EHS baseball team awaits tourney foe
The Everett High baseball team wrapped up its regular season this past weekend and was awaiting word of its state tournament seeding and first round pairing in the Division 1 North sectional of the MIAA state baseball tournament, an announcement that was expected to be made yesterday (Tuesday).
Coach Joe Lento’s squad punched their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney both by virtue of winning an undisputed Greater Boston League championship and by finishing the season with an 11-9 record.
In the season finale Monday in the consolation game of the Peabody Memorial Day weekend tournament, the Crimson Tide came out on the short end of a 5-4 decision in 10 innings.
Although none of the Everett ballplayers were around in 1986, they now know how the Red Sox players and fans felt after Game 6 of the ’86 World Series with the Mets.
The Crimson Tide held a 4-1 lead with two outs and nobody on base for Andover in the seventh (and final) inning, only to see Andover rally for three runs to force the game into extra innings.
Everett then placed a runner on third with the potential winning run with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but could not get him home. The Crimson Tide also had the potential winning run in scoring position in the eighth and ninth frames, but could not come through with the key base hit.
Andover then pushed across the game-winner in the top of the 10th.
Up until the fateful seventh, the Tide had played a complete, all-around game. Junior designated hitter Israel Vega delivered a two-RBI base hit and catcher Evan Reynolds came through with another RBI hit. Jochy Liriano scored the other EHS run on a passed ball.
Liriano also was the Everett starting pitcher and turned in a superb performance.
“Jochy did a great job,” said Lento. “Under other circumstances we may have brought in a relief pitcher in the seventh, but we were playing shorthanded on Monday and it was our fourth game in five days. Plus, we were saving our regular starting pitchers for the state tourney.
“Overall, I can’t complain about how the team played,” added Lento, who praised his team’s solid defensive effort. “But in some ways, the loss was a microcosm of our season. We lost four games by one run and we had a chance to put a team away, but could not come through with the key base hit. Hopefully, we’ll do better in that regard in the tourney.”
Lento said he expects that his team will start tourney play Thursday or Friday. Sophomore Jalil Marinez likely will get the starting nod on the mound.
Everett resident part of Mystic Valley Baseball Senior Day celebration
The Mystic Valley baseball team recently honored its graduating seniors. In a short ceremony held after the game the players were presented with a framed action photo of themselves on the field. Head Coach, Ernie Ardolino, offered words of praise for each of his seniors.
Matt O’Connor is best player to have ever come through the Mystic Valley program and he yet to come close to his potential. He has done so much for this program in 5 years on the team, from winning league MVPs to helping the young guys with the fundamentals. It was a real pleasure to watch him develop into a D1 college recruit (U. Lowell) and more importantly a good person.
Brandon Loesch, of Everett, has been hanging around the Mystic Valley program since 8th grade, being the younger brother of a former player he absorbed a lot. He has great knowledge of the game and he has put it all together his senior year. As always, Brandon has gone quietly about his business, all year he has been focused playing great in the outfield and has been a solid middle of the lineup bat.
Jimmy Sickler III, better known as JSIII, joined the baseball team in his sophomore year, and I am certainly glad he did. JS played a great first base and has really found his swing in his senior year. Like the rest of our seniors, he is a high IQ player and has been a great help in molding the younger players.
Tim O’Donnell has been a huge part of the Mystic Valley baseball team since his freshman year. He has been a 4 year starter and 2 time all-star. Tim has been asked to play many different positions in high school career and has come through each time. This shows the type of work ethic and determination that Tim possesses, those qualities also carried over into the classroom where he has exceled.