(written, shot, edited and narrated for Somerville Patch)
There were few 1-2-3 innings to be had in Somerville High’s final baseball game on Saturday. The Highlanders put a man on base in every inning. Their opponents, St. Clement from Medford, put a man on in every inning but the final.
It was a good old-fashioned slugfest at Trum Field, and Somerville came out on top, winning 13-8.
The Highlanders began their scoring in the top of the first, with left fielder Billy Nolan driving in captain Sammy Evers with a groundout.
Dallas O’Brien’s single off St. Clement starter John Foley (complete game, 13 runs, two walks, seven strikeouts) scored starting pitcher Eddie Dias, who was celebrating his 18th birthday. The Highlanders took advantage of two Anchormen errors to end the inning up 4-0.
Not content with a four-run lead, the Highlanders put up five more runs in the second and third innings. Nolan knocked in two more with a single in the second, and leadoff hitter Sean White belted an RBI triple to right before scoring on an Evers single in the third.
The Highlanders’ constant base-running presence let them overcome a poor start from Dias, who struggled in less than two innings of work. Although he retired the first two batters easily in both the first and second, Dias gave up four two-out runs on three walks and three hits.
“He [Dias} didn’t really have what he normally has,” head coach Mike Powers said. “To get those early runs and see those guys getting the confidence… really helps.”
The St. Clement slugfest finally stalled when White took over on the mound. Though he allowed two inherited runners to score in the bottom of the fifth, he retired five of six batters faced in the sixth and seventh, striking out the last four.
“It seems like the team really steps up when he [White] is on the mound,” Powers said. “He’s very consistent, he’s always around the plate, and since day one he’s gotten better and better each time.”
Before White came in, the Anchormen scored four runs off relievers Chris Santos and John Mendoza. First baseman Joe Cordair hit a solo home run off Santos into the parking lot behind left field in the third, and first basemen Luke Hartnett (2-4, 2 RBI) singled in shortstop Kyle Boudrias (3-4, 2 RBI) in the fifth to cut the Highlander lead to 9-6.
Mendoza walked all three batters he faced in the sixth before White took over, with two scoring on a fielder’s choice and an errant pickoff attempt.
The Highlanders finished their season 7-12 overall, but 0-8 in the Greater Boston League.
Powers said that while he was disappointed his team did not make the postseason tournament, he was proud of his players for sticking with the team and finishing the season strong.
Said Powers, “It was a great group of kids. The only thing that stinks really is that we’re going to lose a lot of them, and we’re going to be pretty much starting over again next year.”