Victory over Medford gives Tide its first outright crown in 20 years
The Everett High baseball team clinched an outright Greater Boston League title with a wild and wooly 10-9 victory at Medford in a game played Sunday that was a makeup of last week’s postponed outing.
The triumph improved Coach Joe Marchese’s squad’s record to 7-0 in the GBL (12-2 overall) and marked the first sole championship by an Everett baseball team in more than 20 years.
The victory, and the title, did not come easily however. The Tide held a 7-2 advantage going into the bottom of the seventh inning with their starting pitcher, Chris DiNapoli, fully in charge and seemingly en route to a comfortable victory. .
However, the Mustangs stormed back for five markers in the seventh, with Tide reliever Zarif Pajazetovic coming on with two outs to put out the fire and send the contest into extra innings deadlocked at 7-7.
Everett came right back in the top half of the eighth with three tallies, but Medford reached Pajazetovic for two markers and had the bases loaded with two outs. However, Zarif got the final out on an infield pop up to second baseman Brian Helfelder to nail down the big win.
Shaun McGrath swung a big bat for Everett with two hits, three RBI, and two runs scored. Shawn Doyle also had two hits with an RBI; Matt Costello had a hit, two walks, and three runs; Chris McCarthy contributed a hit, three bases on balls, two stolen bases, and two runs; and Rob DeLuca chipped in with a hit, two ribbies, and two runs.
The day before on Saturday featured one of the premier schoolboy pitching matchups this season in Eastern Mass. with Everett ace McGrath, who is headed to URI, facing off against St. John’s Prep flamethrower Pat Connaughton, who is bound for Notre Dame.
Shaun limited the Prep to three hits, while Everett managed just two hits off Connaughton. But the scoreboard told the final story, with McGrath, who fanned 10 Prep batters on the day, winning the duel with Connaughton by a 2-0 margin.
The Tide pushed across both of its runs in the opening inning thanks to some early wildness from Connaughton. Three walks to Costello, McCarthy, and DeLuca loaded the bases for DiNapoli, who stroked a clean base hit to left center that rescued two teammates.
That would prove to be the only runs of the contest as the pitchers and their defense took control the rest of the way. The Prep had a rally going in the fifth with runners at first and second with one out, but a 6-4-3 double play, Matt Cafarella to Helfelder to DiNapoli, snuffed the threat. In the third inning, Crimson Tide right fielder Cody Skeffington made the catch of the game with a going-away, diving catch in right center.
Everett took on an outmatched Charlestown team on Monday and posted a 15-3 triumph in a contest that was called after five frames. On the offensive front, Costello banged out three hits with two runs and two RBI; Helfelder had two hits and a run; McCarthy was 2 for 2 with a run and a ribbie; McGrath and DeLuca likewise were 2 for 2 with a pair of ribbies and a run each; and Jamel Vilmont, recently up from the JV squad, had two hits, a run and an RBI.
Costello, Mat Pothier, and Vilmont handled the pitching duties.
With their record now at a lofty 13-2, Marchese and his crew will be looking to close out the season with a strong finish to earn a high seed in the post season state tournament. The Tide were set to host Methuen yesterday (Tuesday); host Haverhill today; play at Malden tomorrow; and then participate in the Peabody Tournament on Memorial Day weekend.
EHS Softball Team Edges Marblehead, 5-4
The Everett High softball team received another fine effort from Michelle Zullo and rallied from a 4-3 deficit in the bottom of the sixth inning to pull out a 5-4 victory last week over Marblehead, a rival from the Northeastern Conference.
The Lady Crimson Tide grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning when Rachel Pierce walked and Tory Cyrus singled. After Pierce stole second and Cyrus stole third, Taylor Sweeney drew a walk to load the bases. Michelle Zullo helped her own cause with a single to bring in Pierce and then Alea Martinelli slapped a hit to deliver Cyrus.
Erin McLaughlin added to the Everett margin with a solo home run in the third.
However, Marblehead erased that deficit and forged ahead with a four run uprising in the sixth, setting the stage for the Everett comeback in the bottom of the inning. Cyrus reached on an error and took second on a dead ball. Lexi Sowards neatly laid down a sacrifice bunt to get Tory to third. Zullo then proved to be her own best friend with a base hit to bring in Cyrus with the game tying tally. Michelle herself then scored what would prove to be the game winning marker when she came all the way around on a triple by Janyne Sierra.
On the mound, Zullo went the full seven inning distance and allowed just six hits, fanning five and walking only one.
However, on Monday the Lady Crimson Tide dropped a 10-8 decision to archrival Malden of the Greater Boston League in a heartbreaking and controversial contest.
The contest was a see saw battle all the way. After Malden took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, Everett responded with a marker in the bottom of the frame when McLaughlin singled, stole second, moved to third on a ground out, and scored on a clutch base hit by Cyrus.
Malden tacked on a solo marker in the third to make it a 3-1 affair, but McLaughlin poled a three run homer in the bottom of the inning to give the Lady Crimson Tide a 4-3 advantage. Martinelli, who had singled, and Sierra, who had doubled, were aboard for Erin’s blast.
Malden regained the lead in the fourth with two tallies thanks to two hits and some Everett fielding miscues, and made it 6-4 with a solo marker in the fifth.
However, Everett counterpunched with a two out rally in its fifth. Pierce singled, followed by another single by Brianna Uga. Cyrus then laced a double knocking in two runs and Taylor Sweeney tripled, knocking in Tory for a 7-6 Everett advantage.
But, you guessed it, Malden responded with three runs of their own in the sixth for a 9-7 lead and added another tally in the seventh to make it 10-7.
The Lady Crimson refused to give up and got one back in the bottom of the seventh, but 10-8 was as close as they would get. Zullo went all seven innings on the mound, fanning eight opponents, but yielding 13 hits and six earned runs against a Malden squad which had just come off a win over Northeastern Conference champion Lynn Classical, handing Classical its first defeat of the season.
“This was a tough loss for us,” said EHS head coach Stacy Poste. “It was a game we truly should have won. For every error we made, they scored two runs. We had looked forward to beating this team all season, but again fell to them.
“Malden is a very disciplined team when it comes to offense and defense,” continued the coach, “but today I think they were surprised to see how well we hit off of their pitcher,” who previously had limited the Tide to just one run in their first encounter in a 2-1 loss for Everett.
The umpiring also featured some controversy. Everett had an apparent run taken away when Zullo had rounded third when the throw from third to first went into dead ball territory. Everett had the steal on and Michelle already had reached second before the throw was made to first, but the umpire sent her back to third. A few other times the umps had to ask each other the count because the plate umpire lost count.
“The girls were heartbroken after the game, but Asst. Coach Nuzzolo reminded them they have three more important games left and we have to start thinking tournament,” added Poste. “The girls wanted a GBL title, but Michelle Zullo and Rachel Pierce promised to share my 200th win with me, which is just four games away. I would love to achieve it with this team and Assistant Coach Nuzzolo. He was my coach in high school and it would be nice to share this with him. He really is the key behind my success.”
Poste and her squad, who now are 12-5 on the season, were set to travel to Latin Academy today (Wednesday), entertain Swampscott tomorrow, and host Medford next Monday evening on the holiday under the lights at Glendale at 6:00.
Five Crimson Tide are GBL champions
Five members of the Everett High girls and boys track teams earned the titles of Champion of the Greater Boston League with first place efforts in their respective events in the All-GBL Meet held last week.
On the boys’ side, Peter Duperier captured the 200 meter dash in 23.41 seconds; David Lima outran the field in the 800 meter run in 2:09.13; and Dexter Dowe tossed the discus 118 feet, 3 inches to top the competition.
For the girls, Sashae Walls outleaped all of her foes in the high jump with an effort of 5-0 and Maeve Kernan took the mile in 5:45, which was a personal record (PR) for Maeve.
Other boys who finished in the top six in their events to contribute points to the EHS scoresheet were: Andres Tejada with a fifth in the 100 meter dash in 12.14, a PR, and a sixth in the long jump with a leap of 18-6.5; Jonathan Mendez with a fourth in the 200 dash in 24.04; Domenic Mucci with a sixth in the 200 in 24.85 and a fifth in the triple jump with a landing of 38-2; Soufiane Fdal with a fifth in the 400 dash in 58.21; Alexander Reppucci with a sixth in the 400 in 58.63; Francisco Guzman with a fourth in the 110 meter high hurdles in 20.69; Chavannes Valbrune with a sixth in the 400 meter low hurdles in 67.82 and a sixth in the high jump with a leap of 5-0; Max Alphonse with a fifth in the shot put with a throw of 31-10; Ricky Perez with a sixth in the shot with a heave of 30-9.25; Daniel Plunkett with a javelin toss of 118-0, good for fourth place; and Duperier with a fifth in the long jump with a landing of 18-8.5.
The boys 4 x 100 relay team of Fdal, Mendez, Mucci, and Tejada took third in 46.57 which qualified them for the upcoming state meet; the boys 4 x 400 quartet of Pierry Etienne, Reppucci, Fdal, and Duperier took fourth in 3:47.34; and the 4 x 800 foursome of Luis Franco, Valbrune, Caio Simayo, and Perez grabbed third in 10:08.
Lady Crimson Tide performers who earned ribbons for their top six efforts were: Katie Steeves with a third in the 200 dash in 29.28 and a fourth in the long jump with a landing of 14-5; Jackie Steeves with a sixth in the javelin with a throw of 67-4; Serina Welch Shull with a fourth in the 400 dash in 66.51; Jess Mangan with a fifth in the two mile in 13:54; Emily Ponikiewski with a fifth in the 800 in 2:48.36; Daryl Colson with a sixth in the 110 meter high hurdles in 19.74 and a third in the discus with a twirl of 73-2.5; Elizabeth Colson with a fifth in the 400 meter low hurdles in 1:25.50; Delmis Urquiza with a second in the shotput with a throw of 22-0; Angele Louis Jean with a third in the shot with a toss of 18-3.5; and Jennifer Miranda with a fourth for her shotput heave of 16-4.75.
The girls’ 4 x 100 relay team of Katie Steeves, Daryl Colson, Walls, and Welch-Shull took third in 54.66; the 4 x 400 quartet of Elspeth Colson, Urquiza, Ponikiewski, and Ducylia Johnson took fourth in 4:56.77; and the 4 x 800 foursome of Louis-Jean, Tiara Perez, Sheryl Steeves, and Sarah Fischer grabbed fourth in 12:57.
“Overall I was pleased with our teams’ efforts,” said EHS head coach Shelanda Irish. “We don’t have a lot of depth, but everyone whom we counted upon to score did so, which was nice to see.”
At this Saturday’s State Divisional Meet at Andover High, Everett will be represented by Duperier in either the 200 or 400 meter dashes and Dowe in the shotput for the boys. For the girls, Walls will compete in the high jump and the 400 dash and Daryl Colson, who holds the EHS record of 90-5 in the discus, will compete in that event.
Both the boys and girls 4 x 100 relay teams also will be entered.