Baseball team makes quick work of Burlington

May 18, 2017 by

Warriors show efficiency in 5-0 shutout

JOHN EVANGELISTA, a senior, had a sensational outing as he threw 64 pitches and faced just two batters over the minimum in a complete game effort on the mound. The Warriors blanked Burlington by a 5-0 score at Walsh Field. (Donna Larsson File Photo)

JOHN EVANGELISTA, a senior, had a sensational outing as he threw 64 pitches and faced just two batters over the minimum in a complete game effort on the mound. The Warriors blanked Burlington by a 5-0 score at Walsh Field. (Donna Larsson File Photo)

Published in the May 18, 2017 edition.

By JIM SOUTHMAYD

WAKEFIELD — Out of all the wins this season for the Warrior baseball team, yesterday’s 5-0 triumph over Burlington at Walsh Field is one Wakefield will probably savor for a long time.

Not only did the Warriors earn their first home win of the season, but they also avenged their worst defeat of the season, a 15-0 mercy rule shortened game on the road against the Red Devils on April 28.

There was also a lot to like the way the Warriors prevailed. Wakefield won with a terrific effort on the mound by John Evangelista, perfect defense, aggressive base running, and timely hitting. All of those facets is the way Wakefield needs to be play to be successful.

“John threw 64 pitches for a complete game,” said coach Keith Forbes. “He was very efficient with his fastball which he threw for strikes. We made all the plays behind him. The weather is nice and we hope that this will start us on a roll with a game on Saturday against Watertown.”

The senior right-hander went the distance tossing a three-hit hit shut out. Evangelista struck out one batter and a hit a batter. He also faced only two batters over the minimum as the Warriors also turned two double plays in a contest that lasted about an hour and a half.

Meanwhile Wakefield banged out 10 hits and took advantage of two costly errors by Burlington to plate three out of its runs.

Tim Hurley, a senior captain, led the offense with three hits including a double and a run scored from the leadoff spot.

Senior catcher Kyle Grossi also had a multiple hit game from the ninth spot of the batting order. Grossi had two singles, stole two bases, and scored a run as well.

The rest of the hits came from junior Jake Nardone, senior captain Mike Guanci, senior T.J. Sellers, senior Nick Porter, and junior Tyler Pugsley.

Wakefield, which had trouble keeping Burlington off the scoreboard in the first meeting, began yesterday’s contest by retiring the Red Devils 1-2-3 and then tallied three runs itself in the bottom of the first inning.

Hurley doubled to left field and took third on a productive out by senior Will Shea, who also had two hits in the Wilmington game last Friday. Nardone then ripped a base hit to left field to plate Hurley.

Guanci then laced a base hit to left field and then the Warriors pulled off a double steal to get two runners into scoring position. After a strikeout, Sellers tapped a grounder to first base which appeared like it was going to the third out. But the ball was misplayed by Matt Syman at first base as both Nardone and Guanci scored.

Burlington’s Justin Hurley reached on infield single just over the second base bag in the top of the second inning. But the Warriors turned an inning ending 6-4-3 double play as Evangelista faced just three batters in the frame.

Wakefield added to its lead in the bottom of the second with another unearned run.

Grossi singled to left field with one out and stole second base. Hurley reached on an infield hit to shortstop to put runners on first and second. Shea then reached on an error at second base by Ryan O’Halloran to load the bases. Nardone did a good job of playing situational baseball as he got a pitch from Red Devil starter Josh Becker and lifted a sacrifice fly ball to center field as Grossi tagged up and scored.

Becker pitched a decent game himself, but his defense let him down. The right-hander gave up two earned runs on 10 hits while striking out four and walking no one. He also threw two wild pitches.

The third inning started off with Dave Hartling reaching on infield hit to shortstop. Hartling then wandered too far off the first base bag on a fly ball to right field and Shea was able to fire a quick strike to Porter at first base for the 9-3 double play.

After two were out, Jeff Russo was hit by a pitch and O’Halloran singled to left field. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch, but Evangelista induced a ground ball to first base to end the threat.

Evangelista retired the final 13 batters in a row as he completely handcuffed a good hitting Red Devil team.

Wakefield tallied its final run in the home half of the third inning with a timely hit with two outs. Sellers singled to right field with one out and took second on a wild pitch. With two outs, Pugsley blooped a base hit to right field as Sellers crossed the plate to make the score 5-0.

There was no more scoring after that as Wakefield had base hits from Hurley, Porter, and Grossi in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings, respectively.

“John got them 1-2-3 to begin the game and we took it from there by scoring three runs,” said Forbes. “We were able to be aggressive on the bases which is something we’re always going to be. It was nice to come back and beat a team that we lost to 15-0.”

The Warrior head coach is hoping that the victory will spark a winning streak beginning with a game against Watertown on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Walsh Field in Wakefield’s final home game of the season.

The Warriors then will have four road games next week with a non-league contest against Reading on Monday at 3:45 p.m. at Morton Field, a non-league game on Tuesday at Malden Catholic at 4 p.m., a makeup game against Melrose on Wednesday at 3:45 p.m. at Morelli Field, and a non-league on Friday, May 26 at 4 p.m. at Beverly.

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