Falcons Fly High Again, Advance

Mashpee senior Curtis Bridge drives a base hit that led to the winning hit against Cohasset May 23.RICH MACLONE/ENTERPRISE - Mashpee senior Curtis Bridge drives a base hit that led to the winning hit against Cohasset May 23.

For the first time all year, the Mashpee High School baseball team is above .500. Ironically, it took until the completion of their first state tournament game to get to that point, but no one associated with the team is complaining.

The Falcons, now 12-11 overall, advanced to the first round of the MIAA Division IV South tournament with a 12-5 win on the road over Bishop Connolly High School on Thursday, May 29. It was the team’s fifth straight win, and sets up one really interesting first-round contest.

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MHS will meet Cape Cod powerhouse Pope John Paul II High School at 6 PM on Saturday, May 31, at McKeon Park in Hyannis. The Lions, the No. 1 seed in the D4 south field, posted a 21-1 record during the regular season, with their lone loss coming in an exclusionary game against Barnstable. That loss is a big reason the Lions are not playing in the new MIAA baseball Super-8 Tournament.

PJP2 is also the team that eliminated the Falcons from the state tournament a year ago. Mashpee lost in the quarterfinals at McKeon Park last season, 3-0.

“Redemption is a word that I heard the seniors using tonight,” coach Dan Patenaude said. “We’re playing with house money at this point. The pressure is all on them. They’re supposed to win, and we’re not supposed to be here.”

They are still around, though, because they were opportunistic yesterday. Mashpee exploited a number of Connolly errors in the second inning to score five runs. BC got two back in the bottom half of the frame to make it 5-3.

MHS opened up some breathing room in the fourth, scoring three more. With one down, Eddie Childs was hit by a pitch and then Ari Purdy singled him over to third base. After a stolen base by Purdy, John Giatrelis hit a grounder to third. The ball would have scored one run by itself, but the third baseman threw it away, allowing Purdy to score as well. Giatrelis, who reached second on the throwing error, stole third and then scored on a sac fly by Nick Carpenter.

Purdy and Shay Souza paced the offense for Mashpee. Each player finished with three hits and a pair of runs batted in. Purdy also scored three times.

The Falcons scored three times in the sixth inning, and got one more in the seventh. Bishop Connolly got one back in the bottom of the seventh, but fell seven shy.

Childs picked up the win on the hill. The lefty scattered four hits and walked a batter, allowing four runs (two earned) over four innings. Danny Crowley finished the game, allowing just one unearned run over three innings.

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