The Everett High baseball team won four of its final five games of the regular season this past week to finish with a 17-3 overall record that will all but assure the Crimson Tide of a high seed in the MIAA Division 1 North Sectional State Baseball Tournament. In addition, the Crimson Tide concluded a perfect 8-0 record in the Greater Boston League to put the icing on the cake of its previously-clinched GBL title.
Coach Joe Marchese’s squad opened the week with a 7-0 blanking of Methuen behind the four hit pitching of left hander Joe Saia. The southpaw fanned four and issued only one free pass en route to his shutout victory.
Shaun McGrath paced the offense with three hits and three RBI and teammate Matt Costello contributed two hits and scored three runs. Rob DeLuca also accounted for three ribbies with a two run base hit and a sacrifice fly.
On Thursday McGrath upped his personal record to 7-0 with a five hitter that gave the Tide a 6-1 triumph over GBL foe Malden. Shaun struck out eight and walked only two in his six innings of work. Costello tossed the final frame for the save.
Costello also was a force at the plate with three hits, a walk, two runs, and an RBI. Chris McCarthy punched out four hits to account for two runs and two RBI. Chris DiNapoli banged out a pair of doubles and a single for two RBI and Cody Skeffington had two hits and a walk and scored a run.
The next day saw Everett outlast former GBL rival Haverhill, 11-10, in what Marchese termed a “sloppy game.” Costello was the winning pitcher in relief, throwing four and one third innings, allowing four unearned runs on just four hits, as three Crimson Tide errors allowed the Hillies to keep the contest interesting.
Costello continued his hot hitting with three hits and scored three runs. Other Everett hitters who did some damage at the plate were: DeLuca with three hits and two RBI; Shawn Doyle with two hits and two RBI, and McCarthy with a hit and two RBI.
The Crimson Tide’s lone setback came Saturday in the opening round of the Peabody Invitational Tourney with an 8-4 loss to Andover, the eventual tourney champion. Everett led most of the way until Andover put up three runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings. The big factor for Everett could be seen in the box score under LOB (left on base) which had an “11” next to it. The Tide had 11 hits, but not enough of the timely variety.
However, Marchese’ crew bounced back the next day with a 10-7 triumph over Masconomet (Marchese’s former coaching post) in the consolation contest. Zerif Pajazetovic earned the victory, tossing four innings in which he yielded four runs (one earned) on five hits.
Numerous Crimson Tide hitters swung some heavy lumber, led by Brian Helfelder with three hits and two RBI; Skeffington with two hits and three RBI; Matt Cafarella with two hits and a run; Costello with three hits and two runs; and McCarthy with three hits, including a double and a homer, to go with a walk on which he scored four runs and knocked in two RBI.
The MIAA’s announcement of the seedings and opening round pairings was expected to be made yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon as this newspaper was going to press. Everett will have at least one, if not two, home games to start the tourney.