Spring Sports Season Going Strong at WHS

WHS baseball team wins opener in dramatic fashion 

The Winthrop High baseball opened its 2012 campaign on a positive note with a dramatic 7-6 victory over Watertown last Saturday on the local field.

The Vikings won the contest with two outs in the bottom of the seventh when Tyler Gillis brought home Chris LeBlanc with a two-out, infield base hit. LeBlanc had led off the inning with a base hit, moved to second on a sacrifice by James Baxter, and took third on a wild pitch.

“We had clutch hitting throughout the game, which was very gratifying to see,” said WHS head coach Frank DeMarco, who noted that all of his team’s runs came across with two outs.

Winthrop grabbed an early lead in the opening inning when LeBlanc belted a two run homer with Mitch Paulsen, who had reached on an error, aboard. However, Watertown moved out to a 4-2 advantage by the middle of the sixth.

But the Vikings exploded for four markers in the bottom of that frame thanks to a big rally, all of which occurred with two outs. After Gillis and Paul Cingarella singled and Steven Goddard walked, Mike Paulsen delivered a double to left field to bring across Gillis and Cingarella. That brought up freshman Dylan Driscoll, who promptly came through with a base hit to push across Goddard and Paulsen to move Winthrop out to a 6-4 lead.

Watertown battled back in the top of the seventh, but Winthrop caught a break when a Watertown runner missed third base on his way home with what would have been the go ahead run. DeMarco appealed the play and the ump ruled the runner out, ending the inning at a 6-6 deadlock and setting the stage for the Viking dramatics in the bottom of the seventh.

The Vikings received strong pitching efforts from starter Goddard and reliever Zack Mills. Steven tossed the first innings, allowing just one earned run, while fanning eight and walking only one. Mills was touched up for the two runs in the sixth, but fanned three and walked none.

“Both of our pitchers did a great job,” noted DeMarco. “We struck out 11 of their hitters and walked only one, and that is the kind of pitching we hope to see all year long.”

The Vikings turned in a notable team defensive play in the fifth when a Watertown ball hit into the gap led to a four-Viking relay   Mills-to-LeBlanc-to-Mike Paulsen-to-Baxter   to gun down a Watertown runner at the plate.

DeMarco and his crew were set to travel to Gloucester yesterday (Wednesday) and will host Danvers Friday. They will entertain Swampscott Monday at 10:00 on the holiday and journey to Marblehead Wednesday and to East Boston next Thursday.

Softball team drops season opener, 4-0

The Winthrop High softball team dropped its season opener to Bedford 4-0 Monday afternoon on the local field in a non league encounter.

Bedford put up three runs in the opening frame and added a solo tally in the second off WHS ace pitcher Alex Ferri, but Ferri settled down thereafter, yielding just three hits over the final five frames and not allowing a Bedford runner to get past first base. Alex ended up with 10 strikeouts on the day.

The Lady Vikings equaled their Bedford counterparts in the hits department (the teams had six safeties apiece), but were unable to come through with the timely base hit that could have changed the complexion of the ballgame.

Winthrop loaded the bases in the bottom of the second with one out, but a pair of ground outs ended the threat without any damage. In the third, Jen Adamson stroked a one-out triple, but a pair of line-outs left her stranded.

Brittany Lento had a pair of hits for the Lady Vikings and Liana Ferullo drove a ball off the fence for a hit.

Despite the defeat, WHS head coach Dave Guffey saw some positive signs from his team’s effort. “We didn’t commit any errors and Alex got stronger as the game went on,” said Guffey. “If our bats can come around, we should do well in the weeks ahead.”

Guffey and his crew were set to play at Danvers, one of the pre-season favorites for the South Division title of the Northeastern Conference, yesterday (Wednesday) and will entertain Gloucester Friday.

The Lady Vikings will host a vacation tournament next week. Winthrop will play Manchester/Essex Tuesday morning at 10:00, with Latin Academy and Cathedral to play at noon. The losers will meet Thursday at 10:00 and the winners at noon.

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