Everett High junior Shaun McGrath pitched well enough to have won any game during the regular season last Saturday in the opening round of the Division 1 North Sectional state tourney. The righthander was invincible for seven innings against Newton South, tossing shutout baseball while yielding only two hits.
His teammates in the meantime, had achieved a 2-0 lead with two runs in the third inning.
But in the Division 1 state tourney, games are extended to a full nine innings and Newton South rallied for two markers in the eighth to tie the game and then scored again in the ninth to come away with a 3-2 triumph.
“It may sound like a cliche, but we left everything we had out on the field,” said EHS head coach Joe Marchese afterwards “Shaun pitched unbelievably and we played great defense behind him. But Newton South had a very good pitcher, too. It was a great game by both teams.”
Everett had maintained a 2-0 advantage for most of the game thanks to a pair of tallies in the third. McGrath led off with a base hit and Cody Skeffington’s grounder back to the mound was thrown away by the Newton South pitcher, allowing McGrath to get to third and Cody to second.
After Frank Cafarella brought in McGrath with a sacrifice fly, Matt Costello hard grounder to second was booted, allowing Skeffington to score the second Crimson Tide run.
However, that would prove to be the only occasion when Everett would dent the Newton South pitcher, who went the entire nine inning route, yielding only seven hits while walking none. Only Matt Cafarella of the Crimson Tide was able to reach base twice with a pair of singles.
Newton South finally got to McGrath in the eighth, scoring the tying tallies, and then won the game in the ninth with a run off EHS reliever Chris DiNapoli, who had come in with one out in the eighth to put out the fire.
Newton South had started the ninth with a double, but Everett almost pulled off a big play when the subsequent sac bunt almost got the runner at third, but the ump called the runner safe. “It was one of those bang-bang plays and we thought we had him, but the ump ruled otherwise,” said EHS head coach Joe Marchese.”
A subsequent base hit up the middle then ended the Tide’s season.
For EHS seniors Mike Russo, Frank Cafarella, and Dan Concannon, all tri captains for Marchese this season, the contest proved to be their last in a Crimson Tide uniform.
“We had a great year and we’ll miss Mike, Frank, and Dan,” said Marchese. “They were great leaders for our team.”