WHS Baseball Team Wins Tourney Opener
The Winthrop High baseball team defeated Georgetown, 8-4, in the opening round of the Division 4 North Sectional of the MIAA state baseball tournament this past Monday.
The victory advanced the Vikings, who are seeded ninth in the 11-team D-4 North with a 5-12 record, to the quarterfinal round, where they took on top-seeded Snowden International School (11-2 record) yesterday (Wednesday).
If coach Mike DeFelice and his crew prevail in that encounter, they will meet the winner of the contest between #4 St. Joseph Prep and #5 Manchester/Essex tomorrow (Friday) afternoon at a location to be determined.
“It was an absolutely outstanding day,” said DeFelice of his team’s win at Georgetown, an opponent that often has been a fierce competitor for the Vikings in state tournament play through the years. “We have started to play much more consistent, much better baseball at the right time. The kids just prepared all week to have a good day, and they showed up with that level of energy and focus that just had the coaches saying, ‘We’re going to have a great day today.’ And boy did we ever.”
Viking senior ace Bobby Hubert turned in a complete game on the mound, throwing 101 pitches, to earn the victory.
Although the Vikings did not score in the opening inning, they gave an indication of things to come with a solid performance at the plate.
“We came out right away in the top of the first and had the first five guys in the line-up hit the ball in play,” said DeFelice. “We stranded two runners, but we had five quality at bats, hit the ball hard, got two hits, and you could already feel it starting to build.”
Hubert gave up a walk and two hits to load the bases in the bottom of the first, but pitched his way out of the jam without yielding a run.
“Bobby threw 34 pitches in the first inning alone, which is typically about half a game’s worth for him, so we immediately were concerned about his ability to go the distance (the maximum pitch count in high school is 115), and it was something we were watching very carefully throughout the game,” noted DeFelice.
After an uneventful second frame, the Vikings broke the nil-nil deadlock in the third.
Freshman third baseman Jack Andy continued his torrid stretch of hitting (Jack went 3-for-4 and currently is batting over .700 since he took over the job at third) by leading off with a hit. Joey Hayes (3-for-5) and David DiCicco (3-for-4) followed suit to load the bases.
Hubert (3-for-3, three RBI) then stepped up to the plate and helped his own cause, smashing a monster double deep into the right-center field gap that cleared the bases for a 3-0 Winthrop lead.
Cam Conway came up next and did the same thing, smashing the ball into the gap and scoring Hubert to make it 4-0.
Georgetown, which always is an exceptionally well-coached team, executed outstanding fundamental baseball over the next two innings with bunting, hit-and-runs, and stealing bases. By the end of the fourth, the teams were back to level at 4-4.
“At that point we were concerned about Hubert,” said DeFelice. “He was at 86 pitches after four innings. It was 96 degrees out and for the first time all year, he looked like he was running out of gas.
“We gathered before the top of the fifth and talked as we came off the field defensively,” DeFelice noted. “I asked the team to embrace their identity as a tough team made up of tough individuals and to just find a way. Cam Conway, as our vocal leader, told the boys that it was time to forget our team motto of ‘compete’ and shift the mentality to ‘win’. I knew right then and there it was going to go our way.”
Hubert led off the fifth with a single and Zach Bogusz did the same, moving Bobby H. to third. After Colin Kinsella sacrificed Hubert home, Cam Martin stepped into the box and changed the game with one swing of the bat that ultimately proved to decide the outcome.
“Cam has been frustrated with his production at the plate lately and has worked tirelessly to live up to a standard he has set for himself as a ballplayer,” said DeFelice. “He works and works and works at his craft, and it paid out huge dividends.”
Cam took an 0-1 curveball and swatted it 355 feet over the right-center field fence for a two-run homer.
“The home run ignited our team in a big way,” noted DeFelice.
Winthrop tacked on an added insurance tally in the sixth. Freshman Pete Silverman (2-for-4), led off with a single and DiCicco did the same, sending Silverman to second.
Peter then tagged up on a sac fly by Hubert to advance to third and scored on a well-hit ground ball by Conway.
“We now were ahead 8-4 and we were flying,” said DeFelice. “We took the field in the bottom of the seventh with only the lingering doubt of whether Hubert, who was at 98 pitches entering the frame, would be able to finish with only 17 pitches left in the bag.
“Well, Bobby, who has a habit of doing such things at just the right moment, no matter the sport, retired the three Georgetown batters he faced on just three pitches (two ground balls and a routine fly ball) to end the game.”
Hubert finished with four strikeouts and scattered five hits over seven innings, while walking only the two batters from the first inning
“Bobby was at his best all day when it mattered most, as evidenced by the final frame,” noted DeFelice.
“Snowden International is the #1 seed, but I like our approach, I like our attitude, and therefore I like our chances,” said DeFelice. “If we play our brand of baseball, I like our chances against anyone.”
Chris Cappuccio Places Third at D-2 State Meet; Advances to All-State Meet
Winthrop High ace track and field man Chris Cappuccio turned in a third-place performance in the 200 meter dash at the Division 2 North State Meet this past Sunday in Weston and now will advance to the All-State Meet this Saturday morning at Norwell High.
“Chris ran a great race,” said WHS head coach Mark D’Amico. “He ran a time of 23.54 in the fifth heat which gave him second in the heat and third overall. Chris had a good start, but really accelerated in the last 50 meters to pass everyone in the field in his heat except one runner from Dracut, who ran a 23.51.
“Chris has worked hard all season,” D’Amico continued. “He has dedicated himself to becoming a better athlete in running and jumping and it has shown. He was always up in front of all the other teammates when working out in practice, trying to push himself and his teammates to better themselves. His work ethic is unparalleled.
“Chris joins an elite group of Winthrop athletes who have made the all-state meet,” D’Amico added. “The last few to make it were Andrew McGrail in the discus in 2016 and 2017 and Marc Bouche in the triple jump in 2015.”
Cappuccio also competed in the high jump at the D-2 meet, for which athletes must qualify based on a predetermined standard, and tied for sixth place with a leap of 5’8”. He had qualified for the meet with a jump of 6’-1” during the season.
Altogether, Chris placed 7.5 points into the scorebook for the WHS track team at the meet.
WHS softball team wins tourney opener
The Winthrop High softball team, the 10th seed in the Division 3 North Sectional of the MIAA state softball tournament, knocked off seventh-seeded Lynnfield by a score of 14-1 on a scorching-hot afternoon this past Monday in an opening-round contest.
The Lady Vikings were scheduled to meet St. Mary’s of Lynn, the second-seed in the D-3 North with an 18-2 record, yesterday (Wednesday) in the quarterfinals. If coach Dave Guffey and his crew are successful, they will meet the winner of the Boston Latin Academy vs. Greater Lowell Tech contest in the semifinals today (Thursday) at a time and location to be determined.
Winthrop started out hot and never looked back in their victory over the Lady Pioneers. The Lady Vikings put up six runs in the top of the first inning and added five more in the second to all but put the game away.
Winthrop tacked on three more markers in the sixth to end the contest by a technical knockout (i.e., the mercy rule).
Speedster Izzy Mahoney led off the game with a base hit and Sofia Vitale beat out a bunt. After Summer Tallent beat out another bunt to load the bases, Rachel Farley reached on an error to score one run and a base hit by Syd Crotty made it 2-0.
Katie Gagnon then belted a grand slam to make it 6-0 and provide a measure of breathing room the rest of the way for the Lady Vikings.
Winthrop kept up the offensive pressure in the second inning. After Vitale reached on an error and advanced on a ground-out, Farley brought Sofia across the plate with a base hit. Crotty then came through with an RBI double and Gagnon reached on an error.
Katie’s courtesy runner, Gabby Golden, then stole second with a head-first dive into the bag, electrifying the crowd.
Gabby duplicated that feat with a theft of third on the next pitch and then scored on an error.
Lily Tallent completed the Winthrop rally with a two-run double for a commanding 11-1 lead.
Lynnfield settled down and Winthrop took the gas off the pedal a bit until the sixth. Golden came up with courtesy runner McKenzie Margardo (for catcher Gagnon) on base and belted an 0-1 pitch to the deepest part of centerfield that Gabby legged out for a home run for the 14-1 finale.
Winthrop played flawless defense on the day, with Izzy Mahoney getting the Gold Glove award.
Vitale pitched all six innings, allowing just five hits, striking out three, and walking none.
WHS Boys Track Shines at NEC Meet
The Winthrop High boys track and field team turned in a number of strong performances at the recent Northeastern Conference Meet in which all of the teams in the conference competed.
Christopher Cappuccio won two medals (which are awarded to the top eight performers in each event), taking third place in the 200 dash in a time of 23.09 and placing seventh in the long jump with a leap of 19’-0”.
WHS captain Dillon Riley finished in seventh place in the shot-put with his best throw of the season, 38’-10”. Dillon also placed eighth in the discus with a toss of 97’-10’.
Owen Riley grabbed a sixth-place medal in the discus with a throw of 100’-4”. The Viking 4 x 100 relay quartet of Zane Bower, Eric Azbegu, John Rice, and Ryan Cash placed fifth overall with a time of 57.0
Also performing well at the meet for coach Mark D’Amico’s squad were Luke Riley, who threw 91’-11” in the javelin, Luke’s best throw this season, and John Rice, who ran his best time of 2021 in the mile with a clocking of 5:58.
Nick Cappuccino finished just out of the medal ceremony with a ninth-place performance in the 100 dash with a time of 12.21 and a ninth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.98.
Ryan Cash ran the 110 high hurdles in a time of 20.92 and also ran the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:12.8, coming in 11th in both races.
Dan Guauque jumped 30’-0”in the triple jump, placing Dan 14th in that event. He also ran the 400 dash at the meet.
“The boys worked hard this season and we ended up with a 2-2 record,” said D’Amico.