Thursday, June 7, 2018

MIAA Baseball: Top Performances From the Opening Round of the Super Eight

Cam Schlittler threw six innings of three-run ball to keep eighth-seeded Walpole in the game.
By Matt Feld (@Mattyfeld612)

The first round of the Division 1A Super Eight brought with it plenty of big-time performances and surprises.

Mike Vasil outlasted Walpole ace Cam Schlittler as No. 1 BC High topped No. 8 Walpole, 4-0. Third-seeded St. John’s Prep received eight strong innings from Jake Sanderson and a pair of RBI hits from Sean Lang en route to a 7-3 win over No. 6 Lexington. 

Central Catholic took advantage of a couple of Mansfield mistakes and got six innings from Nate Carpenter in an 8-3 win to set up a quarterfinal bout with BC High. In the only upset of the day, No. 7 Franklin a run in the top of the eighth and three in the ninth to break a 4-4 tie and knockoff No. 2 Wachusett, 8-5.

Here are our top performances from the first round of the Super Eight.

Jake Noviello, Sr., RHP, Franklin

Going up against one of the top offenses,in the state, Noviello mixed in a quality curveball and changeup to go with his four-seam fastball to shut down a premiere Wachusett lineup through the first six innings. Over those six innings Noviello allowed just three hits and struck out six.

In the seventh, the Mountaineers got to Noviello, but the right-hander still finished with a respectable line going 6.1 innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits while striking out six to help lead Franklin to an 8-5 opening round win.

Sean Lang, Jr., C, St. John’s Prep

Mired in a close battle with Lexington, Lang came through with the key hits that allowed St. John’s Prep to pull away. In the bottom of the fourth, Lang lined a single to right that pushed the Eagles in front, 3-2.

Two innings later in the bottom of the sixth, Lang grounded an RBI single through the right side that increased St. John’s Prep’s lead to 4-2. Behind the dish Lang was the battery mate for Eagles' starter Jake Sanderson who fired eight innings of two run ball in which he struck out six.

Mike Vasil, Sr., RHP, BC High

Vasil battled through a pesky Walpole lineup throwing seven shutout innings while striking out nine, scattering six hits, and walking no one. The right-hander, making his longest outing since returning from injury, stranded a pair of runners in the third and fifth and jump-started a 1-6-3 double play in the second.

Offensively, Vasil went 3-for-3 with an RBI double and a walk to lead a BC High offense that generated nine hits.

Aidan Abernathy, Sr., RHP, Central Catholic

Clinging to a 6-3 lead over Masnfield after five innings, Central Catholic turned to Abernathy out of the bullpen and he delivered. Abernathy put up four consecutive zeroes allowing just two hits to keep the Hornets bats quiet.

Cam Schlittler, Jr., RHP, Walpole

Facing one of the tougher lineups in the tourmanet in BC High, Schlittler kept his team in the game all afternoon long. Schlittler battled through six plus innings of work, allowing three earned runs on seven hits. The Bay State League Herget Division's MVP fanned seven Eagle hitters while throwing 111 pitches.

Incorporating his curveball and cutter to go with his tantalizing high fastball as the game progressed, Schlittler stranded four runners at third base to keep the Rebels within striking distance.

Cole Durkan, Sr., C, Wachusett

Durkan picked up where he left off in the regular season going three-for-five with a double to spearhead a nine-hit performance by the Mountaineers’ offense.

Cooper Ross, Jr., 3B, Franklin

The Panthers third baseman was un-phased by the elevated stage. The fulcrum of a 15-hit showing by the Franklin offense, Ross went 3-for-3 with two RBIs, a run scored and walk in Franklin’s 8-5 win over Wachusett. 

Jake Sanderson, Sr., RHP, St. John’s Prep

While St. John’s Prep is known for its pitch-by-committee approach come the Super Eight, Eagles’ coach Dan Letarte elected to let Sanderson go as long as necessary. Sanderson responded with eight innings of two run baseball, allowing just five hits and striking out six. 

After giving up a pair of runs in the fourth, Sanderson put up four consecutive zeroes to close his outing in which he surrendered just a lone base hit. 

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