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Royals fall to St. John Paul II in state semis

LYNN — Earlier this week the Royals were crowned kings of the north, but yesterday they were unable to dethrone the champs, as the Georgetown baseball team lost to defending state champion St. John Paul II in the Division 4 state semifinal 7-3 at Fraser Field.

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Baseball, 06/22/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Royals fall to St. John Paul II in state semis

LYNN — Earlier this week the Royals were crowned kings of the north, but yesterday they were unable to dethrone the champs, as the Georgetown baseball team lost to defending state champion St. John Paul II in the Division 4 state semifinal 7-3 at Fraser Field.

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Baseball, 06/20/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Central bows out in quarters

PEABODY — Pardon Brady Abraham for being just a little bit reluctant to leave the Peabody High diamond, wearing the Central Catholic uniform for the final time.

Abraham and the Raiders had just fallen in the Division 1 North quarters to the host Tanners, 9-5, and a dozen Central seniors had seen their careers abruptly halted.

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Baseball, 06/14/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Lawrence falls in 11 innings, game ends at 1:25 a.m.

LOWELL – What began so brilliantly for the Lawrence High baseball team at 9:43 p.m. ended in heartbreak, nearly four hours later at 1:25 a.m., as the Lancers dropped an 11-inning epic to Chelmsford in the Division 1 North championship game, 6-4, here at LeLacheur Park.

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Baseball, 06/14/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Windham grabs first state baseball title

MANCHESTER — A break-even mark on the diamond a year ago failed to dampen hopes at Windham High School and breezing through a one-loss regular season this spring only fostered greater championship expectations.

"I knew every year that I've been a part of this team we were capable of great things," senior right fielder Chris Murphy said. "And I knew year after year we improved, and it was all part of getting our heads in the right place, and wanting it badly. This year, this team wanted it."

Greatness struck the Jaguars yesterday afternoon at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in the form of a New Hampshire Division 2 state title as top-seeded Windham three times rallied from deficits to down second-seeded Goffstown 5-4. And it was Murphy who played a major roll in all three scoring rallies.

Both teams struggled with the sun early on fly balls, helping offenses. Goffstown, which had dropped a 15-run, five-inning decision to Windham a month ago, bit first when Connor Easton doubled with two out and scored on an outfield error four batters into the game.

But the Jags (19-1) tied it in the bottom of the frame when Murphy singled and Connor Hopkins followed with a double before Riley Magee had an RBI groundout.

Goffstown (18-4) reclaimed the lead in a two-run third that would have been much more severe if not for a diving stop to his left on a ground-ball out to freshman third baseman Tommy Costa and a would-be Grizzlie base stealer being thrown out at second by Riley Magee.

Like it did in the first, though, Windham bounced back in the second on a big two-out single by Murphy that plated Ryan Hardacre and Marco Allanach.

"I knew we were struggling early and we got down," Murphy said. "I had an opportunity to drive in some runs. I just wanted to win this so bad. It could be my last game and I wanted to say I did everything I could to win. You have to put the ball in play ... Base hits score runs and I was able to take advantage."

The Grizzlies, however, again took the lead in the fifth when a pair of hits and two hit batters put Goffstown ahead 4-3 against starter Brandon Dufault, who earned his third straight playoff victory while running his record to 8-0. Coach Jason Matthews visited the mound after the run scored and the bases loaded.

"I wasn't going out there to take (Dufault) out," Matthews said. "I just wanted to tell him to settle down. They had just scored a run to go ahead, but ... we had the top of the order coming up (in the bottom of the frame) and I just wanted him to settle down and throw a ground ball."

Dufault didn't induce Cam Bond to hit a grounder, but the ensuing line drive smash was just as good because it was hit in Costa's direction and the freshman made a diving catch and tagged third to double up the final out.

"The seniors have just taken me in," said Costa, who didn't earn the starting job until the seventh game. "It was like I wasn't even a freshman. They've treated me as one of their own out there."

The youngster wasn't done. In the sixth after just missing a fly ball that rolled off the tip of his glove while sprawling across the rolled-up tarp in foul territory, he initially lost a pop up by Nate Proulx in the sun, but caught sight of it at the last moment and caught it falling down. He then immediately got the second out on a hard-hit grounder to his right.

"He's a hell of a ball player," Matthews said. "He's going to be somebody special in a few years. He's already special, but he's going to be real good as a senior. He's been all good for us all year like that."

The effort by a defense that also turned an inning-ending double play on ground ball hit to shortstop David Carbonello in the third paid off with the game-winning rally in the fifth. After three errors had resulted in one run scored by Kellin Bail and left runners on second and third, Kevin Anderson squibed a grounder through the hole on the left side of a drawn-in infield, driving in Murphy and providing Windham its first lead of the game (5-4).

"I knew I just had to put something into the outfield because there was only one out," said Anderson, who had flied out his first two trips. "I knew if I got (Murphy) in from third, I'd done my job. I'd been hitting it to the outfield all day, but it was right at people. I knew it would find a hole eventually."

After Dufault stranded the Grizzlies 14th baserunner of the game at second in the sixth. Anderson earned the save with a perfect, seven-pitch seventh.

"Brandon was starting to get a bit tired, and they had the top of the order coming up, so we wanted to go with Kevin on the mound," Matthews said. "He's earned it being here four years."

So a team that began the season with such high hopes after a break-even season, will have even greater expectations next year, which will feature five returning starters from yesterday's lineup.

"Honest to God, a state championship was my expectation last year, and we fumbled a bit," Matthews said. "We had a quality team last year, but it's a chemistry thing and they didn't gel as well. These guys gelled real well (this year). But we realistically thought we'd win the state championship this year, and next year will be the same goal."

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Baseball, 06/13/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Amazing Lancers reach North finals

BEVERLY — The deadliest No. 9 hitter in the state struck again last night, just when Lawrence High needed him.
The Lancers stood stunned, down 1-0 early to an Acton-Boxboro row of sluggers that showed no fear over Michael Guerrero's 87 mph gas.
But if you haven't been watching the last month this Lancer baseball team can swing the bat a little too.
And all it took was a jolt of confidence from the bottom guy on the lineup card.
With the bases loaded and one out, senior Brahiam Ortega laced a solid single, giving the Lancers the lead and the belief that this night would be theirs.
Energized and settled, Guerrero got better and Lawrence simply got stronger, powering past fourth-seeded Acton-Boxboro, 4-1. Lawrence, which has already beaten a Super 8-nominated Lincoln-Sudbury club and top-seeded Central Catholic. will now play in the second straight all-Merrimack Valley Conference Division 1 North title game Saturday against Chelmsford, 7 p.m., at LeLacheur Park in Lowell.
"That hit was huge," said Guerrero, now 2-0 in the postseason with a saved and a 0.98 ERA. "We were a little nervous, and that hit really made us relax."
But there was still those A-B slashers that Guerrero had to worry about. And the senior righty took care of that situation on his own, along with catcher Andy Acosta.
"They were sitting on my fastball, and I had to make an adjustment," said Guerrero. "I just started throwing my changeup (and a nasty, nasty breaking ball too)."
A-B would never catch up to it. The Colonials, who finish at 17-6, would have just one more hit all night, and by the time Lawrence had pushed the lead to 4-1 in the fourth, the Lancer owned them.
Guerrero fanned six of the last eight hitters he faced, closing out with nine K's and just two walks in the win.
"It's fun to be out there on the field, playing behind Mike when he pitches like that," said Ortega. "Just watching him out there is amazing."
Batting eighth, the pitcher helped himself with a pair of hits, including an RBI-single in the fourth to plate Ronnie Velasquez, who had led with a triple.
For Lawrence, it's the first return to the Division 1 North title game since the 2010 team fell to St. John's Prep in what was an absolute classic. Lefty Jairo Vasquez, the freshman who knocked off Central on Monday, will get the call in that one for Lawrence.
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Baseball, 06/11/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Amazing Lancers reach North finals

BEVERLY — The deadliest No. 9 hitter in the state struck again last night, just when Lawrence High needed him.
The Lancers stood stunned, down 1-0 early to an Acton-Boxboro row of sluggers that showed no fear over Michael Guerrero's 87 mph gas.
But if you haven't been watching the last month this Lancer baseball team can swing the bat a little too.
And all it took was a jolt of confidence from the bottom guy on the lineup card.
With the bases loaded and one out, senior Brahiam Ortega laced a solid single, giving the Lancers the lead and the belief that this night would be theirs.
Energized and settled, Guerrero got better and Lawrence simply got stronger, powering past fourth-seeded Acton-Boxboro, 4-1. Lawrence, which has already beaten a Super 8-nominated Lincoln-Sudbury club and top-seeded Central Catholic. will now play in the second straight all-Merrimack Valley Conference Division 1 North title game Saturday against Chelmsford, 7 p.m., at LeLacheur Park in Lowell.
"That hit was huge," said Guerrero, now 2-0 in the postseason with a saved and a 0.98 ERA. "We were a little nervous, and that hit really made us relax."
But there was still those A-B slashers that Guerrero had to worry about. And the senior righty took care of that situation on his own, along with catcher Andy Acosta.
"They were sitting on my fastball, and I had to make an adjustment," said Guerrero. "I just started throwing my changeup (and a nasty, nasty breaking ball too)."
A-B would never catch up to it. The Colonials, who finish at 17-6, would have just one more hit all night, and by the time Lawrence had pushed the lead to 4-1 in the fourth, the Lancer owned them.
Guerrero fanned six of the last eight hitters he faced, closing out with nine K's and just two walks in the win.
"It's fun to be out there on the field, playing behind Mike when he pitches like that," said Ortega. "Just watching him out there is amazing."
Batting eighth, the pitcher helped himself with a pair of hits, including an RBI-single in the fourth to plate Ronnie Velasquez, who had led with a triple.
For Lawrence, it's the first return to the Division 1 North title game since the 2010 team fell to St. John's Prep in what was an absolute classic. Lefty Jairo Vasquez, the freshman who knocked off Central on Monday, will get the call in that one for Lawrence.
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Baseball, 06/11/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Royals move on

Trailing 2-0 in the 7th inning, Georgetown got three straight singles to load the bases and then pulled ahead after Richie Gray scored on an error, Brett Mastrangelo came home on a force out and Alex Bornholdt scored the go-ahead run on an errant throw past first. The Royals will face Matignon in the Division 4 North finals on Saturday at LeLacheur Park in Lowell at 10 a.m.

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Baseball, 06/11/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Whittier limited to one hit, falls in North semis

LYNN — The Whittier baseball team found magic just days ago, with a shocking seven-run seventh inning to stun Pentucket. Unfortunatly for the Wildcats, however, that magic did not carry into the next round. No. 10 seed Whittier managed just a single hit, falling to No. 6 St. Mary’s of Lynn 4-1 in the Division 3 North semifinals at Fraser Field in Lynn. The Spartans move on to face Austin Prep in the North final on Saturday at LeLacheur Park in Lowell. “I thought we played pretty well,” said Whittier head coach Joe Boland. “But when we hit the ball hard it was right at people. The kids scrapped and stayed in the game, but St. Mary’s was just better than us today.” Whittier grabbed the lead in the second without the benifit of a hit.  Jorge Martinez led off the inning with a walk, the first of four free passes in five batters that ended with Josh Barton walking to force Martinez home. St. Mary’s threatened in both the second and third to tie the game, putting runners at second and third. But both times Whittier ace Austin Toohey was able to escape the jam. The Spartans did take the lead, however, with an RBI double and triple in the fourth. Other than that, Toohey pitched a stellar game. After working in releif on Monday, the senior pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and striking out four. “Toohey pitched a terrific game,” said St. Mary’s head coach Derek Dana. “That is one tough kid who really fought. We had heard he pitched the other day, but he hung in there and I was really impressed. But Toohey just could not match the effort by Spartans pitcher Clay Yianacopolus. The lanky senior allowed just the single hit in six innings, striking out seven. He walked seven but other than the one run wasn’t hurt. “It was a very good pitcher’s duel,” said Boland. “Toohey did a very nice job. We may have over-pitched him a little. They got to him a little bit at the end, but he wouldn’t come out. He wanted to do everything he could for the team and he did a nice job. “This is  a great group that have played for me for a lot of years. I am going to miss them. It was a nice run.”

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Baseball, 06/10/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Whittier rallies for seven runs in the seventh, stuns Pentucket

HAVERHILL — Patrick O’Regan stood stunned between first and second, hands raised over his head and staring at the sky as his teammates sprinted out of the dugout to tackle him. “It took me a few seconds to realize what had happened,” said the Whittier sophomore. “I couldn’t believe it. I said to myself, ‘Did we actually just win this game?’ It was incredible.” Trailing Pentucket by seven runs heading into the bottom of the seventh inning and struggled mightily at the plate, Whittier appeared bound for the offseason, the victim of a lopsided loss to the school that sits just three miles away. Just over 20 minutes later, however, it was the Wildcats that exploded in a wild celebration near home plate. “We did the impossible,” said an overjoyed Craig Delorey. “We scored seven runs in one inning. Greatness! It’s baseball, anything can happen.”  With two outs in the seventh and six runs already in for Whittier, former Pentucket school district student O’Regan smoked a ball to right-center field with barely fell between two diving Sachems. Corey Greaney came sprinting in from third and Whittier walked off with a stunning 9-8 victory over Pentucket in the Division 3 North quarterfinals. The Wildcats advance to play St. Mary’s of Lynn in the Division 3 North semifinals on Wednesday at Fraser Field in Lynn at 7 p.m. “Despite the score we honestly did believe we could win going into the seventh,” said Jorge Martinez. “We knew that we could score runs, and we felt like we could do it. I was just ecstatic. It was truly amazing.” Pentucket came out firing, as three of the first four batters had extra base hits on the way to taking a 2-0 lead after the first. The Sachems tacked on three more in the third, including Cam Wolbach (3 for 4) swiping home on a double-steal.  Whittier began their rally in modest fashion. Winning pitcher Austin Toohey knocked in a run with a single in the third and Martinez plated a run with a double to make it 5-2 after six innings. But back came the Sachems in the top of the seventh as Wolbach, Dave Brindamour and Jackson McKean each drove home runs and Pentucket led 8-2 going into the game’s final half inning. “We looked at each other and said that this game was not over,” said Toohey. “Anything can happen in the playoffs. We never give up here. We had tons of energy. And once some runners got on we could feel something was happening.” Josh Barton walked to opening the inning, then O’Regan was hit by a pitch. “I wasn’t happy because I had been 0 for 2 in the game,” said O’Regan. “But I know that is part of the game and I just shook it off.” That started a run of five straight Wildcats reaching, and Toohey cut the lead to 8-5 with a two-run single. After a fly out, the next two runners reached. Then Delorey hit a screaming ball that deflected off the second baseman’s glove two runners scored to tie the game 8-8. “I was running to first and I saw the bobble and I knew it was a tie game,” said Delorey. “I could feel that something big was happening.” Then up stepped the sophomore O’Regan, a Haverhill resident who attended Pentucket middle school and went to elementary school in Merrimac.  He crushed a ball to the gap in right-center field. Two outfielders lunged, but the ball hit the turf and Greaney — who had walked four batters earlier — slid home. “I just couldn’t believe it,” said O’Regan. “We just kept believing that nothing is impossible if we stick together. I was down when they scored those runs in the seventh, but we kept picking each other up and the result was unbelievable.” O’Regan was treated to a Gatorade bath following the victory as the players celebrated as if they had won the title. “It’s crazy to think we scored seven runs one inning,” said Delorey. “We scored the winning run with two outs. It was greatness. It feels pretty amazing. Anything can happen!” 

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Baseball, 06/08/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars
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