EHS baseball team drops 2-0 decision to MC in state tourney opener
The Everett High baseball team played well, but came out on the short end of a 2-0 decision to Malden Catholic in the opening round of state tourney play Thursday evening on the MC home field.
The Crimson Tide entered the contest as the #10 seed in the Division 1 North sectional with an 11-9 record, while the Lancers came in as the #7 seed with a 12-8 mark.
However, Malden Catholic’s seeding and record were deceptive. The Lancers defeated Billerica (the #2 seed in the D-1 North) and St. John’s Prep (the #3 seed in the Super Eight) and narrowly lost two games to the top-ranked team in the state, B.C. High, during the regular season.
Some tourney-opening jitters were evident for the EHS squad, which yielded two runs in the bottom of the first frame. However, from that point onward, both Crimson Tide starter, sophomore Jalil Marinez, and his defense settled down, stifling the MC offense the rest of the way.
Unfortunately, the Everett bats were unable to make a dent against MC’s sophomore starter, Nick Iannuzzi, whose last regular-season start was a two-hit victory over Billerica.
Monte Mack delivered the lone base hit on the evening for the Crimson Tide in the sixth inning. Monte got as far as third (after a botched pick-off attempt and a sacrifice bunt by Chris Boucher), but Iannuzzi fanned the next Crimson Tide hitter and got the final out on a grounder to second.
“We knew that Iannuzzi throws strikes, so we had to be aggressive at the plate,” said EHS head coach Joe Lento. “We had some good at-bats and did not strike out much, but their defense was solid and we were unable to get anything going.”
Marinez matched Iannuzzi’s shutout performance after the opening inning, but the two early runs proved decisive.
“Overall, we played very well,” said Lento, “but Malden Catholic simply was the better team.”
Despite the early exit from the tourney, Lento and his crew nonetheless completed a stellar season in which they not only qualified for the post-season, but also claimed an undisputed Greater Boston League title.
“We’ll miss our departing three seniors, John Uga, Ken DeLorey, and Jochy Liriano, all of whom were key members of our team and who were great leaders for us,” said Lento. “But we have a great core of returning players and we’ll be looking forward to next season.”