Tuesday, June 12, 2018

MIAA Baseball: Preview and Picks for Today's Super Eight Elimination Games

By Matt Feld (@Mattyfeld612)

Four more Super Eight teams are trying to keep their seasons alive tonight when a pair of elimination games get underway at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton.

First, at 4pm, Walpole looks to win its second consecutive elimination game while St. John’s Prep looks to rebound from a quarterfinal loss to Franklin. Then in the night-cap, the top two seeds in No. 1 BC High and No. 2 Wachusett will battle it out for a right to advance to Wednesday afternoon.

Here are our previews and predictions for the two Super Eight elimination games set to get underway later todaty.

No. 8 Walpole (16-6) vs. No. 3 St. John’s Prep (16-6)
Probables: Cam Schlittler – Walpole, RHP (6-1, 0.75 ERA); Jake Sanderson – St. John’s Prep, RHP (5-3, 1.60 ERA)

Preview: Three days after a wild win over Mansfield to stay alive in the Super Eight, Walpole will look to become the first No. 8 seed to reach the final four in the tournament's history when they take on St. John’s Prep. The Rebels’ ace in Cam Schlittler is expected to start. After a terrific regular season that earned him the Bay State Herget’s MVP award, Schlittler opened the Super Eight with a quality first round performance versus BC High going six innings plus, allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out seven. Senior catcher Tyler Page has been terrific behind the plate. Dylan Hanifin, Bryan Kraus, Jack Magane, and Matt Falvey provide balance throughout the lineup.

Opposing Schlittler is expected to be Jake Sanderson. Sanderson also stepped up and turned in one of his finest performances of the season in game one throwing eight innings of two run ball versus Lexington. Mike Yarin has been the top Eagles’ bat so far in the tournament, going 4-for-5 in the Prep’s loss to Franklin with a two run shot. Matt Relihan has provided quality relief out of the bullpen. Josh Cerretani, Tyler MacGregor, and Alex Lane create a formidable 1-2-3 in the order.

Prediction: Both starters relatively cruise through the first five innings as Schlittler and Sanderson prove more than up to the task on full rest. In the final frames, the Rebels manufacture a pair of runs and receive a key extra base hit before holding off a St. John’s Prep rally to advance to the Super Eight final four.

5-4, Walpole

No. 2 Wachusett (21-3) vs. No. 1 BC High (16-6)
Probables: TBA – Wachusett; TBA – BC High 

Preview: For the first time in the tournament’s five-year history the top two seeds will meet in an elimination game prior to the championship. Wachusett looked to be on the verge of seeing its Super Eight run end rather quickly, but stormed back for four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to remain alive. Mike Maher and Francis Ferguson set the tone atop the lineup with Cole Durkan, Barry Walsh and Eddy Beauregard following. Jake Gigliotti, Johnny Flynn, and Beauregard may all appear on the mound.

BC High saw a chance to advance to the Super Eight semifinals slip through its fingers as they allowed six straight unanswered runs en route to a 7-5 loss to Central Catholic. Matt Sullivan, Mike Vasil, Sean O’Connell and Luke Murphy have been the most consistent hitters in the lineup as of late. On the mound, Mike Vasil, O’Connell, and Tim Albert are all expected to appear in some capacity.

Prediction: In a high scoring game, BC High finds enough offensive production in the middle innings to pull away to become of the final four teams for the second straight year.

10-6, BC High

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