During the regular season, the Bishop Fenwick and St. Mary’s baseball teams are rivals in the Catholic Central League.
This past weekend, the Crusaders and Spartans were crowned champions of their respective North sectionals. Fenwick defeated Lynnfield, 8-2, at Lowell’s Alumni Field for the Division 3 North sectional championship. And St. Mary’s blanked Woburn, 5-0, at Fraser Field for the program’s first Division 2 North sectional title (the Spartans opted to move up to Division 2 from Division 3 last season).
“When we made that move we made our schedule accordingly,” Spartans coach Derek Dana said. “We think we have a pretty tough schedule. We’ve seen outstanding pitching, and it has paid off.
“It’s the state tournament. It’s how many more plays can you make than your opponent. We never let anything get too big. We didn’t let one mistake turn into two mistakes. The kids have played great team baseball.”
The Spartans were led by seniors Bobby Alcock and Jared Coppola. Alcock, a right-handed starter, struck out seven in seven innings and picked up his 300th career strikeout in the win.
In two postseason starts, Alcock has yet to allow a run over 15 innings.
Coppola, an infielder, carried the offense with two RBI. He put the Spartans on the scoreboard with an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning. In the bottom of the third, Coppola extended the Spartans’ lead to 2-0 with an RBI double. Coppola scored a run later in the inning on a Woburn error.
The win places St. Mary’s in the Division 2 state championship game Thursday night (7) against South sectional champion Hopkinton (there are no D2 teams in Central or Western Mass.). Hopkinton, the top seed in Division 2 North, is 16-5 this season.
“They’re a very good team,” Dana said. “They’ve had great success this year.”
The Crusaders fell behind, 2-0, in the first inning and couldn’t get much going for themselves offensively in the early going. Things started to go their way in the top of the fourth. Fenwick ripped three doubles and made the most of three Lynnfield errors for a six-run rally. The game was never in doubt from there.
Reliever Jake Miano was stellar for Fenwick, tossing six shutout innings with six strikeouts. Ethan Belt and Cory Bright paced the offense with two hits and two RBI each.
Up next for the Crusaders is the Division 3 state semifinal Tuesday afternoon (4), again in Lowell, this time to take on South sectional champion Medway. The Mustangs, seeded seventh in Division 3 South, have allowed just one run in four postseason games. The winner advances to the Division 3 state championship game Saturday at a time to be announced at LeLacheur Park in Lowell.