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St. John’s Prep storms into statewide baseball tournament with eight-run first inning to knock off postseason rival Braintree

St. John's Prep's Johnny Tighe avoids the tag of Braintree's Sean O'Rourke during the Eagles' eight-run first inning.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

In a 40-minute first inning, St. John’s Prep sent 13 batters to the plate, put 10 on base, and rapped out seven hits, with one hard-hit ball after another careening into the outfield grass.

When the damage was done, the 10th-seeded Eagles had plated eight runs and were on their way to a 9-1 win over 23rd-seeded Braintree on Monday in a Division 1 first-round matchup between programs with a storied postseason history, highlighted by consecutive Super 8 final duels in 2015 and 2016, both won by Braintree.

“It got contagious in the first inning,” said St. John’s Prep coach Dan Letarte. “It’s a great feeling, especially in a state tournament game against a team like Braintree.”


All seven hits in the first were singles, with Will Shaheen, Aidan Driscoll, Jack DiFilippo, and Nic Lembo all slapping run-scoring knocks. Shaheen, who finished 3 for 4 with three RBIs, capped the rally by lining a fastball to left for his second hit and RBI of the inning.

St. John's Prep's Johnny Tighe reacts after sliding safely into third base in the first inning. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

“We kept the energy up and didn’t overthink it,” said Shaheen. “We hit the ball hard all over the place. It went our way and we just kept rolling, rolling, and rolling. It was so fun.”

The run support was plenty for sophomore Henry Hebert, who fired a complete game with one unearned run and seven strikeouts in his first postseason start.

The righthander worked around three errors in the first inning, limiting the damage to one run. From there, Hebert utilized his fastball and curveball to retire 19 of the final 22 batters, giving the Wamps (11-11) no opportunity for a comeback.

“Watching them score eight runs allowed me to be more confident on the mound,” said Hebert. “I knew I could attack more and go right at them.”

St. John’s Prep (13-8) advances to play at No. 7 BC High in the second round. Prep dropped both regular season meetings (16-2 and 5-4) to their Catholic Conference rivals.


“We needed a day like today,” said Shaheen. “We just need to take one step at a time and focus on the next game.”

Behind his big leg kick, St. John's Prep sophomore Henry Hebert threw a complete game without allowing an earned run in his first playoff start. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Division 1 State

BC High 5, Barnstable 0 — Thomas O’Donnell hit a solo homer and Mason Lombard and Liam Kinneen combined to strike out 12 in the seventh-seeded Eagles’ (13-8) three-hit shutout of No. 26 Barnstable in the first round.

Bridgewater-Raynham 3, Bishop Feehan 1 — Evan Samsel drove in a pair for the No. 9 Trojans (17-4) in the first-round victory.

Chelmsford 4, Boston Latin 2 — Braydon Gray tossed a complete game with four strikeouts and Matt Stuart drove in a pair with two hits for the No. 13 Lions (15-6) in the first-round victory.

St. John’s (Shrewsbury) 2, Waltham 1 — James Benestad came up clutch twice for the No. 6-seeded Pioneers (17-4), driving in the tying run with a single in the sixth and drawing a walkoff hit by pitch in the ninth in the first-round victory.

Xaverian 5, Algonquin 3 — Michael Oates drilled a walkoff three-run homer for the No. 5 Hawks (14-7), as they came from behind to earn the first-round win.

Division 2 State

Holliston 3, Salem 1 — Jake Schoenberg fired a four-hitter with seven strikeouts and Andrew Denison knocked in two with a pair of hits for the No. 8 Panthers (15-7) in the first round.


King Philip 12, Agawam 1 — Tommy Martarano collected two hits, two runs, and three RBIs, Tommy McLeish knocked three hits and scored twice, and Drew Herlin drove in a pair and scored twice for the third-seeded Warriors (14-7) in the first-round victory over No. 35 Agawam.

Mansfield 4, Westborough 3 — Connor Curtis fired a complete game while Aidan Jones and Sam Martin each drove in a run for the 15th-seeded Hornets (15-8) against 18th-seeded Westborough in the first round.

Masconomet 2, Woburn 0 — Jacob Shirley tossed a one-hit shutout for the No. 11 Chieftains (16-5) in the first-round win.

North Attleborough 2, Duxbury 1 — The 19th-seeded Red Rocketeers (8-13) outlasted 14th-seeded Duxbury (15-8) in first-round action. North Attleborough senior Jordan Paradis blasted a solo home run in the third inning and struck out six over five sharp innings. Reed Collins plated Jack Munley on a grounder to make it 2-0, then Duxbury’s Anthony Rabeni drove in Will Atallah with a sacrifice fly in the fourth. North Attleborough will face No. 3 King Philip in the round of 16.

Norwood 2, West Springfield 0 — Junior Owen Desharnais pitched a six-hit shutout with five strikeouts for the No. 17-seeded Mustangs (11-10) in a first-round victory over No. 16 West Springfield. Norwood will face the winner of No. 1 Milton and No. 33 Grafton.

Reading 2, Pope Francis 1 — Ryan Mulvey threw a 66-pitch five-hitter for the No. 26 Rockets (15-6) in their first round upset of No. 7 Pope Francis. Matt Walsh laced an RBI single and Thomas Fratto scored on a steal of home during a two-run sixth inning.


Whitman-Hanson 11, Burlington 0 — Evan Yakavonis whiffed eight over five three-hit innings, Ryan Carroll and Brandon Craven each had three hits and knocked in three, and Matt Phelps added two hits and two RBIs for the No. 5 Panthers (17-4) in the first round.

Division 3 State

Apponequet 10, Sandwich 0 — Nate Levesque pitched a complete-game two-hit shutout, striking out nine and hitting two as the 18th-seeded Lakers (11-10) moved out of the first round. Dylan Bradley (three RBIs), Austyn Travis (three RBIs) and Nate Levesque (three RBIs) all knocked in multiple runs as the Lakers totaled 11 hits.

Archbishop Williams 9, Lynnfield 6 — Greg Mayo fanned six over 6⅓ innings while adding three hits and two RBIs for the No. 22 Bishops (12-9) in the first round. Jack Solomon also drove in three.

Bishop Stang 10, Greater Lowell 0 — Aiden Cardoza whiffed 12 in a two-hit shutout for the No. 3 Spartans (14-5) in the first round. Matt Burt collected three hits, two RBIs, and two runs, and Drew Taylor drove in three.

Foxborough 1, Watertown 0 — Ryan O’Leary fired six innings of shutout ball (four hits, five strikeouts), and added the game’s only RBI as the sixth-seeded Warriors (14-7) came out on top of the first-round matchup.

Medfield 9, Belchertown 0 — Jack Collins pitched six shutout innings with four strikeouts, Colby Hatch drove in three with a pair of hits, and Scott Donahue homered, doubled, and drove in two for the No. 2 Warriors (15-5) in the first-round win over No. 31 Belchertown.


Division 4 State

Bellingham 7, Monomoy 2 — Senior Ryan Maiorano, a Fairfield commit, struck out 11 in a complete-game effort and freshman Owen Miller went 4 for 4 with a pair of singles, a double, triple and two runs scored to lead the top-seeded Blackhawks (14-8) past the No. 33 Sharks (11-11) Round of 32 matchup at Richardson Field. Bellingham expanded its lead to 6-1 after stringing together four hits during a four-run rally with two outs in the bottom of the third after Maiorano retired consecutive batters to escape a bases-loaded jam unscathed in the top half of the frame. “That was the key — the two-out rally,” Bellingham second-year coach Andy Nolan said. “We left them loaded in the second inning, so to be able to hold them when they got them loaded and then get those two-out hits was big.”

Clinton 4, Wahconah 1 — Liam Nelligan (3 for 4) knocked in a pair of runs and Brian Sylvester scattered five hits while fanning seven for the No. 18 Gaels (11-8) in the win over No. 15 Warriors (14-7) in Dalton.

English High 10, Cohasset 0 — Jeff Soto struck out eight in 4⅔ innings and drove in four at the plate while Justin Peguero knocked in two with a pair of hits for the No. 2 Blue & Blue (21-0) in the first round.

Seekonk 8, Manchester Essex 0 — Sophomore Tyler Kropis went the distance, hurling 78 pitches, allowing one hit, and fanning five. He added two hits at the plate, and senior Kevin Crowe went 3 for 4, driving in five runs for the third-seeded Warriors (17-4) in the first round.