Saturday, May 31, 2014

Baseball Maintains Winner's Bracket Home-Field Advantage

The old expression, "the more things change, the more they stay the same", would seem to apply to the baseball team's current playoff status. 

There's no disputing that our guys rolled through their regular season schedule - rolled. Their 17-1 record, which included a dominant streak during which they were 'mercy-ruling' nearly each opponent they faced, was mostly fashioned on offensive firepower that routinely hung crooked numbers on the scoreboard throughout the game. Couple this with their being the two-time defending state champions, and in the larger context of the quasi-dynasty that the baseball program has built since the mid-1990's, and it's fairly easy to understand that on the diamond, our guys can be an intimidating presence. 

To this point in the playoffs, the winning hasn't changed. What seems to have changed - at least to a certain extent - is the manner by which they're winning. Obviously, once any team in any sport at any level reaches the postseason, the competition is tougher and only becomes more so as a team advances. To expect our guys to simply and routinely bludgeon teams to death with relative ease, then, might be unrealistic. Given the fact that the first two playoff games have been, all things considered, relative nail-biters - especially the first one against Middletown, a game that the Hawks easily could have lost - most Hawks' fans are no doubt waiting for the offensive sleeping giant to awaken and to provide at least a bit more breathing room in the tournament games to come. 

All that said, any baseball team with legitimate designs on a championship must be able to win in different ways, most notably with the bat and on the mound. Fortunately for the Hawks, their pitchers have come up large in games when their team needed precision on the hill while waiting for the sluggers in the cavalry. Yesterday, a one-hit shutout over Lincoln - a team that came into Pepin Field having won nine consecutive games - was just what the doctor ordered. 





 The entire game was broadcast right here on The Network, with Stone Freeman, Cam Brennan, Zach Johnson, and Dylan "DT" Barron doing a top-shelf job of play-by-play and analysis. Fans can still watch the entire contest right here.


Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream



As a matter of fact, Network cameras provided a behind-the-scenes look into our in-game operations while DT Barron was behind the mic:

               

Offensively, there once again wasn't anything that jumped off the page, though Ryan Rotondo collected two hits (including a first-inning triple that led to an early run), as did Gian Martellini, one of which can be seen here:


The Hawks now await their next opponent, a team that will emerge from the losers' bracket. That game will be played at 4pm Wednesday at Pepin Field. 

And The Network will be there with all the coverage.






Friday, May 30, 2014

Outdoor Track & Field Sweeps the States



Another Network first will be crossed off the proverbial 'to-do' list tomorrow, as we'll be covering live a largely all-day event - The Hendricken Invitational, from Dennis Hayden Stadium. Throughout the course of the day's coverage we'll alternate between in-the-booth commentary (we'll be stationed under the pavilion, in case anyone wants to stop by)and the most important events of the day: relays, throwing, jumping, vaulting...you name it, and we're gonna do our best to cover it. We'll be learning as we go, of course, so if there appear to be some hiccups in the way that we go about things, please just be patient. 

The Hawks' outdoor track program goes into its own invitational having taken the crown in both the Class A and Freshman state championships during the course of the past week. Last Saturday, our guys' assault on the Class A crown was led by the athletes who've always gotten them there: Lee Moses (1st in the 100-meter dash, 2nd in the 4x100, 5th in the 200), Colin Tierney (1st place in the 3000-meter run), Alex Cerbo (1st in the shot put and 6th in the hammer throw), Shane Olson (1st place in the javelin), Ben Murphy (2nd in the high jump), and the 4x400 relay team of Mazzulla/MacLeod/Swift/Kanga (2nd place with a time of 3:28.60). The Hawks accumulated 109.5 points on the day, easily outdistancing the second-place finisher, LaSalle Academy. 

The final standings and important results:









On Tuesday, the freshman Hawks took the other track crown and were led by the performances of Justin Mazzulla, Robert Merlino, Kwity Paye, Cam Leahy, and Max Waite. The relay teams were also on top of their game, as the 4x400 placed first in its race, while the 4x100 and 4x800 squads pulled in second. 

A couple of highlights from the freshman state meet can be seen right here - 

Robert Merlino, who finished 1st in the 300-meter hurdles and 2nd in the 110 hurdles, getting off the mark:



Dario Smith, leading off for the 4x800 relay team:


Important final results from the freshman states can be seen here -


So, don't forget - The Hendricken Invitational, live from Hayden Stadium, right here on The Network.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Baseball Survives Opening-Round Scare, Beats Middletown, 3-2



As is the case with many, many of the truly great teams in any sport, there's usually one game along the playoff path - some people might refer to it as a 'trap' game, others as a 'survival' game - that tests the merit of a group's otherwise season-long success. 

Yesterday afternoon, our baseball team got first-hand experience in that dreaded quasi-truism. 

The Hawks, cruising into the state playoffs as the top seed (17-1) and with home-field advantage all the way through to McCarthy Field as long as they continue to win, welcomed the Middletown Islanders - a team that most likely no one in the state would have tabbed as a threat to our guys and their two-time state title - to Pepin Field for first-round playoff action. What transpired over the course of two-plus hours was, at times, frustrating, bewildering, maddening, and some weird combination of all three. Toss in the fact that the game time temperature was about 50 degrees (in nearly June!), raw, overcast, and with a wind chill that made it feel closer to the low-to-mid-40's, and the entire scene was, indeed, somewhat surreal. 

Let's also not forget this one important point: The Islanders came to play, and play they did, Hendricken or no Hendricken. Playing largely solid and mistake-free baseball, they nearly pulled off what probably would have been the upset of the season. They deserve a lot of credit. In the end, the Hawks' three-peat hopes hinged on a poor throw off a Dante Baldelli bunt that resulted in the Hawks' narrow, nearly desperate escape. 

As far as The Network's coverage goes, we didn't have our cameras available, so Cam Brennan, Bobby Bordieri, and Dylan "DT" Barron did a live audio stream of the game - and did a first-rate job. It was kinda like the old days of listening to the ballgame on the AM radio. It was rather cool. 

One of the factors in the game was undoubtedly the weather. In conditions such as the players experienced yesterday, the advantage almost always goes to the pitcher, and yesterday's lack of offense on both sides would seem to have borne that out. Of the few mildly exciting plays, two can be seen here:





One of the bigger turning points in the game came in the sixth inning, when the Hawks managed to take a 2-1 lead. The play that most directly led to what seemed at the time to be the all-important run came on a misplayed, routine flyball to left-center field. That play can be seen right here:


The Islanders managed to tie the game in the top of the seventh on a perfectly-executed suicide squeeze, but the Hawks were able to walk off with the win in the bottom of the final frame on the aforementioned Baldelli bunt play.

Offensively, in a game such as this one, there wasn't a whole lot to mention, which has typically not been the case for a Hawks' team that has been largely putting up gaudy numbers all season.  Our guys only managed four singles yesterday, but on the mound Mike McCaffrey was his usual steady self - three hits and two runs allowed over six solid innings of work.

The Hawks will be matched up next against the Lincoln Lions, tomorrow afternoon at 4pm at Pepin Field.  The Network will carry the game live, beginning at approximately 3:50 pm.





Friday, May 23, 2014

Faculty's Dominance in Annual Basketball Showdown Continues, Trounces Seniors, 72-48 (200th Network Post!!)


While Mr. Brennan may have tried to smooth over our seniors' still-salted wounds during announcements this morning by suggesting that they may have - um - "loosened the lid" for the faculty yesterday afternoon and allowed their teachers to "feel good about themselves", what he was probably doing was helping to ensure that it was their own self-esteem that was, in fact, still intact. 

What may have inadvertently made the whole embarrassing scenario a whole lot worse is that The Network was there for the very first time with live, sideline-to-sideline coverage - our own 'utilityman', Max Zweiner, was all over the gym bringing coverage to the people - that wasn't merely broadcast to the Hendricken community....



....it was sent out live to the whole freakin' planet. 

Fans can still watch the entire contest (if it can actually be referred to as such) in the bottom Ustream viewer at the top of the site. 

After the seniors took an early 2-0 lead, it was all downhill from there. The seniors' seeming youthful overconfidence, complete and utter lack of execution, awful shot selection (The Network's own Zach Johnson tossed up some bricks that lent new meaning to the word 'crash'), inability to hit layups, and what appeared to be their collective decision to quit shortly after the second half had begun all added up to new depths in their class's performance, in what is now a very long line of dismal performances. 

It's not surprising; it's really just sad. 

Mr. Monahan chimed in following the game, pointing to the "rough" nature of the seniors' play in what is supposed to be a goodwill game - indeed, Coach Pantaleo chipped a tooth - something that required the second of the two Bash Brothers, Coach Haddeland, to execute a discreet takedown of varsity sharpshooter Chris O'Brien. It was, in fact, Coach Monahan that most directly contributed to the massacre, as he managed to hit on 39 of 41 shots from the field (including 27 from beyond the NBA arc) for an actual total of 105 points - however, once again, in the name of the whole self-esteem movement, the final tallies were scaled. 

The one 'feel-good' moment for the seniors came here:




Kinda like performing karate on whipped cream.

Throughout the course of the game, The Network's own Max Zweiner caught up with some of the participants to get some insights. Zach Johnson, who was doing double duty as both an alleged player and as a Network correspondent, did his best to make excuses:




Mr. Lourenco felt that "both teams played hard":




Mr. Monahan took things way too seriously:




Mr. Curtis was painfully honest:




And, of course, Coach Gomes had nothing but nice things to say about everyone, which continues to be a fault on which he's working:




So, once again, it appears that a current graduating class will have to depend on those who follow in their footsteps to break the death-grip of dominance that the faculty - which now appears to be living rent-free in the heads of all Hendricken athletes - has on this game. There's no doubt that one day that they, too, hope to see the trophy on a much more up-close-and-personal sense than merely pictures such as this one -


Good luck with that.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Toyota’s Partnership with Amy Purdy's Adaptive Action Sports



PARALYMPIC SNOWBOARDER AMY PURDY’S ADAPTIVE ACTION SPORTS RECEIVES THE ULTIMATE ‘LIFT’ FROM TOYOTA

THE PARTNERSHIP ALLOWS FOR EXPANSION OF AAS PROGRAMS THAT SUPPORT
WOUNDED VETERANS

Amy Purdy - Paralympic Games Sochi Russia 2014
TORRANCE, Calif. (May 22, 2014) – Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy’s Adaptive Action Sports (AAS) will get a jump-start from Toyota, beginning today.  Toyota and AAS are expanding their partnership, which will allow AAS to host 10 competitive para-snowboard events for wounded veterans by the end of 2015.

“At Toyota, we believe in the spirit of adventure, innovation and going places, and enjoy collaborating with partners that feel the same way,” said Keith Dahl, corporate manager of engagement marketing. “Adaptive Action Sports embodies a similar spirit and serves as a great example of an organization that is helping others go places they haven’t been before.”

AAS, based in Copper Mountain, Colorado, and co-founded by U.S. Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy, allows disabled children, young adults and wounded veterans to compete in action sports. Its core principle is that action sports encourage individuality and creativity in participants, while building independence and self-confidence.

Purdy has been a member of Team Toyota, comprising 19 athletes, since 2012, and is herself a double-amputee who began to snowboard seven months after receiving prosthetics at the age of 19. She recently received much acclaim for winning a bronze medal at the 2014 Paralympic Games and for her second place finish on the hit television show Dancing With the Stars, capturing the heart of millions of Americans along the way.

“My impetus for starting AAS was to give others the chance to see the path I followed to get here: from my hospital bed, to the Paralympics medal podium, toDancing With the Stars,” said Purdy. “If someone who has been born with a congenital abnormality, lost a leg, or suffered a brain injury succeeds at snowboarding or skateboarding, they will believe that they have the ability to conquer other challenges and truly be ready live beyond their limits. We appreciate Toyota’s enthusiastic support in helping even more people go beyond their limits, to really go places.”

To date, Toyota has provided AAS with a mobility Sienna minivan that the non-profit organization used to transfer athletes to and from its training facility in Colorado. The expanded partnership will allow the organization to continue this effort, while also growing its services to veterans.

Lax Leaves Little Doubt Against NK on Senior Night, Secures #3 Seed for State Playoffs


Although the final score was, in fact, quite indicative of the the Hawks' dominance against North Kingstown this past Tuesday night, it actually could have been much, much worse. The seventeen goals that our guys netted in their 17-7 win over the Skippers probably could have easily been twenty-five, should they have decided to really press the issue. 

The Hawks' resurgence since their 2-4 early-season start culminated with their regular season-ending win on Senior Night at Dennis Hayden Stadium. The win was important on several counts: first, the seniors obviously wanted to go out strong in their final chance to play on the Hayden turf; second, Coach Murray certainly wanted the development of and momentum for his team to continue with the state playoffs now upon us; and, third and most importantly, a fourth consecutive win would allow the Hawks to secure the #3 seed for the states and the opportunity to play the #6 seed, Portsmouth, in the first round rather than a higher-seeded opponent. 

Check, check, and check. 

The game was broadcast live, right here on The Network, with Cam Brennan and Max Zweiner doing a stellar job of play-by-play and analysis. We did, however, interrupt part of the broadcast to go check in on the volleyball team, which was taking on Cranston East in their Senior Night game as well. The latter part of the lacrosse broadcast can be seen in the first Ustream viewer at the top of the site, and the entire first half can be seen here:

            
Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream


A glimpse of the Senior Night ceremonies can also be seen here:



As a result of the important win, the lacrosse team now advances the first round of the state playoffs tonight against Portsmouth - which, as noted above, is the somewhat more favorable matchup - at Hayden Stadium at 6pm. The tentative plan is for The Network to have the game live, but we haven't been able to carve anything in stone just yet. There also is some question about weather conditions for this evening, so stay tuned. 

On the volleyball front, it's been a season largely of growing pains for Coach Harrington's bunch, but there's no doubt that with a host of returning talented juniors, better days are clearly ahead. Going into Tuesday night's game, there was still an outside chance at a playoff berth, but with the 3 sets-to-2 loss, the Hawks have been officially been eliminated from the hunt. 

Some highlights from the Senior Night contest can be seen here:











The baseball team also finished its season on a strong note with an 11-2 thrashing of Woonsocket at Pepin Field.  The Hawks finish the regular slate at 17-1 and move into the state tournament as the #1 seed in their region.



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hawks Cruise in Win over Panthers, go to 16-1



As anchor Stone Freeman mentioned at the outset of last night's broadcast, it was a beautiful night for Monday Night Baseball. 

Monday Night Baseball....just mentioning the words conjures up the images of the good ol' days on ABC, when summer nights and the weekly baseball game meant something. What was better than listening to the call and analysis of guys like Keith Jackson and Howard Cosell? Well, perhaps with the stalwart announcers we have here at The Network, we're getting a glimpse of the future. Maybe it'll be guys like Stone and Cam who become the voices of the next generation of young baseball/sports fans.



It was, indeed, a beautiful night for baseball....warm temperatures, blue sky, the latter part of the game under the lights, good-sized crowd...it was a great setting. As for the game, our guys continued their assault on a third consecutive state title by taking care of business against Johnston, 12-3, and moving to 16-1 on the season. The Hawks have secured the #1 seed for their region in the quickly-approaching state playoffs. 

Senior Anthony Graziano took the hill for the Hawks last night and did a workman-like job, tossing two-plus good innings, yielding only a run and striking out four before having to take himself out of the game with a hip problem. This, in fact, warrants fans' paying somewhat closer attention to the Hawks' pitching staff, though it's certainly not 'red alert' time yet: sophomore Matt Kennedy has been on the shelf recently, Anthony "AC" Cofone has been out since he was hit by a line drive, and now Graz may have a minor hip issue. 

Stay tuned on that front. 

On the heels of Graziano's abbreviated stint, Brandon Kenyon made his first mound appearance in a long time for the Hawks, having suffered a serious leg injury last year that kept him out the entire baseball season and then suffering a further setback at the beginning of this season that shelved him for another extended period. Brandon struggled a bit, but coach Holloway no doubt hopes to give him some innings down the stretch so that he may be in a position to help the team during the playoffs.

Junior Kyle Barbato followed Kenyon to the hill and was very, very good in relief. He tossed two innings, didn't alow a hit or a run and struck out three. Ryan Rotondo pitched the final inning and closed the game out. 

On the offensive front, the first four Hawks in the batting order were a combined 11 for 20 and dished out the lion's share of the damage, led by sophomore John Willette's second home run of the season, a long drive that cleared the left field fence with ease -


- and Gian Martellini's four hits and six RBI. 

All relevant stats are provided below. 

The Hawks finish out their regular-season league schedule tomorrow afternoon at home, when they take on Woonsocket at 4pm, a game that we'll have here live on The Network.



Monday, May 19, 2014

Hawks with Big Win over Barrington in Valdepenas Game, 11-9

Tell ya what - I think a good word to describe the activity outside on the athletic grounds at Bishop Hendricken Sunday afternoon is festive.


The weather was picture perfect - 70 degrees, sunny, a slight breeze, and dry. There were people all over the place. On the baseball field, the Hawks were doing battle with Cranston West (a game they won, 8-0); on the field at Hayden Stadium, our guys were preparing for one of the biggest -  if not the biggest - games of their season. One of the top teams in the state, the Barrington Eagles, was in town at a time when the young Hawks are truly beginning to gel. This would, indeed, be a chance for the Hawks and for Coach Murray to measure their progress, especially since the last time they faced the Eagles here at Hendricken, the result was a 16-4 beating by the Eagles that no doubt left a lasting impression on the entire Hendricken team.

Yesterday was also the annual game when we as a community commemorate the memory of Eric Valdepenas, a 2003 Hawk graduate who selflessly put his engineering aspirations on hold and served his country by deploying  to Iraq with his fellow Marines. Tragically, he lost his life in 2006 while on routine maneuvers with his unit. Eric was also one of the great Hawks' lacrosse players, so each year the lacrosse program and the school honor his sacrifice.


Eric must have been with his Hawks' teammates yesterday and undoubtedly smiled as he watched our guys post their biggest win of the year, an 11-9 win over the Eagles, a win that ups their record to 5-4 and continues their momentum as the playoffs approach. 

Of course, The Network was there with beginning-to-end coverage, Cam Brennan providing first-rate play-by-play and Max Zweiner doing the same with analysis.  Fans can still watch the entire game in the first Ustream viewer at the top of the page.



The most important takeaways from yesterday's contest are first and most obviously, the Hawks did, for the most part, dominate the game from start to finish. They now no doubt feel that they can stand toe-to-toe with the Eagles over the course of an entire 48-minute game.


Secondly, the most important time in the game came about halfway through the second quarter, when the Hawks were sporting a 5-1 lead. Barrington managed to score two goals within about 30 seconds, and suddenly it appeared that the Eagles had found themselves and were about to force their will on the Hawks and the game. Our guys responded with two goals of their own, however, taking a 7-3 lead and sending a clear message to other birds that they were, in fact, beginning to gel as a unit and were now for real. 

With one league game remaining - a game that will be broadcast live tomorrow night right here on The Network - we're about to find out just how ready for prime time this edition of the lacrosse Hawks truly is. 

We'll have Hawks baseball tonight at 6pm, live from Memorial Park in Johnston, where the 15-1 Hawks will take on the Panthers. 

                                                  LACROSSE BOX



                                                     BASEBALL BOX

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Sports Banquet Comes to the people LIVE; Big Week on The Network



The Espys? Oscars? Golden Globes? 

Please. 

How about The Hawksies? 

No. Wait...The Hendis....that might work. 

Nah...let's just stick to the Sports Banquet.

Last night represented yet another Network first, as many of the major sports personalities that have brought you non-stop coverage of Hendricken sports for well over a year now made their way, for the first time, to West Valley Inn for the annual Hendricken Sports Awards Banquet. Network stalwarts Stone Freeman, Cam Brennan, Zach Johnson, Max Zweiner - and, of course, the irrepressible Dylan "DT" Barron - were on hand to provide a program that ran the gamut from first-rate interviews of many of the award recipients as well as school president Mr. Jackson, to a year-in-review look back at the various accomplishments of our sports teams, to Zach Johnson's edgy take on who was wearing what to the Hendis, making sure to note those in the most fashionable attire.


The venerable Coach Quigley did his annual masterful job of MC'ing the night's festivities, as always lending the appropriate air of dignity and respect to all that our young men have accomplished throughout the course of the school year.



A unique feature that we brought to those who chose to watch at home was to present a split screen format for the entire night - in the top Ustream box, viewers were able to watch The Network's anchors on 'press row', so to speak, while they discussed all things Hendricken sports and interviewed our athletes;





in the bottom Ustream box, viewers were able to watch the entire ceremony as it progressed throughout the evening. 

The first half of the 'press row' part of the broadcast can be seen here, while the second half can be seen in the top Ustream viewer. The entire presentation of the evening's general events can still be seen, from beginning to end, in the bottom Ustream viewer.

            
Video streaming by Ustream


All in all, it was a great, great evening and a terrific new 'first' for The Network. Look for even better annual broadcasts of the sports awards banquet in years to come.


 BIG UPCOMING WEEK ON THE NETWORK 

This week also represents a lot of activity in Hawks' sports right here on The Network. On Sunday, May 18th, the "Valdepenas" lacrosse game will be played at 2pm against the Barrington Eagles, one of the top teams in the state. This is the annual contest when we as a community honor the memory of fallen marine Eric Valdepenas, an '03 Hendricken graduate who tragically lost his life defending our country while on maneuvers in Iraq. Eric was everything that a Hendricken man and leader should be, to say nothing of his skill with the lacrosse stick.


We'll go live from Hayden Stadium at about 1:50 tomorrow afternoon. 

On Monday, the Hawks' baseball team will be playing at least part of their game under the lights, as they venture up to Johnston to take on the Panthers at Memorial Park at 6pm. The Network will carry that game live. 

Tuesday will represent another split-screen affair from our broadcast teams, as at 6pm the team of Max Zweiner and Zach Johnson - I guess we can refer to them as the "Z-squared" team - will bring to Hendricken sports fans the lacrosse game from Hayden Stadium (Hawks Sports Network 1, in the top viewer), and then at 6:30 Cam Brennan and Stone Freeman will bring Hawks' volleyball to the people, live, from Pepin Gym (Hawks Sports Network 2, bottom viewer). Both games will be broadcast simultaneously, live. 

We'll also have the baseball team's game versus Cranston West on Wednesday, live, beginning at about 3:50 pm. 

It's gonna be a busy week in the Hendricken sports media world.  Be sure to tune in.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Young Hawks' Tracksters Impressive at the Cumberland 9 &10 Invitational


The new outdooor facility up in Cumberland, Tucker Field, was the site this past Saturday for the Cumberland Track & Field Invitational for freshman and sophomores, and coaches Brennan and Lourenco had to be pleased with the performances of their younger athletes, most of whom will no doubt be doing the 'heavy lifting' for our extraordinarily successful track program during the next two years. 

Our guys placed in the top ten or thereabouts in most of the day's events. Some of the highlights can be seen here - 

Freshman Kurt Rousseau placed second in the 400 meter dash with a time of 54.4....



....sophomore Craig Conway took fourth place in the 100 meter dash by posting an 11.9....



....freshman Ray Percy took first place in the high jump by going for 5'8"....



....and freshman Robert Merlino took 4th place in the high jump,as he went for 5'6".



The rest of the Invitational results can be seen here:
























Saturday, May 10, 2014

LaCrosse Buries Portsmouth, 16-4


Up in the press box prior to last night's lacrosse matchup with the Portsmouth Patriots, head coach Kevin Murray said that his team really needed a win.  Coming into the game, the Hawks held a 2-4 mark, but he felt - and rightly so - that with such a young and developing team (but talented), they needed a good win to start building confidence.

Last night, they got just what the coach ordered.

Cam Brennan and Max Zweiner handled play-by-play and analysis duties for the The Network's live broadcast of the game, a game in which Connor Garrahy's four goals and Andrew Grady's five assists led our guys in their 16-4 dismantling of the Patriots.  From the outset and seemingly throughout the entire game, the Hawks had the ball in the Patriots' zone, forcing the Pats to work harder and harder on defense and to have precious few opportunities to get any type of a transition game going.  Scenes like this were typical of the evening following the onslaught of Hawks' goals:



Virtually the entire contest can still be seen right here, with that last minute-and-a-half or so available in the top Ustream viewer:

            
Video streaming by Ustream


The Hawks go to 3-4 on the season, and with three league games yet to play, they still have a very good chance to use last night's dominant performance as a launching point and to build some confidence heading into the playoffs.



ELSEWHERE IN HAWKS' SPORTS YESTERDAY - 

Another of our young and developing teams, Coach Crawford's tennis team, shut out Ponagansett, 7-0....


....and the baseball team continued its winning ways to go to 11-1 on the season by knocking off Woonsocket, 5-3, at Renaud Field.






Friday, May 9, 2014

AC & Johnny W Power Baseball Past the Cougars, 10-0


Is it a good bet that the power outage against LaSalle was a minor blip on the radar screen?

Probably.





The bats re-awakened against North Providence yesterday afternoon, as our guys returned to their habit of invoking the "mercy" rule on their opponents, downing the Cougars 10-0 in six innings. While the offense as a whole seemed back on track up and down the lineup, the three most noteworthy performances were delivered by junior pitcher Anthony "AC" Cofone, junior transfer Andrew Ciacciarelli, and sophomore shortstop John Willette. 

Of course, The Network was there with full and live coverage, with Cam Brennan and Stone Freeman handling the play-by-play and analysis duties, and Max Zweiner doing triple duty on social media, camera, and instagram highlights. 

Who doesn't love Zweiner? 

The wif-fi situation - while not intolerable - did provide us with a bit of difficulty, as the connection apparently cut out several times during the course of the broadcast, unbeknownst to us in the booth. Consequently, in addition to the final inning being available in the first Ustream viewer at the top of site, the remainder of the game can be seen here, albeit in several pieces:

            
Video streaming by Ustream


            
Video streaming by Ustream


            
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Last season, when the junior varsity found themselves in tough games and tough situations, AC was the man who time and again answered the call. In addition to an all-round unbelievable season on the mound and in the field, he shut down LaSalle - essentially the team that constitutes this year's Rams' varsity - three times, including in the state championship game. As it turned out, however, the junior Hawks lost a tough one there in extra frames to their archrivals.   One would think that a team as talented as LaSalle was last season would be able to figure out a pitcher after facing him twice. That they didn't is not a criticism of them; it's the quality and toughness of AC's performances that made the difference. This year, however, with a staff that includes the likes of Mike McCaffrey, Matt Kennedy, and Anthony Graziano, AC hasn't had a real chance to ramp it up. 

Yesterday, he did. 

His first inning was a bit uneven, as he surrendered two hits but struck out the side. One of the most dominant characteristics of his pitching, however, is that he gets stronger as he pitches throughout a game; he becomes even tougher. True to form, AC looked better and better as the game progressed. His line for the game was impressive for a first varsity start: five innings, three hits (none after the second inning), zero walks, and five strikeouts. 

Not bad. Not bad at all. 

After having to sit out the required number of games consequent to his transfer from Cranston West, Andrew Ciacciarelli showed that his bat may have been worth the wait, as he returned to action with a three-for-three performance, which included a double. Adding Ciacc to the mix at first base and on the mound only makes the Hawks even stronger. 

And, finally, sophomore John Willette rounded things out by belting a deep home run to left-center field, a shot that - given that it's 385 feet to dead-center at North Providence, and his shot was still pretty high when it left the yard - had to have traveled at least that far, if not slightly further. His home run can be seen here:



Willette also had three hits on the day, and bear in mind that he hits out of the ninth spot in the order. John Toppa, Dante Baldelli, and Brady Chant also contributed multiple hits to the Hawks' attack.

All stats can be seen below.

The Hawks travel to Woonsocket this afternoon to take on the Villa Novans at Renaud Field at 4pm....assuming the rain holds off, of course. The Network will remain behind, as we'll have live coverage of Hawks' lacrosse from Hayden Stadium. Game time there is 6pm.