SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

May 15, 2013

Around the Horn: Speed, aggression have Masconomet poised for a run

(Continued)

Overall, the Chieftains are 3-2 in one-run games and 4-3 in games decided by two runs or fewer. They’re hoping that experience carries over to the postseason.

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It seems like every other game is a marathon this spring. There have already been 17 extra inning games involving local teams, up from just 12 in the regular season last year plus three more in the state tournament.

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Danvers’ A.J. Couto will join the baseball team at Endicott next year, and the smooth-swinging outfielder should be a solid addition to the Commonwealth Coast Conference champion Gulls. Gloucester alum Conor Ressel is currently the only one-time Northeastern Conference player on the Gulls’ roster.

The Division 3 New England Regional that begins today has no shortage of local talent. Salem State alone has six ex-NEC players on the roster, plus two former Bishop Fenwick players, plus catcher Mike Lamothe of Beverly (via Pingree) and another handful from the Cape Ann League.

The Vikings’ regional opponent, Wheaton, has St. John’s Prep alum Justin Peluso and Salem’s Teaghan Malionek. St. Joseph’s of Maine is also in the regional with Peabody’s Joe Gruntkosky and SJP’s Alex Markakis as key contributors.Southern Maine is also competing and has Danvers’ Troy Thibodeau on its roster. Western New England, MIT and Daniel Webster are the other teams in the double-elimination tournament being held in Harwich through Sunday. The winner advances to the NCAA Division 3 national championship round.

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Checking up on championships: St. John’s Prep (15-1) has earned a share of the Catholic Conference title and would win it outright with either a B.C. High league loss or a win at Malden Catholic Monday.

Peabody has wrapped up a share of the Northeastern Conference Large title at 12-1 in league play.

Beverly is 9-4, so the Tanners would win it outright with a win in any of their remaining three league games or any Beverly loss. It’s the eighth consecutive championship for the Tanners under Mark Bettencourt (six NEC Large plus two Greater Boston League crowns).

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