Published April 24, 2019
By NOAH GREIF
WAKEFIELD — Leading up to last Wednesday’s game against Reading, the Warriors were still undefeated at 2-0 with early wins over Winchester and Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational. Wakefield, led by head coach Kevin Canty, wasn’t exactly looking for a perfect season in 2019. Rather than win 26 straight games to start the year as the New York Giants did in 1916, the Warriors will settle for doing their best and facing adversity in a way that keeps the team constantly improving.
The perfect start ended for the Warriors against a strong Reading team, where they ultimately were defeated 9-1 on April 17.
Getting the nod for Wakefield on the hill was sophomore Chris Alden. Alden saw some action last year, but will see an increased role this year as a starter. He shut out Winchester in six innings of work in his first start. The righty got himself into a good rhythm from the get go, striking out the side after a double to deep center by John DiMare. He would last five innings, allowing nine hits and five runs while striking out eight.
Reading put themselves on the board early with a two-out rally in the second inning. Matt Sanella doubled to center, followed by a single by Sean Fischer, scoring Sanella. Fischer was then driven in by Matt McLaughlin, giving the Rockets an early 2-0 lead.
Wakefield followed up in the bottom of the inning with singles from Erich Hickey and Scott Elwell. Reading tacked on another two runs in the third, after a single, walk and two errors. Zach Kent, the lone freshman on varsity, proved he is here to stay with a line drive single to right. It looked like a tone-setter for the inning, but the Warriors would go down in order to end the frame.
Chris Alden continued to blow by Reading hitters, but the Rockets got some timely hits to pull ahead in the contest in the fourth inning. Alden had Reading on the ropes after striking out Nick Marshall for the second time, but Demetri Doherty drove in DiMare from second to push the lead to 5-0.
Both pitchers seemed to settle into the game, with 1-2-3 innings in the fifth. Senior Ryan Donald took over for Alden in the top of the sixth. Donald overcame an early double to retire the side to complete his inning of work, which included an impressive pair of strikeouts.
The Warriors didn’t have the most opportunities at the plate, but there were some sparks late. In the sixth, senior captain Gabe Sanders launched a ball over the left-field fence for a home run, providing Wakefield with some hope and new energy.
Chris Coombs came into pitch for Ryan Donald in the bottom of the seventh, but Reading continued to pile it on to put the game out of reach. After two singles, an error, a walk, a double and another single, the Warriors found themselves down 9-1. Dan Hurley hit a single to center in Wakefield’s last at bats, providing some momentum to get back in the game, but their hopes were dashed as Reading turned a double play to end it, handing Wakefield their first loss of the season.
The Warriors also lost to a strong Lexington team in a close 5-3 contest the next day. Wakefield will play Burlington today at the Francis Wyman School at 4 p.m. and host Watertown tomorrow, 4 p.m. at Walsh Field.