Photo: Nick Call about to celebrate his game winning single against Wakefield.
“I’m too old for this,” said Belmont High School Head Baseball Coach Jim Brown.
After seeing the team blow a two-run lead in the top of the 7th inning against Wakefield, Brown was standing in the third base coaching box watching the Marauders load the bases on a walk and two infield singles in the bottom of the inning.
And with the count full with two outs, left fielder Nick Call (2 for 3, 2 RBIs) beat out yet another infield hit to bring home nine-hitting Matt Kerans to give Belmont a 3-2 win over Wakefield (7-3) on Monday, May 4, at Brendan Grant Field, for its seventh win in 11 contests this season.
Belmont is making a “habit” of waiting until the late innings or into extra frames to pull out (or in come cases lose) games this season, said Brown.
And Monday was no exception as Belmont worked hard behind ace junior pitcher Cole Bartels to carry a 2-0 lead into the 7th with single runs in the 4th and 6th.
First base Robbie Montanaro laced a no-out double and came home on an error after DH’s Noah Riley‘s single for the first run, while the second run came courtesy of some good hustle from catcher Cal Christofori (2 for 3 including two singles and an intentional walk) who singled, stole second and came home on Call’s first single of the game.
Unlike previous games, Belmont was able to get on base but couldn’t push across a run early. They left the bases loaded in the first and outstanding freshman third base Kevin Dacey continues to impress at the plate when he ripped an extra-base hit down the right field line only to be caught trying for a triple in the bottom of the second.
Bartels was cruising along throwing 10 strike outs including striking out Wakefield’s 3-4-5 batters in the 4th. And his defense got him out of jams such as when Christofori cut down a Wakefield runner attempting to steal second with two outs and a man on third in the 2nd inning.
But Bartels nearly lost it all in the top half of the 7th, hitting a batter, allowing a long double and an infield hit loaded the bases. Two consecutive singles brought in the first and tying runs before he settled down to retire the side on two pop ups and his tenth K.
Kerans started the rally with an in-between shot that the Wakefield third baseman could not get over to first quick enough to beat the speedy outfielder. With two outs, Bartels helped his own cause with a squibbed hit to put men on first and second. Rather than face Christofori, he was given a free pass to load the bases so Wakefield’s pitcher would face Call. That turned out to bite the visitors as a long throw pulled the Wakefield first baseman off the bag, allowing Call to reach and Kerans to score.
Just another game in Belmont.