Yogi Berra coined the phrase, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over,” about 55 years ago. It’s a sports maxim that has proven true time and time again.
Last Tuesday proved to be one of those occasions for the Everett High baseball team as they faced a 5-3 deficit with two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the final inning.
But then “Yogi magic” struck at Glendale Park. Chris McCarthy singled. Michael Russo singled. And Dan Concannon singled, bringing in McCarthy to cut the Medford lead to 5-4.
Ray Gallagher was hit by a pitch to load the bases, bringing up Shaun McGrath. It should be noted at this point that Shaun was the starting pitcher on the day for Everett, but the usually reliable Crimson Tide hurler did not get even one out in a first frame that was marred by errors and walks, resulting in five Medford runs.
So it was fitting that with the game on the line, McGrath should be at the plate, and he came through in fine fashion with a base hit to bring across Russo with the tying tally.
Next in the batter’s box was Cody Skeffington, who drilled a hard grounder to second base that the Mustang infielder was unable to handle, allowing Concannon to score the winning run. With the triumphant Crimson Tide deliriously swarming the field, the Medford Mustangs knew how the Red Sox felt in that epic 1986 World Series game with the Mets that made Bill Buckner infamous.
“It was an unbelievable end to the game,” said EHS head coach Joe Marchese, whose team had scored a solo run in the bottom of the first and then two more in the fifth to draw within striking range.
But the real hero for the Crimson Tide was sophomore pitcher Chris DiNapoli, who has been the number one man out of the bullpen for Marchese this season. Chris typically comes on in the late innings, but he went the entire seven inning route against Medford, allowing no runs and only two hits, while fanning two and walking two. Just as important, his teammates played errorless ball the rest of the way (after committing three errors at the start of the game) to give themselves a chance at a comeback.
Two days later, Everett took on Somerville and earned a 6-2 victory that was marked by none of the histrionics of the Medford game. Marchese gave McGrath, who had thrown only 30 pitches against Medford, the starting nod and Shaun came through with flying colors, limiting the Highlanders to just four hits, walking only three, and whiffing nine enemy batters.
Concannon was a force at the plate, going 3 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI triple. The Matty C. Show (Messrs. Cafarella and Costello) each had two hits and stole a base, with Cafarella scoring two runs. Russo also had two hits, scoring twice and delivering an RBI.
The victories improved Everett’s second place standing in the GBL to 4-1 (7-5 overall), behind only undefeated Cambridge. The GBL game of the year between the two rivals was set for yesterday (Tuesday).
Marchese and his crew then will host non league foe Lynn Classical Saturday morning at 11:00 at Glendale and travel to Malden’s Pine Banks Field Tuesday afternoon.