Sports 06-14-2018

Wallace signs with Adirondack Trail Blazers of the PGCBL

By Cary Shuman

Former Winthrop High baseball star Jack Wallace has signed with the Adirondack Trail Blazers of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) and has begun pitching for the team that will play a 48-game schedule with playoffs in early August.

The PGCBL, whose 13 teams are based in upstate New York, is considered one of the top wooden bat leagues in the country. College players from Division 1 and

Division 2 programs compete in the league. Among the prominent alumni of the league are J.D. Martinez of the Boston Red Sox, who played for the Oneonta Outlaws, and Hunter Pence of the San Francisco Giants, who played for the Schenectady Mohawks. Many alumni are currently playing in Major League Baseball organizations at all levels.

Wallace, a 5-foot-11-inch, 185-pound righthander, completed his freshman season at Franklin Pierce this spring. With the Trail Blazers, Wallace will have the opportunity to pitch in front of Major League scouts, who regularly attend PGCBL games.

At Winthrop High, Wallace was an All-Northeastern Conference selection and team captain. He also played four seasons in the WHS golf program, winning the NEC individual title in his senior year.

Jack is the son of Mark Wallace and Beth Tallent. He has a sister, Danielle.

The Wallace was an All-Conference pitcher for the Vikings and also won the Northeastern Conference individual golf championship.

WHS sports roundup

WHS softball team wins two in tourney before falling to Ipswich

The Winthrop High softball team made a nice run in the Division 3 North Sectional of the MIAA state softball tournament, defeating two-higher-seeded opponents, before falling to Ipswich this past Monday in the quarterfinals.

The Lady Vikings entered the tourney as the 21st seed in the 21-team D-3 North with a 5-14 regular-season record.

Winthrop’s first opponent in a preliminary round encounter was 12th-seeded Watertown with a 12-8 regular-season mark. However, the Lady Vikings turned the tables on their higher-ranked opponent with a 4-1 victory. Sofia Vitale turned in a superb pitching effort, going all seven innings and allowing just the one run on four hits, while fanning four and walking only one.

After Watertown had taken an early 1-0 lead, Brooke Costin led off the Lady Viking third with a base hit. After the next two Lady Vikings made outs, leaving Costin still at first base, Nelly Carter singled, moving Costin to third, and then stole second.

That brought up Katie Gagnon, who came through with a clutch double that delivered both teammates across the plate to give Winthrop a 2-1 lead that the Lady Vikings never would relinquish.

Winthrop added a solo run in the fifth when Costin bunted safely, stole second, and came home when Vitale helped her own case with a base hit.

The Lady Vikings added another insurance run in the sixth, keyed by a Rachel Farley base hit, for the 4-1 finale.

The Winthrop defense was flawless, backing up Vitale’s fine pitching effort with an error-free performance. Perrotti (five putouts, three assists) and shortstop Izzy Mahoney (four putouts, three assists) shone in particular.

Winthrop then took on fifth-seeded East Boston (13-6 in the regular season) in a first-round contest on Sunday at the City Yards field in Eastie.

The Lady Vikings took control early in the contest. Perrotti was hit by a pitch to lead off the game, moved to second on a wild pitch, stole third, and then scored on a base hit by Costin. Mahoney reached on an error, Stephanie Strangie singled to bring in Costin, and Vitale doubled for two more runs.

After Vitale moved to third on a passed ball, Gagnon laid down a perfect suicide squeeze to deliver Vitale for a 5-0 Winthrop lead.

The Lady Vikings added two more runs in the third. Perrotti walked and Gagnon tripled, and Katie herself eventually scored on a wild pitch.

Gagnon blasted a solo homer to lead off the fifth, Strangie delivered an RBI-base hit in the sixth, and Farley scored Winthrop’s 10th run in the seventh on a passed ball.

Vitale once again was immense in the pitcher’s circle, tossing a no-hitter through five and two-thirds innings before yielding two runs in the sixth and another in the seventh, but the Lady Vikings had things well under control by that point.

Sofia’s final line showed just two hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.

That triumph earned the Lady Vikings a trip to Ipswich, a team that, like Winthrop, had entered the tourney with a deceptively-low seeding (20th with an 8-12 record), but which had knocked off two higher-seeded opponents.

However, the Winthrop Journey through the Tourney came to an end with a 5-1 loss.

“It was a good game,” said WHS head coach Dave Guffey. “Ipswich had a little more pop in their bats and more experience on the bases.”

Vitale once again was superb, yielding just four hits (of which two were of the infield variety) and two walks and only allowing seven base-runners. However, Ipswich put together a rally in the third, keyed by a double and a home run, that proved the difference.

The Lady Vikings mustered five hits on the day and scored their lone run in the second when Gagnon tripled and scored on an sacrifice fly by Ashley McGonagle that gave Winthrop a short-lived 1-0 lead.

Costin (who was 8-for-11 in the three tourney games), Mahoney, Farley, and Perrotti accounted for the other Winthrop base hits.

Despite the loss, Guffey was upbeat about his team’s performance throughout the season and in the tourney.

“We have a young team — we dressed seven freshmen and a sophomore for the tournament — and it was a nice finish to our season,” said Guffey. “The team really came together and started to play well. They started to see that their future is bright.  Hopefully we can get a little stronger and gain more experience during the off-season to prepare for next year.”

The veteran coach particularly lauded the efforts of McGonagle and Gagnon for the manner in which they stepped up to the plate (no pun intended) throughout the season.

“Ashley and Katie were our two most-improved players this season and it is a credit to their hard work and determination,” said Duffey.  “Ashley came back from an injury and played catcher, right field, left field, and second base. Katie played in all three outfield positions and at third base before settling in at catcher to finish out the season. She threw out two runners and allowed no steals in the tournament.”

Guffey also mentioned the strong play of his shortstop, Mahoney, who had come back from an injury.


Boys lacrosse team

earns first-ever win

in the state tourney


The Winthrop High boys lacrosse team earned the first-ever state tournament win in the program’s history with a 13-6 victory over Northeast Regional Vocational School  in a contest played at Miller Field last week.

The Vikings entered the Division 3 North Sectional as the seventh seed with a 13-5 record, while Northeast was the 10th seed with a 12-4 mark.

“Our goalie, Andrew DiMento, had the best game I have seen him play in three years,” said WHS head coach Brian Donnelly. “Pat Sennott and Luke Evangelista had excellent offensive games and Brian Chalmers did excellently, winning most face-offs.”

The Vikings’ run in the tourney ended last Thursday with a loss to second-seeded Austin Prep

There were numerous post-season accolades for the Vikings. The Northeastern Conference  coaches named attack Pat Sennott to the First Team All Conference squad.

Junior goalie Andrew DiMento, midfielder Luke Evangelista, and long pole defensemen Jack Silva were awarded second team all-stars.



From the Press Box

The Tradition Continues

By: Jim Lederman

The annual Father’s Day Pancake Breakfast was a tradition that started in the 70’s. This Sunday coach Jon Cadigan will host his first Viking Football Pancake Breakfast.

The ‘All You Can Eat’ Breakfast will be held in the new Winthrop High School cafeteria. This is the only fundraiser for the 2018 Vikings football team.

The Vikings play host to four games at Miller Field in September. Pentucket Regional invades Miller Field on Friday night, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. Medford, Swampscott and a non-league game with Lynnfield are the three games in September following Pentucket.

The Vikings play host to NEC rival Lynn English on Friday night, Oct. 19. The Vikings play at Salem and Saugus on their NEC schedule.

The pancake breakfast tickets are $7. The hours are 8-11:30 a.m. Bring the family!

Happy Father’s Day!

Go Vikings!


Behind the Plate

Hats off to coach Dave Guffey and his young softball team. The 21st ranked Vikings upset the 12th ranked Watertown Red Raiders (4-1) on Friday to improve to (7-14).

Freshman catcher Katie Gagnon knocked in the winning run with a two-run double to lead the Lady Vikings to victory in Division 3 North.

On Sunday at East Boston a pair of freshmen led the way to a (10-3) victory over fifth-seeded East Boston. Pitcher Sofia Vitale struck out seven and pitched a no-hitter through five innings. Katie Gagnon went three-for-three with a homerun, a triple and three RBI’s. The Vikings had a date with the Ipswich Tigers at Ipswich on Monday afternoon.


Receiving Tough News

The Patriots off-season has another tough loss. Julian Edelman has been hit with a four game violation for using a performance enhancing substance.

Edelman, who missed all of the 2017 season with           a knee injury plans on appealing. Julian is the second Patriot to be suspended for failing the leagues PED policy. Linebacker Rob Ninkovich also served a four-game suspension to begin the 2016 season. The 2018 season starts off with games against Houston, Jacksonville, Detroit and Miami.

The Patriots lost their two leading receivers from 2017, Danny Amendola and Brandon Cooks signed free agent contracts.

Julian Edelman has become collateral damage in the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady Cold War.

The Patriots open pre-season practice in July. There are many lingering questions for the 2018 season.



The Triple Crown

If you are a horse racing fan you had plenty of action this past weekend. The Belmont Stakes race in Elmont, New York, at Belmont Race Track was thrilling.

Ninety-thousand fans filled Belmont to watch Justify win the Triple Crown. There was live racing at Suffolk Downs. Ten-thousand fans were at Suffolk.

In July Saratoga opens in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The six-week meet brings thousands of racing fans to New York. The three-hour ride to historic Saratoga is exciting.

If you are planning a trip this summer, m y two favorite trips are Saratoga and Ogunquit, Maine.

Enjoy the summer!

Let the Games Begin!



Extra Points

Bob Roland has returned as hockey coach of the Marblehead Magicians. Bob coached for 12 years and his team won a state title in 2012 in Division 3. The Winthrop-Marblehead rivalry brings back memories of Bill Falasca coaching the Vikings and Bob Roland behind the Marblehead bench.

Good luck to Calvin Tufa, who will play football at Merrimack this fall. Calvin won the Alexander Trophy, playing for the Vikings in 2017.

Several Catholic Conference football coaches were bracing for the day that Malden Catholic would decide to no longer play them in football. It came sooner than expected.

Malden Catholic dropped the hammer last week, in forming the four member schools that they won’t be competing against them in football starting this September. St. John’s Prep, Xaverian and BC High are the remaining conference teams.



The Hawk Retires

Do you remember when Kenny the ‘Hawk’ Harrelson played for the Red Sox? Kenny was a member of the ‘Impossible Dream’ Sox team of 1967.

The ‘Hawk’ lived in Winthrop on Payson Street. He opened the ‘Hawk Shop’ a sub sandwich shop on the Lynnway. His partner was the late Joan Thomas of Winthrop.

Ken is retiring at the end of the baseball season as the Chicago White Sox Broadcaster. Yes, 50 years ago – the Hawk played with Tony Conigliaro and Yaz on the Boston Red Sox and lived in Winthrop. Can you name the last member of the Red Sox to live in Winthrop? Kenny ‘the Hawk’ – How’s that for trivia?

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