REVERE — There was plenty to smile about Tuesday evening when the St. Mary’s baseball team gathered for its annual team banquet at The Marina at The Wharf.
The Spartans, bumped up to Division 2 during the offseason, finished their 2018 regular season at 13-7 and qualified for the Division 2 North state tournament as the No. 11 seed.
They defeated Division 2 and Northeastern Conference powerhouse Danvers, the No. 6 seed, 8-5 in extra innings in the preliminary round. The Spartans took a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh before the Falcons rallied to tie, but it was Anthony Bono’s RBI double in the top of the 10th that gave the Spartans the eventual game-winning run.
Bono finished the game 2-for-4 with a RBI, while Kyle Ouellette (1-for-3) and Josh Mateo (1-for-5) each had 2 RBI. John Mulready (3-for-5) also contributed a RBI. Colin Reddy went 2-for-4.
St. Mary’s fell to Beverly, the No. 3 seed and eventual sectional champion, 3-2 in the first round. Lee Pacheco and Bobby Alcock both pitched well in a tough-luck defeat that saw the Spartans’ season close on a Beverly inside-the-park home run.
“We had an opportunity,” St. Mary’s coach Derek Dana said. “I loved the way the kids played that day, we just left some runners on base. They found us at the end. It was an odd situation but no complaints. Lee and Bobby pitched great. I wish we had a couple timely hits so that play didn’t come into effect but it’s good experience for these kids. We have a lot coming back.”
The Spartans graduated six seniors from their 2018 roster. They are Bono, Mateo, Anthony Nikolakakis, Tom Cash, Lou Vidal, Aedan Leydon. Nikolakakis, Vidal and Mateo were each absent from Tuesday’s banquet as they’re currently in Jamestown, N.Y. playing in the Babe Ruth World Series with the Lynn 16-18-year-old All-Stars.
“The seniors did a nice job,” Dana said. “At one point we were 1-3, we improved to 5-4 and then all the sudden we were 11-5. We got it going in the right direction. The Clancy Tournament was a bit disappointing but we came back. We beat Arlington Catholic, we beat Winchester. We beat the three-time (Division 2 North) sectional champion (Danvers). I felt good about that. They did a lot of the right things.”
Award winners at Tuesday’s banquet were Ryan Fraher and Jason Donohue (Freshman Coach’s Awards), Lucas Fritz and Colby Magliozzi (JV Coach’s Awards). Varsity award winners included Bono (Most Improved), Jared Coppola (Unsung Player), DJ DiCenzo (Spartan Award), Nikolakakis (Offensive Player of the Year), Mulready (Defensive Player of the Year), Pacheco (Pitcher of the Year), Ouellette and Reddy (Jim Tgettis Coach’s Awards), Alcock (Most Valuable Player).
In addition, the team recognized it’s five Catholic Central League All-Stars in Mulready, Bono, Pacheco, Alcock and Nikolakakis.
Among those who Dana thanked were players, parents, his coaching staff, his family, St. Mary’s Athletic Director Jeff Newhall and former principal Jim Ridley.
Dana said he likes the core group of players slated to return next spring.
“We return our top three pitchers, a bunch in the infield,” Dana said. “We’ll have to fill in the outfield but I feel very good about what’s coming back. These kids are all hard workers and competitors.”