Warriors host Lynn Classical in first round today at Walsh Field
Published in the June 2, 2016 edition.
By JIM SOUTHMAYD
WAKEFIELD — The Warrior baseball team has accomplished a lot over the past three years. Wakefield has clinched a tournament berth twice and has won the Middlesex League Freedom division title two years in a row.
Now Wakefield will be seeking its first state tournament win since the 2003 season when it takes on Lynn Classical in a Div. 2 North first round game this afternoon at 4 p.m. at Walsh Field.
The Warriors finished the regular season with a 17-3 record and were seeded second in Div. 2 North. The overall record is one of the best records ever posted in the program’s history and Wakefield will be seeking to add to that total.
Lynn Classical, meanwhile, is the 15th and final seeded team in the Div. 2 North with a 10-10 record.
Wakefield won’t be taking the Rams lightly after a year ago when the Warriors were upset in the first round by Concord-Carlisle by a 4-2 score. Wakefield faced the Patriots’ top pitcher who won most of their contests last season.
So as Wakefield gears up for the tournament opener, the Warriors are hungry for a postseason win after the quick exit last year. Also Wakefield will want to give a better account of itself after getting crushed by Austin Prep in the season finale which pretty much squashed any hopes of the Warriors getting a Super Eight bid.
Meanwhile, Lynn Classical had to battle just to get into the state tournament. The Rams play in the Northeastern Conference and faced some top competition including Div. 2 North tournament rivals Danvers, Marblehead, Beverly and Salem.
The Rams’ rivals from Lynn English made them earn it, however, as Classical qualified for the state tournament with a 5-3 win over the Bulldogs last Saturday in the consolation game of the 35th annual Nipper Clancy Tournament at Fraser Field.
Matt Stanley pitched a complete game and Brandon Devin scored one run and drove in another for Classical.
Classical took the lead for good with three runs in the top of the third. Andrew Moccia singled and scored on a double by Matt Lauria. Devin and Herbie Newton followed with RBI singles later in the inning.
The Rams got that one run in the fourth when Tyler Way’s single scored Moccia.
The Rams restored their two-run lead in the seventh when Devin singled, went to third on a double by Andre Gaudet and scored on a sacrifice fly by David Barnard.
Stanley set down the Bulldogs in order in the bottom of the seventh as Lynn Classical earned its state tournament berth.
The Rams are coached by Mike Zukowski.
The Warriors are led by seniors Corey Imbriano, Matt Mercurio, Andrew Auld, Tighe Beck, Paul McGunigle, Adam Chanley, Max Marchino, Matt Smith, Zack Thomas, Zach Kane and Kevin Murray.
Imbriano (5-0) will most likely be today’s starting pitcher.
The juniors on the roster include Tim Hurley, John Evangelista, Brett Maloney, Ben Coccoluto, Mike Guanci and Will Shea. The lone sophomore is Jake Nardone.
Head Coach Keith Forbes may have several JV call-ups as well.
Wakefield hopes to advance to the quarterfinals where it will face the winner of first round matchup between M.L Freedom division rivals Burlington and Melrose. The Red Devils and Red Raiders play tonight at 6 p.m. at Morelli Field.