TEWKSBURY — After the 5-1 loss to Lawrence at home last Thursday, Tewksbury Memorial High School baseball coach Kirk Monbleau was asked about his thoughts on the entire season, even though the team had two more games on the next two days.
"To be honest, disappointing," he said. "This is the first group that I've had for four years. We've had these ten seniors since they were freshmen and when they came in, the coaching staff all thought that this would be a really good group by their senior year. We had high expectations coming into the season.
"Last year was a good season for us. We finished 10-10 and made the tournament and we were expecting to at least do that again this year, so to not make the tournament with these guys, I feel bad. I wanted them to go out with a bang and go out with that good feeling of making it to the tournament since that's our ultimate goal every year. For them not to achieve that kind of stinks for them. Even though we didn't meet that goal, the kids are happy to be able to be around their friends and compete with their friends."
That loss put the team's record at 5-13, however the team was able to respond in the next two days with back-to-back wins over Amesbury in a non-league game and then against Methuen, the same team that defeated them twice the week before.
Tewksbury put it all together in both games. Nolan Timmons tossed a complete game gem in the 3-1 win over Methuen. He needed just 67 pitches over the seven innings in a game that took just 1:27 to play. He gave up just five hits to get the win.
Offensively, Tewksbury struck early as Matt Perron doubled and was driven in on a RBI single by Michael Polimeno. Then in the third inning, Matt Cahill reached on an error, was driven in on a RBI triple by Kyle Zervas, who then scored on a beautifully executed suicide squeeze bunt by Ryne Rametta.
Methuen scored one run in the fifth and that was all they could muster off the efficient Timmons, who also had terrific defense behind him without an error. Cahill made a nice running catch early in the game.
David Miller also ripped a double.
In the 11-4 win over Amesbury, Tewksbury scored nine runs in the top of the first inning. The big rally started with a walk to Polimeno and Perron reaching on a base hit before things quickly opened up with five runs and then four more in the latter part of the inning. Polimeno and Perron both drove in two runs in the inning, while Miller and Garrett Kingston had one each.
The nine runs was more than enough for Tyler Keough to come away with the win on the mound. He tossed the first four innings, giving up three runs on two hits while striking out two. He was helped by Timmons and Kyle Boschetti, who combined to throw the final three innings.
Scoring 12 combined runs in the two wins was something the team wasn't used to doing in the previous games.
"Even the games that we won, we didn't have a whole lot of hits,” said Monbleau. “The Chelmsford game we only had two hits. If we did one thing well on that day, we didn't do the other thing well, so if we had a bunch of hits, we didn't pitch well or if we pitched well, we didn't hit and give our pitchers much support.
“Very rarely were we able to put the whole thing together and that was sort of the trend and you lose six games by one run and a couple of swings here and a couple of swings there, or one of two more plays made in the field, maybe you have three or four more wins.”
With the season officially over, it marked the end of the careers of ten seniors including Chad Boschetti, Matt Cahill, Riley Frost, Travis MacMurdo, David Miller, Matt Perron, Michael Polimeno, Alex Sousa, Evan Wood and Kyle Zervas.
A handful of players who were regulars this season including Keough, Rametta, Timmons, Kingston and Robert Evangelista will return.
“We're losing ten seniors, including up the middle (with Matt Perron and Kyle Zervas),” said Monbleau. “We're losing some great leadership with Michael Polimeno who is a good corner infielder and we're also losing Chad Boschetti. He didn't get as much time on the mound last year as he would have liked, but he was great for us on the mound and in centerfield. Even the guys who don't get a lot of playing time, because of their work ethic and who they are as young men, we'll miss them.”
The Merrimack Valley Conference announced its all-conference and second team selections this past week and seniors Matt Perron and Riley Frost were both selected to the second team.