Boston High School: Sean Webster

D1 South Baseball: BC High 8, Dartmouth 1

June, 6, 2013

BROCKTON, Mass. –- Tommy McDonald was just looking for a place to prove himself.

In throwing a complete game on Wednesday night to give BC High (18-5) an 8-1 victory over Dartmouth (11-8) and a berth into the Division 1 South final, the UMass commit did just that. He allowed one run and four hits in what was a masterful pitching performance.

Jackson White hit a two-out double in the top of the second inning for Dartmouth, and was driven in on the next play by senior DH Ryan Janczy—the Indians’ only run of the game.

Locked in a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning, BC High loaded the bases with just one out. Dartmouth starter Ryan Gaydou -- who got the win in relief last night in the quarterfinal victory over Norwood -- was able to get out of the jam without giving up a run, but the damage had already been done.

Given that Gaydou threw 44 pitches against Norwood, Dartmouth coach Tom McDermott had already made the decision that his pitcher would be on a short leash of 75 to 80 pitches. The left-handed Gaydou picked off two BC High baserunners in the early innings to keep the Eagles in check on the base paths.

"“He was tough, that’s a great pickoff move and he kept us close to the bag. We kept telling guys, when we’re down in the count, that’s when he’s going to try to get ya...and we still had guys picked off. We got a little smarter as the game went on," BC High coach Norm Walsh said. "We really worked to get his pitch count up, that was the big thing. We wanted to get his pitch count up as high as we could."

The Eagles jumped on Gaydou in the fifth inning. Tom Landry, Andrew Jaehnig (3-for-5, two runs scored), Sean Webster, and Jake Marotta all got hits and scored a run in the inning, while third baseman Tom Russo walked and came around to score a run of his own.

"Adrenaline only gets you so far," McDermott said. "[Gaydou] is a competitor and he wanted to stay in the game, but his pitches were coming up a little bit and things like that. Because of him though, that’s what kept us close, he gave us a chance."

The 6-1 lead was all the run support McDonald would need, shutting down Dartmouth’s offense with what appeared to be relative ease. Walsh had nothing but praise for McDonald after the game:

"Tommy was jacked up because he probably had the worst performance of his career last Friday against New Bedford," Walsh said. "He walked more guys in the first three innings than he had all year to that point. He had a burn under his saddle going into this one."

McDermott coaches final game: The loss will be McDermott’s final game as head coach at Dartmouth. After 30 years and 333 wins, the veteran coach will take next year off from baseball—with hopes of being involved with Dartmouth’s program in the future.

“I’ll come back--throw BP and hit some fungos. I couldn’t wear any color other than Green -- I’ve been wearing it too long,” McDermott said.

The coach lightened the mood after the game when explaining some of his funnier moments as coach, as those are the moments he’ll remember best. His favorite may have been describing Dartmouth baseball’s "Scarecrow Award", given every so often to a player who is known for occasional verbal blunders -- the end result was comic relief for the entire team, which is all part of his philosophy.

"If I only had a brain," he joked, referencing The Wizard of Oz. "The things I will tend to look back on are the things that happen in practice. You tend to lighten up and you get loose and you laugh -- stupid things."

McDermott reflects on his time as coach and cherishes the relationships he’s made. Two former Dartmouth players showed up to the victory over Norwood on Tuesday night to congratulate McDermott on a great season and storied career. Those are the things he’ll remember most from his time as coach.

"Those are the people that you know are friends for life," McDermott said. "That’s why you tell people in high school, college, or wherever it is, it’s the friendships you make through athletics that’s really important. Everybody forgets the outs, strikes, and hits and all that stuff, but those friendships last forever."

D1 South Baseball: BC High 4, Silver Lake 0

June, 4, 2013

KINGSTON, Mass. -- In the Div. 1 South Sectional quarterfinals, the No. 4 seed Silver Lake baseball team had BC High starting pitcher Trent Berg seemingly on the ropes in the early going on Tuesday afternoon, before the Eagles came away with a 4-0 win.

After back-to-back walks to open the third ran SL’s base-runner count to five in just two plus frames, the Lakers looked primed to break through for the first runs of the game when a double steal set them up with second and third with no outs and their No. 3 hitter Tony Videtto strolling to the plate.

A pitch-out on an attempted suicide squeeze cut down Matt Kauchon at the plate, and a pair of grounders to third sprung the No. 6 seed Eagles (17-5) without any damage against Berg despite his control issues.

“He’s a tight-rope walker in all honesty,” said BC coach Norm Walsh. “He’s frustrated me for two years in that respect. This year, he’s done a better job of regaining his composure and making good pitches when those tough situations came up.”

After getting out of that jam, BC surged off its gained momentum and got to Lakers’ starter Tucker Bouchard for the first time in the top half of the next inning.

After facing just one over the minimum in the first three innings, and needing just 29 pitches to do so, Bouchard ran into some command issues of his own. A hit batter, base hit, and back-to-back walks were made worse when single runs scored on a passed ball and an errant throw, giving the Eagles a 2-0 lead they’d never surrender.

“That was definitely a momentum thing,” said SL coach Ken Tocci. “We don’t get the squeeze down and then we follow it up with that inning. The squeeze worked for us against Mansfield the other day, but today, I guess it kind of blew up in our face. We’re a small ball team though, and we live by the sword and die by the sword.”

From there, Berg settled in retiring 10 of the next 11 hitters -- and erasing the one base runner with a double play. Berg walked two more with two out in the seventh, ending his day with seven strikeouts while surrendering four hits and four walks.

Matt Nielson came on in relief and shut the door against the Patriot League Keenan Division champs, sending BC High to a semifinals bout Wednesday against Dartmouth at 7 p.m. at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton.

BC High added its third run in the top of the sixth when Sean Webster tripled home Mike Roberts. The Eagles tacked on their final run in the seventh when Jake Marotta’s sacrifice fly scored Luke Catarius.

Senior Special: Tocci will say goodbye to arguably the best class in the history of Silver Lake baseball -- a class that led SL to its first league title in 51 seasons a year ago before repeating those honors this season. Headlining the crop were star catcher Sam Ballerini as well as Bouchard and staff ace Mike Lundin.

“Those three are legacy players,” said Tocci. “They’ve sent this program in a certain direction that five, six seven years ago that we hoped we’d be heading. They’re the ones that got us here.”

D1 South Baseball: BC High 15, New Bedford 5

June, 1, 2013
BOSTON — Boston College High pitcher Dan Cobban was thrown onto the mound with the Eagles’ first-round matchup with New Bedford at a crossroads.

BC High ace Tommy McDonald had just surrendered a bases-clearing triple to Whalers senior Mike Rapoza in the third inning on Friday, bringing the underdog New Bedford squad within a run, 5-4, in the top of the third. And after Cobban hit Rick Moraes with his first pitch, the Whalers seemed to have the Eagles on the ropes.

But that proved to be Cobban’s one and only blemish.

Cobban set down the remaining 17 batters in his 5-2/3 dazzling innings of relief, keeping the New Bedford hitters off balance to record the win, while the BC High bats came to life with a four-run fourth and five-run sixth to top the Whalers, 15-5, at Boston College High School.

The sixth-seeded Eagles will play at No. 3 Silver Lake in Monday's quarterfinals.

BC High coach Norm Walsh said Cobban’s performance was similar to his April 26 outing in an extra-inning win against Chelmsford in which Cobban tossed 8-1/3 perfect innings of relief.

“He was totally the difference in the game because he shut them down and they couldn’t shut us down,” Walsh said.

McDonald struggled through 3.1 innings, allowing six hits while walking five —- one intentional —- and giving up five runs. The senior was working out of jams throughout his outing as New Bedford put runners in scoring position in all four innings he appeared in.

With McDonald struggling to find the zone, Cobban said he went in there to throw strikes.

“Tommy walked more than he usually does, so I figured if I give them strikes, it’ll make them hit,” Cobban said.

The game was stopped during the bottom of the fourth after the home plate umpire and field umpire had to switch duties after the home plate umpire appeared to show signs of fatigue as a result of Friday’s excruciating heat. The players returned to their respective benches for the 15-minute delay before the umpires returned to the field after switching equipment.

Once play resumed, the Eagles put an end to any talk about a potential upset. BC High scored four runs in the fourth -— including a two-RBI single by Tommy Landry -— to take a 9-5 advantage.

Landry drove in two more runs with a triple in the sixth as part of his 2-for-5, 5-RBI day.

Eight of the Eagles’ 13 hits came after the delay. Landry said he and teammate Jake Marotta spent the break hitting off the tee to get some more swings in, which he said paid off.

“It kind of gave us some momentum to stop and sit a little bit and we were able to focus up and crush the baseball a little bit,” Landry said.

New Bedford coach John Seed said he had never seen an umpire switch like that before in his 31 years of coaching high school baseball.

But Seed was hesitant to point to the delay as a turning point in the game.

“It seems like it took some wind out of our sails, but, I mean, I don’t know,” Seed said. “Who knows?”

“The health is more important than the game,” Seed continued. “BC’s a good team. We didn’t play our best game today so there’s not much you can do.”

Sean Webster went 3-for-5 at the dish for BC High, including two triples and a pair of RBIs.

Andrew Jaehnig plated two runs in the third and Webster added an RBI single of his own to push the Eagles lead to 5-1.

But the Whalers responded right back, loading the bases in the top of the fourth before Rapoza drilled a triple off McDonald to left field to clear the bases and cut the deficit to 5-4. Rapoza later scored on a sacrifice fly by J.T. Sylvia to even the score at five.

Recap: No. 2 St. John's Prep 6, No. 1 BC High 5

April, 24, 2013
DORCHESTER, Mass. -– Dustin Hunt spun around, crouched and watched as a frozen rope launched by B.C. High's Dan Daugherty flew to deep center field with runners on first and third.

The St. John's Prep closer then pumped his fist and was swarmed by teammates when sophomore outfielder Keith Leavitt tracked it down, clinching a 6-5 win for the visiting Eagles.

"When it came off the bat I was like, 'Oh no.' It was hit so hard, and it kept going," St. John's Prep head coach Pat Yanchus said.

“It was a little nerve-wracking, but we definitely have faith in Dustin,” said Prep starter Brandon Bingel, who picked up a win after giving up four runs in five innings of work.

In the end, it was enough to propel No. 2 Prep (8-1) past previously undefeated No. 1 B.C. High (5-1).

After falling behind 3-1, Prep put together a five-run fifth inning to pull ahead of the host Eagles. Senior catcher Paul Crehan capped off the inning with a bases-clearing, three-run double to left field off of B.C. High starter Trent Berg, who left a fastball a little high.

Crehan had popped out in his previous two at bats and was looking for something he could hit a bit farther.

“I just didn't want to strike out, and the pitch came up high so I just hit it as far as I can. Anybody could be in that position, but I happened to be there,” he said. “I was pumped. I didn't know if the ball was going to go over (B.C. High left fielder Sean Webster's) head or not. The wind was blowing out, but I was pumped to see it go over his head.”

The B.C. High cut the lead to 6-4 in the bottom of the fifth inning when Tom Russo doubled in right fielder Tom Landry. They pulled within one with two outs in the seventh, but Hunt was able to complete the save with Daugherty's loud pop-out.

Berg effective in Losing Effort: Berg put together an impressive four-and-two-thirds innings for B.C. High. The lefty struck out eight Prep batters before senior Tommy Buonopane singled in pinch runner Nick Latham, kick-starting a five-run rally. Berg, who is more of a finesse pitcher, kept Prep off-balance with his two-seam fastball and looping curve.

Victory on the Basepaths: Latham's base running helped spark the Prep's fifth-inning surge. The sophomore pinch ran for Natty Cabral, who had been walked with two outs. He then stole both second and third base before scoring on Buonopane's in-field single.

“He's a smart baserunner, and he's pretty fast,” Yanchus said. “He's not just a good baserunner, but he's a good outfielder. We were going to put him in the next inning anyway, so might as well just have him run. It worked out nicely.”

Getting Away from the Heater: Bingel had a tough first inning for Prep, allowing three runs on three singles and a couple of infield errors. He said he used his fastball too much to start the game and was overthrowing. After the first inning, he settled down and used his slider to pitch three scoreless innings in a row.

“I started to pitch backwards, and that's what got be through the rest of the way,” he said

Injury Puts Damper on Win: Prep senior third baseman Tyler Noe suffered a dislocated right shoulder during the top of the fifth inning. After reaching second base on a Landry error, Noe stole third and B.C. High's Tom Russo landed on him awkwardly. He held his right arm and stood behind the Prep bench in a sling with ice on his shoulder. Yanchus said there was no timetable for his return, but his parents were taking him to the hospital to get checked out.

“That's his trowing arm and his good shoulder. It popped out, and it took him awhile to get it back in,” he said. “That's going to really hurt. He's great defensively, and he's our best baserunner. Hopefully he can come back.”

Enter Sandman: Hunt has had limited experience as closer for Prep but looked pretty solid against B.C. High. The Northeastern commit struck out three batters in two innings and had good control of the strike zone. He pitched two-thirds of an inning on Monday against Malden Catholic and needed only seven pitches to shut down the side.