D1 North Baseball: St. John's Prep 5, Peabody 0
June, 7, 2013
By Chris Bradley | ESPNBoston.com
LYNN, Mass. –- Brandon Bingel was lights out on the mound on Thursday night, throwing eight innings of shutout ball to lead St. John’s Prep (22-1) to a 5-0 victory over Peabody (20-5).
With the win, the Eagles will take on the winner of Westford Academy and Billerica for the Division 1 North championship.
Paul Crehan hit a two-out single to left field in the bottom of the first inning, while sophomore Nick Latham hit a two-run homer that narrowly cleared the right field fence to add some insurance in the fourth inning.
"That was a big two-out hit by Paul Crehan, and Bornstein had a good game with three hits. We jumped right out to 3-0, that was a confidence for us," St. John’s Prep coach Pat Yanchus said.
Bingel got a leg-up on hitters all night long, getting first pitch strikes, placing his faceball with pinpoint accuracy, and throwing Peabody off with his breaking ball.
"He was ahead of everyone, he did end up walking one guy finally, but he was keeping it down, getting a lot of groundouts and tipped strikeouts," Yanchus said.
Junior Andrew McLaughlin got the start on the mound for Peabody, giving up five runs over six innings. Peabody coach Mark Bettencourt made the decision to bring in star pitcher Pat Ruotolo in the seventh inning, explaining after the game that the Tanners’ gameplan was to try and get Prep on the ropes early so that they could build some momentum.
"That first inning them scoring those runs…especially that Crehan single that was a big hit," Bettencourt said. "If we get that out we get a zero on the board, Andrew comes back, and he settled down after that. We really needed that out, and give the kid credit, he fisted that ball out there and got that ball into left field and found some grass."
Eagles inspired by Frates: Former Prep baseball player Pete Frates, who was diagnosed with ALS and stays close to the Eagles’ program, texted assistant coach Ryan Leahy a video message to give the team for a pre-game pep talk. Frates was on his honeymoon, in Turks and Caicos, after getting married last week.
Earlier this season, the Eagles debuted an alternate jersey in the pattern of the Houston Astros' iconic "sunrise" design from the early 80's, with the school's colors. They were designed with Frates in mind, and the right sleeve of each number bears his familiar No. 3.
“He just said that it was 10 years from the date of his last high school game when we lost to Peabody and Jeff Allison," Yanchus said. "He just said ‘play like your hair is on fire’. That was his final comment. They were visibly responsive. He doesn’t give an inch, he’s a fighter. We want to be the same way."
Brandon Bingel talked about the emotional effect the video had on the team. He took his eyes away from the video midway through, and looked around to see all the rest of his teammates with smiles on their faces.
"[The video] was huge, we got pretty pumped," he said. "We’re always pumped to see him talk, for him to send us a video on his honeymoon was big. He took time out of his day, time away from his wife."
The Prep’s star pitcher continued, showing his admiration for Frates’ courage.
“It just puts a smile on all of our faces," he said. "Everyone had a smile just kind of getting pumped up because he took time out of his day to do that. He didn’t have to, it was just a random act. That’s the kind of guy he is...So for us to wear these jerseys all throughout the tournament, we want to show that we’re doing it for him.”