The best time of any high school sports season is here, and the Marblehead Baseball Magicians (13-8, 29th seed) opened it up against visiting Somerville (10-11, 36th seed) in a Division 2 state tournament preliminary round game at Seaside Park on Thursday afternoon, June 1.
After seeing a 9-0 lead evaporate, the Marblehead boys were able to hang on to secure the 13-11 triumph.
“We went up 9-0 in the third, but Somerville bounced back with seven in the fourth,” said coach Mike Giardi. “We answered back with two in the bottom of the inning, only to see Somerville add three more in the fifth to cut the deficit to just one run. But with the tying run at the plate, Chris Cannuscio was able to close the door on the Somerville rally.”
The home team tacked on a couple more in the fifth for added insurance, which they needed because the Highlanders scored an unearned run in the seventh to inch closer. But Cannuscio, finishing up his 2.2 innings of relief on the hill, prevented further damage once again to seal the deal on the narrow win.
The Magicians will now take on host Hopkinton (14-6, fourth seed) Monday, June 5, in the Round of 32, starting at 5 p.m.
Pitcher Ian Maude started the game on the mound and lasted 3.2 innings, giving up nine hits, two walks, 10 runs, but only five were earned. He fanned three. Cody Selvais recorded the final two outs in the fourth, allowing just two walks to go along with one strikeout, before Cannuscio came in to pickup the save.
Offensively, the Magicians banged out 11 hits off three Somerville pitchers. Ian Born took the loss after yielding nine runs over the first two innings of the game. Only four were earned. Jared Antonelli went the last two frames in relief, giving up two earned runs on just one hit while whiffing two.
Shortstop Brooks Keefe paced the Marblehead attack with three singles and a double, knocking in one while scoring twice. Shane Keough chipped in with a single and a double to drive home two runs. Bodie Bartram was also credited with a double that resulted in two RBI, and he too scored twice. Stefan Shepard singled in a run. He also had one other base hit in the game and scored twice.
The Magicians have three days to get ready for Hopkinton, hoping to get another win to move on to the Sweet 16.
The last time Coach Giardi headed west, his boys basketball team came home with a memorable buzzer-beating win over Pope Francis that catapulted them into the Elite 8. He’s hoping for some more of those heroics with his diamond crew to keep their state championship aspirations alive for another day.