REVERE — The St. Mary’s baseball team had plenty to celebrate at its annual awards banquet Wednesday evening at The Wharf. St. Mary’s put together a banner year in 2019, highlighted by the program’s first-ever Division 2 state championship.
“With this group, it was nice to show up at practice every day,” Spartans coach Derek Dana said. “They just knew what we wanted to do. Sometimes you have bumps on the road. There weren’t many bumps on the road with this group. That goes back to our five seniors.”
The Spartans finished the regular season at 15-5, good for the No. 2 seed in Division 2 North. After a first-round bye, St. Mary’s eked out a 1-0 win over No. 7 Belmont in the quarterfinal. Then the Spartans clawed their way to a 2-1 win over No. 3 Greater Lowell in the semifinal. St. Mary’s blanked No. 4 Woburn 5-0 for the sectional title. In the state championship, timely hitting and another dominant pitching performance from Bobby Alcock (22 shutout innings in the postseason) powered the Spartans to a 2-0 win over Hopkinton.
“To say you want to do it and to actually go out and do it, I think the kids realized that if you set your mind to something and stay focused, you can achieve your goals,” Dana said. “We achieved two of the three this year. We always set out for the (Nipper) Clancy Tournament, (CCL) League championship, and if you’re fortunate enough the state championship.
“The defense was absolutely phenomenal in the state tournament. Timely hitting, guys knew how to move somebody over, knock somebody in, 2-out hits. Of course, the pitching, we had three starts by Bobby that were dominant. Aiven (Cabral) gave us five innings (in the win over Greater Lowell) and Jared (Coppola) slammed the door shut with a 2-inning save. The kids just rose to the occasion.”
St. Mary’s graduated five senior leaders from its 2019 roster in pitcher Alcock, infielder Coppola, infielder DJ DiCenso, outfielder Kyle Ouellette and infielder Colin Reddy.
Juniors Lee Pacheco (infielder) and John Mulready (catcher) also brought leadership to the fold.
“The five seniors, plus John and Lee, have been around pretty much forever,” Dana said. “They took us in the right direction pretty much throughout the whole year. We really didn’t have any issues. Hitting, here and there a little bit. But pitching and defense were there consistently.
“They weren’t hard to coach,” Dana said. “Our seniors, along with Lee and Johnny carried us in the right direction. We had a freshman (Aiven Cabral) that stepped right in and did everything we asked. The new players came in and acclimated themselves to the atmosphere. It was just a great year.”
Award winners at Wednesday’s banquet included Alcock (CCL 1st team All-Star, CCL Pitcher of the Year, Agganis All-Star, Top Pitcher, State Tournament Final MVP); Coppola (Clancy MVP, CCL 1st team All-Star, Agganis All-Star, MVP, North Sectional MVP); Mulready (CCL 1st team All-Star, Unsung Player); Pacheco (CCL All-Star, Top Offensive Player); Aiven Cabral (CCL 2nd team All-Star; CCL Rookie of the Year, Rookie of the Year); Reddy (CCL 2nd team All-Star, Top Defensive Player); Kyle Ouellette (Agganis All-Star, Jim Tgettis Coach’s Award); Ethan Weisse (Spartan Award); DiCenso (John Nerich Jr. Most Improved Player Award); Brady Bullock and Ryan Fraher (Freshman Awards); Kory Ouellette, Andrew Luciano and Dante D’Ambrosio (Junior Varsity Awards).