Hingham coach Frank Niles was the first to admit that it wasn’t the prettiest victory, but that didn’t matter. The bottom line was that the Harbormen beat Masconomet, 2-1, in the Division 2 EMass championship at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton and punched their ticket to the state title game.
Despite solid pitching from Chieftains starter Speros Varinos, who struck out 11 batters, Hingham took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. After Austin Irvin struck out and John Carlson flied out to right, the next pair of hitters got on base for the Harbormen because of catcher’s interference. Matt Glenzel followed with a single, which loaded the bases, and Stephan White walked to put Hingham on the board.
Varinos continued pitching well and Masconomet was getting players on base but failed to score. However, in the top of the fourth inning, junior Joe Klingensmith hit a solo home run to left field to tie the game, 1-1.
The Chieftains had a crucial chance to go ahead in the top of the sixth when they put runners on second and third, but some bad base-running got Hingham out of the jam with the game still deadlocked.
In the bottom of the sixth, John Carlson stepped to the plate with two outs and smacked an RBI single to left field that scored Evan Flanagan with the winning run.
William Boynton, who allowed six runs, struck out six, and walked four, stepped to the mound for the final frame. After the first two hitters grounded out to first, Elias Varinos struck out swinging and Boynton was mobbed by his teammates on the field.
“I don’t know quite why we’re still alive, but we’ll take it and we’ll live for another day and another baseball game,” said Niles after the game.
Hingham will play for the Division 2 state championship Saturday.
Middleboro 10, Whittier 1 — When Middleboro’s Taylor Frazier retired nine of the first 11 batters he faced, he had a feeling it would be bad news for Whittier Tech.
“The more I throw, the better my arm feels,” the junior righthander said. “My arm definitely got stronger around the fourth or fifth inning.”
That held true for Frazier and the Sachems (20-5), who overwhelmed the Wildcats in the Division 3 EMass final at Fraser Field in Lynn to move on to Saturday’s state championship game against Hopedale at LeLacheur Park in Lowell.
Frazier needed only 81 pitches to notch the complete-game win against Whittier (18-7), scattering three hits and a walk while striking out seven.
“Frazier was awesome on the mound,” Middleboro coach Bill Lawrence said. “He’s been awesome all year. Even when we made a mistake behind him, he kind of just laughed it off . . . He’s just a good overall pitcher. The team is very confident when he’s on the mound.”
Middleboro gave Frazier plenty of support.
Senior Cody Younger’s RBI groundout plated junior Neil Perry in the first, then sophomore Paul Sances came through with a two-out triple to right to score a pair and put the Sachems ahead, 3-0. Senior Kevin Huscher made it 4-0 when he scored on classmate Andrew Card’s third-inning sacrifice fly.
Whittier narrowed the gap to 4-1 in the fourth, with junior Jaylin Deveau coming around on sophomore Ralph Francesconi’s single to center, but that’s as close as the Wildcats would get.
Frazier retired nine of the last 10 Whittier batters, five by strikeout.
Middleboro blew it open with five runs in the fifth, highlighted by RBI singles from senior Alex Bean and sophomore Cody Braga.
Just one win stands between the Sachems and a state title, which would be the first for Lawrence in his 15 years at Middleboro.
Lowell Catholic 1, Pope John Paul II 0 — Two weeks before Lowell Catholic’s season started, senior designated hitter Alex Larmand wasn’t going to play baseball. He strongly considered hanging up his cleats and picking up a lacrosse stick. A defensive back for the football team, Larmand will be playing at Dean College in the fall.
“The only reason I was going to play lacrosse was to get my contact in for football. In my head baseball wasn’t going to get me ready to play football, but I talked to my football coach and, most importantly, my dad and I’ve been playing since I was 4 so they talked me into playing this season.”
It’s a good thing they did. Lowell Catholic and Pope John II were deadlocked with 0 runs, 4 hits, and 2 errors apiece entering the seventh inning.
Lowell’s Connor Sullivan hit a line drive that deflected off of Lions pitcher Austin Houlihan’s glove for an infield single. Chris Underwood followed with a failed sacrifice that ended in Sullivan getting thrown out at second. After Nick Cervizzi walked, Larmand knocked a base hit to right, scoring Underwood for the walkoff 1-0 win.
“I would’ve killed myself if I had played lacrosse,” Larmand said after his game-winner. “It would have been the worst decision.”
Liam Coughlin also continued his dominance for the Crusaders. After throwing a no-hitter in a 3-0 win against Matignon in the playoff opener, Coughlin threw a complete game, scattering four hits.