ITEM PHOTO BY KATIE MORRISON
Fenwick’s Nick Fowler trucks into third base as Austin Prep’s Alex Martinez awaits the throw.
By MIKE ALONGI
LYNN — The cinderella run came to an end on Thursday night, as the No. 16 Bishop Fenwick baseball team fell to No. 5 Austin Prep, 13-4, in the Division 3 North semifinals at Fraser Field. The Crusaders, who had come from behind to win every game in the tournament, simply ran out of gas.
“I think we were pretty much running on fumes at this point,” said Fenwick coach Kevin Canty. “We used (Dave) Furtado and Tyler (Thompson) a lot, and they’ve thrown a ton of pitches over the past week. We’ve had to work so hard in every game so far, I think it just caught up to us tonight.”
Angelo McCullough, Ryan Murphy and Kasey O’Brien each had an RBI in the loss for Fenwick, while Furtado, Thompson and Nick Pignone all saw time on the mound.
Fenwick jumped right out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. After two hits and an error loaded up the bases, Murphy stepped in and hit an RBI groundout to put the Crusaders on the board.
Austin Prep answered back with a run in the bottom of the first when Brendan Barry hit an RBI single, then the Cougars jumped out in front the next inning with a four-run outburst. Two errors brought in two runs, then Alex Martinez knocked a two-run single into centerfield to make it 5-1. The score would’ve been 6-1, but Moore gunned down a runner at home to end the inning.
For Fenwick, it was the errors that were a major killer in this one. The Crusaders committed seven errors on the day that led to four unearned runs.
“Unfortunately we picked the worst day of the year to have our worst game,” said Canty. “Things happened tonight that hadn’t been happening over the last few games, and with a team like Austin Prep you can’t give them extra runners and extra at-bats, and we paid for it.”
Austin Prep was right back at it in the bottom of the fourth. A single and a walk put runners on first and second to open the inning, then Logan Bravo hit an RBI single to make it 6-1. From there, back-to-back sacrifice flies from Peter Burns and Josh Bartnicki moved the score to 8-1.
Fenwick got one back in the top of the fifth when McCullough hit an RBI single to centerfield. The Crusaders looked to start a rally after a runner scored on a passed ball to make it 8-3, but Seguin retired the next two batters to escape.
The Cougars added another run in the bottom of the fifth, then Fenwick responded with a run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly from pinch-hitter Kasey O’Brien to make it 9-4. But that was as close as the Crusaders would get, as Austin Prep added four more runs in the sixth to run away with the win.
For the five Fenwick seniors, it’s a bitter way to end the season but Canty says they have nothing to be ashamed of.
“Those guys stepped up every time we needed them to,” Canty said of his seniors, who were all captains of this year’s team. “We knew we would ride or die with them, and all of them made key hits and key plays in key situations to get us here. Tonight sucked, but those guys have nothing to hang their head about.”
As for the rest of his young team, things can only get better.
“I always thought that with this team, we’d really be at our best next year, so a lot of great things are still to come,” said Canty. “Every one of these young guys now has a ton of big tournament experience, and even this loss can only help us going forward.”
The Crusaders close out the year at 13-11.