WHS Sports Roundup

WHS Baseball Team Tops Salem with Walk-Off Win in Extra Innings

The Winthrop High baseball team overcame an early 5-0 deficit, eventually clawing their way back to take the lead, but then had to overcome another deficit in extra innings to post a walk-off victory over Northeastern Conference rival Salem this past Friday at Veterans Field.

After falling behind 5-0 through Salem’s first two at-bats, the Vikings got one back in the bottom of the second. Salem responded with a run in the third, but Winthrop scored twice in its third to make it a 6-3 contest.

Salem was in the midst of another rally in the fourth with runners on second and third with one out when senior Bobby Hubert came on in relief. Hubert got out of the jam and then slammed the door over the next two full innings, tossing two shutout frames.

The Winthrop offense then came to life. The Vikings tied the game and then took the lead over the next two innings. Hubert helped his own cause by driving a monster shot into the gap in right center for a home run.

David DiCicco continued the onslaught, stroking a rocket to the same spot and speeding to third for a triple. After Cam Conway followed with a base hit to score DiCicco, Winthrop loaded the bases. Leo Robertson then delivered a big base hit for two more runs.

By the time the dust had settled, the Vikings took a four-run lead into the seventh, 10-6.

However, Salem refused to give up the ship and rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh to bring the contest back to level at 10-10. Winthrop went down in order in the bottom of the seventh, sending the game into extras.

After a scoreless eighth, Salem reached Hubert for a run in the top of the ninth with a single and a triple. That set the stage for the dramatic Viking bottom of the ninth.

The inning began inauspiciously for Winthrop, with the first two Viking batters striking out. That brought up Joe Holgersen — who had fanned four times previously — but who proceeded to come through in the clutch with his first varsity base hit.

Freshman Pete Silverman came in as a pinch runner and promptly stole second. After Martin drew a base on balls, Hubert singled, filling the bases. DiCicco delivered a base hit, sending Silverman home with the tying run.

Conway was next up and ripped a hard shot into the hole between short and third. The Salem shortstop made a superb play, diving to knock the ball down, but he was unable to find the handle, allowing Martin to score the winning run for the walk-off Viking victory.

“It was a special game,” said WHS head coach Mike DeFelice, “just an incredible desire on the part of the kids to keep competing and finding a way to win. They found a way, through gritty play, a competitive team mentality, and a refusal to quit. They believed in each other, pushed one another, and got it done.”

DeFelice ws high in his praise of Hubert, who turned in a solid performance on the mound to earn the “W.”

“Bobby Hubert relieved Cam Martin in the top of the fourth (only because Cam’s pitch count was about to max out for the game), and Hubert was tremendous,” said the coach. “ Bobby has done nothing his entire career but come in and throw strikes, and this was no different. He locates his fastball, mixes things up, and keeps people off balance.”

Winthrop had an easier time the following morning when they encountered a young and inexperienced Salem Charter Academy team that had sported a 3-1 record coming into the contest.

However, the Vikings jumped out front from the outset. Winthrop rapped 10 hits in the first three innings amidst nine walks that were issued by the Salem pitcher.

Winthrop won going away, 20-2, in a contest that was called after three and one-half frames.

Conway, who started the day on the mound, led the Viking offensive barrage, going 3-for-3 with four RBI. Leo Robertson was 2-for-3 with three ribbies and pitched a flawless, 13-pitch inning in the third.

Colin Kinsella was 2-for-3 with three RBI and shone on defense at catcher. “Colin was spectacular, blocking everything behind the plate,” said DeFelice.

Freshman Evan Rockefeller got his first varsity hit and an RBI.

“We got a chance to get a lot of the younger guys some significant playing time in a varsity game,” noted DeFelice.

The Vikings, who now stand at 2-2 on the season, have a busy week ahead. They were scheduled to face Northeastern Conference rival Peabody yesterday (Wednesday) with a share of first place on the line. They will trek to Danvers today (Thursday) and then will participate in a tournament at Malden Catholic over the weekend, starting with an encounter against Somerville Saturday morning at 11:00. They will travel to Swampscott next Wednesday.

Boys Lacrosse Team Topples Saugus, 10-2

The Winthrop High boys lacrosse team put it all together last Thursday evening to earn a 10-2 triumph over Saugus on the turf at Miller Field.

Matt Hurley paced the Vikings’ offensive attack with four goals. Robert Rich reached the back of the Saugus net on three occasions and Ryan Cifuni struck for a pair of goals.

“It was a great team effort, with senior Ryan Hovermale stepping up to play goalie for us in a bind,” said WHS head coach Brian Donnelly.

The victory was the first of the season for the Vikings after dropping their initial three contests to Northeastern Conference foes Masconomet, Marblehead, and Peabody.

“Our defense, led by seniors Jack Silva and Ryan Hovermale and long stick middie, junior Mike Chaves, has been outstanding and really allows us to be competitive in any game,” noted Donnelly. “Other than the Marblehead game, we were competitive in every second of our other games and are looking forward to seeing how the team comes together and how our offensive and defensive play can progress.” 

Hurley has been outstanding at attack for the Vikings. In addition to his four goals vs. Saugus, Matt scored five of Winthrop’s six goals in the Peabody game. Freshman Robert Rich netted the sixth goal.

“We really run our offense through senior captain Steve Perullo, who has been an excellent leader both on and off the field,” noted Donnelly.

“We are facing a much tougher schedule this year with the restructuring of the Northeastern Conference, which will give us some big challenges, but will also allow us to compete at a higher level,” Donnelly added. “I am just happy to see our players back out on the field. The goal of this year has been to compete at the highest-level possible while having a bunch of fun. The players have a great attitude, and I am just looking forward to seeing the team come together and finding their identity.”

Donnelly and his crew were set to travel to Gloucester today (Thursday) and will trek to Masconomet on Monday and to Swampscott next Thursday.

Two More Wins for WHS Girls Tennis

The Winthrop High girls tennis team improved its record to 3-1 with a pair of victories this past week over Northeastern Conference rivals Gloucester and Peabody.

In Monday’s encounter with Gloucester, senior captain Natlia Kirilova set the tone for her teammates with a hard-fought, come-from-behind victory at first singles in a match that extended for more than two hours.

After dropping the first set, 6-4, Natalia came back to win the next two sets, 6-3, 6-2 to earn the well-deserved victory over her Gloucester counterpart.

Freshman Genesis Bueno, playing what WHS head coach Mike Nickerson termed “very smart tennis,” dispatched her Lady Fisherman foe at third singles with a complete shutout, 6-0, 6-0.

At first doubles, juniors Emma Forsyth & Maddi Rossi won in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2.

“The first set was very tight and I got the sense that whoever won that set would win the match,” noted Nickerson. “Emma and Maddi really stepped up their game at the end of the first and played a strong second set to win the match.”

At second doubles, senior Karina Silva & senior captain Emma Foley played their best match of the year and won 6-2, 6-2.

“They played a really good doubles match,” said Nickerson. “Both girls were very aggressive at the net.”

Senior Captain Jami Snow won her first set, 6-3, at second singles, but unfortunately got hurt in the second set and was unable to continue, thus forfeiting the point.

Last Friday Nickerson’s crew handily blanked Peabody, 5-0.

Kirilova was a 6-0, 6-1 victor at first singles; Snow triumphed 6-0, 6-0 at second singles; and Bueno likewise won in a shutout, 6-0, 6-0, at the third singles slot.

The duo of Forsyth & Rossi won their match at first doubles, 6-1, 6-0, and the tandem of Silva & Foley similarly prevailed at second doubles, 6-0, 6-1.

The Lady Vikings were scheduled to host Saugus yesterday (Wednesday) and will travel to Marblehead next Wednesday. They will return home to entertain Saugus next Thursday at the Ingleside Park courts at 4:00.

Golfers finish

season at 4-2

The Winthrop High golf team wrapped up its shortened Fall II season with a victory over Malden last week. 

All of the Viking golfers in the Winthrop lineup, Evan Smotrich, Conlan Peterson, Joey Holgerson, Dan Liberti, Nico Babine, Zach Shea, Eli Wickham, and Jake Galuris, prevailed over their Malden counterparts.

The victory assured coach John Cross’s squad of a winning record at 4-2.

Senior Night for Girls Lax Next Thurs.

The Winthrop High girls lacrosse team will conduct traditional Senior Night festivities next Thursday evening when the Lady Vikings host Swampscott on the turf at Miller Field.

The seven members of the Class of 2021 — Maura Dorr, Jenna Dorr, Xhona Kokoneshi, Carolyn Kinsella, Caroline Earl, Gemma DiMento, and Kyia Rodriguez — will be recognized for their contributions to the WHS girls lacrosse program.

Coach Ben Cimmino’s crew came up on the short end of a 10-9 decision this past Monday to Beverly. 

Cimmino had words of praise for the fine play of his goalie, Gemma DiMento, through the first part of the season.

“Gemma has been playing outstandingly for us,” said Cimmino. “She has been averaging 17 saves per game.”

Prior to next Thursday’s encounter with Swampscott, Winthrop will host Gloucester today (Thursday) and will entertain Masconomet on Monday.

Close Matches for WHS Boys Tennis Team

Although the Winthrop High boys tennis team came up on the short end of its matches with Swampscott and Gloucester this past week, coach Marie Finn’s Vikings battled well in both contests.

In the match with Swampscott, traditionally one of the top teams in the Northeastern Conference, both of the Viking doubles teams, the first-doubles tandem of Augie Cherico and Ari Hain and the second-doubles duo of Ryan Kfoury and J.D. Parker, were leading their matches when rain brought an end to the play.

The Winthrop singles players, James Sicurella, Bob Diaz, and Declan Donovan, had dropped their matches to their Swampscott counterparts.

The Vikings’ next encounter with Gloucester played out in much the same fashion.

Cherico and Hain triumphed in straight sets at first doubles, 6-1, 6-2, as did Kfoury and Parker at second doubles, 6-4, 6-2.

Sicurella dropped a tight match at first singles, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4; Diaz fell at second singles, 6-2,  6-3; and Donovan came up short at third singles, 6-4, 6-2.

“We have an inexperienced team, but they work hard and are improving all the time,” said WHS head coach Marie Finn. “I think our singles players will give Gloucester a tough battle when we face them again in a few weeks.”

Finn and her crew are off until next Wednesday, when they will host Marblehead at Ingleside Park. They will trek to Salem next Thursday.

WHS Softball Team Splits Two Contests

The Winthrop High softball team split its two games this past week, dropping an 11-2 decision to Marblehead last Wednesday, but then bouncing back for an 18-6 triumph over Salem Charter School this past Saturday.

The contest with Marblehead was closer than the final score might indicate.

The teams were at level, 2-2, going into the fifth inning, but the Lady Magicians erupted for three runs in the fifth, two in the sixth, and then four in the seventh to put the game away. The Lady Vikings, who had only had six base runners in the game, were unable to match the Marblehead offensive firepower.

“Marblehead is a very strong team, so I was happy with our performance and being able to stay with them for a good chunk of the game,” said long-time WHS head coach Dave Guffey. “With no preseason and having played two teams whose pitchers have no experience, but then jumping into a game with a veteran Marblehead pitcher (who fanned 15 Lady Vikings) throwing in the low 60s, it was eye-opening for some of the girls who had their first experience going up against a strong NEC team.”

Rachel Farley swung a hot bat for Winthrop, going 2-for-3 with a single, a double, and a deep fly-out. Rachel scored a run on a passed ball.

Nelly Carter went 1-for-3 with an RBI triple in the fourth to tie the game. Nelly also had a bit of action at shortstop with two putouts and three assists.

Lily Tallent continues to play well in the field, recording two putouts and an assist. Sofia Vitale went the distance in the pitcher’s circle for Winthrop.

The Big Bat Award went to Carter and right fielder Syd Crotty was awarded the Big Glove.

Duffey was forced to juggle his lineup in Winthrop’s next contest against Salem Charter because of the absence of Carter, the team’s shortstop, who was representing Massachusetts at nationals in gymnastics in Florida. Katie Gagnon went to third base, Summer Tallent moved to short, and Adrianna Rizzotti caught her first varsity game. 

Winthrop scored early and often, grabbing a 2-0 advantage in the opening inning, doubling their lead to 5-1 after two frames, and then adding two more markers in the third, nine in the fourth, and a pair in the fifth for the 18-6 finale when the contest was called via the mercy rule.

The Lady Vikings played some small ball to great effect in the second and third innings, utilizing safety squeezes that produced runs and kept the Salem defense off-balance.

In the nine-run fourth, the Winthrop offense exploded. Key hits were delivered by Summer Tallent (a two-run double and an RBI single), Crotty (RBI single), Lily Tallent (RBI single), and Izzy Mahoney (three-run homer to dead center).

In the fifth, the key blow was a two-run triple by Vitale.

In addition to her homer, Mahoney also had two singles on the day to earn the Big Bat Award. Vitale and Crotty shared the Big Glove honors.

Vitale tossed four innings, fanning nine opponents and yielding two runs on three hits. Ava Martello finished up in the fifth.

Guffey and his crew were to set play Salem yesterday (Wednesday) and will travel to Peabody tomorrow (Friday) and to Masconomet next Wednesday.

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