in Montiverdi and junior third baseman Sam Ashline (Clinton, Nashoba Reg HS).

Southeast added a buffer with a run in the fifth to make it 5-3. Junior designated hitter Sean Greene (Hingham, Hingham HS) tripled to left center to drive in junior leftfielder Jake Petruzzelli (Abington, South Shore Voc Tech HS).

Despite trailing the entire game, Central battled back to snatch the lead, 6-5, in the sixth inning. After a double by junior designated hitter Matt Leahey (Rutland, Wachusett Reg HS) put runners on second and third, sophomore first baseman Zackary Tower (Auburn, Auburn HS) doubled to right center to knock in both runners. A costly error with two outs allowed Tower to come around to put Central on top.

Southeast recaptured the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth. Junior centerfielder Nick Ahearn (Norfolk, Xaverian Bros HS) earned a walk to start the inning and came home on a triple by Connors to tie the game. However, Connors got cut down at home on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Adams later in the frame. After advancing on the play, Adams scored the winning run on a single to right by Sciretta, who was 2-for-4.

Junior pitcher Connor Farrell (Hopkinton, Hopkinton HS) earned the save after he was able to escape the seventh inning unscathed despite surrendering a leadoff walk.

West 10, Coastal 3

Junior centerfielder John Kinne (Great Barrington, Monument Mountain) went 2-for-4 with five RBI and two runs scored to pace the West’s offense on the way to a decisive 10-3 victory.

Coastal’s sophomore centerfielder Dan Doughtery (Pembroke, Boston College HS) tallied the first run off a ground out from sophomore first baseman Zachary Perry (Rochester, Tabor Academy). Junior shortstop Jake Salpietro (Berkley, Somerset HS) scored an unearned run after, which would prove to be Coastal’s last run until the seventh inning.

West took command of the game in the second inning when its offense was ignited by a two-run triple from Kinne. West scored four runs on four hits in the frame.

West maintained control of the game’s momentum into the third and fourth innings, scoring another six runs. Junior centerfielder John Kinne (Great Barrington, Monument Mountain) contributed to the team’s offense once again, with a three-run double to left field. Junior rightfielder Anthony Nomakeo (Westfield, Westfield HS) contributed as well, driving home Kinne.

West stretched their lead by another two runs in the fourth inning after junior first baseman Brenden Geary (South Hadley, Tabor) and junior shortstop Frank Crinella (East Longmeadow, Cathedral HS) both scored on Coastal errors.

Coastal’s offensive was quelled by a stellar performance by West junior pitcher Steve Moyers (East Longmeadow, East Longmeadow HS). He pitched the first five innings, facing 18 batters and allowing only two runs. His reliever, junior Joelfi Arias (Springfield, Central HS), finished off Coastal, allowing only one run in two innings of work.

Southeast 12, Metro 8

Southeast had five batters with multiple-hit efforts led by Walpole High School sophomores Johnny Adams (Walpole, Walpole HS), who went 4-for-5 with four runs scored, and leftfielder Cameron Hanley (Walpole, Walpole HS), who was 2-for-4 with a walk, three RBI and two runs, in a 12-8 victory over Metro.

Junior first baseman Sean Greene (Hingham, Hingham HS), junior catcher Will Cousins (Medfield, Medfield HS) and sophomore designated hitter Mark Poli (Medfield, Nobles and Greenough) each reached base three times with two hits and a walk for Southeast.

Southeast jumped out to an 11-0 advantage before Metro was able to claw back and make it interesting with two runs in the fifth and six in the bottom of the seventh.

Sophomore Andrew Dawson (Medway, Medway HS) earned the win on the hill for Southeast, going three shutout innings while allowing just one hit and fanning three.

Bay State Games: Day 1 Baseball Recap

July, 5, 2011
The Bay State Games are finally here, and we've got today's baseball scores.

Courtesy Bay State Games media relations director Peter Cohenno:

Bentley University - Waltham, MA

Southeast 10, Northeast 1
Southeast scored nine runs in the third inning and never looked back to knock off Northeast, 10-1, in the 2011 Bay State Summer Games baseball tournament opener. Nine consecutive Southeast batters reached and scored in the third, highlighted by junior first baseman Phil Sciretta's (Duxbury, Noble and Greenough School) bases-loaded double to right-center field that brought home all three runners. Sophomore left fielder Cameron Hanley (Walpole, Walpole HS) and junior pitcher Nick Ahearn (Norfolk, Xaverian Bros HS) also doubled in the frame to knock in a pair of RBI. It was Ahearn's second double of the inning as he finished as the only batter to record multiple hits in the contest. The squads traded runs in the sixth inning as Northeast avoided the shutout. For Southeast, junior right fielder Jake Petruzzelli (Abington, South Shore Voc Tech) knocked in junior pitcher Ben Amate (Hanover, Hanover HS) with a single. Northeast followed up in the bottom of the frame, as junior designated hitter Sean Glabicky (Peabody, Malden Catholic) crossed the plate on a double by junior first baseman Peter Franchi (Lynnfield, Lynnfield HS). Ahearn also earned the win on the mound as he started and went the first two innings. He faced the minimum number of batters over his perfect two frames while fanning one. Junior Zack Hellested (Braintree, Braintree HS) handled the next two innings and allowed two runners to reach on a hit and walk. Junior pitcher Kurtis White (Nahant, St. Mary's) was strong in five innings of relief for Northeast, allowing two earned runs on six hits with a pair of strikeouts.

Central 6, Coastal 1
Central stole six bases and got hits from eight different batters on the way to a 6-1 victory over Coastal. After two scoreless frames, Central struck for three runs in the third. With one out, junior right fielder James Smith (Worcester, St. John's HS) singled to left field and stole second. Sophomore second baseman Zachary Twitchell (Shrewsbury, Saint Mark's) then reached on an error that pushed Smith home. After a single by junior left fielder Timothy Beaudette (Uxbridge, Uxbridge HS), junior centerfielder Chris Casey (Milford, Milford HS) doubled to left field to knock in both runners which gave Central a 3-0 advantage. Central added a quick run in the fourth when junior designated hitter Tyler Geffert (Hopedale, Mt. St. Charles Academy) led off with a triple to left center and then came across on a ground out by the next batter, junior catcher Andrew Montiverdi (Worcester, Worcester Tech HS). In the fifth inning, Central tacked on a pair of runs to extend the lead, 6-0.Junior left fielder Scott Hubener (Mendon, Nipmuc Reg. HS) singled to center field, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Junior centerfielder Matt Lavin (Worcester, Burncoat HS) singled to left field to drive in Hubener. Lavin then stole second and scored on a double to right by junior third baseman Sam Ashline (Clinton, Nashoba Reg. HS). Coastal salvaged a run in the bottom of the fifth when sophomore centerfielder Dan Dougherty (Pembroke, Boston College HS) tripled to left center and then scored on an error off the bat of junior right fielder Keaghan Austin (Lakeville, Coyle and Cassidy HS). On the mound, juniors Steven Flynn (Worcester, St. Peter - Marian) and Ronny Sampson (Jefferson, West Boylston HS) each pitched a pair of scoreless innings for Central, allowing just one hit apiece while Sampson struck out three. Junior Eric Proulx (Brookfield, Tantasqua Reg. HS) tossed the final three innings and gave up one run while striking out five.

Metro 9, West 6
Metro battled back from two early deficits with the help of a five-run fourth inning to shock the two-time defending champion, West, in a 9-6 victory that was called after the fifth inning due to the two-hour time limit West jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first. Junior centerfielder Adam Gutierrez (Central HS, Springfield) walked and junior second baseman Chad Adams (Ware, Williston) singled through the right side to put two on for junior left fielder Steve Moyers (East Longmeadow, East Longmeadow HS) who blasted a three-run homer to left field. Junior first baseman Kyle Platner (Greenfield, Pioneer Valley Reg HS) doubled to left field, junior third baseman Gregory Heineman (Wilbraham, Minnechaug HS) walked to put two runners on again with no outs. Junior designated hitter Nicholas Greenleaf (Pittsfield, Monument Mountain HS) then reached on an error that also allowed Platner to score. However, the bases were left loaded which proved costly down the road. Metro cut into the lead in the top of the next inning with three runs to make it 4-3. Junior left fielder Bartley Regan (Boston, Boston College HS) singled through the right side and then sophomore designated hitter Jake Porrazzo (Medford, Malden Catholic HS) doubled to center field. Junior short stop Connor Murray (Lexington, Lexington HS) singled up the middle to drive in Regan. Porrazzo then scored on a passed ball. With Connor Murray on second, junior first baseman Daniel Fitzgerald (Arlington, Arlington HS) walked and junior second baseman Eric Dumas (Chestnut Hill, Brookline HS) singled to load the bases. Nick Murray's sacrifice fly to left scored his brother, junior catcher Connor Murray (Lexington, Lexington HS), with the third run. West extended the lead to three runs, 6-3, in the third inning. Junior catcher Todd Kosel (Wilbraham, Minnechaug HS) singled to right field, stole second and came around to score on a double by junior shortstop Frank Crinella (East Longmeadow, Cathedral HS). With two outs, Crinella scooted home on an error committed off the bat of Adams. Metro struck back for five runs in the fourth inning to take the lead for good, 8-6. With one out, Nick Murray walked and then junior centerfielder Matt Pugh (Watertown, BB&N) reached on an error. Junior third baseman Justin Silvestro (Waltham, Boston College HS) doubled to right center to drive in Nick Murray. Regan then singled through the left side to plate Silvestro and Pugh. After reaching on a fielder's choice, Porrazzo came around from first on a triple by Connor Murray. Junior right fielder Ken Runge (Saugus, Malden Catholic) singled in Connor Murray to score the fifth run of the frame. Porrazzo walked with the bases loaded in the fifth inning to push home Nick Murray and make the score 9-6. The pitching was less than stellar for both teams with Metro's junior James Mulry (West Roxbury, Boston Latin) being the only hurler to escape without allowing a run. He went two innings and allowed three batters to reach while striking out three.

Northeast 11, Coastal 5
Northeast smashed 15 hits led by junior third baseman Ben Panunzio (Middleton, Masconomet Reg. HS) who went 3-for-3 with a RBI and two runs scored on the way to an 11-5 win over Coastal in the final game of the tournament's opening day. Northeast plated three runs in the opening frame to jump out to an early 3-0 advantage. Junior outfielders Derek Reed (Lowell, Lowell HS) and Robert Losanno (Peabody, Peabody Vet Mem HS) each singled to center field to start the inning. Junior right fielder Peter Franchi (Lynnfield, Lynnfield HS) drove in both with a double to left center and then scored on a ground out by junior first baseman Sean Glabicky (Peabody, Malden Catholic). The lead swelled to 9-0 as Northeast plated six runners in its half of the fourth inning. The frame started poorly for Coastal as junior centerfielder Genaro Ciulla (Peabody, Peabody HS) reached on an error. Junior designated hitter Kurtis White (Nahant, St. Mary's HS) and Panunzio each followed up singles. Panunzio's base hit pushed home Cuilla. After a walk to junior catcher Teghan Malionek (Salem, Salem HS) loaded the bases, Reed knocked in a pair of runs with a single. Junior shortstop Richard Fecteau (Newbury, Triton HS) followed with a sacrifice fly that was deep enough to score Malionek from third and allowed Reed to tag up and move to third. The advancement would come up big as he scored after Franchi walked and Northeast pulled off a pretty double steal. Junior first baseman Thomas Palleschi's (Haverhill, Phillips Academy) single plated Franchi to cap the scoring. Coastal broke the Northeast shutout with a run in the fourth inning. After two quick outs, junior catcher Bryan Rocha (Rehoboth, Dighton/Rehoboth), third baseman Evan Mondor (Rehoboth, Dighton-Rehoboth) and right fielder Keaghan Austin (Lakeville, Coyle and Cassidy HS) singled in succession. Rocha scored on Austin's base hit to right center to put Coastal on the board. Northeast added two runs in the fifth inning to open the lead to 11-1 before Coastal came back to post four runs over the final two frames to make the score a more respectable 11-5. Junior Robert DiFranco (Melrose, St. John's Prep) earned the victory on the hill for Northeast as he went the first five innings and allowed just one run on four hits while striking out two. Coastal's sophomore hurler Danny Holzman (Martsons Mills, Barnstable HS) tossed 3.1 innings in relief and scattered seven hits while allowing just one earned run.