WHS Baseball Team Charges into Tourney; Hosts Matignon Today

The Winthrop High baseball team concluded its regular season with a pair of decisive victories, including a must-win contest with Mystic Valley last Thursday evening, to qualify for the post-season MIAA state baseball tournament.

The Vikings, the eighth seed in the nine-team Division 4 North Sectional, will host Matignon, the ninth seed in D-4 North, today (Thursday) at 4:00 in a first-round contest. The winner will trek to Lowell Catholic, the number one seed in the D-4 North, for a 1:00 contest Saturday afternoon.

The Vikings punched their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney in fitting fashion with a 16-0 triumph over Mystic Valley of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference on Thursday at the Malden Catholic field. Chris Fucillo tossed the first four innings, striking out eight, and teammates Jack Wallace, Steve Goddard, and Nick Disciscio took turns over the final three frames with an inning apiece of shutout work.

Hitting stars were plentiful for the Vikings, who scored two runs in the top of the first and added five more in the second to make their tourney-clincher a comfortable ride. Among the leading offensive lights for Winthrop were Dylan Driscoll, who contributed three hits, three runs scored, and four RBI; James Baxter, who banged out three hits for two RBI; and lead-off man Mike Rich, who reached base on five of his six trips to the plate.

The day before in a contest played at Bentley College, the Vikings took the measure of West Roxbury, 11-6. Winthrop jumped out to a  big lead early on, powered by a six-run third frame. Brendan Van Dalinda tossed five strong innings on the mound, yielding four runs on five hits with six strikeouts. Freshman Chris Zuffante came on in the sixth to close out the victory.

Rich turned in another superlative effort from the lead-off spot, going 4-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI. Van Dalinda also had a big day at the plate with three hits, including a double and triple, three runs, and two ribbies. In the big Winthrop third inning, Baxter (who has been swinging the bat well lately) had a hit, an RBI, and scored a run, and Driscoll had a two-RBI base hit.

“The team is really excited to be playing in the tournament and looking forward to it,” said WHS head coach Frank DeMarco. “It’s a new season and everybody starts at 0-0. We’ve built some momentum in our last two games and we’ll be hoping to continue with it into the tourney.”

Lady Vikings host Lowell Catholic in tourney-opener Saturday

The Winthrop High softball team, which finished the year with a 13-7 mark after starting out 1-4, will host Lowell Catholic Saturday afternoon on the local field in a first-round contest of the MIAA Division 3 North state softball tournament.

If the Vikings are successful Saturday, they will advance to the quarterfinals to face the victor of the contest between number two seed Mt. Alvernia and the winner of the Austin Prep/Greater Lawrence contest.

Coach Dave Guffey’s Lady Vikings will enter the tourney with a lot of momentum on their side. Winthrop not only won 12 of their final 15 games, but they did so in style. Their winning skein included impressive victories in tight ballgames against Revere, Peabody, and Lynn Classical, the top three teams in the Large Division of the Northeastern Conference, and non-league foe Everett, which this past week knocked off Lexington, which is ranked fifth in Eastern Mass.

“The team is excited and looking forward to playing at home before a good-sized crowd,” said WHS head coach Dave Guffey, whose squad, which will have had 11 days off since its last regular-season game, scrimmaged Revere Tuesday.

At the league meeting of coaches, the Lady Vikings’ ace pitcher, Maura Lanza, was named to the NEC’s first-team all-star squad. Maura sported a 1.77 ERA this year and fanned 95 batters in 83 innings. She also led Winthrop in hitting with a .354 batting average.  Captains Jen Adamson (.310 average) and Michelle Lasala (.343 average) were selected to the second team.

O’Keefe takes 2nd in 100 hurdles at NEC

Winthrop junior Carly O’Keefe hurdled to a second place finish in the 100 high hurdles event at Saturday’s Northeastern Conference All-League Meet. Carly took second place in the qualifying round with a clocking of 16.66 seconds and then held onto that spot in the finals with a time of 16.52, which was just 0.33 of a second behind the first place girl.

The other Lady Viking to come home with a medal, which is awarded to the top six finishers in each event, was Liz Anderson, who took fourth spot in the shotput with a toss of 29’-7”.

Eighth grader Isabella Kennedy just missed medaling with a  seventh place effort in the triple jump with a final landing of 31’-4.5”. Isabella also competed in the 800 meter run in which she claimed a top-10 finish with a clocking of 2:35.45.

Fellow eighth grader Gabby Hinchion also competed in two events, the discus with a  toss of 59’-11”, good for 12th place, and the 800 with an 18th place finish in 2:55.

Freshman Christa Vaccaro narrowed missed the awards circle with her seventh place finish in the long jump with a leap of 14’-6.5”.

Two Lady Vikings ran the mile event, with sophomore Nina Leone finishing in 15th spot in 6:25 and junior teammate Abby Love right behind in 6:29. Freshman Shanel Turransky did a nice job in the 100 hurdles with a time of 20.42.

Turransky wins medal for WHS boys at NEC meet

Winthrop’s Reise Turransky brought home a fourth place medal in the 100 meter dash at Saturday’s Northeastern Conference All-League Meet. Turransky, a sophomore, qualified for the final field of eight with a third-place finish in the preliminaries in 11.64 second. He improved that clocking to 11.57 in the finals, but dropped a position to fourth place.

Junior Cal Garufo competed in two events for the Vikings, the triple jump with a distance of 33’-3.5” (14th position) and the 400 dash in 57.26 (also 14th spot). Senior Alexander Kelly tossed the shotput 28’-11”, good for 13th place. Freshman Andrew Magrail tossed the discus 85’-1” for an 11th place ranking and junior teammate Brady Magrath heaved the shot 82’-5”, good for 13th position. Senior Trevor Hetherton ran the 110 high hurdles in 21.41, which placed Trevor 12th in the field. Teammate and fellow senior Sean Magrath ran the 110 hurdles in 24.67, good for 16th place.

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