LOWELL — Coming off a one-game suspension for disciplinary reasons, Raymond Tejada wanted nothing more than to make it up to his teammates in the Division 4 North baseball final at LaLacheur Stadium on Sunday morning.
Perhaps he wanted to make it up too much in what was ultimately a 12-3 loss to Lowell Catholic.
Trailing 2-1 in the third inning, West Roxbury’s defense fell apart as senior Chris Underwood and junior Nick Cervizzi scored on an a West Roxbury throwing error to first base. On the next at bat, senior Alex Larnard came in on a passed ball.
The string of follies started with Tejada bobbling a hard hit ball to centerfield by Craig Maxfield.
The Raiders bobbled another ball on the next play before giving up the three unearned runs in the inning to fall down 5-1.
“I overran it by a half of step and it hit the heal of my glove,” Tejada said on his way out of the stadium the Lowell Spinners call home. “That really got me off my game; I was really emotional after that. I’m a really emotional player. I don’t know, I just kept trying; I just tried to forget it and go to the next play.”
In the semifinals on Thursday, West Roxbury beat No. 1-seed Boston International despite Tejada and starting pitcher Sean Haugh being suspended for disciplinary reasons. But while Tejada only received a one game suspension, Haugh was not permitted to return for Sunday's final.
“It’s tough, you know. I got suspended, I got in trouble in school and I really, it really didn’t hurt my team as much, so that’s good, but coming in here I felt I could have done better,” Tejada said. “My whole team, I felt that we did pretty good but we just made errors. I don’t know, it’s kind of painful but hey.”
After making six errors in a semifinal victory against Georgetown on Thursday, Lowell Catholic buttoned up its defense on Sunday to win its first Division 4 North title.
“It was nice to tighten up the defense,” Lowell Catholic coach Matt Stone said after the 12-3 victory against West Roxbury. “A couple of the errors were questionable, they were base hits in the book but we still made three or four solid errors last time so we went to practice, we went to work, took ground balls, back to the fundamentals of things, and tightened up today and made two. Next game it will be one.”
On Sunday, No. 2 Lowell Catholic committed two errors behind winning pitcher Joe Levasseur, who struck out four batters and gave up four hits and two earned runs in seven innings.
Making its first trip to a Division 4 North final in program history, No. 5 West Roxbury (12-9) committed five errors.
“This was great run for us as a Boston team, getting out of our environment and playing a state tournament,” Raiders coach Clifton Wilson said. “We weren’t sure how we would do compared to other teams but this has been beyond anything I personally as a coach could’ve predicted. And I think it grew. As we won it grew. Unfortunately today it didn’t end the way we’d like but we were beaten by a far superior team."
In the last two games West Roxbury only made a combination of two errors in two games.
“We did not execute today like we had in the past,” Wilson said.
Lowell Catholic’s bats got an early start when Maxfield’s sacrifice fly scored junior Aaron Crandall in the first inning and senior Alex Larnard’s single knocked in junior Connor Sullivan to go up 2-0.
West Roxbury got one run back in the second after senior third baseman Christopher Moreta scored on a passed ball after getting to third with a triple hit to deep right field. Moreta walked in the fourth before scoring on an error to account for West Roxbury’s second run.
“Chris was one of our two seniors on the team, certainly one of our leaders all year,” Wilson said of Moreta, who also pitched two innings in relief. “I was really, really glad to see him be a leader today out there in the field. Unfortunately he had a sore arm so he was gutting it out and throwing. Our starting pitcher [Alejandro Lopez] only had two day’s rest. We had no pitching.”
Moreta and Lopez are the only seniors on the team.
“It was great, I loved the experience, hopefully next year we’ll be here and we’re going to come out on the winning end,” Tejada, who only reached base once on a walk, said of playing in a pro park. “We have a lot of juniors here, we’re going to be well prepared, we’re going to be experienced and we’re going to come here knowing what the deal is and we’re going to work hard and we’re going to come out on the winning end next year.”
Even though Tejada wasn’t able to atone for his transgressions on the field, he said it is nice to know that they at least walked away with the second-place trophy.
“It’s a good feeling that we came out with the trophy; open the trophy case that hasn’t been opened in quite a while,” he said. “It’s alright. We’ll be here next year with the golden trophy.”
The BSA baseball all-star game will be played at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Fenway Park. The following scholar-athletes will make up the red and blue all-star teams.
Coach: Christian Irizarry, Boston International
Vincent Lopriore, Latin Academy
Dan O'Connell, Latin Academy
Mark Guerard, Latin Academy
Luis Atiles, Charlestown
Rodney Soto, Charlestown
Moises Beltre, Dorchester
Manuel Alvarez, Fenway
Gaby Pena Soto, Fenway
Frank Rosario, Boston International
Derlin Tejeda, Boston International
Daurys Pena, Madison Park
Hugo Mateo, Madison Park
Mario Pina, South Boston
Aviel Collazo-Fuentes, South Boston
Brian Navarro, West Roxbury
Sean Haugh, West Roxbury
Coach: Ricardo Figueroa, English
Jesus Soto, Brighton
Jose Valenzuela, Brighton
Terell Andrews, Burke
Elvin Perez, Burke
Manny Martinez, East Boston
Michael Theriault, East Boston
Nelson Barreiro, English
Alberto Navarro, English
Miguel Lorenzo, English
Andy Gonzalez, New Mission
Ansel Rivera, New Mission
Jose Vasquez, O'Bryant
Brandon Ruiz, O'Bryant
Fernando Burgos, O'Bryant
Louis Medina, Snowden
Victor Velasquez, Snowden
Baseball Sportsmanship Award
Nelson Barreiro, English
Nelfry Velez, Boston International
The city champions continued an ugly tradition of losing in the first round of the MIAA state tournament on Saturday, with English dropping against a relentless Dracut team, 8-6.
“It’s sad, they are a No. 6 seed and we are No. 1,” English coach Ricardo Figueroa said on the loss at Fallon field. “We’re eliminated now but that’s the way baseball is. Somebody has to win and somebody has to lose. Today the ball bounced the other way.”
It’s the second year in a row English has won the city championship and had an early first round exit.
It looked like the ball was bouncing English’s way in the bottom of the fourth inning. Down 4-2, seniors Nelson Barreiro and Richard Gonzalez got the rally started with back-to-back singles.
Dracut’s shortstop Adam Barbosa then made an error on a Tommy Lugo groundball, scoring Barreiro from third. After Ruben Pena loaded the bases with a bunt, Miguel Calderon gave English a 5-4 lead with a sacrifice fly.
Dracut’s 3-run response came in the top of the fifth thanks to an RBI from Ben Gacek, Dylan Ryan and Stig McElhinney, all of which came with two outs.
“They’re a good team but we’ve won five of our last seven,” Dracut coach Mike Saucier said. “We’ve won a lot of these kind of games. We just never die and we came back.”
It was a game full of chances for English. In the sixth inning, they had men on first and third but could not capitalize when pitcher Dylan Ryan forced Barreiro to fly out.
Another chance came in the bottom of the seventh when Lugo and Pena hit back-to-back singles with one out. However, Ryan forced a flyout and a strikeout on the next two batters ending English’s season.
Figueroa still found a way to see the positives in the game pointing out the great performance from his No. 8 and 9 hitters, Tommy Lugo and Ruben Pena.
Lugo was 2-for-3 on the day with a double and a single and Pena was 4-for-4, knocking in two runs on a pair of singles
“They stepped up and did the job,” Figueroa said. “Well done. It wasn’t enough but it was good to see those guys trying hard.”
Luckily for Figueroa, both of those players are underclassmen.
English, led by senior Nelson Barreiro, is once again on the cusp of a successful season.
After winning the city championship last year, they currently hold second place in the North division of the city league and have shown just how good they can be recently, blowing out Brighton (15-4) and Madison Park (12-0) in their last two games.
It’s exactly the type of momentum the No. 1 pitcher, Barreiro, wanted his team to pick up. However, while opposing teams may focus in on him, he didn’t hesitate to commend English’s newest player, fellow Dominican Republic native Miguel Lorenzo.
“[Lorenzo’s] a beast,” Barreiro said. “He knows how to hit and he’s doing his work in the school so we might have a new future for English high school.”
Lorenzo lived in Boston during his eighth grade year before moving to Atlanta for his first year of high school. After his freshman year, he returned to his native country for his sophomore year before coming back to Boston and playing for English.
The junior has already begun to make a name for himself in the city league. Lorenzo showed his offensive power, hitting a double and triple against Brighton.
“Lorenzo’s a great hitter. This kid is going to be something special,” coach Ricardo Figueroa said after that game.
After already catching Figueroa’s attention in preseason with his great throwing arm and ability to play any position on the diamond, the English coach couldn’t be happier with how the outfielder has performed.
“He’s only been here a couple months but you can see the difference. He’s got the sense, the baseball sense,” Figueroa said. “He’s got the ability too; he’s quick, fast, strong and he can hit the ball. He can go to the next level.”
Coming to a new school, let alone a new country can be hard for many student-athletes. However, with the help of his teammates, Lorenzo said that it’s been an easy transition.
“It’s great, they are all Dominican. I feel like I’m in my country,” he said.
Barreiro has been especially helpful to Lorenzo, after he made the same transition from the Dominican Republic to Boston when he was 16-years-old. He said that he even gave him advice on the competition he would face when he first came to English.
“Here is better because we play a lot of different teams but in [the Dominican Republic] we just [focus] on the same team. We don’t play many different teams,” Barreiro said.
The coach has even noticed how fast Lorenzo got comfortable with the squad.
“He’s not quiet,” Figueroa said. “He made himself present. That’s good for him. He’s a humble kid.”
While helping his fellow Dominicans assimilate into the English team, Barreiro has put up phenomenal individual numbers. The senior is the second best hitter on English, batting .375 while holding the No. 1 pitcher spot on the team.
“I have to improve and move on,” Barreiro said. “I have to try to be in the city championship again so we can do better and that’s all I’m trying to do; be better.”
He’s not the only one with that goal.
“I’m just trying to get better. Getting better all the time, that’s my goal,” Lorenzo said.
West Roxbury at English at West Roxbury field, 3:30 pm Tuesday
English’s Nelson Barreiro said that West Roxbury would be his squad’s biggest competition in their quest to a second straight city championship.
The No. 1 pitcher for English is starting against the Raiders this Tuesday so he will have his chance to make a statement.
West Roxbury has also been on a hot streak, winning five of its last six games. That one other game was a tie – to English.
Boston International at East Boston, 3:30 pm Thursday
Boston International lost its last game to East Boston, 7-1. The game was apart of their current three-game losing streak.
Winning a game against East Boston, which currently controls the top spot of the Central division, will be a great way to pick up momentum before the city tournament.
O’Bryant at Madison Park, 4 p.m., Friday
While both of these teams are off to slow starts of the season, one always has to highlight a rivalry game.
Both coaches will look to improve their defenses as they go further in the season. They both currently give up more runs then they score.
The following are the most recent makeup dates for BPS baseball and softball games:
-O’Bryant vs. Boston International at Fallon Field, varsity only, at 3:30 p.m. on May 23.
-West Roxbury vs Boston International varsity baseball at Fallon Field at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
-Latin Academy vs East Boston varsity baseball at East Boston at 3:30 p.m. on May 6.
-Brighton vs Boston English varsity baseball at Rogers Park at 3:30 p.m. on April 29.
-Brighton vs. Boston English JV baseball at McKinney Field at 3:30 p.m. on April 29.
-Dorchester at Burke varsity softball at Casey Field at 3:30 p.m. on May 21.
-South Boston vs Cathedral varsity baseball at 3:30 p.m. at King Field on May 2.
-Dorchester vs. New Mission varsity baseball at 3:30 p.m. at Ross Field on May 20.
-Latin Academy vs. South Boston varsity baseball at King Field at 3 p.m. on May 21.
-Fenway vs Madison Park varsity softball at Madison Park at 4 p.m. on May 24.
Due to inclement weather in Tuesday's forecast, all Boston public school baseball and softball games were postponed late Tuesday afternoon.
Stay tuned to find out when Tuesday's games will be rescheduled.
Not a lot of people would expect anybody to be playing catch on a cold winter day in Dedham, let alone in the parking lot behind a Stop & Shop. But for Boston Latin pitcher Patrick “Packy” Naughton and his father Michael, it is a place of solitude.
The 300-foot long toss in 35-degree weather is nothing new for the father and son; they do it almost every day in the winter. The parking lot just happens to be best open space with the least amount of gathered snow.
According to Patrick, it is this kind of dedication which opened up the opportunity for him to commit verbally to the Virginia Tech baseball team in just his junior year of high school.
“Everyday at the field, he’s always there making sure I play proper catch and everything and he paid a lot of money for my pitching coach and he’s pretty much the reason I’m committed to Virginia Tech right now,” Naughton said of his father.
For Michael Naughton, all of the sacrifices are worth it, whether it’s hiring former St. Louis Cardinals pitching coach Ace Adams or helping out Patrick himself.
“I’m part of it but when I step back I feel how fast everything has moved over the years. I can see him yesterday throwing the ball when he was 4-years-old to me and now we’re talking about college,” Michael Naughton said.
It was at that time, when Patrick Naughton was just 4-years-old, that his father realized he was going to be baseball player. At that early age Naughton could catch the ball properly with two hands and didn’t need his father to throw to him underhand like his peers.
The young pitcher couldn’t stay away from the diamond, even if it was shagging balls or throwing batting practice for his older brother Jake.
“Jake would be six and “Packy” would be four and he wanted to do everything his brother did,” Michael Naughton said. “Playing out in the backyard with Jake, he’d be right next to him, so we’d have to do a three-way catch.”
When his older brother graduated from the Latin school last year to attend Fairfield University, Naughton took over as captain of Latin.
In his sophomore campaign, he was a Dual County League all star with a 1.47 ERA with 73 strikeouts and 13 walks. The great performance on the mound led to a 6-0 undefeated record.
The junior has followed up last season well thus far with 2-0 record. In his most recent win against Concord-Carlisle, Naughton threw 18 strikeouts, his second time doing so in his career, while giving up just two hits and two walks over 7 innings.
The accomplishments would already make a worthy resume for colleges, especially considering Patrick was also a member of the 2008 Parkway National Little League that played in the New England championship against New Hampshire. Had they won that game, the Latin player would’ve pitched in a Little League World Series game in Williamsport, Pa.
“We won the state tournament out in Worcester and we just went there and we had a ball, it was so much fun. My whole team was great and I remember every minute of it,” Naughton said.
Whether it is pitching for Parkway, Latin, practice with Ace Adams, or just one-on-one time with his father, Naughton said that the baseball mound is where he feels most comfortable.
However, even though he has already verbally committed, the junior knows that a starting position is never safe.
“I am trying not to be as complacent as I can because I know once I start being complacent then the other kids that are right below me, they’ll start to work harder than me and they’ll pass me,” he said. “That’s one of my biggest motivations that I want to be the best that I can be.”
Even if his fastball and changeup may be more advanced, Patrick knows that he still has room to improve and has set goals to do it.
“I want to have a perfect season,” Naughton said. “I want to win eight games or however many I start and I want to throw a no-hitter and a perfect game. Those are my goals for this year so hopefully they come through.”
His confidence and hard work has won the confidence of his coach, too.
“He knows he has a job to do and that’s to lead our team to, with [much] luck, the first DCL title in awhile,” Rene Gauthier said.
Patrick described the day he accepted the verbal commitment to Virginia Tech as the best day of his life. That, plus the goals he has laid for himself, has left Michael Naughton a very proud father.
“I give him all the credit in the world. He’s a hard working young man and I think he has a goal in front of him and he sees what he wants but he knows how hard it is and he knows how hard he has to work to get it.”
Latin Academy at South Boston, 3:30 pm, Tuesday
It will be interesting to see how Latin Academy responds to their 10-3 loss against Westwood after winning their first four games with ease.
Latin Academy’s defense is noted as the strongest part of their young team so South Boston coach Victor Pereira will hope that the speed of his players will match the skill.
English at Latin Academy, 3:30 pm, Wednesday
English was thought of as one of the best programs coming into the season and so far they have not disappointed. In their last two games, they’re offense has scored a combined 25 runs.
However, North division opponent Latin Academy should prove to be a good test for English in the early part of this season.
East Boston at Boston International, 3:30 pm, Thursday
Here’s a stat: Boston International hasn’t failed to score double-digit runs once this season.
It’s going to be a hard game for an East Boston team that has yet to score more than 7 runs and whose only win has come against O’Bryant.
The following baseball and softball games have been rescheduled:
-West Roxbury vs. Boston International varsity softball was rescheduled from April 12 to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Hemenway field.
-Snowden and New Mission varsity baseball was rescheduled from April 1 to 3:30 p.m. at Ross Field on Thursday.
-Brighton vs Boston English varsity baseball was rescheduled from April 12 to next Monday at 3:30 p.m. at Rogers Park. The JV teams will play at 3:30 p.m. next Monday at McKinney Field.
-Madison Park vs. West Roxbury was moved from April 12 to May 13 at Jefferson Field. Both JV and varsity games start at 3 p.m.
About Boston Public Schools Sports BlogMore »
- Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
- Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.