Falcons ends Melrose’s playoff run, 6-0
Published in the June 9, 2017 edition
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—The Melrose Red Raider baseball team’s surging post season came to a disappointing end on June 5 in the Div. 2 North quarterfinals when they fell to a strong Danvers team, 6-0 at a rainswept Twi Field in Danvers.
Falcons hurler Justin Nadeau threw a shutout for Danvers (18-4), going the distance and giving up 4 hits. He was pitted against Melrose junior Mike Muscarella, who has been hot all year for coach Bill Hirschfeld’s Red Raiders, a team who advanced after upsetting Reading last Thursday in opening around play. Muscarella pitched until the sixth inning and was relieved by junior Will Dolaher who retired two batters to end a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the sixth.
Mother Nature made it a swampy game, with a persistent rain contributing to several slip ups on the grass and base path. Melrose stranded several runners and was picked off base three times, which limited their run potential. Nonetheless, the Raiders counted on hits from Drew McGuire (2 hits), Muscarella and Max Watson. The two teams were deadlocked with no score until the bottom of the third when Tommy Mento tripled to right and was driven in by an RBI from Matt Andreas. Danvers added to that run with a big fourth inning. Jordan DeDonato doubled down the left field line and was knocked in by Teddy Vallaincourt to make it a 2-0 game. Anthony Olszack’s double scored Vaillaincourt and Max Paul, to make it a 4-0 game.
Max Watson singled in the top of the fifth but a double play ended the inning and any scoring chance. Mike Muscarella also reached in the sixth but was left stranded. In the bottom of sixth Danver’s Olszack knocked in teammate Zach Turner to make it a 5-0 and force a Melrose pitching change. The junior hurler Dolaher came in with bases loaded and one out, and after a sac fly hit by Matt Andreas, Dolaher retired the next two batters to end the inning. A quick 1-2-3 batting order by Melrose in the top of the seventh ended any chance of a Red Raider comeback, and their season.
Departing this year as graduates are Shane Correale, Mike Dreske, Cal MacDonald, Nick Cordeau, Erik Heislein, Max Watson, Drew McGuire, John Casperiello, Joe Siciliano and Connor Crovo.
At press time, Danvers was slated to take on the winner of Masconomet and Danvers.