In an opening round Karelis Division game of the Haverhill Hillie Classic, the Marblehead High baseball team (7-6 in the Northeastern Conference, 12-8 overall) lost to conference rival Salem, 6-3, in eight innings at Seaside Park.
The Magicians were leading 3-0 after five innings when Salem took advantage of some mistakes to tie the game. And then in extra innings, Salem did it again. The host team outhit Salem, 8-3, but five errors on defense led to five unearned runs, according to coach Mike Giardi.
Drew Whitman pitched seven innings, giving up two hits, two walks and three runs, but only one was earned. He was credited with six strikeouts. Chris Cannuscio was on the mound during the extra inning. He issued one hit, one walk and three runs, but just one was earned. He fanned one.
Bodie Bartram paced the offensive attack with two singles. Charlie Sachs doubled in a run. Cannuscio contributed an RBI single to the winning cause. Drake Wyman, Matt Mahan, Shane Keough and Riley Schmitt chipped in with one single apiece.
The Marblehead boys then faced host Haverhill in the consolation game on May 27 at Haverhill Stadium, and they came out on top, 6-2. They led by only one after five innings, 3-2.
“This was a close game until the sixth, when Shane Keough hit an inside-the-park, three-run homerun to extend our one-run lead,” said Giardi.
Marblehead’s Ian Maude was on the hill throughout the first six innings, allowing six hits, three walks and two earned runs while whiffing eight to earn the win. Cody Selvais pitched the seventh inning, yielding just one free pass.
The Magicians accounted for five hits in this game, led by Sachs, who had two singles and an RBI, plus a walk. Keough, of course, powered the attack with his aforementioned three-run blast. He also walked once while driving home four runs in all. Bartram and Schmitt each collected a single and a walk to round out the offense.
Successes on road to postseason
The Marblehead High baseball team began the previous week with a 6-4 home win against rival Swampscott on May 15. They closed out the week with a shutout win over visiting Peabody to clinch a Division 2 state tournament berth.
“Swampscott took advantage of some free base runners, some extra outs and some timely hitting to grab a 4-2 lead, but after a few base running mistakes early on, we were eventually able to recapture the lead,” said Giardi after the Big Blue contest.
But the Big Blue did not give up. They staged a late rally in the seventh inning with runners in scoring position, but Chris Cannuscio once again came to the rescue for the Magicians to pick up his third save in as many games.
Two days later on Senior Day at Seaside Park, the Beverly Panthers interrupted the momentum by pinning a 6-2 loss on the home team.
“When you play good teams, you cannot give them extra opportunities, and that’s exactly what we did against Beverly,” said Giardi.
“The Panthers only held a slim 5-2 advantage in hits, but between our own miscues and giving them some more free runners in the form of walks, it resulted in several unearned runs,” added the veteran Marblehead coach.
Beverly pitcher Noah Guanci allowed just one earned run while fanning 15 over seven innings to secure the complete-game, dominating win on the mound.
The homestand then concluded with a 10-0 shutout win over the Peabody Tanners on May 19.
“We jumped out with six runs in the first and never looked back,” said Giardi. “We then added four more in the fourth to help secure our 10th overall victory.”
Against Swampscott, Ian Maude (five hits, three walks, three strikeouts, four runs, just one earned) pitched the first 6.1 innings to get credit for the win before Cannuscio came in to lock it down for the save.
The Marblehead offense banged out 10 hits, led by Shane Keough, Bodie Bartram and Drake Wyman with two each. Bartram knocked in three runs with his two singles. Matt Mahan singled in a couple of runs to contribute to the offense as well. Stefan Shepard accounted for the lone extra-base hit for the Magicians with a double.
The Magicians got just four hits against Beverly. Riley Schmitt chipped in with two singles, while Keough came through with a single and a double. They each scored a run. Bartram drove home one run on a fielder’s choice.
Drew Whitman went 6.1 innings, allowing five hits, three walks and six runs, just three earned. He whiffed seven. Cody Selvais retired the final two batters in the top of the seventh.
In the mercy rule rout against the Tanners, Cannuscio pitched all five innings to secure the victory, yielding just two hits and two walks while whiffing five.
Bartram paced the attack with a single and a double that accounted for five big RBI. Mahan singled in two runs. Jake Scogland, Brooks Keefe and Wyman each knocked in one run via singles.
The Magicians started the final week of the regular season off with a home 7-5 win over Winthrop on May 22, followed by the aforementioned games against Salem and Haverhill in the Hillie Classic.
The Magicians were 31st in the most recent Division 2 power rankings on May 26 but that did not account for the win over Haverhill.
The final rankings are set to come out on Tuesday, May 30, and it was possible the team would move up a couple of spots before the state tournament pairings are announced the next day.