BILLERICA – With three more wins this past week, the Shawsheen Tech Baseball team continued their tremendous start to the season, improving their record to 9-0 on the year with a pair of non-league victories over Bedford last Thursday and then North Reading on Saturday.
Shawsheen then closed out their week with a 12-11 thriller over CAC rival Whittier on Tuesday to keep their perfect CAC record intact as well at 4-0, with a walk off win in the bottom of the seventh.
In their 4-3 win over Bedford, the Rams were led to victory by senior pitcher Jack Glennon who allowed six hits and two earned runs over six innings of work, while striking out four batters to get the win. It was just the latest fine pitching performance for Glennon, who has filled a variety of roles for the Rams this season.
“Jack worked real efficiently against Bedford. He is not a big strike-out pitcher, but he keeps the ball down low, keeps hitters off-balanced and mixes his pitches well,” Shawsheen coach Brian McCarthy said. “Plus, this keeps the defense in the game behind him as they get a lot of ground ball outs. He’s a gamer, for sure. Whether its relief or a start, once he grabs that ball and toes the rubber, he’s all business and he gets the job done.”
Senior left fielder Ryan Santini of Wilmington led the way offensively for the Rams in this one, with three hits, two runs scored and an RBI, while junior Aiden MacLeod and senior Owen Duggan each had a hit and a run scored.
Freshman Robbie Welch of Tewksbury meanwhile, had a double and a big sacrifice fly for an RBI to make the score 4-2 in the seventh inning and give the Rams what proved to be a very important insurance run.
“It was a tight game and the meat of their order was coming up in the bottom of the seventh, so we knew we needed an insurance run,” McCarthy said. “Santini got on with a base hit, followed by a Brendan Lee walk. Aiden laid down a great sac bunt to move the runners over and then Robbie crushed a sac fly to center.”
With that win already in their back pocket, the Rams took on another non-league opponent on Saturday, this time hosting North Reading at Shawsheen, and coming away with a big 4-2 victory. Shawsheen did all of their damage in the third inning of this one, scoring all of their runs, and it was more than enough for MacLeod, who spun a gem on the mound, tossing a complete game, allowing six hits and striking out six batters while walking none to get the win.
“Aiden is another pitcher like Glennon. He puts his head down and goes straight to work. He works efficiently, keeps his defense in the game and induces a lot of ground ball outs,” McCarthy said. “He works ahead in counts and does not walk guys. That’s a simple way to be successful in high school baseball for sure. He’s always calm, cool, and collected out there. He’s another guy who has started games and come in for relief in tough situations. He does it all and he owns the situation. He’s been a great addition to the pitching staff this year.”
Another key to the Rams pitching staff this season has been sophomore catcher Brendan Lee, who on Saturday once again called a great game behind the plate.
“Brendan has been doing a great job for us behind the dish. He’s now got a year under his belt at the varsity level and he sees the game particularly well,” McCarthy said. “He’s got a good rapport with the pitching staff. He knows how to call a good game and get the most out of his guy on the mound. His arm strength has improved to where he is throwing out runners on a regular basis and keeping others at bay. Then, his bat has come alive this season and has a number of clutch hits already at this point in a young season. He’s really stepped up this year.”
Lee also had a hit and an RBI in the game, as did MacLeod to help his own cause, while Duggan had two hits, a run scored and an RBI and Santini had a hit and a run scored.
Ultimately for the Rams, their games against CAC opponents are the most important, as they of course have league title implications. However, McCarthy and his players also do take a certain amount of pride in winning their non-league games, sending a message that they can compete with any opponent that is put in front of them.
“We always like the mentality here of one game at a time. Don’t look too far ahead and don’t dwell on the past,” McCarthy said. “So, these non-league games early in the season are a good test for us. We like booking competitive non-league games so that we can really see where we stand and we can prepare for post-season play when every game is a tough game – no easy opponents.
“We played two tight games against Bedford. Picking up the wins both times by one run a piece. You like to be in those competitive, tight games. It’s good to see our team respond to those pressure situations. We got a total team effort on both games. Solid pitching and defense combined with some timely hits and executing some small ball.”
In Tuesday’s 12-11 thriller over Whittier, the Rams had to battle not only the Wildcats, but also the weather, playing in the rain in the later innings of the contest.
It was all worthwhile, however, when in the bottom of the seventh, Ryan Santini led off with a base hit. Owen Duggan singled and moved Santini to third. Senior Shane Costello of Wilmington was then intentionally walked, which set the stage for Brendan Lee to crush a base hit to left field for the walk-off win.
The Rams had plenty of offensive heroes in this one, led by junior Mavrick Bourdeau, who had three hits and three runs scored, while Lee had three hits, a run scored and three RBI, MacLeod had two hits, two runs scored and two RBI, Costello had two hits, three runs scored and two RBI and Santini had two hits and two runs scored.
Shawsheen scored five times in the first inning, twice in the second, once in the fourth, three times in the sixth inning to tie the game at 11-11, before getting the game winning run in the seventh. Duggan got the win on the mound for the Rams, pitching three innings of scoreless relief.
Shawsheen will be back in action on Thursday, when they travel to Wakefield to take on CAC rival Northeast.
The Shawsheen Tech Softball team posted a 1-1 record this past week in a pair of non-league games, dropping an 8-1 decision to Arlington last Wednesday afternoon in a home game before hitting the road on Friday and picking up an 18-4 blowout win over Waltham.
In the loss to Arlington Catholic, there was some good news for the Rams, as senior pitcher Ella Malvone of Wilmington got her first varsity start and was pretty solid in her debut, pitching seven innings, and scattering eight hits, while striking out ten batters and giving up four earned runs.
“The score does not indicate how close the game was,” Shawsheen coach Scott Ialuna said. “We had one bad inning where they scored five runs on two hits, with four of the runs being unearned.”
The next time they took to the field, the Rams took their frustrations out on Waltham, although truth be told, Waltham was their own worst enemy in this one, as the Rams scored eight runs before they even got their first hit, courtesy of eight walks given up by Waltham pitching. Shawsheen scored ten runs in the top of the first inning nd never looked back, on their way to improving to 5-2 on the season.
“It was an ugly game, but we will take the win,” Ialuna said.
Shawsheen added six more runs in the second inning as well, and were led offensively by senior Emily Freitas of Wilmington, sophomore Jeyana Cronin, and senior Chloe Gaglione of Wilmington, each of whom had hits and RBIs to lead the offense. Freshman Alivia Imbimbo also contributed with a triple.
For Ialuna, it was great to see the Rams offense coming from some different sources in this game.
“So far this season we have had a number of people contribute. Chloe has improved so much this season already, and Emily has not had many opportunities at the plate, so I was so happy for both of them,” Ialuna said. “Jeyana has been making solid contact, but has been hitting it at people, so she hasn’t caught a break. I am hoping this game will catapult her offense going forward.”
Senior pitcher Kayla Mirisola of Tewksbury cruised through most of the contest in the circle as she scattered four hits, struck out five, and walked none.
“Waltham plays in a tough league and is a good hitting team,” Ialuna said. “Kayla kept them off balance and pitched a very good game.”
The Rams will be back in action on Thursday, when they host CAC rival Northeast at 4:00 pm.