Franklin scores Super 8 championship-winning run on suicide squeeze in ninth to beat Central

BROCKTON - After Central Catholic's Super 8 run last year ended after three games, coach Marc Pelletier made one point abundantly clear: This was the new precedent.

The program, which was making its first appearance a year ago, should strive to get back to the elite dance every year.

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Baseball, 06/20/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Central Catholic 16, B.C. High 9

BROCKTON — Pitching is undoubtedly important. But sometimes it just pays off if you can hit the stuffing out of the ball.
That’s exactly what Central Catholic did yesterday afternoon against top-seeded Boston College High School in the Super 8 loser’s bracket final. The Raiders pounded out 21 hits and scored a whopping 16 runs to take down the Eagles, 16-9, to advance to the program’s first Super 8 final.
No. 4 Central (18-6) will play No. 7 Franklin — the team that send them to the loser’s bracket on Thursday in devastating fashion — on Monday at 7 p.m. at Brockton’s Campanelli Stadium.
The Raiders, who have one loss in the double-elimination tournament, will need to beat Franklin twice to take home the Super 8. A potential Game 2 of the championship is not set, but is speculated to be on Saturday if necessary.
“As low as we were losing a one-run game to Franklin, it might have been the practice of their lives yesterday,” said Central coach Marc Pelletier. “It was an emotional practice. We fixed a couple of things, and the kids played just clean baseball today.
“You tell me 48 hours ago that we’re going to get 21 hits against a team with the caliber of pitching staff of BC High, I’d tell you that you’re absolutely crazy.”
While all 11 batters that Central sent to the plate on Saturday registered a hit, the offense was fueled by Steve Hajjar.
The stud lefty pitcher committed to Michigan has been unable to throw during the Super 8 due to tendinitis in his left forearm, but is still swinging a hot bat.
He went 4 for 6 with a triple, two doubles and four RBIs, getting the Raiders off to a 2-0 lead after the first inning and a 4-0 lead after four.
“I was seeing the ball really well,” said Hajjar. “I think it helped because we saw them a couple of days ago, those pitchers that they had, and yeah everyone was hitting today.
“I’m so proud of the team for how we were able to bounce back from that tough loss the other game and just come out today ready to play.” 
While the Raiders were tight in their loss to Franklin, they handled any adversity hurled their way on Saturday.
When the Eagles (18-7) scored in the bottom of the sixth to make it 4-1, Central answered a run in the top of the sixth.
When Luke Murphy brought the Eagles to within 5-4 with a bases-clearing triple in the bottom of the sixth, the Raiders responded with four runs in the top of the seventh — highlighted by a Noah Lucier double.
Leading 9-5 after seven, Central scored five more runs in the eighth and two in the ninth. The Raiders batted around in both the seventh and eighth inning.
While the top of Central’s order is as potent as it comes, Lucier (1 for 3, 3 RBIs) was part of a bottom half that had a field day. Sean Thompson had two hits out of the No. 7 spot, No. 8 hitter Mike Pierro had a double and, most important of all, No. 9 hitter Mike LeFebre went 3 for 5 with a game-high five RBIs.
“I think a lot of times a lot of us at the bottom of the order get a lot of guys at the top rolling,” said LeFebre.
With the bottom of the lineup hitting, and with stalwarts Hajjar, Dom Keegan (3 for 4, double) and Michael Borrelli (3 for 6, 4 RBIs) in the middle, there is no easy out in Central’s order.
And don’t forget about starter Thompson. The lefty had a no-hitter through four, and finished the day going 5.2 innings with four earned runs and 10 strikeouts.
With Hajjar shelved on the mound, and trusty relievers Aidan Abernathy and Lucier unavailable after pitching Thursday, the Raiders turned to junior Jonathan Montanile and sophomore Ryan Semenetz to finish the game. Both hadn’t pitched an inning in the Super 8 prior to Saturday. 
“What more can you say about Sean Thompson,” said Pelletier. 
Everyone knew how talented Central was entering the season.
But to be in the Super 8 championship was still coming as a shock to the Raiders after Saturday’s final out had been recorded.
“I really hoped to be in the Super 8 final,” said Hajjar. “But I can’t say I expected it though. This has been a great journey through the Super 8, but we just want to keep it going.
“Two more games.”
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Baseball, 06/16/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover had it ... then gave it away

WALTHAM — The game was only about 20 minutes old and it felt like Andover High was headed to the Div. 1 North semifinals.

The Golden Warriors led 7-zip. And team ace Cedric Gillette, who hadn't lost to a team this spring not named Central Catholic, had mowed through the first inning like he had so many times before.

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Baseball, 06/12/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Keegan, Lucier carry Central to Super 8 semifinal

BROCKTON - Finally, after all of these years, the age old question has finally been answered: Is Noah Lucier afraid of pressure, or is pressure afraid of Noah Lucier?

The answer: It's pressure that should be afraid.

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Baseball, 06/09/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Keane brilliant, but Knights fall

North Andover's Sebastian Keane struck out 15 over seven one-hit, shutout innings, but the No. 7 Scarlet Knights dropped a heartbreaker to No. 10 Burlington, 2-0 in eight innings in the Division 1 North first round. Keane also led the Knights with two hits.

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Baseball, 06/07/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Lawrence falls short

Lawrence's Jairo Vasquez threw a complete-game four-hitter, but the No. 10 Lancers lost to No. 7 Peabody 3-1 in the Division 1 North first round. 

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Baseball, 06/07/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Royals shut out Matignon

The Georgetown baseball team rode a pair of terrific pitching performances to an 11-0 win over Matignon in the first round of the Division 4 North tournament. Kyle Greenler struck out 10 and allowed just one hit over five shutout innings, and Jason Bellefuielle finished the job with two scoreless innings of his own. Meanwhile, Jacob Adamsky went 4 for 4 with three RBIs, and the Royals put up 13 hits in total, breaking things wide open with seven runs in the fifth inning. Georgetown (13-8) now faces top-seeded Lowell Catholic in the Division 4 North quarterfinals on Monday at 4 p.m.

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Baseball, 06/07/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Bedford 14, Salem 4

Bedford jumped on Salem early, real early, and cruised to a 14-4 win in five innings Saturday in the Division 1 baseball state quarterfinals. The 20-1 Bulldogs scored 11 runs in the top of the first and were never challenged. Jake Emerson had two hits, a run and an RBI for the Blue Devils.

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Baseball, 06/03/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Outright champs

Whittier beat Greater Lawrence, 7-4, to clinch CAC Large title outright over Greater Lowell. Will Carpenter went 6.2 innings and Matt Michel put out the fire with the bases loaded, getting a game-ending groundout. Joey Santiago drove in three for the 16-2 Cats.

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Baseball, 06/03/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Remarkable Runge

Asa Runge had a remarkable day to lead No. 3 Pinkerton baseball to a 10-6 win over No. 11 Keene in the Division 1 quarterfinals. The sophomore went 4 for 4 at the plate with a grand slam and six RBIs, then came on to pitch the final two innings to send the Astros (17-4) to the next round.

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Baseball, 06/02/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars
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