High School baseball Notebook

Witches sweep

By Mike Carraggi
Globe Correspondent / May 10, 2010

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Abington has been one of the most consistently great baseball programs over the last decade. But with the defending Division 3 champion returning only four players from 2009’s title squad, there were doubts as to whether the Green Wave could continue its excellence.

At the end of last Monday’s 20-5 victory over Hull that clinched Abington’s (11-2, 7-2) ninth consecutive title berth, however, it was clear that the South Shore League titans are in contention for another crown.

Tricaptains Kristian LaPointe, Ian Campbell, and Andrew Crosta join Zach Littman as the quartet of the championship holdovers spearheading a Green Wave attack that has, on average, doubled up opponents throughout the season. (Abington scores 10.5 runs per game, yielding only 5.2.) LaPointe is hitting .450 this season (18 for 45) with 12 RBIs as one of the offensive focal points, but the hitting and pitching have both been anchored by Littman’s outstanding season.

Just a junior, Littman has rebounded off a bit of a sophomore slump to become Abington’s most vital piece.

“Zach knew coming into the season that, with the kids that we lost, we needed him to step up,’’ said coach Stephen Perakslis, whose All-Scholastic son, Steve, left the very shoes Littman is filling this year.

“He’s really taking up the mantle,’’ Perakslis said. “He takes charge.’’

On the mound, the righthander is a horse. He has tossed a league-leading 40 1/3 innings, striking out 49 en route to a 6-0 record. His 2.60 ERA is good for fourth in the SSL.

As dominating as he has been on the hill, his performance at the plate has been even more eye-popping. The shortstop is hitting .630 (29 for 64), or 69 points higher than the second best average in the league, to go along with 19 RBIs and an on-base percentage that is hovering right under .800.

Littman faces another test tomorrow at 3:30 as the Green Wave hosts Norwell (10-2, 7-2), its biggest threat to the SSL title.

Salem is far from the favorite to win the stacked Northeastern Conference North Division, but the Witches conjured up a two-game sweep last week to keep its title hopes alive and spark tournament aspirations.

Senior righthander Garrett Dube led the Salem (6-4, 5-3) charge with eight innings of one-run relief, picking up the win in both contests to improve to 3-0.

Dube came into last Monday’s matchup at Marblehead in the fifth inning of a 5-5 deadlock, keeping the Magicians at bay long enough for Salem to break through in extra innings.

Jenssy Troncoso, Max Feely, and Dario Medrano strung together eighth inning singles to snag a two-run lead, giving Dube just enough room to nail down a 7-6 win.

Down 6-3 in the fourth inning of last Wednesday’s conference game against Swampscott, Dube was again handed the ball — this time on just two days rest. The reliever tossed four more innings without a scratch, setting the stage for more late-inning magic.

Still trailing by three in the bottom of the seventh, Troncoso led off with his second hit. Feely worked a walk to bring the tying run up the plate, which reached on an error. A basehit by Raffy Medrano followed by a run-scoring fielder’s choice closed the gap to 1, and brought junior third baseman Dan Dobrosielski to the plate.

Dobrosielski smashed a two-run walk-off double to give Salem its second 7-6 nail-biting victory in a three-day spell for which the Witches may be very thankful come tourney time.