PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Joe Gilmartin is 4-0 for the Tanners this season.
By STEVE KRAUSE
PEABODY — The Peabody baseball team has achieved the first item on its bucket list.
The Tanners’ 7-3 win Monday over Marblehead at Bezemes Diamond raised their record to 11-2 and qualified them for the Division 1 North state tournament.
More important, though, it continued sophomore pitcher Joe Gilmartin’s thus-far perfect season (he is 4-0). It also saw the Tanners pound nine hits and put up a crooked number (5) in the fourth inning to turn a tight ballgame into a comfortable win.
“We got some timely hits this afternoon,” said Peabody coach Mark Bettencourt. “We’ve been getting beaten on inside pitches, but we’re working on that. We put together some pretty good at-bats today.”
Gilmartin went six innings, giving up only three hits and striking out four.
“He’s doing everything we’ve asked of him,” said Bettencourt. “He throws strikes, runners on, fields his position. It’s a pretty good thing for a sophomore to be a starting varsity pitcher and he’s doing it.”
What pleases Bettencourt most about Gilmartin is his ability to spot his pitches.
“He puts the ball in play, and the infielders like that,” said Bettencourt. “They don’t want to be standing around watching the count go full. He’s around the plate, and the infielders are moving around.”
The Magicians, 7-4, got three excellent innings from Beau Dana, who is just rounding into shape after suffering a knee injury this season. The senior righty, bound for Georgetown in the fall, was throwing the ball upwards to 90 mph, according to a scout who was there with a speed measuring device.
“Where he’s just coming back, we don’t want to rush him,” said Marblehead coach Mike Giardi. “And (Peabody) is good-hitting team.”
In his three innings of work, Dana gave up two runs on four hits, while walking one and hitting one.
However, Giardi lifted Dana after three innings and brought in Chris Gally. And while he didn’t get it up, Peabody touched him for five runs, which wrapped up the win for the Tanners.
Peabody sent nine batters to the plate during the inning. With one out, Jake Doherty and Dylan DiFillipo hit back-to-back singles. The Magicians ran into a bit of bad luck on the next to Peabody hits. Eric DeMayo hit a medium-ranged fly to left fell in just short of the diving left-fielder. Because DiFillipo had to hold up, he only made it to third on the play while Doherty scored. DeMayo ended up on second with a double.
The exact same thing happened with Gilmartin, only his hit went to right field. Drew Bisegna though the ball was going to carry farther than it did, and by the time he adjusted and came back in, it had bounced in front of him.
DiFillipo scored, but DeMayo had to hold up until he knew the ball wouldn’t be caught, and he could only make it to third, with Gilmartin reaching second for a double.
“Things kind of got out of hand in that inning,” said Giardi.
Gally got Nick Palma on on a called strike three before Anthony Iannuzzi laced a booming double to left-center field that scored two runs and made the score 6-2.
“That,” said Bettencourt, “was a huge hit.”
Jake Gustin brought Iannuzzi home with a single to make it 7-2.
The teams traded runs in the first. Marblehead’s James McCarthy led off the game with a single and stole second. After Chris Gally walked, Dana’s fly ball to deep center allowed McCarthy to go to third, and he scored on Bisegna’s sacrifice fly.
In the bottom of the inning, Palma led off with a double, was bunted to third by Iannuzzi, and scored on Gustin’s single.
The teams repeated the drill in the third. McCarthy singled for Marblehead and scored on an errant attempt to nail him as he stole third.
Peabody evened things out in the bottom of the third. Palma walked and eventually scored on Gustin’s sacrifice fly. Gustin ended up with three RBI on the day.