LYNN — A handful of mistakes proved costly for the St. Mary’s baseball team in a 6-5 loss to
Nauset Regional after a back-and-forth game Saturday at Fraser Field.
Overall the Spartans had a rough day at the plate, scoring just five runs on six hits and seven walks. while striking out nine times. St. Mary’s left five runners in scoring position.
“We score four runs early and we kept telling the kids that we have to finish,” Spartans coach Derek Dana said. “You have to finish a game, you can’t just hope to get to the finish line, you have to keep playing. We grabbed a lead but we had too many strikeouts and too many guys left on base.”
Despite the loss, one positive was Aiven Cabral in his first start. The freshman pitched 4 1/3 with four strikeouts, allowing seven hits and two walks with three earned runs. Jared Coppola (two innings with one strikeout and two earned runs on six hits) and Terrence Moynihan (1/3, one strikeout) closed the game.
“We got off to a fast start,” Dana said. “We had a freshman on the mound in his first start so that part was positive. He gave us a great chance to win.”
The Spartans were led at the plate by Colin Reddy (2-for-4 with a run scored) while Richie Pagliuca (1-for-2 with two RBI) drove in a pair of runs in the first inning. Kyle Ouellette (1-for-1 with two walks and one RBI) drove in a run while Coppola (1-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored) scored twice. Lee Pacheco (1-for-3 with a walk and one run scored) and John Mulready (0-for-2 with two walks and one run scored) each scored once.
Cabrel ran into trouble in the first, allowing a hit and a pair of walks. But the right-hander limited the damage to a run on a sacrifice fly.
St. Mary’s got off to a promising start at the plate, drawing five walks in the first inning. The Spartans scored on a passed ball and Kyle Ouellette brought a run to the plate after drawing a walk with the bases loaded. Pagliuca drove in a pair of runs with a two-out double to put St. Mary’s ahead 4-1 but the Spartans left the bases loaded.
A pair of singles put runners on for the Warriors in the third inning. A failed pick off attempt turned into a disaster for the Spartans, with back-to-back errors allowing a run to score cutting the lead to 4-2.
Nauset tied things up in the fifth inning. Mac LaBarge drove in a run after lacing a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly later in the inning to knot things up at 4-4.
The Spartans responded in their half of the fifth. Coppola started things off, lacing a double with no outs. A pair of sacrifice bunts and a Nauset infield error brought Coppola around to score, giving St. Mary’s a 5-4 lead.
The Warriors rallied in the seventh. Stephen Kalinick doubled to start things off and LaBarge brought him home with a single before being thrown out trying to take third base.
With two outs, it looked as though St. Mary’s would limit the damage but Chris Beach roped a double to keep the inning going. The next batter, Richie Corres, hit a low line drive right at third baseman Bobby Alcock, who thought he made the catch after trapping the ball in his glove and didn’t attempt to throw the runner out at first. The decision proved costly with Corres being called safe at first base and advancing Beach to third. A few pitches later, Beach scored on a single to give the Warriors a 6-5 lead.
“There were some mental mistakes in there today,” Dana said. “That’s very uncharacteristic for these guys. It certainly caught up to us. We didn’t stay focused the whole time and didn’t stay focused every pitch. Things that we talk about every single day in practice didn’t get done and that cost us the game.”
The Spartans had their chance to tie things up in the seventh with Kyle Ouellette reaching on a single and pinch-runner Kory Ouellette advancing to second on a balk, but St. Mary’s couldn’t drive in the run.
St. Mary’s (1-1) will hope to rebound Monday (10) when the Spartans host Malden Catholic.
“We have to tighten those mistakes up,” Dana said. “If we want to do something this season, and we just got done talking about it, if we want to be a consistently good team we have to tighten up the mental focus.”