Upperclassmen honored prior to Wakefield battle
Published May 24, 2019
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—The Melrose Red Raider baseball team saw their winning streak end with a tough 4-3 loss to rival Wakefield at home on Senior Night on Tuesday evening at Morelli Field.
Melrose held a 2-0 lead in the first two innings thanks to hits and runs from Matt McDonough, Zach Maguire and Liam Crovo. Senior captain Harry Kelley took the mound for all 7 innings and gave up just one earned run as Melrose made a series of errors on the field that proved costly. Wakefield relied on small ball over the course of the game, pressuring Melrose defense, and their pitcher Chris Alden earned the win in 6 innings.
Melrose sits at 8-6 (7-6 in the league) with a handful of games to go in their regular season as they fight for a playoff spot in the Div. 2 North field.
Prior to the game, the team honored their outgoing seniors: Pat Coen, senior captain Liam Crovo, Dillon Kaliris, senior captain Harry Kelley, Zach Maguire, senior captain Matt McDonough, Kevin Nickerson, Dylan Robertson and Aiden Ward.
Melrose, winners of 4-5 last games, are still playing solidly at the right part of the season. Says coach Scott Searles, “The attitude of this team is that they’re not going to quit. This team has a lot of grit and they really battle when they have to in crunch time.”
Prior to the loss, Melrose had enjoyed a winning streak that included two league wins over Stoneham and Watertown (see accompanying story).
Against Stoneham on May 15, Melrose was locked in a tie in the 6th inning when Kevin Nickerson broke it open with a gap double that drove in 2 and made it 4-2, paving the way to victory. Melrose hurler Harry Kelley took the win, going the distance with a no hitter up until the fifth inning. He gave up two runs on three hits, and retired eight batters on strikeouts. Kelley is proving to be a two-headed beast for opponents. Against the Spartans he had three RBI’s, including a fence shot that missed being a grand slam.
Other potent sluggers of the day included Zach Maguire, who had two hits, and Cole Lepler, who had a clutch RBI. Matt McDonough also scored two runs and Liam Crovo was intentionally walked twice.”
One thing is for sure, Searles has been happy with the pitching. “The pitching has been great. I can’t say enough about that. Harry has been an absolute horse. Brandon [McSorley] at times looks unhittable. He’s got phenomenal stuff. His biggest thing is commanding it for an entire 7. If he can eliminate the few mistakes he makes out over the plate, the sky is the limit for that young man.”
He also credits senior captain Matt McDonough for his overall efforts. “Matty McDonough has been our leadoff hitter since day one and there isn’t a single at-bat that he isn’t grinding one out. He’s done a fantastic job of making the pitchers work. He’s on base a ton and really gives the team a spark.”
As they look to secure a (likely) playoff run, Melrose has to remain focused, particularly after their loss to Wakefield. Says the coach, “We can’t slip up and lose focus or we might regret it. We have to take the game to them and dictate the pace, and if we do, I like our chances.”