LYNN — Freshman pitcher Aiven Cabral wasn’t going to let the Spartans down Tuesday night at Fraser Field.
St. Mary’s baseball coach Derek Dana gave Cabral the nod and he delivered a shutout effort in a 4-0 win over St. John’s Prep.
The right-hander threw six innings for the Spartans, striking out eight while allowing just four hits with a walk and a HBP. Jared Coppola came in to close things out in the seventh inning, allowing one walk and striking out one.
“Aiven has been outstanding all year for us,” Dana said. “He’s just been outstanding at shortstop, sometimes at the plate and (Tuesday) on the mound. Just fantastic. It shows you that if you pound the strike zone, have a little bit of a curveball and compete you can do some good things.”
Colin Reddy (3-for-3 with a HBP) led the way at the plate, scoring three of St. Mary’s four runs.
“Colin’s a senior leader,” Dana said. “He had three hits and scored three runs. That’s what leaders do. He rose up along with some others too. Jared had to come in and finish this game up. The whole team defense has been playing really well together. “
Austin Foglietta (1-for-2) and Lee Pacheco (1-for-1 with two walks) each had one RBI. Coppola (2-for-4) scored one run.
Eagles coach Dan Letarte was quick to tip his cap to Cabral and the Spartans for limiting St. John’s offense.
“I think a lot of it had to do with their pitching,” Letarte said. “(Cabral) pitched a great game. He’s young and he deserved it. His location was great on several pitches and kept us off balance. I think we just weren’t very aggressive.”
The Spartans’ offense got off to a fast start in the first inning with a lead off single from Reddy. After a sacrifice-bunt from Kyle Ouelette, John Mulready laced a single to advance Reddy to third base. Pacheco got the hit the Spartans needed with two outs, driving in Reddy with a single to put St. Mary’s ahead 1-0.
Reddy got St. Mary’s started again in the third inning with a bunt single. Reddy had an easy time on the bases, coming around to score thanks to three passed balls to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead.
A single from Coppola and a walk by Pacheco gave the Spartans another scoring chance in the fifth inning. After a ground ball advanced Pacheco and Coppola to second and third, Foglietta laid down a RBI bunt single to score Coppola and stretch the St. Mary’s lead to 3-0.
Reddy got another Spartans rally going in the sixth inning with a single. St. Mary’s then executed a perfect hit-and-run with a single from Oulette advancing Reddy to third base. Reddy scored later in the inning on a balk to give St. Mary’s a 4-0 lead.
A leadoff single ended Cabral’s night in the seventh and Coppola came in to close the game for St. Mary’s. Coppola walked a batter but was able to force two fly balls and strike out his final batter to clinch the 4-0 win.
“When you get good pitching and you don’t walk people good things happen,” Dana said. “(Tuesday) was a good thing. St. John’s Prep is an excellent team, a top team in the state every year. I love competing against them, the kids love competing against them and (Tuesday night) was our night.”
The Spartans (9-3) have a quick turnaround, hosting Central Catholic League rival Archbishop Williams Wednesday (7). The Eagles (10-3) will have some rest before a road game against St. John’s Prep Shrewsbury Saturday (10).
“St. Mary’s played good baseball and deserved to win this game,” Letarte said. “We just want to bounce back. We have St. John’s Shrewsbury Saturday so fortunately we have three practices before that. We just want to really work hard at practice and get better individually and as a team.”