Erick Gonzalez tallied the lone RBI for the Magicians. (Item File Photo)

Magicians drop season finale to Fishermen

MARBLEHEAD -- The way Marblehead lost Thursday's game against Gloucester was a microcosm of the Magicians' 2018 season.

After getting through five innings without allowing a run and just three base runners, an error to start the sixth inning led to an avalanche of runs that ended in a 6-1 loss for Marblehead.

"This game really typified our whole season," said Marblehead coach Mike Giardi. "We were rolling through most of the game, and then that one error happens and it leads to a hit here and a hit there, and all of a sudden it's 4-0. That's kind of how it's been for us."

Marblehead starting pitcher Ryan Masters tossed a solid game despite the loss, going 6 2/3 innings and allowing six runs on nine hits with one strikeout. He retired the first eight batters he faced before allowing a hit. On offense, Erick Gonzalez came through with the lone RBI on a double that would've been out of the ballpark on almost any other field. Gonzalez had two of the three Marblehead hits in the game, with Cole Garaventi notching the other hit.

On the other side, Gloucester pitcher John Mondello kept the Magicians off balance all game long. Mondello pitched a complete game, giving up one run on three hits with six strikeouts.

"He's a great pitcher, and he did a really good job all day," Giardi said of Mondello.

Mondello got plenty of help from his offense as well, led by Marcus Montagnino's two-run single. Jack Sperry, Ben Oliver and Daylon Lark each added an RBI in the win.

The game was a good old-fashioned pitchers' duel for the majority of the action, as both pitchers took no-hitters faily deep into the game. Gloucester was first to break up the no-no when Kyle Kariores reached on a bunt single with two outs in the top of the third, but he was almost immediately thrown out trying to steal second base. Marblehead broke up Mondello's no-hitter in the bottom of the fourth when Garaventi hit a single to center field, but he was almost immediately picked off by Mondello.

Finally, in the top of the sixth, Gloucester was able to break through. It all started with Alias Mortillaro, who reached on an error. A pop-out and a groundout followed and it looked like Masters would escape the inning, but then he hit Montagnino to keep the inning alive. Then came three straight RBI singles from Sperry, Oliver and Lark to give Gloucester a 3-0 lead that it would not relinquish. The Fishermen added a fourth run on a successful double steal with runners on first and third.

After Gloucester added two more runs on Montagnino's two-run single in the top of the seventh, Gonzalez made sure Marblehead didn't get shut out by launching a deep RBI double that nearly made it to the street bordering Seaside Park to put the score at 6-1.

The Magicians finish up the season at 7-13, meaning there won't be any state tournament games for them this year. And while it's certainly too early to look ahead to next season, Giardi knows there are certain things that his team needs to improve on.

"I don't have the exact number right now, but we gave up somewhere close to 120 runs this year and almost 50 of them were unearned, so defensively we have to be better," said Giardi. "You lose four or five one-run games this year, so you just have to find a way to win those games somehow. Whether it's making an extra play or taking an extra base here or there, those are the things we're going to have to focus on."

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