Tag Archives: Paul Sances

Middleboro wins 4-3 thriller over Hopedale to gain Division 3 baseball title

Sam Yost slides across with the game winner for Middleboro

Sam Yost slides across with the game winner for Middleboro

Kevin Huscher celebrates his 2-run game winning hit

Kevin Huscher celebrates his 2-run game winning hit

(Lowell)  “Exciting,” wouldn’t justly describe this game.  Ask anyone who was there at sunny LeLacheur Park on Saturday morning!

Middleboro got a 2-out, 2-run walkoff single by senior Kevin Huscher to pull out a 4-3 win over Hopedale and capture the 2013 Division 3 baseball title.

Hopedale (21-4) scratched out a go-ahead run in the top of the seventh and then brought on senior Ian Strom to seal the deal.  Ian came in with a 9-1 record having K’d twelve batters in his last outing.

The sequence in the last inning elevated the tension: walk (Taylor Frazier), strikeout (Cody Braga), walk (Brandon Lavelle – Sam Yost runs for him), strikeout (Paul Sances), and walk (Neil Perry).

So you can see the pattern the inning was going in.  The outcome rested on the arm of Ian Strom and the bat of Kevin Huscher.  During the at-bat, Kevin hit a long foul fly down the rightfield line that rightfielder sophomore Kevin Lynch came close to getting.  But he didn’t, and then Kevin hit a sharp grounder up the middle.  With two outs, all runners were on the move.  Junior Taylor Frazier scored easily and pinch runner senior Sam Yost was home from second long before the throw came in.

It was clearly the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat right in front of our eyes!

Senior Alex Bean pitched two innings of relief to get the win for the Sachems (21-5).

Middleboro picked up their first run in the second inning and took a 1-0 lead.  Senior Andrew Card singled and reached second on a wild pickoff attempt by Blue Raiders starter senior Dan Mantoni.  Taylor Frazier bunted Andrew to third before sophomore Cody Braga’s sacrifice fly delivered Andrew.

Chris Embree rounds third

Chris Embree rounds third

Hopedale took the lead in the fourth with two runs, both unearned.  MHS second baseman junior Neil Perry dropped a popup and then had a hard one-hopper glance off his glove enabling Ian Strom and senior Chris Embree to score a pair of gift runs.

Dan Mantoni had limited the Sachems to three hits over five innings but in the sixth inning Middleboro got a 2-out/2 strike triple from Andrew Card to right bringing Kevin Huscher across from third tying this game at, 2-2.

Hopedale celebrates their run in the 7th inning

Hopedale celebrates their run in the 7th inning

But back came Hopedale in the seventh.  Kevin Lynch singled to deep short leading off and Luke Manoli bunted him to second.  A ground ball to short (Kevin Huscher) went well for Hopedale. Kevin tried for the runner (Kevin Lynch) at third and didn’t get him…….it was close.  Cole DeDonato followed with a slow grounder to second that allowed Kevin Lynch to give Hopedale a big one-run lead.

However, six batters later, that one-run Hopedale lead was gone as well as a chance for their first state baseball title.

2013 Division 3 champs

2013 Division 3 champs

Instead, it was Middleboro winning a second title (they won in 1997) in a dramatic way.

There were plenty of memorable plays in this game.

(1) On a single to left by Chris Embree in the second, senior Tyler D’Urso was held at third (from second) even though LF Paul Sances bobbled the ball.  Chris tried for second on the play and was thrown out on a good throw.  Might have been a run there for Hopedale.

(2) Pitcher Dan Mantoni picked Alex Bean off second (1-6) to end the Middleboro second.

(3) Sophomore Kevin Bresciani reached third with two outs but Middleboro starter Cody Younger K’d Cole DeDonato looking to end inning.

Paul Sances dives

Paul Sances dives

(4) Leftfielder Paul Sances saves a run with two straight diving catches in the fifth inning.

(5) Centerfielder Ian Strom got the tip of his glove on Kevin Huscher’s double in the sixth inning.  Kevin later scored the tying run.

On this hot day, Middleboro coach Bill Lawrence probably wasn’t unhappy to get the ice water poured over him in the post-game celebrating.

Kevin Huscher had the game of his life: a walk, a steal, scored tying run, and drove in the final two runs.

Andrew Card had two hits, an RBI, and scored a run.

Kevin Lynch paced Hopedale with two hits and a run.  And I’m sure he’d like another try at Kevin Huscher’s foul fly in the bottom of the seventh!

Hopedale coach Joe Small is retiring after twenty-four years.

No team had gotten more than two runs off of the Blue Raiders in their 12-game winning streak leading into the Middleboro game.

Ian Strom

Ian Strom

Ian Strom will be pitching for UMass Lowell in 2014.  They play their home games at LeLacheur Park, also the home of the Lowell Spinners.

Middleboro ends their season winning ten straight.  A lot of serious baseball is played in that town.  Their Little League teams have reached the state semi-finals five times since the year 2000.

Their 2008 Little League team lost in the state finals.  Taylor Frazier, Cody Braga, and Andrew Card were on that team.

LeLacheur Park is a terrific place to view and photograph a game.  The parking?  Well, not so good.  The Spinners start their home season this week.

Middleboro boxscore

Hopedale boxscore

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

Ian Strom stretches out in the sixth

Ian Strom stretches out in the sixth

Kevin Huscher leaps in with tying run in sixth

Kevin Huscher leaps in with tying run in sixth

Cody Braga

Cody Braga

Middleboro starter Cody Younger

Middleboro starter Cody Younger

Kevin Huscher leaps and throws

Kevin Huscher leaps and throws

Andrew Card gets first Middleboro run

Andrew Card gets first Middleboro run

Neil Perry waits for throw

Neil Perry waits for throw

Hopedale starter Dan Mantoni

Hopedale starter Dan Mantoni

Brandon Lavelle gets bat on ball

Brandon Lavelle gets bat on ball

Tyler DUrso gets Taylor Frazier at third

Tyler DUrso gets Taylor Frazier at third

Winning pitcher Alex Bean

Winning pitcher Alex Bean

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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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