The Everett High baseball team defeated Greater Boston League rival Cambridge, 15-5, last Tuesday to clinch at least a share of the GBL title. Coach Joe Marchese’s squad now is 6-0 in the GBL (10-2 overall) with a two game lead over its nearest rival, Medford. If the Crimson Tide can win just one of its two remaining league games against Malden, which was scheduled for yesterday (Tuesday) or Medford, which is set for tomorrow, they will claim their first outright GBL championship in 20 years.
The contest with Cambridge was a 5-5 affair until the bottom of the sixth, at which time Everett erupted for 10 runs to put the game away. Crimson Tide ace Shaun McGrath hurled five and one third innings, allowing just three earned runs on six hits, while fanning six enemy batters.
However, he tired in the sixth when Cambridge put together a rally that tied the score at five. Chris DiNapoli came on with none out to put out the fire and then tossed a near perfect seventh frame, retiring Cambridge in order after yielding a base hit to start the inning.
A number of Crimson Tide players joined in the hitting party that propelled Everett into a share of the 2011 title, a victory that also assured the Tide of a berth in the post season state tourney. Lead-off man Matt Cafarella was a thorn in the side of Cambridge all day with four hits, three runs scored, three stolen bases, and an RBI.
Other key contributors for Everett were: Rob DeLuca, who had two hits, a walk, two runs, and three RBI, including a two run double in the sixth; DiNapoli, who banged out two hits, walked twice, and had two RBI; and Brian Helfelder, who had two hits and drove in a trio of ribbies, including a two run triple in the big sixth.
Two days later the Crimson Tide traveled to Marblehead of the Northeastern Conference and came out on the short end of a 4-3 decision. Joe Saia pitched well for Everett, tossing five and one third innings in which he allowed the four Marblehead runs on six hits. The southpaw fanned six and walked two. DiNapoli once again came on in relief in the sixth and got the last two outs of the inning.
However, the Crimson Tide did not bring their heavy lumber on the trip to the coastal town on the North Shore. Everett only had three hits and left eight men on base (thanks to six walks from Marblehead pitching). Their last at bat was symptomatic of the Crimson Tide’s frustrations at the plate when Cafarella tripled in the top of the seventh and Everett loaded the bases with one out. But the Crimson Tide proved unable to push across the tying tally.
But two days later on Saturday in Everett, DiNapoli fired a gem to lead the Tide to a 7-0 blanking of Marblehead in the rematch. “Chris pitched a superb game,” noted Marchese of DiNapoli’s route-going effort in which he threw only 78 pitches of which 58 were strikes. Chris’s final line showed him yielding just four hits, fanning eight, and walking none.
The Matts, Cafarella and Costello, caused a lot of damage, with Matt Caf’ once again playing his lead-off role to perfection with three hits (including a two bagger), a walk, two runs, and two stolen bases, while Matt C. had two hits, an RBI, a run, and a stolen base.
Chris McCarthy was shown the ultimate respect by the opposition, as he was walked intentionally no less than four times on the day. Still, he drove in a run in the sixth. McGrath was intentionally walked twice and had two hits and scored a run.
After the games with Malden and Medford, Marchese and his crew travel to St. John’s Prep Saturday morning; journey to Charlestown on Monday; host Methuen next Tuesday; host Haverhill next Friday; and then play in the Peabody Tournament on Memorial Day weekend.