Pioneers bow out to Cougars in D-3 North baseball finals

Jun 15, 2017 by

Published in the June 14, 2017 edition

THE BASEBALL TEAM’S captains, from left, Nick Aslanian, Bryant Dana, Justin Juliano and Mike Stellato stand with head coach John O’Brien while displaying the Division 3 North finalist trophy following the Pioneers’ 8-2 loss to sectional champion Austin Prep June 11. (Dan Pawlowski Photo)

THE BASEBALL TEAM’S captains, from left, Nick Aslanian, Bryant Dana, Justin Juliano and Mike Stellato stand with head coach John O’Brien while displaying the Division 3 North finalist trophy following the Pioneers’ 8-2 loss to sectional champion Austin Prep June 11. (Dan Pawlowski Photo)

By DAN PAWLOWSKI

LYNN – Lynnfield baseball’s historic season came to an end June 11 at Fraser Field in the Division 3 North Championship against Austin Prep.

The Pioneers and Cougars met for the third consecutive year in the D-3 North tournament. Austin Prep beat Lynnfield 4-3 in the 2015 semifinals, and Lynnfield won last year’s semifinal rematch 8-7. This year belonged to the Cougars, as they won 8-2.

The Pioneers couldn’t get much going offensively, as the Cougars’ steady offense and timely hits accounted for five runs in the first four innings, making the deficit too large to overcome.

“We left a lot of runners on base and they didn’t. That was the difference,” said head coach John O’Brien. “They (Austin Prep) made every one of their hits count. That’s a good team over there.”

Lynnfield scored a run in the second inning after Austin Prep scored once in each of the first two innings. Sophomore Matt Fiore had an infield single and senior captain Bryant Dana scored after a throwing error.

The Cougars continued to attack Lynnfield’s defense and it was 5-1 in the fourth when the Pioneers made another comeback attempt. Senior Michael Federico crushed an RBI triple to right field, bringing home junior Cooper Marengi in the fourth inning, but that was all the Pioneers could muster offensively.

It was a difficult ending to what will be remembered as one of Lynnfield baseball’s all-time great teams. The locals’ 15-1 Cape Ann League record was the best in school history. Lynnfield’s overall record was 21-3.

“I’m incredibly proud of this team,” said O’Brien.

This game will be especially tough for the 10 seniors that gave their all to the baseball program, not just for four years, but essentially their entire lives going back to Little League. The great memories and moments from a lifetime of playing this marvelous game together will never be forgotten; and although they won a lot of games, it was their affect on the underclassmen and the community that will live on.

“The seniors have been unbelievable. All 10 kids did anything and everything for their teammates,” said O’Brien. “Every one of them are great leaders, whether it was a captain or just one of the seniors. They led by example and they stuck together through thick and thin.”

So, to Alex Boustris, Matt Collins, Michael Federico, Kyle Hawes, Andre Padovani, Tom Powers, and captains Nick Aslanian, Bryant Dana, Justin Juliano, and Mike Stellato: Remember the wise words of Grantland Rice, “When the one great scorer comes to write against your name, he marks, not that you won or lost, but how you played the game.”

Thank you for playing it the right way.

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