THE WAKEFIELD High seniors were honored before the team’s 8-2 win over Watertown on May 18. Pictured with their families from left to right are seniors Dakota Streeter, Drew Barrett, Matt Elwell, John Porter and Owen Riddell. (WMHS Athletics Photo)
WAKEFIELD — The Middlesex League Freedom Division champion Wakefield High baseball team improved to 13-3 on the season with an emphatic 8-2 win over Watertown on Senior Day this past Thursday.
The Warriors celebrated their five seniors and their families before the game: captains Matt Elwell, John Porter and Owen Riddell, Drew Barrett and Dakota Streeter.
The Warriors didn’t have any pressure to win but it was a game they certainly wanted in order to honor the Class of 2023 while also trying to avenge a 7-6 loss to the Raiders on April 24, one of just two losses to Freedom Division teams in 10 games.
The Warriors gave the ball to their ace, Riddell, who made a memory in possibly his last game at Walsh Field, throwing a complete game in which he scattered just 4 hits and struck out 5 while allowing zero earned runs.
“He overcame a couple of defensive miscues in the first to shut them out over the final six frames,” said head coach Kevin Canty.
Wakefield’s offense stepped up to take control and never looked back.
Barrett had a great game at the dish with two hits. Cam DePrizio and Steven Woish also had two hits each. Streeter played well in his first start at first base and the Warriors cruised to their sixth victory in their last seven games.
Canty was proud of the effort once again, especially from his five seniors who have set the tone all season.
Wakefield wasn’t expected to win the league this year with so many underclassmen having key roles. The seniors not only produced on the field but helped the younger Warriors play to the best of their abilities.
“They have done an outstanding job of leading our younger guys,” said Canty. “Overall, the five are very mentally tough and that shows when we get behind early or face adversity during games. They have not given in or given up in tough moments.”
That’s certainly a mentality that will serve the Warriors well in the postseason.
Wakefield was almost inexplicably ranked No. 24 in the MIAA’s latest Div. 2 power rankings. The Middlesex League is clearly not valued to have top baseball talent in regards to the rest of the state. One of the best teams in the Liberty Division is Reading, who beat Wakefield 4-2 yesterday. The 13-4 Rockets are ranked No. 27 in D2.
Of course, that ranking will provide a challenge to overcome. Last year, the No. 24 seed was another ML team in Woburn who had to travel to No. 9 Leominster in the first round, which Leominster won 4-2. The current No. 9 ranked team is Plymouth North (12-5).
The Warriors have three games left to convince the MIAA that they deserve a better seed, starting today when they travel to Northeast Metro Tech at 4 p.m.