From the moment he first toed the rubber until the last out he recorded, Jack Iannibelli’s demeanor never wavered.
The junior from Stoneham was in complete control, shutting out St. Mary’s to lift Austin Prep to a 10-0 victory in six innings and win the inaugural Catholic Central League Cup championship.
Iannibelli mixed speeds well and pounded the strike zone, throwing 49 strikes on 73 pitches. The Cougars were barely challenged defensively, as Iannibelli tossed six shutout innings, surrendering two hits and striking out six. The lanky lefthander effectively challenged hitters on both sides of the plate and kept the entire linuep of No. 17 St. Mary’s (15-6) off balance.
“He’s a horse for us,” Austin Prep coach JP Pollard said. “We know that every time we give him the ball, we have a chance to win. He wants to go deep in games. He’s just the ultimate competitor. I think his mound presence and his command of the zone speaks volumes about who he is as a pitcher.”
No. 2 Austin Prep (18-1) received offensive contributions up and down the lineup, but Will Burns’ performance stood out. After a hard lineout to center field in his first at-bat, Burns clubbed a double off the right field wall, scoring junior Matthew Chatelle.
“Second at-bat, I got to a 2-0 [count] and I was just ready to hit,” Burns said. “I think it’s just all about being confident in the box. I’ve gained a lot of confidence going through the season, so I think it’s all about going up there confident and being ready to swing.”
In his third plate appearance, Burns’s high stance and quick hands allowed him to smack a triple into left field, plating senior Jake Elbeery and freshman Aiden Driscoll. He scored on the next at-bat, as junior right fielder Brenden Walsh sent a single back up the middle.
“Burnsy is one of those guys where he’s just the poster child of he works hard all the time,” Pollard said. “He doesn’t take a drill off, he doesn’t take an inning off. Even in practice, he plays like it’s a championship game. So when you get into the championship game and you practice like that every day, it’s pretty easy to be successful.”
After neither team recorded a hit in the first two frames, the Cougars broke the game open in the middle frames. A single off the third-base bag by junior center fielder Nick Saunders opened the scoring for the Cougars. Junior shortstop Josh Keith poked a single just past Spartans’ junior shortstop Aiven Cabral’s outstretched glove, which scored two more. After plating three runs in the bottom of the third, the Cougars added another three in the fourth to give Iannibelli a comfortable six-run lead.
“Every single guy on our roster plays a huge role,” Pollard said. “They are prepared to be successful and when they get the opportunity, they just try to deliver.”
Bridgewater-Raynham 4, Dartmouth 2 — Junior Jack Costa fired two innings of hitless relief, fanning three, and senior Kyle Wilcox broke a 2-2 tie with a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth to power the 10th-ranked Trojans (12-1) to the Southeast Conference Tournament title at New Bedford High.
Lincoln-Sudbury 12, Westford 2 — Junior Jack Collins delivered 2⅓ innings of strong relief, yielding two hits while fanning two to pick up his first varsity win as the host Warriors (14-4) captured the Dual County League Tournament title.
“Westford had beaten us two out of the three times we faced them in the regular season so it was great to come back and really show that we felt we were the better team,” L-S coach Matt Wentworth said.
The Warriors led 3-2 until the fifth inning when they exploded for nine runs to put the mercy rule into effect. Junior Heath Albert (3 for 4, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) and senior Jesse McCullough (2 for 3, 2 runs, RBI) led L-S.
Masconomet 13, Peabody 3 — Ethan Cote hit an inside-the-park homer, a triple, and knocked in five runs for visiting Masco (10-5) in the Northeastern Conference win.
Westport 4, Old Colony 2 — Matt Burt (2 doubles, run, RBI) went 2 for 3 and picked up the win by pitching 3⅓ innings of scoreless relief for the host Wildcats (8-2) in Mayflower League action.
Hingham 11, Duxbury 10 — With 2.3 seconds remaining, goalie Sam Bellomy knew the Harbormen needed one more stop to cement a win over their nemesis in the Patriot Cup final.
The senior Bellomy nimbly contorted his body and blocked a rifle from Duxbury freshman Will McDonough as time expired, sealing a scintillating victory for the Keenan Division 1-seed Harbormen (12-2) at Hingham High.
Duxbury senior captain Will Nolan converted with 20.3 seconds left to slice the margin to one, but Bellomy stayed poised and delivered the biggest save of No. 8 Hingham’s season to this point to cap a frenetic final minute that spanned several minutes of real time.
“It’s nice to see the ball not in the back of the net,” Bellomy said with a grin. “I was lucky I could get a stop, get my body in front of it, and end on a good note.”
Charlie Crean paced Hingham with three goals and Owen Hoffman chipped in two. Cian Nicholas added two as well, including the eventual winner with 3:12 remaining. Ryan Nagle finished with four for the No. 14 Dragons (10-4), the No. 4 seed from the Keenan Division.
The teams were tied 3-3 through one quarter, Duxbury used an extended 5-0 run to take a 6-5 edge into halftime, then Hingham built a 9-7 advantage through three before the Dragons nearly rallied but fell short.
“Whether it’s the Patriot Cup, tournament or regular season, it doesn’t really matter,” Hingham coach John Todd said. “There could be nothing on the line, and I think we’re going to get this type of energy out of both teams.”
Bellomy said it’s an honor to even play in the Hingham vs. Duxbury rivalry, and to earn a win in what will likely be the only Patriot Cup ever is even sweeter.
It was a disappointing fate for the Dragons, but they believe they could meet the Harbormen once more in the coming weeks.
“It’s always a battle between two good teams,” Nolan said. “Hopefully we’ll see them again, and I’m sure we will.”
Austin Prep 12, Bishop Fenwick 5 — Quinn Meissner received a feed off of a back-cut in front of the net and effortlessly beat the Fenwick goalie, the fifth goal of the afternoon for the senior captain from Andover as the host Cougars (14-1) finished off their win in the Catholic Central Cup championship game.
Seven players scored for Prep, but it was Meissner’s physicality and inability to be contained in one-on-one battles that was the difference. As one of two seniors and one of four returning starters from the 2019 team, Meissner played a large part in the Cougars’ success.
“He showed them the way and how to work hard,” Austin Prep coach Peter Smyth said. “He’s had games where he’s had one goal and games where he’ll go off and score five or six goals in a game. It just goes to show, you don’t need to score goals for the team to be good.”
Needham 11, Natick 8 — Cam Hickey scored five goals for the ninth-ranked Rockets (11-2) as they fought off a furious second-half comeback by the No. 5 Redhawks (12-1) to win the Bay State Conference Championship, handing Natick its first loss of the season and avenging their May 27 loss.
“This was a redemption game,” Needham coach Dave Wainwright said. “They thought they had beat themselves the first time.”
Hickey scored three of his goals in the second quarter, pushing Needham out to a 7-2 halftime advantage. But Natick responded in the third, scoring three times and keeping Needham off the board to cut the lead to two heading into the fourth. Thomas Barker helped the Rockets flip the momentum back in their favor with strong play at the faceoff X. Hickey saved his last two goals for the final frame, and Ruben Melkonian and Connor McNaughton also scored in the fourth to put the game out of reach.
Austin Prep 14, Bishop Feehan 11 — Lauryn Hanafin made eight saves, and Molly Vana (4 goals, assist), Casey Bachner (4 goals), and Kerri Finneran (3 goals, assist) supplied the offense for the No. 17 Cougars (16-1) as they beat the No. 16 Shamrocks (10-2) for the Catholic Central League Cup championship.
Marblehead 11, Swampscott 10 — Elizabeth Driscoll made 12 saves for the Headers (8-4), who rallied from a 6-4 halftime deficit to claim the Northeastern Conference win. Maddie Erskine scored four goals and supplied four assists, and Hadley Wales tallied three points with a goal and two assists.
Plymouth North 11, Silver Lake 8 — Annika Pyy scored four goals and added three assists for the Eagles (7-3) in the Patriot League win.
Archbishop Williams 7, Bishop Stang 2 — Sophomore Emma Chenette drove in three runs with three hits, and seventh-grader Jillian Ondrick struck out eight to earn the Catholic Central win for the Bishops (8-7).
Bridgewater-Raynham 8, New Bedford 1 — Julia Newcomb fanned 15 batters as the visiting Trojans (9-4) captured the Southeast Conference Tournament championship. Jenna Merlino powered the B-R offense with two triples and four RBIs.
Case 8, Bourne 2 — Olivia Silva went 2 for 4 with a home run in the South Coast Conference win for the host Cardinals (6-3). Hailey Berube went the distance, striking out nine.
Danvers 7, Beverly 0 — Senior Lily Eldridge struck out 11, while going 2 for 4 with three RBIs to help the Falcons (10-4) secure the Northeastern Conference win.
Everett 3, Lynn Classical 1 — Junior Celeste Fuccillo tossed a nine-strikeout two-hitter in the Greater Boston League season finale for the host Crimson Tide (5-3).
Haverhill 13, Lawrence 7 — Sicily DiDomenico struck out 15 as the host Hillies improved to 7-6 in the Merrimack Valley Conference. Riley Windle went 4 for 4 with a double, and Sam Dion had a triple and two RBIs.
Apponequet 5, Wareham 0 — The Lakers (7-1) swept singles with convincing wins from Colin Belmore (6-0, 6-0), Nathan Belmore (6-0,6-0), and Corey Swenson (6-0, 6-0) en route to the South Coast victory.
Brookline 3, Wellesley 2 — Under the direction of new coach Mike Mowatt, the Warriors capped a 15-0 regular season with their 57th consecutive victory and the Bay State Conference Tournament title. Junior Jayanth Devaiah dropped his first set at No. 1 to Wellesley junior Harry Collomb, 2-6, but rallied for 6-3, 6-0 wins to finish unbeaten. The duo of junior Anders St. Clair and sophomore Jacob Kapusta won a battle at second doubles 6-3, 6-4, and senior Sam Feldman picked up a point at second singles, winning 6-0, 6-0. Brookine was dealt its last loss in 2018, to Lexington, before winning the Division 1 championship.
Fairhaven 5, Seekonk 0 — Adam Powers (6-2, 6-2), Ethan Gomes (6-2, 6-1), and Coby Yin (6-3, 6-1) were all triumphant in singles action for the host Blue Devils, who improved to 5-3 in the South Coast Conference.
Marblehead 3, Beverly 2 — The Magicians (8-2) clinched the Northeastern Conference championship with a hard-fought win at Bass River Tennis Club, the 14th straight year Marblehead has won or earned a shared of the NEC title. Freshman Mika Garber won at first singles 6-0, 6-0, and senior co-captain Daniel Farfel prevailed 6-3, 6-3 at third singles. Tied 2-2, the match came down to second singles where junior Jack Donovan secured the victory with a 6-4, 6-4 win.
West Bridgewater 4, Mansfield 1 — Graham Russo (6-0, 6-0) dominated at first singles to lead the visiting Wildcats (7-1) to the nonleague win.
Duxbury 3, Hingham 2 — The host Dragons (13-0), the No. 1 seed from the Keenan Division, outlasted the Harborwomen (10-3), the No. 2 seed from the Keenan Division, to capture the Patriot Cup title. Sophia Caslin won at No. 1 singles (6-2, 6-3), Caroline Sutliffe at No. 3 singles (6-1, 6-3), and Nora Buell and Annabel Keating at No. 1 doubles (6-3, 6-7, 7-5) for the Dragons, who enter the MIAA tournament unblemished.
“Every single player on Duxbury tennis is responsible for this win, and I’m so proud to be a member of this team,” said Buell, a senior captain.
North Andover 3, Chelmsford 2 — Jocie Mongell (7-5, 6-2) won a tough singles match to help the visiting Scarlet Knights (5-5) clinch a narrow victory over the Lions.
North Reading 3, Lynnfield 2 — The first doubles team of Lexi Licciardi and Soultana Tsaparlis (5-7, 6-3, 10-8) clinched the host Hornets’ first win over the Pioneers (9-3) in 30 years for the Cape Ann victory.
“This is a real turning point for the program and I’m so proud of the girls,” said coach Matt Tiberii. North Reading (7-5) also got wins at second singles from Elizabeth Grant (6-3, 7-5) and at second doubles from the duo of Alyssa Bradley and Chloe Florez (7-5, 3-6, 10-8).
Oliver Ames 3, Canton 2 — Caroline Peper/Morgan Vasiliou won 6-4, 6-4 at first doubles to seal the Hockomock win for the Tigers (2-9).
Wareham 4, Apponequet 1 — Brooklyn Bindas won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles to finish the regular season undefeated and help lead the Vikings (8-0) to the South Coast Conference title.
Needham 3, Brookline 0 — The top-ranked Rockets (17-0) won the Bay State Conference championship in convincing fashion with a 25-11, 25-14, 25-12 win over the No. 5 Warriors (13-4). Junior middle blocker Kevin Coppinger (6 blocks, 5 kills), senior outside hitter Will Pachus (8 kills), sophomore setter Raymond Weng (25 assists), and junior captain Ben Putnam (7 kills) were stellar for the Rockets.
“I was happy with our consistency and I thought we were really efficient today,” Needham coach Dave Powell said. “I thought we came out really strong and we kept up that level throughout the match.”
O’Bryant 3, Revere 1 — Led by sophomore outside hitter Jonathan Narsjo (15 kills), the visiting Tigers (8-5) came away with a nonleague victory.
Westford 3, Wayland 0 — Junior middle blocker Matthew Vegowitz scored 10 kills and recorded four blocks to lead the Grey Ghosts (10-2) past the Warriors. With the three-set sweep, the Grey Ghosts captured the Dual County League title.
Plymouth South 54, Whitman-Hanson 18 — At 152 pounds, Whitman-Hanson senior captain Damari Goldsmith-Greene earned his 100th career win with an 8-4 decision, the fifth Panther to reach the milestone.
St. John’s Prep 47, Ashland 15 — The Eagles wrapped up a 14-0 regular season with the nonleague win. Tyler Knox (120 pounds), Adam Schaeublin (138) and Rawson Iwanicki (152) registered pins, Elias Hajali (126) won a decision, Nick Curley recorded a 18-3 win by technical fall, and Jordan Young (160; 17-2), Cam Cummings (170; 10-2); Dylan Greenstein (195; 5-4), and Charlie Smith (285; 1-0) racked up victories.
Trevor Hass reported from Hingham and Cam Kerry from Reading. Adam Doucette, Andrew Lin, Mike Puzzanghera, and Steve Sousa also contributed. To report scores, call 617-929-2860/3235 or email email@example.com.