Boston High School: Todd Dulin

P-North snaps NA's streak, returns to D2 final

June, 16, 2011
BRAINTREE, Mass. -- When they look back on the season, their record will include only two losses, but for the North Andover baseball team, the second came at the worst possible time.

After winning 23 games in a row to establish state-wide dominance in Division 2, the Knights ran into Plymouth North Wednesday and lost 15-4. With the win, the Eagles return to the Division 2 State Final for the third time in four years, and will try to capture their first title since 2008.

The Plymouth North (21-3) bats got to Mike Weisman early and often, putting up four runs on four hits in the second inning after leaving the bases loaded in the first. Meanwhile the defense for North Andover (23-2) did not make life easy for Weisman, committing three fielding errors in the inning.

The Eagle hitters attacked Wiseman early in counts, often swinging at the first pitches of their at-bats. Plymouth North catcher Matt Walsh, who went four-for-five with four singles, said the team noticed a pattern in the pitching that helped them attack at the plate.

“Right away, the first three batters of the game, we noticed he started with a fastball to each hitter,” he said. “We left the bases loaded in the first inning but we knew we were going to get to him because of the first pitch fastball.”

They got to Wiseman again in the fourth inning for five more runs. Zach Zaniboni lead off the inning with a single to right-center and was brought home by Walsh two batters later. Dom Nicolosi, the North Andover third baseman, misplayed two ground balls in the inning, which kept the Plymouth North inning alive. Altogether, the team committed six errors in the game.

“We couldn’t field a ground ball today,” said North Andover coach Todd Dulin. “First game of the year (the other NA loss) we couldn’t field a ground ball and today we couldn’t field a ground ball, so that’s kind of the story.”

Weisman was pulled later in the fourth after giving up nine runs and nine hits. After pitching three times in one week, including pitching Wednesday on two days rest, the hard-throwing lefty just could not stop the Plymouth North lineup.

Plymouth North will play the winner of the Hudson vs. Palmer game, which was postponed to Thursday night due to lightning, Saturday at Frasier Field in Lynn for the Division 2 State Championship.

“This was the game we had to get, us with our No. 2 pitcher (Jake Stearns) against Weisman,” said Plymouth North coach Dwayne Follette. “Now we give ourselves a chance for another state title, which is all we want.”

Stearns threw six-plus innings and never ran into any trouble until his last inning. A back-to-back Weisman walk and Alec Jillson single in the fourth inning was the only blemish in the box score for Stearns until the sixth. There, he gave up a double to Cam Couillard and triple to Wiseman to open the inning. He was relieved in favor of Tom Faucett after he failed to record an out in the inning.

The 15 runs was a vast difference from the two runs the Eagles could muster against Somerset the night before. Walsh knows his team’s performance against North Andover is more indicative of what type of team Plymouth North is.

“We know we’re a hitting team,” he said. “It happens to every team once in a while. You get out-pitched once in a while, but we still find a way to win and that’s all that matters. We knew we’d come back to the bats tonight.”

Weisman leads North Andover to D2 North final

June, 11, 2011

LOWELL, Mass. -- The Division 2 North title might be North Andover’s to lose. After fighting off a pesky Gloucester team 3-0 Saturday in a Division 2 North semifinal, only Lynn Classical stands in its way Monday.

“Yeah (it's our tournament to lose), but there are definitely some other good teams in the tournament though,” said Mike Weisman, who tossed a complete-game shutout for the Scarlet Knights (22-1). “Gloucester (12-11) was the No. 13 seed and they gave us a heck of a game, so I can only imagine what some of the other teams are going to bring to us.”

Weisman fanned 10 Gloucester hitters over seven innings and never let a runner get past second base. He also allowed only three hits and one walk. North Andover head coach Todd Dulin has seen his left-hander hit a stride during the stretch run of the season, which helped propel his team to get as far as it has.

“(Weisman) has figured out his change-up over the past month, which has made him that much more effective whenever he can throw it well,” he said. “Wherever Brandon (Walsh, the catcher) puts the glove, he throws it.”

Gloucester’s Adam Philpott cruised through the first four innings, but found himself in trouble in the fifth after surrendering two walks to start the inning. After the runners advanced on a passed ball and Rick O’Connor had a pinch-hit single, North Andover had the bases loaded with only one out. A David Foote sacrifice fly and Cam Couillard strikeout put only one run on the board.

A three-hit sixth inning plated the other two North Andover runs. A well-placed bunt by Alex Jillson moved Wiseman up to second base, which allowed him to score on a Tyler Leavitt single. Philpott was removed from the game after giving up the final two runs.

“One through nine everybody takes good at-bats,” said Weisman. “We don’t give at-bats away, so sooner or later something is going to give. I don’t care who is pitching against us, to get 21 outs against us is going to be tough.”

Even though his team was able to get to the hard-throwing right-hander, Dulin was still impressed with what he saw.

“Philpott I thought was really good,” he said. “I had never seen him pitch before but I heard he was sneaky quick, the way the ball comes out of his hand. I thought he pitched a great game.”

In a day filled with uncertainties about start times and possible weather postponements, both teams teams came out at the top of their game. After an almost-three-hour rain delay during the 10 a.m. Division 4 Final, the remaining games set to be played at LeLacheur Park Saturday had to be pushed back during the afternoon. The adjustment and inclement weather did not effect either team.

“It wasn’t really different for us except we couldn’t take infield-outfield before the game,” Weisman said. “We were at the school at noon and Coach sent us home when we found out that the game got changed so we got bumped around a little bit but we’ve learned how to deal with it.”

North Andover rallies, drops Malden Catholic

April, 15, 2011
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. -- Todd Dulin scheduled a team like Malden Catholic early in the season to find out if his North Andover baseball team could compete against some of the better competition in the state. If Friday’s 7-5 comeback victory over the No. 10 Lancers (0-2) is a barometer for the No. 25 Scarlet Knights, then the rest of the Cape Ann League might start taking notice.

Mike Weisman gutted out an 11-strikeout, compete-game effort, and senior Cam Couillard hit the go-ahead two-run double in the bottom of the sixth inning to give his team their and only lead of the game.

Dulin saw his team boot the ball around in their early season league loss to Andover, but this one might be a game that gets them rolling, according to the coach.

“I think it’s real important with their confidence,” said Dulin. “I just want them to feel that they can play with anyone. We want to try to play the best.”

Weisman wasn’t at his best to start the game. The lefty left a number of fastballs and breaking balls up in the zone and the Lancers took full advantage of it. Sean Glabickey parked a two-run homer to left field and Anthony Carbone narrowly missed another two-run dinger as he rapped one off the temporary fencing in center.

But Weisman started to settle in with his strong curveball, which he threw early in often against hitters in any count, and the results came. He struck out the side, with an error mixed in, in the second and finished with seven more punch-outs, including the final out of the game, over the last five innings.

“I was happy with the way (Weisman) pitched after the first inning,” said Dulin. “He was leaving stuff up and he didn’t seem to have the pop that he normally does. His velocity isn’t there yet, but once he started mixing his pitches it went well.”

The Scarlet Knights got the tying runs back in the bottom of the second inning off of three Lancer errors, and after the Lancers cracked Weisman again for two runs off a two-RBI double from Paul Yanakaplous in the top of the fourth, Couillard came through with a huge two-run double of his own to put the Scarlet Knights up 6-5. Couillard later came around to score the insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when he was trotted home off an issued walk to Brandon Walsh.

Flashing Some Leather

Overall, this was a sloppy game. Both teams had their share of bloopers in the infield and the outfielders had to deal with a tricky wind that made any fly ball an issue for either side.

But there were flashes of brilliance from both sides.

In what might be the catch of the year for Malden Catholic, or for any team, was when Yanakapoulos robbed a would-be go-ahead homer in the bottom of the fifth off the bat of Walsh.

Walsh smacked a deep ball to dead-center field and the Lancers’ centerfielder had a beat on the ball from the crack of the bat. He backed up, made a jumping catch and went head over heels over the temporary fence to come up with what looked like to be a game-saving catch for the Lancers.

The Scarlet Knights’ flash of brilliance might not have had the flashiness of the Yanakaplous’ grab, but Couillard came away with a game-saving play at short. With the bases loaded in the top of the sixth, and the Lancers up 5-4 looking to add to the lead, he made a good play on a tough hop to force the final out at second base.