The Swampscott baseball team waited a year for this one. No. 8 Swampscott erased the sour memories of last year’s postseason with a 5-2 win over No. 1 Austin Prep Monday at Morelli Field in the Division 3 North quarterfinal.
Austin Prep cut the Big Blue’s tournament run short in the 2018 sectional semifinal.
“The kids feed off the underdog role,” Swampscott coach Joe Caponigro said. “They were charged for the entire game. They’re hungry and they want to keep playing.
“I’m so proud of the way the kids have battled,” Caponigro said. “At one point we were 2-5 and to be where we are is a testament to our willingness to keep working and never give in.”
Swampscott starter Max Pegnato allowed two earned runs on nine hits and struck out six in seven innings. The Big Blue were hitless through the first five innings (and struck out 11 times) before catching fire in the last two innings. Dylan January put Swampscott on the board with a 2-run home run in the top of the sixth.
The Big Blue rallied for three runs in the seventh. Jonathan Oriakhi laced a 2-run single and Ryan Graciale capped the scoring with a RBI single.
The Big Blue will take on No. 4 Fenwick in the semifinal round Wednesday (4) at Bentley.
“It’s finals week and I have to respect the kids academics,” Caponigro said. “They have some things they’ll take care of but we’ll get some work in and we’ll be ready.”
Woburn 4, Marblehead 3
In the Division 2 North quarterfinal, Woburn walked off with the victory in the bottom of the seventh. Aidan Michaud (1-for-3, two RBI) carried Marblehead’s offense. Erick Gonzlez (0-for-3) drove in a run.
Starter Ben Weed allowed two earned runs over four innings. Ryan Masters tossed two shutout innings of relief.
Marblehead ends the season 14-8.
Lynnfield 4, North Reading 2
The No. 3 Pioneers advanced to the Division 3 North quarterfinal behind a gritty effort from Fernando Gonzalez. He pitched in and out of trouble for much of the game, allowing three hits with five walks, one hit batter and five strikeouts. He made up for it at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a 2-run homer. Clay Marengi (RBI single) and Luke Martinho (RBI double) had the only other Pioneer hits. Martinho was also clutch in left field, saving two runs with sliding catch on a bases-loaded line drive in the sixth, while John Singer came up with three big plays at second. Lynnfield’s set to play No. 2 Gloucester Wednesday (TBA).
St. John’s 4, Franklin 1
The No. 2 Eagles remain alive in the Division 1A “Super 8” tournament. The difference was a 3-run St. John’s rally in the top of the ninth. Brady O’Brien and Jack Cairns each went 1-for-4 with one RBI. Zach Fortuna (5 2/3, five strikeouts) and Max Gieg (3 1/3, six strikeouts) paired up on the mound.
St. John’s awaits the winner between No. 5 BC High and No. 7 Mansfield (TBA).
New Mission 14, Tech 1
The top-seeded Titans ended Tech’s season in the Division 4 North quarterfinal. The Tigers wrapped the 2019 campaign at 9-11.
Acton-Boxboro 3, Classical 2 (F/10)
The No. 7 Rams gave No. 2 Acton-Boxboro everything they had but fell just short in the Division 1 North quarterfinal.
Pitcher Brooke Warren threw all 10 innings and allowed two earned runs on nine hits. Kayla Morrill (2-for-4, RBI) and Rebecca Walker (2-for-4) led the offense.
“I could not be more proud of my team,” Rams coach Erika Richard said. “Every single person in our dugout, every single player, coach, fan, wanted it and left everything they had out on that field. If we were going to lose, I’m glad we can walk away with our heads held high knowing we lost a game like that to a team as good as Acton-Boxboro. It just makes us hungrier to come back even better next year.”
Classical ends the season 16-6.
St. John’s 12, Central Catholic 7
The No. 1 Eagles advanced to the Division 1 final. They’ll play the winner between No. 2 Acton-Boxboro and No. 6 Westford Academy Friday (5) at Glatz Field.
Billerica 15, Marblehead 12
The No. 2 Magicians hung close with No. 6 Billerica in the Division 2 North semifinal but fell just short in a comeback effort. Marblehead ends the season 15-4.
Weston 3, Lynnfield 2
The No. 4 Pioneers’ season came to an end with a semifinal loss to the defending No. 8 seeded Division 3 state champions. Michael Gentile (third singles) and Harrison Luba (second singles) were the Pioneer winners. The wins capped undefeated seasons for each player in duel match play. Lynnfield ends the season 15-4.
Newburyport 3, Marblehead 2
In the Division 2 North semifinal, winners for No. 3 Marblehead were Michelle Shub (6-0, 6-0 at first singles) and Hannah Porath (6-1, 6-2 at second singles).
Marblehead ends the season 20-3.