Warriors win 12th of season, top Stoneham 5-2

PAUL MCGUNIGLE, a senior, walked twice, stole a base and scored a run as the WMHS baseball team posted a 5-2 victory over Stoneham to remain in first place in the Middlesex League Freedom division. (Donna Larsson File Photo)

PAUL MCGUNIGLE, a senior, walked twice, stole a base and scored a run as the WMHS baseball team posted a 5-2 victory over Stoneham to remain in first place in the Middlesex League Freedom division. (Donna Larsson File Photo)

Published in the May 12, 2016 edition.


STONEHAM — Even though the high school baseball season is nowhere near as long as the Major League schedule, it is still a grind especially when teams get backed up with makeup games.

The Wakefield Memorial High baseball team played its third game in as many days and showed that is was up to the task as it pulled out a 5-2 triumph over Stoneham yesterday afternoon at Stoneham High School.

The Warriors increased their record to 12-2 overall on the season and are 10-2 in the Middlesex League Freedom division.

Senior left-hander Max Marchino got his first start of the season and pitched very well. Marchino went six innings giving up no runs on two hits while striking out five and walking a batter.

Wakefield went with another southpaw, sophomore Pat Roche, to start the seventh inning. Roche, a JV call up, faced three batters as he hit a batter, balked, gave up a double and had another hitter reach on error. As a result, he pitched no innings giving up two runs (one earned) on the one hit.

John Evangelista, a junior right-hander, was brought in to get the Warriors out of a jam. Evangelista induced a 4-6-3 double play on his first pitch as the second Spartan run crossed the plate. The junior then struck out the next batter to end the game.

“It was my first start and I felt pretty good,” said Marchino. “The team definitely played well behind me. We didn’t hit the ball well in the first couple of innings, but we picked it up. We got the win and that’s all that matters.”

Wakefield’s defense did commit a pair of errors but the Warriors also turned three double plays in support of their pitchers yesterday afternoon.

The Warriors had nine hits total with senior Corey Imbriano and junior Mike Guanci leading the way with two hits apiece. Senior Matt Mercurio, senior Andrew Auld, junior Will Shea, senior Matt Smith and junior Tim Hurley each had one hit.

Nathan Cox went the distance for the Spartans. The right-hander gave up five runs on nine hits while walking four and striking out one. He also hit a batter and threw a wild pitch.

Imbriano led off the game with a base hit up the middle and stole second. But two fly balls and a pop up to the catcher resulted in Imbriano being left stranded at second base.

Guanci lined an infield hit off the foot of Cox and took second on an error at shortstop by Eric Roberts. Guanci was picked off second base for the first out. After a walk to senior Tighe Beck, Stoneham turned an inning ending 6-4-3 double play.

Wakefield took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning.

Hurley doubled to right field and advanced to third on a fly ball to center field. Paul McGunigle, a senior, walked and stole second. Mercurio dropped a base hit into right field as Hurley crossed the the plate.

The Warriors hoped for a bigger inning but Stoneham turned a 4-3 double play to end the frame.

Shea had a one out single to left field in the fourth but it wasn’t until the fifth that Wakefield added to its lead with three more runs.

Imbriano singled to center field with one out and stole second. McGunigle walked and Mercurio was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Auld delivered the big hit with a two-run single to left field as Imbriano and McGunigle scored. Guanci then blooped a base hit past first base to reload the bases. Shea tapped a grounder to third base as Auld was forced out. Mercurio scored on the play to give the Warriors a 4-0 advantage.

Wakefield scored its final run in the top of the sixth inning.

Smith, pinch-hitting, lined a base hit to center field. Pinch-hitter Dylan Melanson, a senior, walked. Imbriano tapped a grounder to second base to advance the runners. A wild pitch brought in Smith.

The run support was more than enough for Marchino. Stoneham had just four base runners over the first six innings. Eric Blackstock reached on catcher’s interference and Brendan Duman singled to left field in the second. Cam Gilmartin walked in the third and Blackstock singled to right field in the fourth. Both times Wakefield turned inning ending double plays. The first went 5-4-3 and the second went 4-6-3.

The Spartans scored their two runs in the last of the seventh inning after Marchino left the contest.

Cox was hit by a pitch by Roche and took second on a balk. Blackstock doubled to left-center field to plate Cox. Kyle MacKay reached on a misplayed ball by Imbriano at shortstop to put runners at the corners. Evangelista came in and induced a 4-6-3 twin killing as Blackstock crossed the plate. With two outs, Evangelista struck out the second batter he faced to end the game.

The Warriors return home to face Wilmington this afternoon at 3:45 p.m. at Walsh Field.