Earns back-to-back league wins over Wakefield, Stoneham
Published in the May 5, 2017 edition
By JENNIFER GENTILE
WAKEFIELD —The Melrose Red Raider baseball team improved to 5-4 and after back-to-back wins over Stoneham and Wakefield (3-2) last week. On Thursday, April 27 at Walsh Field in Wakefield they defeated the Warriors, 5-1. Melrose’s Mike Muscarella continued his solid season on the mound (4-0 this year) giving up just one run in seven innings and registering 3Ks in the contest.
On Thursday, the two teams were deadlocked in a 0-0 tie behind the pitching efforts of Muscarella and Warrior pitcher John Evangelista, who kept Melrose at bay until the fourth inning when Melrose’s Drew Maguire hit a two-run triple to right that lifted Melrose 2-0. The RBI scored Connor Crovo (who doubled) and Cal MacDonald.
Wakefield’s only run came courtesy of a Melrose balk committed in the sixth inning.
Melrose scored three runs in the seventh to run away with the game. A Max Watson grounder was misplayed by the Warriors, which advanced Drew Maguire to home. Watson then scored on a Wakefield error. Finally, sophomore Liam Crovo added to the scoring with a shot to center that scored Melrose’s Muscarella to give Melrose a 5-1 advantage they would not lose.
Fueled by the win, Melrose hosted Stoneham on Monday, May 1 and enjoyed a 8-1 victory, this time another masterful job on the mound by Muscarella, who took the win. Melrose lobbed ten hits over the day, behind the bats of Nick Cordeau (2 hits) Mike Koepke (2 hits, 2 runs) and Mike Muscarella, who went 2-3 and scored a run.
According to coach Bill Hirschfeld, getting bats around has been key to wins this season. “We have had strong pitching efforts. Mike [Muscarella] is doing great on the mound and John Casparriello is like our Chris Sale, when he needs run production he doesn’t get it.”
Melrose has seen their share of one point losses recently (1-0) which makes the coach stress hitting support. “Our hitters did the job against Stoneham. I’d like to see more of it.”
Melrose will host a competitive Reading team on Wednesday (post deadline) before traveling to Woburn for a 3:45 p.m. contest against the Tanners.
Middlesex Freedom League Standings
Wilmington 4-1 6-1
Burlington 3-2 4-2
Melrose 3-2 5-4
Wakefield 2-4 3-4
Stoneham 1-3 2-5
Watertown 1-4 3-5