League champion Warriors post 6-2 triumph in regular season finale

ANDREW AULD, a junior right-hander, went five innings giving up two hits while striking out seven batters in Wakefield’s 6-2 win over Woburn yesterday in the regular season finale.  (Donna Larsson File Photo)

ANDREW AULD, a junior right-hander, went five innings giving up two hits while striking out seven batters in Wakefield’s 6-2 win over Woburn yesterday in the regular season finale.
(Donna Larsson File Photo)


WOBURN — Even though the Wakefield Memorial High baseball team had already clinched the Middlesex League Freedom division title outright even before it took the field yesterday afternoon, it didn’t diminish the Warriors’ intensity.

Wakefield wrapped up the regular season with a 6-2 triumph over Woburn in the M.L. finale at Woburn High School to finish with a very good 15-5 overall record and 13-3 record in the league.

The Warriors and Tanners were locked in a scoreless pitchers’ duel until Wakefield plated an unearned run in the fifth inning, two unearned runs in the sixth and one more unearned run in the seventh to go along with two earned runs. Woburn plated both of its runs in the bottom of the seventh inning but Wakefield was firmly in control by then.

Andrew Auld pitched five innings and earned the victory. The junior right-hander gave up no runs on two hits while striking out seven, walking two and hitting a batter.

Shawn Smeglin hurled the final two frames and earned the save. The senior righty gave up two runs on four hits while striking out four and walking one.

The Warriors also made no errors in the game and carved out eight hits. Leading the way were Andrew Patti and Joe Stackhouse with two hits apiece.

“When you pitch well, play good defense and keep the game close, you give yourself a chance to win,” said Coach Keith Forbes. “We’ve done that all year. A 15-5 record is very good and we really improved from the nine wins we had last year. Again, we played well today. Defensively we played well and we had a couple of big hits.”

Wakefield also capitalized on five Tanner errors which ruined an otherwise good start by senior right-hander Anthony Carter. Carter went six and two thirds innings giving up six runs (two earned) on eight hits while striking out five, walking three and hitting a batter. Carter also threw a wild pitch.

The win was also a bit of payback against the Tanners and Carter. Woburn defeated Wakefield by a 4-3 score in eight innings on Monday, May 18 in a contest that was designated as a non-league game. Carter went the distance in that game.

Corey Imbriano singled to shortstop to lead off the game but was picked off first base which resulted in no Warrior runs in the top of the first inning.

Wakefield had a golden opportunity to break through on the scoreboard in the top of the second inning. Patti doubled to right-center field with one out and Paul McGunigle reached safely on a dropped fly ball in left field. Both runners moved up to second and third on a wild pitch. After a strikeout, Joe Greer walked to load the bases. But a ground ball to third ended the threat.

The Tanners also mounted a threat in the bottom of the second inning. Shawn Murphy walked and Christian Barrett lined a base hit to left field. After Auld came back and got two strikeouts, Murphy stole third. But when the ball went into left field and Murphy attempted to score, he was thrown out at the plate for the third out of the frame.

Joe Mogauro was hit by a pitch with two outs in the last of the third and Nick Patti had a leadoff double to right-center field in the last of the fourth inning. But both times Auld got the outs needed to keep the game scoreless.

That changed in the top of the fifth inning as a pair of two out errors led to Wakefield’s first run of the contest.

Tighe Beck singled to right field but was picked off first base for the initial out. After a strikeout, Mike Caraglia reached safely on an error at second base to keep the inning alive. Caraglia stole second before Imbriano walked. Both runners moved up a base on a passed ball. Smeglin reached on an error at third base as Caraglia crossed the plate.

The Warriors added two more runs in the top of the sixth inning, again making the most of a Woburn miscue. With one out, Patti singled to right field and Stackhouse blooped a base hit to center field. Neil Fitzgerald was hit by a pitch which bounced off his helmet to load the bases. An error at second base allowed Caraglia to reach as Patti scored easily. Stackhouse also showed a lot of hustle and surprised the Tanners a bit as he scored from second base on the same miscue to give Wakefield a 3-0 lead.

Wakefield gave itself even more breathing room in the top of the seventh as it plated three more runs.

Anthony Cecere lined a base hit to left field and scored on an RBI double deep into the gap in right-center field by Matt Mercurio. After pinch-runner Dylan Melanson advanced to third base on a ground out, the Warriors successfully pulled off a suicide squeeze play with Melanson crossing the plate and Stackhouse reaching second base on the bunt single and an errant throw to first by Carter. Fitzgerald grounded to second base and again Stackhouse never stopped, rounding third and scored on the play to make it 6-0.

The Tanners, which did have three base runners in the fifth and sixth innings on a pair of walks and a single, ruined Wakefield’s bid for a shutout in the last of the seventh inning with two runs.

Connor Power singled to left field and Joe Reynolds ripped a base hit to center field. After a strikeout, Mogauro singled to left field to score Power. Woburn scored its second run on delayed double steal with Mercurio throwing through to second base and shortstop Tim Hurley being upended by a sliding Mogauro as Reynolds crossed the plate. But Smeglin got strikeouts for the second and third outs as Woburn got no closer.

“We have a scrimmage scheduled for Saturday and we’ll have three to four practices before Monday when we find out who we’re going to face in the tournament,” said Forbes. “We want to take care of our business and see if we can make a run. Sometimes the first game is the toughest because you face a team’s number one pitcher.”

The state tournament pairings are being done on Monday with the tourney scheduled to begin on Wednesday, June 3. Wakefield is hoping to have at least one home game at Walsh and Forbes is hoping that a big crowd will come out to cheer the Warriors on.


Last Thursday afternoon at Beverly High School, the Warriors dropped a 7-3 non-league game to the Panthers in a contest in which Beverly clinched a state tournament berth.

Beverly scored three runs in the first inning, one in the second, one in the third and two in the fifth to take a 7-0 lead. Wakefield scored a run in the sixth and two in the seventh inning but it wasn’t enough.

Mike Guanci, a sophomore right-hander, started the game and pitched two and a third innings. Guanci, who received his first loss of the year, gave up five runs (three earned) on two hits while walking three batters.

Auld pitched two and two-thirds innings of relief giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits. The righty struck out a batter and walked a batter.

Will Shea hurled the sixth inning giving up one hit.

Imbriano, Cecere and Beck each had two hits while Fitzgerald, McGunigle, Patti and Smeglin each had a hit as well. Imbriano, Cecere and Patti each scored a run.