High school baseball: Archbishop Williams, Dover-Sherborn win state semifinal baseball games

June 14, 2017 GMT

It seemed like it happened in the blink of an eye. When it was over, Archbishop Williams had a commanding lead it would not surrender in the Division 4 state semifinal yesterday at Fraser Field in Lynn.

Six consecutive RBI hits helped the Bishops plate seven runs in the top of the third inning as they beat Lowell Catholic, 9-4, to clinch a spot in the state title game.

“I can’t remember anything like it,” Archbishop Williams coach Jim Dolan said. “What we try to pride ourselves on is having a lengthy lineup, trying to hit one through nine.”

The Bishops (20-5) did just that as eight batters reached base in their seven-hit, seven-run top of the third.

Cam Powers started the rally with a one-out single and Casey Earle walked to give Williams a pair of baserunners. The next six batters all had hits to drive in runs, including doubles from Ryan Bellew and Sam Hamer.

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Archbishop Williams got to Lowell Catholic starter Thomas Desmond after he recorded four of his first six outs via strikeout. In his second time through the order, however, the Bishops squared him up regularly.

“We work for that,” said Dolan. “We work for seeing pitches the first time through. The second time through we had good at-bats, good baserunning and good things happened.”

The Crusaders (19-5) got one back in the bottom of the third, and Mikas Kulbis-Marino drove in a pair on an RBI single in the fifth, but for the most part they were held in check by Bishops starter Brett Sullivan. He earned the win in five innings of work, striking out only one but allowing just four hits.

Archbishop Williams will play St. Mary’s (Westfield) for the Division 4 title, time and date to be announced.

Dover-Sherborn 4, Austin Prep 3 — The 2017 baseball season has been one filled with many firsts for the Raiders.

You can add one more to the list. With a 4-3 victory over the Cougars at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton, Dover-Sherborn is on its way to the Div.?3 state title game for the first time in school history.

“First South sectional champs, first East champs,” Raiders coach Steve Ryan said. “And hopefully, first state champs.”

As he has proven all season, Ryan Sliwinski was the hero once again for Dover-Sherborn (17-8). The senior pitched a complete game with three strikeouts. Sliwinski also helped his own cause at the plate, going 2-for-4 with three RBI.

Jamie Wright drove in a run to round out the scoring for Dover-Sherborn. Senior Jake Scurrah also did well with two hits.

Austin Prep (20-5) got its production from Patrick Burke, who picked up three hits and plated a run.

With the tying run at first in the bottom of the seventh and with only one out to go, Sliwinski induced a liner that bounced off his leg and over to third. In a bang-bang play at first, the throw just beat the Austin Prep runner to end it. After losing his balance during the sequence, Sliwinski was mobbed at the mound.

When the tournament first began, few circled eighth-seeded Dover-Sherborn to make any noise, let alone bowl its way to the state final. Four years back, the Raiders were simply nowhere near today. Now, Sliwinski and his teammates will take on Auburn for the Div.?3 crown.

Breathless, Sliwinski remained in a state of shock during the postgame ceremonies.

“Freshmen year, we started 3-17,” Sliwinski said. “That was our first record. And now we’re going to the championship. It’s incredible.”