WORCESTER, Mass. -- The North Reading Hornets had a slow first inning, but in the second, sophomore catcher Keith Linnane's ground ball to left field would start a six-run rally from which the Mount Everett Eagles could not recover. Juniors John Ormsbee and Erik Derwitsch would drive in two runs each in the second and third innings, but that was the extent of their offensive production as the Hornets took him the division three state title with an 8-4 victory.
“Since day one, this team has had written on the black board in my locker room, since the very first day, ‘Win the states’, said North
Reading coach Frank Carey. I’m going, shaking my head, ‘That’s enviable, but we’ve got a long way to go before we win the states.”
After Linnane's single, Kyle Boucher was walked and Eric Gordon bunted to advance the runners and put Linnane in scoring position, Dyland Wheeler struck out Michael Brandano and Ryan McAuliffe grounded out and drove in Linnane, both Dennis Rollfs and Thomas Day were hit by pitches, the second bringing in the Hornets second run of the inning. Ryley Warnock drove in two runs on a pop fly single to center field making the score 4-0 in the top of the second.
Mount Everett coach Jesse Carpenter called in his second left hand pitcher, Erik Derwitsch, and he gave up a single to left field to Colby Maiola, a hit which drove in two more runs, making the game 6-0. Maiola was picked off after the cycle had batted and Linanne was up to bat for the second time in the second, but the damage had been done and the Hornets had a commanding 6-0 lead and the momentum.
In the bottom of the third, Mount Everett’s Ormsbee took a McAuliffe pitch over the left fielder’s head to drive in Alex Crane and Will Danz, putting the Eagles in the game at 6-2. McAuliffe struck out the next batter and the following hitter popped out to left field, the Hornet defense ensuring that the Eagles would not score again in the second and their attempt to tie the game stymied well short of their goal.
After scoreless third inning for North Reading, Mount Everett took to the plate in the third and although Ethan Chamberlain struck out, Wheeler and Garrett Torrico both got hits to the right side of the field. Coach Carey pulled McAuliffe after 2 1/3 innings on the mound and called in RHP Ryley Warnock with the score 6-2.
Warnock would walk Danz, Crane popped out to second base but Derwitsch would hit a 2-run single and advance to second on the throw home from the outfield making the score 6-4, ending the Eagles offensive production. Ormsbee would pop out to center field on the next at bat, stranding two batters.
“Each game, you just have to be ready for 21 outs, you never know what’s going to happen,” said sophomore Thomas Day of his team’s fielding, especially his at third. “Most of the time, I’m ready to make a good play to help my team out and win the state championship.”
Warnock would go on to drive in Rollfs in the top of the fifth and Linnane would steal home on a wild pitch by Derswitch for the final score of 8-4.
“Grav[alesse]’s one of my best friends, he lives for this”, said sophomore Linnane, who would go on to steal home for the final run of the game. He was referring to senior captain Jonathan Gravelesse who made the first out in the 7th, snagging a smoking line drive at second. “He lives for this. He’s always wanted a championship to end his high school career and this is the best thing that could happen."