MELROSE — The Melrose High School varsity baseball team finally got outside last week to open their 2015 campaign. First on the schedule was round one of Mayors Cup action against Malden at Pine Banks in Melrose on a windy Saturday.
The Raiders (1-1) benefited from an outstanding turn by senior captain pitcher Dylan Gaita who hit a three run homer and went six innings on the mound with eighr strike outs and four earned runs. Aided by a strong relief effort from Justin McCarthy, who tossed five strikeouts, Melrose took a rather easy 10-5 victory over Malden. Offensively Melrose also relied on Christian Pizzotti (2-2, 2 RBIs and stolen base) and Alex Turro (2-4, 1 RBI). Overall, coach Bill Hirschfeld has been pleased with their pitching staff.
“So far our pitching has been hanging in there, doing well,” confirms the coach.
Senior captain Jake Karelas has a hot bat for Melrose, hitting about .500 in the fourth batting slot after two games. Melrose faced a hiccup of sorts on Monday when they fell just shy to Arlington 5-3 on the road. On the mound, senior Christian Pizzotti tossed a solid five innings of ball only allowing four hits before relieved by Derek Scimemi. However, Melrose allowed five runs over the span of the innings, mostly due to errors.
“Arlington is always a good team, very competitive. Unfortunately we committed too many infield errors. We got as close as 3-2 but never had the lead,” reports Hirschfeld, who referred to Jake Karelas’s two RBI hit in the fifth that tightened the gap to 3-2.
With two games behind them, Melrose is ready for some league play. “We’re anxious to get into the Freedom League games and if we can collect some wins we’ll be in good shape,” says Hirschfeld.
The Raiders get that chance when they play Stoneham on Wednesday (post deadline). They begin play at their home base of Morrelli Field in Melrose this Friday with a key league game against Wilmington, who sports on their roster a “lights out” pitcher in Jackson Gillis, who has committed to pitch for Vanderbelt. Whether or not Gillis is in the rotation remains to be seen. But it will be a great game to watch either way when action starts at 3:45 p.m.