It is axiomatic that in any sports tournament, other than for the one team that still will be smiling when all is said and done, everybody else will end their season on a disappointing note. For the Everett High baseball team, which completed a superb 17-3 campaign and captured the first outright Greater Boston League title for a Crimson Tide nine in more than 20 years, that moment came Monday afternoon at Glendale Park when the Tide came out on the short end of a 10-5 decision to Chelmsford.
“It was a sloppy way to end the season. We simply beat ourselves,” summed up EHS head coach Joe Marchese, whose squad committed an uncharacteristic six errors and whose pitchers yielded a season-high seven bases on balls. Half of the Chelmsford runs were unearned, which essentially proved the mathematical difference in the contest.
After Everett grabbed a 1-0 lead in the opening inning, Chelmsford struck for four runs in the second frame and added two more in the fourth to move out to a 6-1 advantage. The Tide responded with three of their own in the bottom of the fourth, but a three run rally by Chelmsford in the sixth proved too much for Everett to overcome.
Chris DiNapoli tossed the first three and two thirds innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits with four walks. Matt Costello went the rest of the way, giving up two earned runs on seven hits with three free passes. However, the lack of support in the field proved fatal for the Tide.
Shaun McGrath had three hits with three RBI and Matt Cafarella had three safeties, two stolen bases, and three runs scored. DiNapoli contributed two hits and a walk and Chris McCarthy added a two run double.
Chelmsford, the 11th seed in the MIAA Division 1 North bracket, had earned its way into the quarterfinal round thanks to a 5-3 win over sixth seeded Medford of the GBL in 14 innings on Friday.
Everett meanwhile, the third seed in the D-1 North, had taken care of business on Saturday in its first round encounter with #14 Newton South, 10-3.
McGrath completed his outstanding EHS mound career by picking up his eighth win of the season, against no losses, as he went six innings in which he fanned 11 Newton South batters. Shaun allowed just two hits and one run.
Costello came on in the seventh for two innings and Zerif Pajazetovic mopped up in the ninth. The Crimson Tide employed the long ball for most of its offense, with Brian Halfelder belting a grand slam to right field in the third and Rob DeLuca smashing a three run roundtripper to right center in the first inning.
DiNapoli enjoyed a banner day at the plate with four hits, including a double, plus a walk and two runs. McCarthy added a triple and scored twice.
As might be expected of a league champion team, five Crimson Tide players were named GBL all stars. McGrath was chosen as the GBL’s MVP and was joined on the all star squad by teammates Costello, Cafarella, McCarthy, and DiNapoli, the latter three of whom will be returning next season.
“It was a tough way to end the season,” noted Marchese. “But this was a great group of boys who were a credit both to their school and themselves and who had the best season for an Everett High baseball team in many years.”