LYNN — St. Mary’s ace Bobby Alcock doesn’t need to be reminded that this is his final go-round wearing the white, blue and yellow Spartans uniform. His numbers throughout the state tournament show exactly how determined Alcock is to go out on top.
In two postseason starts in the Division 2 North state tournament, Alcock, a Lynn native, has tossed 15 shutout innings with 15 strikeouts. He has allowed eight hits and two walks.
Alcock’s dominant performances helped the Spartans claim their first-ever Division 2 North sectional title. One win away from its first state championship since 2015, St. Mary’s will play Hopkinton Thursday (at Alumni Field, 7) for the Division 2 crown.
“It’s special,” Alcock, a senior right-hander, said. “I’ve been at St. Mary’s since sixth grade. To have everything clicking right now, it’s a lot of fun. To have my last game at St. Mary’s be the state championship means a lot. Our defense has played great, our offense has scored runs early and as a pitcher that’s all you can ask for. We’ve been playing very well.”
Alcock pitched his Spartans to a 1-0 8-inning win over Belmont in the quarterfinal round last Monday. The offense was kept quiet by Belmont starter Mike Brown but Alcock matched him pitch for pitch, giving St. Mary’s a chance to score the winning run on a passed ball.
“He’s dialed in right now so it’s fun to watch,” Spartans coach Derek Dana said. “You have confidence in him every time he takes the mound. It’s nice going into a game knowing Bobby’s on the mound. It feels good giving Bobby the ball. He gives you a chance to win every time out.”
This past Saturday in the Division 2 North final, St. Mary’s bats pushed across five runs and Alcock took care of the rest. He struck out seven over seven innings in a 5-0 win over Woburn. When Alcock ran into trouble (though it didn’t happen often), his defense made big plays behind him.
“I’m very confident in my defense,” Alcock said. “I’ve been playing with (senior infielder) Colin Reddy for a long time. I know he’d run through a wall to make a catch and the same goes for a lot of guys on our team. We’re all together and we’re all willing to do anything it takes to win this tournament.”
That also includes Spartans catcher John Mulready, who’s emerged as a reliable backstop for a St. Mary’s pitching staff that has allowed just one run through the tournament. Alcock said his chemistry with Mulready goes a long way.
“John has been huge this year,” Alcock said. “I feel like he’s one of the most underrated players around. He does everything well from framing pitches to blocking balls on the ground. He’s been a huge help to our success this year.”
Dana, who has watched Alcock progress into St. Mary’s ace since he joined the varsity team as a sophomore, isn’t surprised by his postseason success.
“He competes every single time out,” Dana said. “He gives you everything he has. For the most part, he pounds the strike zone. Whenever he runs into a little bit of trouble, he fights back. He’s been a leader. He teaches the young kids what to do. I’ve enjoyed coaching him very much for the past three years.”
Alcock’s fastball floats around 84-87 MPH. He makes good use of his curveball to mix speeds.
“With my fastball I’ve just been trying to change location, up, down, in and out,” Alcock said. “The curveball’s something I’ve just been sprinkling in there to try and keep batters off balance. Hopefully I can get a lot of swings and misses with it.”
For Alcock, last season’s tournament woes have fueled his fire. The Spartans gave Division 2 North champion Beverly their best punch but fell to the Panthers 3-2 in a 9-inning quarterfinal thriller.
“We have a lot of the same kids back from last year’s team,” Alcock said. “A lot of us knew the feeling of losing and we didn’t like it one bit. One of our goals coming back this season was to change that. I’m glad we have a chance to do it and hopefully we can get it done.”
This time around, the Spartans know any play can make the difference.
“With this group of kids, they saw what can ultimately affect a game,” Dana said. “One play, whether it’s in the first inning, second inning or 10th inning, you have to be focused on every pitch. The play that wins or loses a game doesn’t always have to be in the last inning.
“The five seniors (Alcock, Reddy, Jared Coppola, DJ DiCenso, Kyle Ouellette) have done a great job, along with (juniors) John and Lee (Pacheco). They’ve been around the longest. They’ve kept this group focused. They’ve played hard, they’ve practiced hard and they’ve bought in. We have one big opportunity left.”