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wednesday's baseball tournament roundup

Jimmy Fallon, Scott Longo get things going, Milton baseball doesn’t let up on Norwood in Division 2 tournament

Milton's Scott Longo kept Norwood batters guessing with his pitches.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

On the first pitch he saw, Milton’s Jimmy Fallon cranked a fastball deep to left-center field, slid into third base, and emphatically yelled toward his dugout. Fallon’s triple started a three-run first inning and set the tone for the top-seeded Wildcats, who added three more runs in the fourth and used stellar pitching from sophomore lefthander Scott Longo to secure a 9-3 win at home over 17th-seeded Norwood and star pitcher Jack Cropper Wednesday in a second-round matchup in the Division 2 baseball tournament.

Defending state champion Milton (19-3) advances to play Plymouth North, 4-1 winners over Holliston, in a state quarterfinal on Saturday.


“We all know Jack is a great pitcher and I saw a fastball right near the plate and I knew it was the pitch I had to turn on,” said Fallon. “I know a lot of people were doubting us today, but we had a lot of confidence and we did what we did.”

To prepare for the velocity of Cropper, a Northeastern commit and one of the state’s top pitchers, coach Brendan Morrissey ramped up the pitching machine during Tuesday’s practice to 95 miles per hour. Milton was ready from the jump.

Milton High celebrates its 9-2 win over Norwood.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

After Fallon’s triple with one out, Longo followed with an RBI double to right. Jack Finnegan kept the rally going with a single to left before a fielder’s choice, wild pitch, and bases-loaded walk made it 3-0.

“We knew we had to come in and be aggressive and that really paid off,” said Morrissey. “The kids put good swings on the ball in practice and that carried over.”

Milton added three runs in the fourth when Fallon registered an RBI groundout and Finnegan grounded a run-scoring infield single to short, extending the lead to 7-0 and chasing Cropper from the game.

“Milton was ready and they had a great approach at the plate,” said Norwood coach Kevin Igoe. “Jack didn’t have his best stuff and it’s tough to beat the champions. They are very good.”


Longo did the rest, mixing in fastballs and curveballs all over the zone and allowing just one hit during six shutout innings with nine strikeouts. Norwood (11-11) only had one runner in scoring position against Longo before scoring three in the seventh.

Coach Brendan Morrissey and the Wilcats are moving on in postseason play.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

“Scott was terrific and it was a huge game for him to show to everyone what he can do,” said Morrissey.

Division 1 State

BC High 4, St. John’s Prep 3 — The No. 7 Eagles (14-8) cashed in on a overturned interference call. Sophomore Wyatt Miller scored on the play, a fifth-inning grounder from junior Cole Bohane that went from an inning-ending double play to a go-ahead fielder’s choice. Senior Andrew Manning followed with an RBI triple before junior Liam Kinneen closed out the win on the mound to send BC High to the Division 1 state quarterfinals.

“The kids are used to these kinds of games,” said BC High coach Steve Healy, whose team beat St. John’s Prep twice during the regular season. “It’s just another game for us in terms of the intensity level. That hasn’t changed from the season to the postseason. I think [in] this environment, our guys are good.”

Junior Sam Keene pitched five innings of two-run ball for BC High, which led, 2-0, after scoring in each of the first two innings. But junior Aidan Driscoll tagged him with a two-run single in the fifth and St. John’s Prep (13-9) tied it. Kinneen entered in the sixth and worked a two-inning save, striking out four and allowing one unearned run. He ended it with a strikeout of Driscoll with the tying run on first.


“Today, pitching in this this pressure filled situation, he just took it up a notch,” Healy said.

St. John’s Prep senior Marco Zirpolo had two hits and a run.

Bridgewater-Raynham 1, Weymouth 0 — For the second year in a row, the No. 9 Trojans (18-4) earned a date with No. 1 Franklin in the state quarterfinal — even down to the seed numbers. Cam Morrison drove in the game’s only run with a third-inning single, and Evan Samsel and Luke Barry combined on the shutout as Bridgewater-Raynham beat No. 8 Weymouth (18-6) in the second round. The Trojans won their rematch with Franklin during the regular season, 5-4, avenging a 5-0 loss in last year’s tournament.

“To get another shot like that in the same exact scenario as last year, maybe that’s fate telling us we’re supposed to be here,” Bridgewater-Raynham coach Mike Connolly said.

B-R outfielder Kevin Doyle threw out the potential tying run in the third. Jack Reyes struck out nine in a complete game for the Wildcats.

Franklin 5, Walpole 2 — Trailing and on the brink being upset by No. 17 Walpole, No. 1 Franklin got five unanswered runs in Division a second-round win. Walpole (13-9) scored in each of the first two innings at Franklin (21-3) before the Panthers got consecutive RBI singles Eisig Chin, Henry DiGiorgio, Ben Jarosz, and Luke Sidwell.


“They punched first, put us on our heels and made us battle back,” Franklin coach Zach Brown said. “We’ve been there before, and we were able to find a way.”

Franklin junior Austin Campbell (6 innings, 7 hits, 1 walk, 2 earned runs) found his groove in the middle innings, retiring seven straight from the third through fifth.

“I had trust in the lineup to pick me up at some point, which they did,” Campbell said. “I kept filling up the zone, and stopped leaving my fastball high.”

St. John’s (Shrewsbury) 2, Milford 1 — Noah Basgaard pitched a three-hitter and Brayden Mercier drove in both runs with a two-out single in the fourth to give the No. 6 Pioneers (17-4) the second-round victory.

Division 2 State

King Philip 4, North Attleborough 3 — Nate Pennini pitched 5⅔ innings in relief as the third-ranked Warriors (15-7) battled to a second-round win in 11 innings. Drew Herlin drove home a pair of runs for King Philip.

Mansfield 6, Leominster 2 — Jake Maydak hurled a complete game and Matthew DeShiro hit a two-run home run in the first, propelling the 15th-seeded Hornets (16-8) to a second-round upset of No. 2 Leominster (18-2).

“Jake has been a guy for us all year. He was an absolute bulldog,” Mansfield coach Chris Hall. “He doesn’t show any emotion on the mound. Nothing gets to him. He just came out and competed the entire game.”


Mansfield will face No. 10 St. Mary’s (15-7) in the quarterfinals.

“I said to the boys on day one, ‘I’ll put us up against anyone in the state of Massachusetts,’” Hall said. “This group of players, especially, they work hard, they want it. They want to win.”

Plymouth North 4, Holliston 1 — Cody Quinn spun a two-hit shutout with seven strikeouts, powering the ninth-seeded Eagles (17-7) to a second-round win. Connor Mackenzie and George Slauson smacked RBI singles in the first inning to pace Plymouth North.

Division 3 State

Bishop Stang 2, North Reading 0 — Matt Burt tossed a complete-game shutout, powering the third-ranked Spartans (15-5) to a second-round win. Cam Letourneau and Brock Winslow rapped RBI hits for Stang.

Division 4 State

Abington 15, Advanced Math and Science 2 — Henry Rogers belted three hits and racked up five RBIs as the 12th-seeded Green Wave (14-8) cruised to a second-round win. Stephen Madden conceded two runs in six innings on the mound.

Amesbury 10, Bay Path 3 — Trevor Kimball had three hits with a three-run homer and five RBIs, Will Arsenault drove in three and scored three, and Luke Arsenault pitched a complete game with eight strikeouts for the No. 13 Red Hawks (12-10) in the second-round victory.

English High 12, Clinton 2 — Senior Jeff Soto reached base four times and belted an inside-the-park home run, as the No. 2 Blue & Blue (22-0) defeated No. 18 Clinton to advance to the quarterfinals. Soto walked to lead off the first and later scored on a two-run single from senior Braylin Gonzalez. Soto had an RBI single in the third before drilling a ball to deep straightaway center in the fifth for a two-run inside-the-park homer. He also was hit by a pitch in the sixth.

“He’s a guy that just gets on base,” English head coach Christian Ortiz said. “Starting in the state playoffs, we wanted him to lead off just for the energy he brings. For him to do something like that as our leadoff guy, that’s just phenomenal. It really opened up the game for us.”

Gonzalez had four RBIs, including a two-run homer to the opposite field that cleared the tall right-field fence at English High. Senior Nanfer Duarte pitched five shutout innings for the Blue & Blue, striking out five. Sophomore Ethan Frisch led the Gaels (11-9) with three hits, including a triple, and an RBI.

Hamilton-Wenham 9, Monument Mtn. 1 — Gian Gamelli belted a three-run homer and struck out 12 in six one-hit innings for the No. 10 Generals (13-9) in the second-round victory. Connor McClintock drove in three and Tate Fitzgibbons and Aiden Clarke each had two hits for Hamilton-Wenham.

Lowell Catholic 2, Bellingham 1 — Seamus Scott spun a complete game, leading the 16th-seeded Crusaders (14-8) to a second-round victory.

Seekonk 4, Tyngsborough 3 — Tyler Kropis launched a walkoff hit to score Jacob Lozowski, lifting the third-seeded Warriors (18-4) to a second-round win.

Division 5 State

Ayer Shirley 3, Sutton 0 — Kevin Surette twirled a complete game, powering the sixth-seeded Panthers (16-5) to a second-round victory.

Mike Puzzanghera reported from English High and BC High, and Ryan Martin from Franklin. Mitch Fink also contributed.