It may not have been pretty, but a win is a win is a win, as the Everett High baseball team earned its first victory of the season with a 7-6 triumph at Marblehead last Thursday.
“Marblehead’s field is near the ocean and the wind was cold and blowing all day,” said EHS head coach Joe Marchese of the playing conditions at Marblehead’s appropriately named Seaside Park. “Fly balls and pop ups were blowing all over the place,” added the coach, a factor that no doubt contributed greatly to the nine errors committed between the teams on the day.
Crimson Tide starter Joe Saia pitched well in his five and one third innings of work, yielding just five hits, while fanning five and walking three. Ina addition, the crafty southpaw picked off two enemy base runners that deflated potential Magician rallies.
However, the aforementioned fielding woes of the day allowed six unearned Marblehead runs to cross the plate, five of them in a rough sixth inning that allowed the home team to pull ahead, 6-5.
“Joe pitched a very strong game for us,” said Marchese, “but a couple of costly errors allowed the floodgates to open in the sixth.”
However, a little bit of Seaside Park bedevilment awaited the Magicians on their home field in the top of the seventh, allowing Everett to retake the lead. Raymond Gallagher led off by reaching on an error by the shortstop. That brought up Cody Skeffington, who laid down a sac bunt that the Magician catcher threw away. Two more Marblehead errors brought in both Gallagher and Skeffington to make it 7-6.
Everett relief pitcher Chris DiNapoli then took care of business by avoiding any chance for further Seaside mischief by means of the surest way possible: He struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh to earn the “W,” Chris’s first varsity victory.
In the offense department for the Crimson Tide, Sean McGrath delivered a key, two RBI base hit in the Everett sixth; Frank Cafarella had a hit, a walk, and a run scored; Chris McCarthy came through with a hit, two walks, an RBI, and a run scored; and Dan Concannon knocked in two runs and scored one with a hit and three walks.
The Marblehead contest proved a contrast to the season opener that was held two days earlier, a 5-1 loss to Xaverian in a well played ballgame between two good Division 1 teams. McGrath pitched four strong innings for the Crimson Tide, allowing just five hits. DiNapoli and Zarif Pajazetovic both worked a scoreless inning in relief.
Michael Russo went two for three for the Crimson Tide and drove in Cafarella for the ,lone Everett tally.
Marchese and his crew now are in the heart of their schedule. They took on Wilmington Monday and travel to Triton Regional today (Wednesday). They will make an overnight trip to the Cape for a Saturday encounter with Dennis Yarmouth and then journey to Somerville on Tuesday morning for a 10:00 encounter during the vacation week.