Warriors break out with nine runs in ninth inning, outslug Red Raiders 15-8

WATERTOWN — The Wakefield Memorial High baseball team had another big inning offensively but, unlike the season opener, the Warriors waited until the ninth inning before they broke out the bats in a big way in a high-scoring 15-8 triumph over Watertown on Wednesday night at Victory Field.

Wakefield increased its record to 1-1 on the season as it rebounded nicely from its opening day loss against Lexington.

The score was tied at 4-4 after seven complete frames and 6-6 after eight innings. But in the ninth, the Warriors stormed nine runs across the plate to open up a huge advantage which is held onto despite surrendering two runs in the bottom of the ninth.

In the top of the ninth, Matt Mercurio doubled and scored on an RBI double by Paul McGunigle. Andrew Patti singled in McGunigle. Joe Greer then reached safely on an infield single to put runners at the corners. Mike Caraglia then had a base hit to drive in Patti.

After that, the Warriors added six more runs. Mercurio also had an RBI single later in the inning and Tighe Beck had a single and an RBI.

The winning pitcher was reliever Joe Stackhouse, a senior left-hander. Stackhouse went four innings giving up two unearned runs on three hits while walking a batter.

Adam Chanley, a junior right-hander, pitched the ninth and was touched up for a pair of earned runs on four hits while striking out two batters.

Junior right-hander Andrew Auld hurled the first four frames giving up four earned runs on five hits while striking out three batters and hitting three batters.

Wakefield banged out 18 hits and had its hitting spread throughout its lineup.

Corey Imbriano went 4-for-6 with a single, two doubles and four RBIs.

Beck went 2-for-5 with a walk and three RBIs. Anthony Cecere, Mercurio, McGunigle and Patti each went 2-for-5 as well. Patti tripled and singled for the Warriors.

Caraglia went 2-for-2 with two stolen bases and one RBI and Neil Fitzgerald went 3-for-3 with a walk, four runs scored and two RBIs.

“Getting the wins is always the goal but we competed from start to finish,” said Coach Keith Forbes, who was back on the bench after missing the season opener. “We competed the whole seven innings for 21 outs or in this case nine innings for 27 outs. It was a good win and we hope to build on that.”

Watertown took a 2-0 lead in the second on a single, two hit batsmen and a two-run double.

But the Warriors answered in the top of the third inning with two tallies to tie the game at 2-2. Fitzgerald singled and stole second. Imbriano doubled in Fitzgerald. After Imbriano moved to third on a fly ball to center field by Beck, Cecere singled him home.

Watertown got single runs in the third and fourth innings to take a 4-2 lead. In the third, a triple and a sacrifice fly ball led to the run. In the fourth, a walk, ground out to second and a single to the run.

The Warriors rallied in the top of the fifth inning with two more runs to knot the game up at 4-4. Fitzgerald and Imbriano both singled. Fitzgerald took third on a passed ball and Imbriano stole second. With runners on second and third, Beck drove in both runs with a base hit.

The game remained deadlocked at 4-4 until the top of the eighth when Wakefield pushed two more runs across the plate to take a 6-4 advantage. Caraglia singled and took second on a wild pitch. Fitzgerald doubled scoring Caraglia. Imbriano then doubled to score Fitzgerald.

But the Red Raiders came back with two more runs to knot the game up at 6-6. A pair of errors led to one run and an RBI single drove in the other other.

However, Wakefield broke through in the top of the ninth inning to assume command of the contest. Watertown got two runs back in the home half of the ninth but it wasn’t nearly enough.

The Warriors take on Stoneham this afternoon at 3:45 p.m. at Stoneham High School.