Category Archives: Whittier

Purdue commit Sydney Yim leads Newburyport past Whittier 3-0

Sydney Yim unleashes a hard hit at the Whittier defenders

Sydney Yim committed to Purdue VB on Friday

(Newburyport MA) Impressive.

And I wasn’t the only one impressed by junior Sydney Yim of the Newburyport Clippers.

“She’s one of the best I’ve seen,” said Whittier coach Paul Bonosaro after his team fell, 3-0, to Newburyport on Wednesday evening.

“She can hit it hard and she can hit it soft,” the Wildcats coach added.

Taking that “impressive” label even further, Sydney has obviously gotten the attention of Purdue University VB head coach Dave Shondell as well.

“I committed to Purdue on Friday,” Sydney told me after the win over Whittier.  “I visited there and enjoyed the campus.  I also had a really good connection with the coaching staff there.”

Julianne Heath had twenty assists

No question that the Division One Boilermakers (West Lafayette IND) had an advantage.  “My mom went there, and she encouraged me,” laughed Sydney.

Tonight, the Clippers (9-5) swept Whittier; 25-16, 25-16, and 25-23.

“We certainly competed in the last set,” said Coach Bonosaro.  “We needed just a few things to go our way to win it.”

But those “few things” were missing for Whittier (10-4) much of the night.  “We had too many service errors and too much miscommunication,” he recalled.

The Wildcats (10-4) have qualified for the post-season and since both teams are in Division 2 North they could meet again, for the third time.  The Clippers won at Haverhill, 3-1, on September 23rd.

Whittier coach Paul Bonosaro

The Clippers haven’t qualified yet for the tournament although just one win in the final six games will get that job done.

“Our ability to communicate was a huge part of tonight’s win,” explained NHS coach Lori Solazzo.

She added that it certainly helps to have a player like Sydney on the team.

It is easy to forget that this is only the Clippers THIRD season with a volleyball team; 1-14 (2017), 4-15 (2018), and now 9-5…….and counting. Remarkable.

I asked Coach Solazzo how her team has become so good so quickly: “The girls have really dedicated themselves to getting better.  Many of them have worked at it during the off-season.  There’s interest in the school in volleyball.  We had sixty-four girls try out.”

The Clippers trailed early (6-5) in the first set before pulling away 16-10 and 20-13. A long hit by Whittier’s Grace Efosa ended the set 25-16.

Grace Efosa will play basketball for Providence next year

The second set was all Newburyport.  Sydney Yim (14 kills, 5 aces) led NHS to a 13-5 advantage.  One time it was serving.  Another it was dropping a shot into an open space.  In one sequence Sydney served a ball that wasn’t handled in the Whittier second row.  A replacement was inserted by Coach Bonosaro to that spot.  A hard serve by Sydney went to the same spot with the same result.

The third set was close.  Grace Efosa had the team from the Commonwealth Athletic Conference up 3-0 early.  But the Clippers (Cape Ann League) used a Sydney soft shot and a Sydney kill to get in front 18-13.  Credit Whittier, they didn’t pack it in.  They rode a drop-in by Meghan Jegerow and an ace by Alyssa Michel to trail by only one, 21-20.  Coach Solazzo called a timeout.  And she called another one after an ace by Alicia Habib tied the score at 23-23.  But that was the best Whittier could do.  A long hit and then a mishandled volley gave the home team the two points they needed to win the match.

“We did a good job of communicating tonight after a rough start,” explained Sydney.  “We gradually ended up learning more about the other team and adjusting to what they had do offer.”

Coach Bonosaro: “We tried to block her (Sydney Yim) and take her out of the game.  We did our best.”

Kate Sarra (19) and Jillian Stallard (12)

I hadn’t been in the Newburyport gymnasium since the boys team lost in the DNorth basketball playoffs to Dracut.  I was delighted with the bright lights.  On the lesser side, the low ceiling was certainly a factor.  With the ceiling actually in play, there were several awkward volleys.  I heard one Newburyport fan explain to someone nearby that the “ceiling was the team’s Seventh Man.”

Senior Julianne Heath had eighteen assists for Newburyport.

Whittier’s Alyssa Michel had twenty service points in the first meeting with the Clippers.

Zaria Collazo

It was interesting to have two Division One college commits on the floor at the same time.  You know about Sydney and Purdue.  The other D1 commit was Whittier senior Grace Efosa who will play basketball at Providence College for the Friars.

Coach Bonosaro is in his first year as head coach.  He was an assistant coach at Whittier for fourteen years.

Coach Solazzo played volleyball for Gordon College (Wenham MA) back in the day.  My wife and I were admiring spectators for quite a few of her games playing for Coach Val Ginn.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Sofia Messina serves set point

Block attempt

Meghan Jegerow sets

Siarra Cronin tries to block Sydney Yim

Sydney Yim spikes past Grace Efosa and Siarra Cronin

Meghan Jegerow (4)

Lindsey Hunt (4)

Laney Lucci

Jess Rosseau (8)

block

Battle at the net

Alicia Habib (40) and Siarra Cronin (12)

 

 

 

 

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Amesbury knocked from tourney in tough 4-3 loss to Whittier

Junior shortstop Josh O’Brien handles the final chance during Whittier’s 4-3 win over Amesbury

Jon LaVerde scores the first Amesbury run

(Amesbury MA) In a season of painful losses, one more was added to Amesbury’s list as they were edged by Whittier, 4-3, on a sunny Wednesday afternoon.

“We needed to win today to keep our season alive,” said AHS coach Joel Brierley afterwards.  “That’s why this one hurts more than the others.”

Whittier coach Joe Boland was glad to escape with a W.  “It was close all day long and either team could have won it.”

The Wildcats (13-2) trailed, 3-2, after four innings but scratched out runs in the 5th and then the 7th to take home a victory.

Junior Josh O’Brien’s single to right in the seventh delivered Kyle Eddy with the eventual game winner.

Reliever Matt Michel escaped Amesbury scoring threats in the final two innings.

Key performer for Whittier was reliever Matt Michel.  The Wildcats junior was brought into a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the sixth.  He responded by getting a strike out (Derek Doherty) and a fly out (Jon LaVerde).

“We had them on the ropes with the bases loaded (in the 6th inning) and I thought with all the things that had happened to us we were finally going to catch a break, but it didn’t happen,” explained Coach Brierley.

The Indians (6-11) had Blake Bennett on second with one out in the final inning but again Matt Michel found a way out.  He induced infield outs from Derek Beaupre and Tucker Molin.

Shortstop Josh O’Brien handled the final chance.  He also had the big hit in the top of the seventh.  “Josh is our best hitter,” reported Coach Boland.

Amesbury starter Blake Bennett allowed only one hit (Matt Michel) in six innings of pitching but had seven walks.  Three of those walks turned into runs.

The Wildcats scored two runs in the opening frame off of three walks and two wild pitches.

Blake Bennett

“Blake hadn’t pitched for two weeks,” said Coach Brierley.  “He was rusty.”

What kept this game close was that Blake could not only pitch his way into trouble, he could also pitch his way out of it.  He had seven strikeouts.

The most painful run for the Indians was probably in the fifth when the visitors tied the score.  In that frame Blake had Will Carpenter struck out but catcher Derek Beaupre couldn’t handle the pitch.  Will reached first and Kevin Eddy scored.  In a low-scoring game those plays are crucial to the outcome.

The Wildcats ran into two outs on the bases.  In the Whittier 5th, John Schwartz left too early from third on a fly ball. In the final inning, Brock Roy attempted to score from second on Josh O’Brien’s hit, but Blake Bennett’s relay nailed him at home.

Whittier coach Joe Boland

“Amesbury made a great play to get that second runner,” said Coach Boland.

Blake, Logan Burrill, and Tom Flanagan had RBIs for the Indians.  Logan Burrill had three hits.

In the bottom of the 7th Logan nearly tied the game with a fly to deep center.  “Twenty feet to the left and that’s a homer,” recalled Coach Brierley.

Freshman Jon LaVerde scored two runs for AHS while sophomore Tucker Molin scored the other one.

Leadoff batter Kyle Eddy and second batter Brock Roy totaled six walks between them.  Kyle scored three times and Brock once.

Logan Burrill (3 hits) safe at second after a steal

Coach Boland on Matt Michel: “He is a heck of a competitor and loves to pitch.  He doesn’t walk many batters, so I trusted him in the bases loaded situation he came into.”

Coach Boland, in his 24th season with Whittier, recorded his 300th win in April.  “I have great respect for Coach Boland,” said Coach Brierley.  “He has over 300 wins. He has created a good culture at Whittier and they find ways to win the close ones.”

Whittier starter Will Carpenter came into today’s game with a 13-0 record as a starter.  That win streak was in serious jeopardy in a 3-3 game that he left in the sixth inning with the bases loaded.  Matt Michel, however, came on to save the day for Will’s streak.

The Division two Wildcats have won thirteen of their last fourteen games.  They are 9-1 in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference.

Despite missing the tournament, Coach Brierley found room for optimism. “We have shown signs of life and that we can play.  The six wins doubles what this team had last season.  We lose only one guy from this year’s team.”

The weather was terrific.  The bugs that usually are on hand were apparently feeding elsewhere.

It was surely a first for me: Coach Boland introduced me to the team after the game and I was applauded for covering the game.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Catcher Derek Beaupre tags out Brock Roy at the plate

2B Derek Doherty

Freshman Tim Gilleo

2B Michael Cordeiro

Whittier starter Will Carpenter

3B Aidan Shea

Josh O’Brien

Shortstop Josh O’Brien throws on the run

Shortstop Jon LaVerde corrals a popup

Throw to first

Kyle Eddy steals second

Kyle Eddy scored three times

Juniors Josh O’Brien and Logan Burrill

Senior Graham Gannett

 

 

 

 

 

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Whittier gets 2-1 walk-off versus Essex Tech in D3 North First Round

Whittier coach Cheryl Begin celebrates the walk-off win with the Beauchesne sisters

Winning pitcher Nicole Verrette struck out nine and scattered four hits

(Haverhill MA) Whittier Tech defeated Essex Tech for the third time this season.

This time the score was 2-1 in a Division 3 North First Round game on a sunny/cloudy/drizzly Saturday afternoon at Whittier.

The ending was dramatic as Olivia Beauchesne’s two-out blast in the bottom of the seventh inning (over RF Hannah Lilly’s head) delivered teammate Kayle Hobbs from 3B with the game winner.

The Wildcats trailed 1-0 in the second inning as senior Anna Cloutman brought in freshman Hester Murphy with an RBI single that was nearly caught by WT rightfielder Eliza Slocum.

Whittier (19-2) tied things in the fourth inning.  Kaley Thibault walked to lead the inning off and later scored on Alyssa Wilson’s sharp single to CF.

I was impressed with both pitchers.  Whittier sophomore Nicole Verrette K’d nine Hawks and allowed four hits.  Four of the Hawks outs in the last two innings were strikeouts.  Essex Tech freshman Sheree Fallon struck out only two but limited WT to four hits.

CF Allison Vienneau makes a great catch for ET in the first inning

Several defensive gems by ET (14-8) kept them in the game against a team that already had 8-3 and 6-1 wins over them this season.  In the first inning, CF Allison Vienneau made a back-to-the-infield, catch deep in center field.  I’m guessing that the shot by Allison Beauchesne would have left a fenced-in outfield.  Hester Murphy had two sparklers at 3B.  Both were line drives.  The first one (in the 2nd inning) was turned into a double play.  The other one (in the 7th inning) was hit by Nicole Verrette.  Hester’s catch on that one was the second out of the inning.

Kayle Hobb’s base-running in the walk-off inning was very important.  After singling, Kayle went from first to third on a grounder to third.  That infield grounder by Kyleigh Campbell pulled in 3B Hester Murphy and Kayle saw the base uncovered as she rounded second.  Shortstop Emily Brown covered 3B but the throw from 1B Caitlyn O’Shea was high and Kayle was in safely.  The next batter (Nicole Verrette) whacked a line drive to 3B Hester Murphy and Kayle resisted the impulse to take off for home on contact.  It would have been an inning-ending double play if she had.  Next batter Olivia Beauchesne then delivered the long hit to right field to win the game.

Olivia Beauchesne’s game winner was hit a long way

I believe that Olivia’s hit to right would have left the fenced-in parks I’ve seen.

Essex Tech’s four hits came from junior Hannah Lilly (2), and one each from freshman Hester Murphy and senior Anna Cloutman.

Kayle Hobbs had two of WT’s hits.  Freshman Alyssa Wilson and senior Olivia Beauchesne had one each.

The solid pitching and sound defense made this a game that lasted just over an hour.  Good thing because the game no sooner ended when it started to drizzle.

Special thanks to Whittier AD Kevin Bradley for helping me get to the correct field.  I was unknowingly heading for the Whittier/Bishop Fenwick baseball game which started at the same time as the softball game.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.  Retweeting the coverage is greatly appreciated.)

Nicole Verrette

Whittier shortstop Kelleigh Greaney

Essex Tech CF Allison Vienneau

Hester Murphy steals second base

RF Eliza Slocum nearly catches Anna Cloutman’s sinking liner

Hester Murphy scores the Essex Tech run

Hannah Lilly makes a play in RF

3B Hester Murphy sets to throw to 1B

Kaley Thibault ties the game for Whittier in the 4th inning

IB Caitlyn O’Shea tosses to 1B

ET freshman pitcher Sheree Fallon allowed only four hits.

ET coach Jody Norton

ET catcher Allison Sholds

Kayle Hobbs gets to 3B on some very aggressive base-running

WT coach Cheryl Begin talks to Nicole Verrette in the 7th inning

 

 

 

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Whittier drops Newton South 64-49 in consolation game of IAABO Board 130 Basketball Classic

Michaela Martin (18 points) sees an opening to the basket

Michaela Martin (18 points) sees an opening to the basket

Emily Chang (23 points) fires a three

Emily Chang (23 points) fires a three

(Danvers MA)  Whittier overpowered Newton South, 64-49, in the consolation game on Monday afternoon in the IAABO Board 130 Basketball Classic held at St. John‘s Prep.

Sophomore Emily Chang of Newton South led all scorers with twenty-three points including six three’s.

Juniors Michaela Martin (18 points) and Kayla Riley (17 points) paced Whittier.

The Wildcats (15-6) dropped a tight one (40-38) to Boston Latin on Sunday in the opening round.  In that game, Whittier had chances down the stretch but didn’t finish.  A lot of Whittier’s problems were caused by 6-2 Maggie Mulligan.  The BL senior registered a triple double (12 points/19 rebounds/10 blocks) in the Wolfpack win.

Newton South did not have a shot blocker of Maggie Mullins (going to UMass) caliber and so Whittier spent most of this afternoon driving with confidence to the basket.  Whittier’s inside shots didn’t always go in but fouls were called (26) and free throws were awarded (44).

Newton South (5-13) was content to fire from long range and they did make eleven 3’s.  Impressively effective from downtown was Emily Chang who had the green light every time she saw daylight.

The Wildcats had the lead (7-5) five minutes into the first quarter before the Lions struck from long range three times over the next four minutes.

Jessa Rubera breaks in

Jessa Rubera breaks in

Emily Chang connected twice and senior Jessa Rubera once, as part of 15-2 Newtown South surge.  Lauren Levey hit a jump shot and an old-fashioned three at the end of that run.

So, one minute into the second quarter NS was in front, 20-9, and hardly looking like a team with only five wins this season.

But that terrific four minutes of Lions’ shot making shut down for the next five minutes.   The NS lack of offense was not related to turnovers, the Lions just kept missing.

Meanwhile, Whittier started to roll up the points.  There were 3-pointers and layups (Kayla Riley & Michaela Martin had both) as well as free throws (five).  By the time NS got a stop-the-bleeding three by Emily Chang the Wildcats had put together a run of seventeen unanswered points.

Kayla Riley (17 points) sights the basket

Kayla Riley (17 points) sights the basket

The lengthy point splurge gave Whittier the lead, 26-20, with 2 minutes left until halftime.  The Wildcats would keep the lead the rest of the way.

The Lions moved back within two (31-29) one minute into the second half but Whittier followed with nine straight points to boost their margin to double figures (40-29) with 2:25 left in the third quarter.  Samnell Vonleh, Andrea Terranova, and Michaela Martin turned up layups in the run.

Newton South was unable to get closer than seven points the rest of the way.

Whittier ended up winning by fifteen but when you look at their free throw stats you can envision what could have been.  The Wildcats made only twenty-one of forty-four free throw attempts!

Whittier is in Division 4 while the other three girls’ teams in this tourney are in Division 1.  The Wildcats have played a number of higher division teams this season.  Sometimes facing tougher opponents pays off when tournament time rolls around.

The Wildcats were 22-2 last year and lost to Fenway in the Division 4 North final to Fenway.  It looks as if Whittier will again have to go through (15-2) Fenway to get the D4 North title.

Whittier box

Newton South box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Dominique Ortiz leans into Lauren Levey

Dominique Ortiz leans into Lauren Levey

Samnett Vonleh (#24)

Samnett Vonleh (#24)

Michaela Martin covered by Emily Chang

Michaela Martin covered by Emily Chang

Xciana Flores gets fouled by both Shayla Kelly and Lauren Levey

Xciana Flores gets fouled by both Shayla Kelly and Lauren Levey

Emily Chang (#12) tries to catch Kiana Guadaloupe

Emily Chang (#12) tries to catch Kiana Guadaloupe

Roni Tamir caught in a Whittier trap

Roni Tamir caught in a Whittier trap

Andrea Terranova heads for the hoop

Andrea Terranova heads for the hoop

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Last-minute rally gets Whittier past Newburyport 57-51

Lilly Donovan guards Andrea Terranova (16 points)

Lilly Donovan guards Andrea Terranova (16 points)

Emily Pettigrew (21 points) shoots over 6-3 Samnell Vonleh

Emily Pettigrew (21 points) shoots over 6-3 Samnell Vonleh

(Newburyport MA) The Whittier Tech girls had ten-point runs in both halves and defeated Newburyport, 57-51, on Monday afternoon in non-league action.

The second ten-point streak happened in the final minute and enabled WT to overcome a four-point deficit and pull out a victory.

The Wildcats (7-2) had only two three’s in the first three quarters but connected on two straight (Andrea Terranova & Michaela Martin) in the last minute to jump ahead, 53-51, with thirty-two seconds left.

Andrea (16 points) and Michaela (16 points) closed things out with four consecutive free throws.

At the same time everything was going right for the visitors from Haverhill, the home-team Clippers (9-3) will do best to forget what happened when they had the ball in the last minute.

After Whittier’s first three, the Clippers still had a one-point lead (51-50).  However, Aly Leahy missed the front end of a one-and-one in the possession before WT’s second three gave them the lead with 32 seconds left.

Down by only two (53-51), again with plenty of time to score, the Clippers turned the ball over in the backcourt and fouled the stealer (Andrea Terranova).  Andrea made both free throws.

Samnell Vonleh ready to block Abbie Bresnahan in the last minute

Samnell Vonleh ready to block Abbie Bresnahan in the last minute

Now down four (55-51), Abbie Bresnahan had a shot blocked out-of-bounds by 6-3 Samnell Vonleh.  Still time left, Emily Pettigrew traveled.  The Clippers were forced to foul and Michaela Martin finished things with two free throws.

The loss diminished the glow of a terrific performance by Newburyport’s Emily Pettigrew.  The 6-foot sophomore tallied twenty-one points and seemed unfazed by WT’s size and physical play.

The Clippers built up a ten-point lead (21-11) 1 1/2 minutes into the second quarter.  Some of that success for Newburyport was the way Mary Pettigrew kept the Wildcats Michaela Martin in check.

Trailing by ten, Whittier put their first ten-point run together.  Two free throws by Andrea Terranova helped but the real damage was done by junior Kayla Riley notching two layups, a free throw, and a three to tie the score at 21-21 three minutes before the half.

Newburyport had five turnovers and missed the front end of a one-and-one during this segment.

Aly Leahy (13 points) tries to steal from Dominque Ortiz as NHS coach Gregg Dollas watches

Aly Leahy (13 points) tries to steal from Dominque Ortiz as NHS coach Gregg Dollas watches

It was the Clippers’ turn to put points together in the third quarter after trailing, 31-27.  A nine-point streak featured an old-fashioned three by Abbie Bresnahan (9 points) and a normal three by Aly Leahy (13 points).  This collection of points put Newburyport ahead, 36-31, with a minute left in the third quarter.

The Clippers were able to hold onto the lead until the final minute of the game.

Both teams pressed and pressured wherever the ball was.  Neither team was very successful, as a result, in getting clean looks.  The usual result was a shot in traffic or a turnover.

rebound action

rebound action

The two teams combined for an unspectacular FIFTY turnovers.  Newburyport had 27 and Whittier 23, by my unofficial count.

Both teams missed seven free throws.  WT, however, connected twenty-three times including seven-of-eight in the final minute.  The Clippers hit nine free throws.

I was impressed by the speed and spark of sophomore Abbie Bresnahan.

Whittier has now won four straight.  They were 22-2 last season, losing in the Division 4 North final.  It is not hard to imagine the Wildcats doing well in the state tournament again this year.

The Clippers will have to wait another day to qualify for the state tournament.  They need one more win to get there.  They are scheduled to face Amesbury on Friday night (7PM) in their next game.

Whittier is scheduled to host non-league Gloucester on Wednesday (5:30PM).

Michaela Martin (16 points)

Michaela Martin (16 points)

Michaela Martin was a Lawrence Eagle Tribune All-Star last season.

Juniors Kayla Riley, Andrea Terranova, and Samnell Vonleh were Commonwealth Athletic Conference All-Stars in 2012-13.

WT has no seniors on their roster.

Whittier box

Newburyport box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Kayla Riley (13 points) sees an opening

Kayla Riley (13 points) sees an opening

Abbie Bresnahan drives on Andrea Terranova

Abbie Bresnahan drives on Andrea Terranova

Plenty of defenders around Emily Pettigrew

Plenty of defenders around Emily Pettigrew

Aly Leahy lines up a free throw

Aly Leahy lines up a free throw

Aly Leahy double teamed

Aly Leahy double teamed

Morgan Johnston eyes the hoop

Morgan Johnston eyes the hoop

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Middleboro reaches D3 state finals with 10-1 win over Whittier

Middleboro starts to celebrate Division 3 semi-finals win over Whittier

Middleboro starts to celebrate Division 3 semi-finals win over Whittier

Pitcher Taylor Frasier dominated Whittier

Pitcher Taylor Frasier dominated Whittier

(Lynn)  A week ago Whittier committed five errors at Fraser Field against Newburyport in the D3 North semi-finals and still won, 6-2.

Today the Wildcats committed five errors at Fraser Field against Middleboro in the Division 3 state semi-finals and were not nearly as fortunate getting routed, 10-1, on a cloudy, drizzly Wednesday afternoon.

Middleboro (20-5) will be in Lowell on Saturday at Lelacheur Park facing Hopedale (21-3) for the D3 state title.

The Sachems had four tainted runs and a 4-1 lead before collecting five more runs in a three-error fifth inning to ice this one.

The pitching of Taylor Frazier (4 hits/7 K’s) and the tight Middleboro defense (one error) made the out-of-character performance by the Wildcats all the more noticeable.

Whittier (18-7) had won six straight before today’s game.

The Sachems have now won nine straight and eleven of their last twelve.  They are 15-2 in their last seventeen games and are averaging at least three runs each game.

The Wildcats had five errors.

The Wildcats had five errors.

The Whittier/Middleboro matchup was one in which either the bats of Whittier (27 runs in four tourney games) or the pitching of Middleboro (3 runs allowed in four tourney games) would prevail.

The Sachems pitching prevailed as junior Taylor Frasier faced only twenty-five batters which is four over the minimum.  Taylor recorded five of his seven K’s in the fifth and sixth innings.

Whittier got their run in the fourth inning.  Jaylin Deveau singled and took second on Paul Sances throwing error.  Ralph Francesconi’s single scored Jaylin.

The Sachems tallied a run (Neil Perry) in the first inning thanks to two walks and two wild pitches (starter Devan Doucette).

Middleboro added two more runs in the second inning.  An error (3B Jaylin Deveau), two steals, and a misplayed flyball to left enabled Taylor Frasier and Cody Braga to cross the plate.

Kevin Huscher

Kevin Huscher

In the third inning, Kevin Huscher singled, reached second on a fielder’s choice, and third on a wild pitch.  A sacrifice fly by Andrew Card brought Kevin home.

Three walks, three Whittier errors, and two Middleboro hits combined to give the D3 South champs five additional runs in the fifth inning.  The Wildcats turned a nice 6-4-3 double play in the inning but by then the damage was done.

Sophomore Kyle Flanagan pitched the sixth for Whittier.  Neil Perry reached on an error in that inning and was driven home by Alex Bean to garner the tenth Middleboro run.

Paul Sances and Cody Younger each had two RBI for Middleboro.  Neil Perry scored three runs and Kevin Huscher scored two runs for the winners.

Nate Frongillo, Jaylin Deveau, Ian Bates, and Ralph Francesconi had singles for the team from Haverhill.

The Wildcats had three different third basemen and each of them had an error.

Connor Manning eyes popup

Connor Manning eyes popup

Whittier had runners thrown out at first and at second.

The Wildcats were the champs of the Commonwealth Conference.

Middleboro won the Patriot Conference for the second straight year.

Middleboro boxscore

Whittier boxscore

(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Alex Bean caught in a rundown

Alex Bean caught in a rundown

Neil Perry

Neil Perry

Cody Younger

Cody Younger

Kyle Flanagan

Kyle Flanagan

Andrew Card

Andrew Card

Paul Sances

Paul Sances

Andrew Wells

Andrew Wells

pregame introductions

pregame introductions

play at first

play at first

Nate Frongillo steals second

Nate Frongillo steals second

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Opportunistic Whittier defeats Newburyport 6-2 to reach Division 3 North finals

Whittier teammates gather around winning pitcher Andrew Wells

Whittier teammates gather around winning pitcher Andrew Wells

Andrew Wells gets a force-out at home

Andrew Wells gets a force-out at home

(Lynn)  Whittier Tech made the most of their chances and defeated Newburyport, 6-2, on Wednesday afternoon at Fraser Field.

The victory sends the #5 seed Wildcats to the D3 North finals to be played at Lelachuer Park in Lowell on Saturday.

Whittier (17-6) had two-out, two-run doubles (Ralph Francesconi and Anthony Licciardello) in the first and fifth innings.  They also scored a run in the sixth inning on a two-out wild pitch.

Scott Webster scambles into third

Scott Webster scambles into third

Newburyport (15-8) scored two runs but it will be the runs they didn’t score that they’ll be remembering for a while.  Let me list the opportunities they had:
(1) First inning – bases loaded with one out,
(2) Third inning – runner on second with no outs,
(3) Fourth inning – bases loaded with no outs,
(4) Fifth inning – leadoff double
(5) Sixth inning – bases loaded with two outs,
(6) Seventh inning – runners on first and second with no outs.

The Clippers did come out of those opportunities with two runs but their chance to have a really big inning was in place over and over again.  But it didn’t happen on this season-ending day.

Whittier starter Andrew Wells allowed only six hits.  Two of those hits (Colton Fontaine and Connor Wile) came in the first inning when a Connor MacRae fielder’s choice drove home the first Newburyport run.

Anthony Licciardello

Anthony Licciardello

The Wildcats set the tone for the afternoon in their half of the first inning.  They took what the Clippers gave them (first two batters were walked by NHS starter Connor MacRae) and followed with an infield single by Anthony Licciardello to load the bases with no outs.  A fielder’s choice (Jaylin Deveau) brought home one run and a 2-out double delivered two more.

Whittier added to their 3-1 lead in the fifth inning.  A bunt single by Connor Manning and an infield error by Travis Wile set the stage for the second 2-out, 2-run double.  Anthony Licciardello’s two-bagger to deep center put the Wildcats ahead, 5-1.

The Clippers got a run back in the sixth.  Connor MacRae reached on an error and his pinch runner (Caleb Stott) came around on Scott Webster’s triple to left.

The Wildcats put up a run in their half of the sixth.  Jaylin Deveau doubled to right center leading off.  Evan Habib came on to relieve NHS starter Connor MacRae.  Jaylin took third without a throw and with two outs came home on a wild pitch.  That gave Whittier a 6-2 lead which they preserved in the seventh inning.

Third baseman Colton Fontaine throws out a bunter

Third baseman Colton Fontaine throws out a bunter

The Clippers ended up stranding eleven runners.  The Wildcats stranded just three runners.

Whittier had five errors including two in the final inning.

Terrific execution by Whittier in the fifth inning.  After Brian Fiascone doubled to lead off the inning, Connor Wile hit a grounder to third baseman Stefano Zarro.  The freshman looked Brian back toward second and threw to first.  Brian took off for third when the throw was made but first baseman Jorge Martinez gunned a throw back to Stefano to nail Brian for a double play.

Andrew Wells

Andrew Wells

Coach Joe Boland opted to walk Colton Fontaine to load the bases in the sixth inning with two outs.  That strategy worked as Andrew Wells struck out Brian Fiascone to end the threat with only one run scored.

Anthony Licciardello had two hits and two RBI for Whittier.

Colton Fontaine paced Newburyport with two hits and also scored a run.

The Clippers best game of the season could well have been the 4-0 upset of North Reading yesterday.

Next year looks to be a serious rebuilding year for the Clippers.  Seven of their nine starters today are seniors.

The last time Newburyport played at Fraser Field was in 2011 and it was for the D3 state title against Pioneer Valley.  It was also on the same day that the Bruins paraded the Stanley Cup through the streets of Boston.

Whittier boxscore

Newburyport boxscore

(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Stefano Zarro gets a force at third

Stefano Zarro gets a force at third

Alex LoGuidice gets the fifth Whittier run

Alex LoGuidice gets the fifth Whittier run

Andrew Fiascone and Scott Webster

Andrew Fiascone and Scott Webster

watching warmups

watching warmups

Connor MacRae

Connor MacRae

Clippers head for final handshakes

Clippers head for final handshakes

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