EHS Baseball Team Claims GBL Crown: Dinapoli Hurls Three-hitter in Title-clincher

Coach Joe Marchese’s Everett High baseball team earned its second straight outright Greater Boston League title with a pair of hard fought victories this past week over GBL rivals Malden and Medford.

“This team has really come together this season,” said Marchese. “We overcame the loss of some key seniors from last year and then the season-ending injury to our best hitter, Chris McCarthy. But somehow we found a way to win another league championship.”

The Crimson Tide clinched at least a share of the GBL title with an 8-7 triumph over Malden in which Marchese’s charges overcame an early 5-0 deficit. However, after getting one back in the second frame, the Tide erupted for six markers in the third to move out to a 7-5 advantage.

Everett added what would prove to be a key solo tally in the fifth and withstood a Malden rally in the bottom of the seventh in which Malden pushed across one run to draw within 8-7 and had the bases loaded with one out.

However, Crimson Tide hurler Chris DiNapoli, who came on in the seventh in relief of starter Zerif Pajazetovic with the sacks filled and one out, fanned the last two Malden batters (after giving up an RBI  hit to the initial Malden hitter he faced)  to save the game.

Matt Pothier led the Everett offense with a 3 for 3 effort at the plate with two runs scored and an RBI. Jonathan DiBiaso also had a nice day at the plate with two hits, two runs, and two RBI. Pajazetovic helped his own cause with a pair of hits and four ribbies, including a bases loaded triple in the big Everett third.

Zerif’s pitching line showed him allowing 11 hits and five earned runs in his six and one third innings of work while striking out nine and walking four. “Zerif pitched a gutsy game for us,” said Marchese. “After a rough start, he settled down nicely until the final inning.”

That victory, which assured the Tide of at least a third consecutive shared or outright GBL crown, set up the next match for all the marbles with Medford.  In contrast to the Malden encounter, this proved to be a pitcher’s duel in which DiNapoli showed his best stuff of the season. The senior southpaw spun a brilliant three hitter, fanning nine, in a complete game effort.

Pothier knocked in DiNapoli in the opening frame for a 1-0 Everett lead.  Medford knotted matters with a run in the third, but Matt Cafarella came through with a two-out base hit in the fourth to score Shawn Doyle, who had doubled, for what would prove to be the winning run.

Doyle also made what rates as the defensive play of the season when he made a diving catch in centerfield for the final out of the game with a Medford runner on third to preserve the victory.

On Friday the Tide maintained its winning ways with a 3-1 win over Methuen in a non league contest behind the pitching of freshman Laurence Falter. Falter went all seven innings, allowing just two hits and no earned runs. He struck out six and walked only two. “Laurence threw strikes and pitched an overall great game for us,” said Marchese.

The Tide notched single markers in each of the first, second, and third innings to provide Falter with all the offense he would need. The Everett offense came from the bats of DiNapoli, who was 2 for 3; Mack Singleton, who had a ht and scored a run; and Pothier, who had a hit, scored a run, and stole a base.

On Monday Everett dropped a 3-0 decision to Haverhill in another non league tilt. Pajazetovic pitched well, giving up five hits and fanning six, but the Everett bats were fairly silent and left seven men on base. Cafarella had a hit, a walk, and stolen base; DiNapoli had a hit and a walk; and Jamel Vilmont had a hit, but that was pretty much it in the hitting department.

Marchese and his crew, who finished with a 7-1 mark in the GBL and who now are 10-7 overall, will wrap up the regular season at Charlestown today (Wednesday) and then will play this weekend in the Tanner Invitational Tourney in Peabody. They will face the hosts Saturday night at 7:00 and then play either Andover or Masconomet on Sunday.

McRae is GBL champ in 100 dash

Jaylen McRae claimed the championship of the Greater Boston League in the 100 meter dash at Thursday’s GBL all-league meet held at Dilboy Field in Somerville.

Jaylen sped his way to the crown in a time of 11.38 seconds, edging his closest rival by .15 of a second. McRae also anchored the 4 x 100 relay quartet consisting of teammates Soufiane Fdal, Jonathan Mendez, and Andes Tejada, who also earned the moniker of 2012 GBL champs with a clocking of 44.97.

Although the victories by McRae and the 4 x 100 relay team were the top highlights for the Crimson Tide boys, many of their teammates turned in fine performances to help power Everett to a fine third place finish in the team standings with 95 points.

Heiu Vo Tran took second place in the high jump with a leap of 5-8; Mendez grabbed second in the long jump with a leap of 20-5.25; Bashar Albadri spun the discus 101-4 for second place in that event; Tejada took third spot in the 200 dash in 23.60; Brandon Conde was fourth in the discus with his toss of 93-6; Justin Gabriel tossed the javelin 122-4 for third place; Daniel Plunkett was fourth in the javelin with his throw of 121-7; Steven Ho was fifth in the javelin with a chuck of 117-5; Jordi Oliveira was fourth in the 400 hurdles in 70.68; Donaldo Joseph was fifth in the 400 hurdles in 72.91; Trevor Freeman sped to fourth in the 110 hurdles in 21.24; the 4 x 400 relay team of Joseph, Gustavo DaSilva, Jason Mendoza, and Ricky Perez took third place in 3:55.18; and the 4 x 800 team of Louis Franco, Freeman, Vo-Tran, and Jeffry Perez finished in  fourth place in 10:32.96.

“We had some really nice performances,” said EHS head coach Shelanda Irish. “Jaylen got a great start in the 100 and ran a strong race that qualified him for the states. Soufiane gave the 4 x 100 relay a nice start and then Jaylen powered past his opponent in the anchor leg after starting just a bit behind him.

“Jonathan Mendez had a personal record (PR) in the long jump by more than a foot. Heiu also had a PR with his 5-8 high jump, which is quite amazing considering that he began the year at 5-0,” added Irish. “Andres Tejada qualified for the states in the 200 and Louis Franco had a PR in the 800.”

The Division 1 State Meet is set for this Sunday at Durfee High in Fall River.

Fine efforts by EHS girls at GBL

A number of members of the Everett High girls track and field team turned in fine efforts at last Thursday’s Greater Boston League All-League Meet held at Dilboy Field in Somerville.

The top finishers for te Lady Crimson Tide with second place performances were Katie Steeves in the 200 dash in 28.58; Maeve Kernan in the two mile run in 13:27; and Jackie Steeves in the javelin with a throw of 90-10.

Both of the Steeveses also earned ribbons in other events, with Katie taking third in the long jump with a leap of 14-8.5 and Jackie earning fifth in the discus with a toss of 68-3.

Sophia Pinabell also was a double point scorer for Everett with a sixth in the discus with a twirl of 56-9 and a fourth in the javelin with her throw of 76-5.

Emila Ponikiewiski was third in the 800 in 2:41.89; Kathy Pham leapt to third in the high jump with a height of 4-2; Vesna Imsirovic captured fourth place in the 400 hurdles in 1:24.79; Elspeth Colson took home a sixth place ribbon in the 100 high hurdles in 20.04; and Serina Welch-Shull took fifth in the 400 dash in 67.65. Sheryl Steeves ran a fine race in the 400 dash in 73.17 to finish just out of the money in seventh position.

In the relays, the 4 x 400 team of Ponikiewiski, Welch-Shull, Kernan, and Katie Steeves took third place in 4:44.35; the 4 x 100 quartet of Imsirovic, Sheryl Steeves, Catianis Valenzuela-Perez, and Pham grabbed fourth in 58.65; and the 4 x 800 foursome of Kayla Mangan, Tamara Rigaud, Jessica Mangan, and Jess DeAlmeida also took fourth spot in 12:47.

“Some of our girls did very well,” said EHS head coach Shelanda Irish. “Serina had a PR in the 400, as did Vesna in the 400 hurdles by nearly six seconds. Katie Steeves continued to be a consistent point scorer for us, as she has all season.”

Rocky week for EHS softball team

The Everett High softball team, which qualified for the state tourney last week when the Lady Crimson Tide notched their 10th win of the season, dropped a pair of contests this past week, losing first to GBL rival Malden and then splitting two games with GBL foe Medford.

In a 13-10 slugfest in which the Lady Crimson Tide topped Medford, the Everett girls scored early and often to put the game away, though they had to withstand a late Medford rally.

They notched two runs in the bottom of the first when Alea Martinelli drew a walk and Erin McLaughlin delivered a base hit. Both scored on a double by Janyne Sierra.

In the second, the Lady Crimson Tide added four runs. Vicki Burge singled, but was thrown out at second on a fielder’s choice grounder by Kayla Lombardo.  However, a double by Taylor Sweeney moved Lombardo to third, from where she scored on a base hit Martinelli. McLaughlin then belted a  home run to clear the bases.

In the fourth frame, Martinelli and McLaughlin both singled and stole a base. Sierrra tripled for two RBI and Janyne herself then scored on a sacrifice fly by Brianna Uga.

Four more Everett markers came across in the fifth, thanks to a pair of two run doubles by Sierra and Uga, to leave matters at a seemingly comfortable 13-4 advantage for Everett. However, Medford scored once in the sixth and then rallied for five in the seventh, with some Everett errors aiding the Medford cause, for the 13-10 finale.

“We came out with the bats early and took the lead from the beginning,” said EHS head coach Stacy Poste afterwards. “However, we opened the doors at the end of the game and cut it close by allowing them some runs.”

The return match at Medford followed the same script, but this time it was Medford that took the early lead and Everett rallied late.

The Lady Crimson Tide took a 1-0 lead in the opening inning when Sweeney singled, stole second, moved ot third on a ground out, and then scored on a double by McLaughlin. The 1-0 lead proved to be shortlived when Medford pushed across single runs in the first and second, but Everett knotted matters in the third when Martinelli walked, stole second and third, and scored on a single by Sierra.

However, Medford broke open the game in its third with five runs. Everett got one back in the fifth when Sweeney walked, stole second, and then eventually scored on a botched fielding play of a slow roller by McLaughlin.

Medford responded with two runs in its fifth to make the count 9-3, but the Lady Crimson Tide made things interesting with five runs in the sixth. Uga reached first on an error and then was awarded second on a dead ball.  After Franki Perreault moved her to third on a single, Sweeney singled, knocking in Uga.  Talia Mirra (Perreault’s courtesy runner) came home on Martinelli’s single and then McLaughlin belted a three run roundtripper.

However, Medford rebounded with four runs of their own in the bottom of the frame to make it 13-8. “We came back in the sixth to draw within a run, but it was not enough,” noted Poste. “We gave them too many opportunities to score.  You know any time a player from Medford gets on base, they will be aggressive on the bases and take advantage of the mistakes we commit.”

Last Tuesday’s anticipated showdown with Malden for first place in the GBL turned into a 12-0 victory for Malden behind the pitching of Kiara Amos, who leads the state in strikeouts on the season.

Malden scored three runs in the opening inning and never looked back en route to the 12-0 win that ended in the fifth via the mercy rule when Amos hit a home run. “We had just come off a heartbreaking loss to Central Catholic on Saturday and on Monday we started practicing and had to call it because of rain,” said Poste. “That really hurt us because we needed this practice to prepare to hit Amos’s speed.  We did not lay off of her high pitches and were over-anxious at the  plate.”

Depending on rainouts and rescheduling, Poste and her crew were set to wrap up their regular season tomorrow (Thursday) entertaining Marblehead at 3:00 (early game due to a banquet) and then hosting  Somerville Friday.

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