BROCKTON, Mass. –- Tommy McDonald was just looking for a place to prove himself.
In throwing a complete game on Wednesday night to give BC High (18-5) an 8-1 victory over Dartmouth (11-8) and a berth into the Division 1 South final, the UMass commit did just that. He allowed one run and four hits in what was a masterful pitching performance.
Jackson White hit a two-out double in the top of the second inning for Dartmouth, and was driven in on the next play by senior DH Ryan Janczy—the Indians’ only run of the game.
Locked in a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning, BC High loaded the bases with just one out. Dartmouth starter Ryan Gaydou -- who got the win in relief last night in the quarterfinal victory over Norwood -- was able to get out of the jam without giving up a run, but the damage had already been done.
Given that Gaydou threw 44 pitches against Norwood, Dartmouth coach Tom McDermott had already made the decision that his pitcher would be on a short leash of 75 to 80 pitches. The left-handed Gaydou picked off two BC High baserunners in the early innings to keep the Eagles in check on the base paths.
"“He was tough, that’s a great pickoff move and he kept us close to the bag. We kept telling guys, when we’re down in the count, that’s when he’s going to try to get ya...and we still had guys picked off. We got a little smarter as the game went on," BC High coach Norm Walsh said. "We really worked to get his pitch count up, that was the big thing. We wanted to get his pitch count up as high as we could."
The Eagles jumped on Gaydou in the fifth inning. Tom Landry, Andrew Jaehnig (3-for-5, two runs scored), Sean Webster, and Jake Marotta all got hits and scored a run in the inning, while third baseman Tom Russo walked and came around to score a run of his own.
"Adrenaline only gets you so far," McDermott said. "[Gaydou] is a competitor and he wanted to stay in the game, but his pitches were coming up a little bit and things like that. Because of him though, that’s what kept us close, he gave us a chance."
The 6-1 lead was all the run support McDonald would need, shutting down Dartmouth’s offense with what appeared to be relative ease. Walsh had nothing but praise for McDonald after the game:
"Tommy was jacked up because he probably had the worst performance of his career last Friday against New Bedford," Walsh said. "He walked more guys in the first three innings than he had all year to that point. He had a burn under his saddle going into this one."
McDermott coaches final game: The loss will be McDermott’s final game as head coach at Dartmouth. After 30 years and 333 wins, the veteran coach will take next year off from baseball—with hopes of being involved with Dartmouth’s program in the future.
“I’ll come back--throw BP and hit some fungos. I couldn’t wear any color other than Green -- I’ve been wearing it too long,” McDermott said.
The coach lightened the mood after the game when explaining some of his funnier moments as coach, as those are the moments he’ll remember best. His favorite may have been describing Dartmouth baseball’s "Scarecrow Award", given every so often to a player who is known for occasional verbal blunders -- the end result was comic relief for the entire team, which is all part of his philosophy.
"If I only had a brain," he joked, referencing The Wizard of Oz. "The things I will tend to look back on are the things that happen in practice. You tend to lighten up and you get loose and you laugh -- stupid things."
McDermott reflects on his time as coach and cherishes the relationships he’s made. Two former Dartmouth players showed up to the victory over Norwood on Tuesday night to congratulate McDermott on a great season and storied career. Those are the things he’ll remember most from his time as coach.
"Those are the people that you know are friends for life," McDermott said. "That’s why you tell people in high school, college, or wherever it is, it’s the friendships you make through athletics that’s really important. Everybody forgets the outs, strikes, and hits and all that stuff, but those friendships last forever."