Late-Inning Heroics (Again) Gives Belmont High Baseball Another Win

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.

Belmont High Baseball Unbeaten at Break Thanks to Another Late Game Win

Photo: Cal Christofori pitching in relief in the 7th inning during Belmont’s 6-3 victory over Arlington, April 17. 

Like students who waits until the last minute to complete their work, the Belmont High School Baseball team has been biding their time until the late innings to eek out a pair of victories.

After Belmont snuck by Stoneham, 8-6, on Tuesday, April 14, the team scored four runs in the penultimate at-bat to defeat Arlington, 6-3, on Friday, April 17, at Grant Field in Belmont.

The wins, along with a blow out of Watertown in the season opener, sends the Marauders into the spring break undefeated, sporting a 3-0 record overall and in the Middlesex League and providing the players some needed confidence.

“The thing we preached in the beginning of the year was mental toughness and they are buying into it,” said Belmont Head Coach Jim Brown.

“They were losing a couple of games and it’s not phasing them and they are getting the bats going as well,” Brown said.

Friday’s heroics came the arm and the bat of Robbie Montanaro who threw two shutout innings in relief of starter Cole Bartels and stroked a two-out, two-run single to score Bartels and catcher Cal Christofori to push Belmont ahead, 5-4, after trailing by a run entering the bottom of the fifth.

Centerfielder Nick Riley’s double sent Montanaro home for the final run in the four-run fifth. 

Riley scored the first run in the second inning, scoring on Bryan Goodwin double.

Monanaro’s run scoring hit was part of the first-baseman/pitcher’s three-RBI day, having scored Bartels in the third with a single.

Christofori moved from catching pitches to throwing them to earn the save hurling a one-hit final inning.

It will be a busy time after the spring recess when Belmont plays on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of next week.

“We have four games the week we get back so they have to be focused like they’ve been so far,” said Brown.

Belmont Baseball Comes from Behind to Take Opener vs. Stoneham

Photo: Junior pitcher Joe Shaughnessy vs. Stoneham High, April 13. 

A three run, two-out sixth inning and a great relief pitching stint by junior Joe Shaughnessy saw Belmont High School Baseball reel in a tough Stoneham High team for a 8-6 victory in the team’s home opener at Grant Field on Monday, April 13.

The win raises Belmont’s record to 2-0 overall and in the Middlesex League. 

A 3-2 triple by third baseman Nick Call drove in junior right fielder Matt Kerans and sophomore catcher Cal Christofori to give Belmont a 7-6 lead before scoring on a wild pitch for the final run.

Starter pitcher junior Cole Bartels (7 strikeouts) got through the fourth before giving up a three-run, bases loaded double to Stoneham’s center fielder Justin Oliphant for the Spartans to go ahead 6-5. 

Shaughnessy then came in for the final 2 2/3 innings of shut out pitching including striking out three Spartan in the top of the 7th. 

Post Season Schedule Set for Sprinters, Belmont Baseball, Tennis Teams

Three Belmont High School teams will be playing in the post season as Baseball and the Boys and Girls Tennis teams along with two exceptional sprinters on the track team received their tournament draws yesterday, May 27, from the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association.

Freshman Julia Cella is the favorite in the 200 meters – having run a season leading 26.07 – and a top contender in the 100 meters in the Div. 3 East track and field meeting taking place on Saturday, May 31 at Pembroke High School. She will also be anchoring the 4×100 meter relay ranked fourth in D3.  Joining her will be fellow freshman Rachel Berets in the 100 meter hurdles, the top 9th grader in the event. Junior Kayla Magno is a top eight threat in the 400 meters hurdles. Joining his teammates is junior Max Jones who has broken 23 seconds in the 200 meters and is rated 4th coming into the meet. Fellow junior Ari Silverfine dipped under 2 minutes in the 800 meters for a top 10 ranking this year.

Belmont High Baseball – which came out of the weekend’s Brendan Grant Tournament with a win and a loss – with a record of 11-9 has been seeded 9th in the Div. 2 North sections and will meet number 8 Beverly High School under the lights at Endicott College in Beverly on Friday, May 30 at 7 p.m. A win will see the Marauders head over to Gloucester on Saturday, May 31 to take on number 1 seed Gloucester High School.

The 8-8 Boys’ Tennis will be traveling to Topsfield to challenge the number 5 seed Masconomet Regional High School on Thursday, May 29 at 5:30 p.m. while Girls’ Tennis, with a record of 11-5 and co-champions of the Middlesex League’s Liberty Division, will host Tewksbury High School on Thursday, May 29 at 3:30 p.m. A Marauders victory will likely see a match between league co-champion Reading High School.

Belmont High Baseball Makes Playoffs Behind Shea’s Arm, Bat

Belmont High School Baseball’s Brendan Shea is best known for this pitching – he is heading to UMass-Lowell to join Head Coach Ken Harring’s River Hawks – but on Tuesday, May 20, the southpaw showed he can wield a bat in a game against Salem (NH) High School.

The senior sent a 0-1 pitch over the fence for a three-run home run to put Belmont High into the Division 2 North Sectional playoffs with a 7-4 victory over the visiting Blue Devils at Brendan Grant Field.

Shea once again showed his prowess on the mound as he struck out 10 batters and gave up one bloop hit over five innings while giving up four unearned runs. Kevin Arria relieved Shea with two scoreless innings to earn the save and end a three-game losing streak where Belmont left 34 players on base over that stretch. 

Making the post-season for the 12th season in a row turned out to be tougher than Belmont Head Coach Jim Brown had anticipated.

“Finally. It was a battle making [the playoffs] this time,” said Brown. “We finally got timely hitting today.”

The big blow came in the bottom of the fifth when Shea cranked the dinger out of the park bringing in outfielder Matt Rocha (hit by a pitch) and shortstop Cole Bartels (double) to give Belmont a 5-4 lead.

Belmont played small ball in the first when Rocha reached first on a single, stole second and came in on freshman catcher Cal Christofori’s single. 

Belmont will next play on Friday, May 22, at 4 p.m. at Grant Field against Reading High during the annual Brendan Grant Tournament.

A Day of Fours Leaves Belmont Baseball Knocking on Playoff’s Door

A four run, two-out rally in the bottom of the fourth inning combined with a four-hit, one run complete game by sophomore pitcher Cole Bartels as hosts Belmont High School Baseball defeated Arlington High, 4-1, at Brendan Grant Field on Monday, May 12, extending the Marauders’ winning streak to four games.

Now perched at 9-5, the team needs to win just one of its final six regular season games to make the Div. 2 North Sectional playoffs for the second year in a row.

After falling behind, 1-0, Belmont finally got to SpyPonder’s pitcher Dan Shaw in the bottom of the fourth as senior Brendan Shea reached first on a fielders choice after hitting into what appeared to be a possible double play. But the Arlington shortstop bobbled the throw to first allowing Shea to reach the bag.

Freshman catcher Cal Christafori singled a 2-1 offering down the third baseline bringing up sophomore Trevor Kelly who promptly singled himself to bring in Shea to tie the score. Sitting on a 1-0 count, second base Chris Kelly laced a double in the left/center gap to score Christafori and Kelly to see Belmont take a 3-1 lead. Following Kelly’s example, Nick Call launched his own 1-0 double to bring the other Kelly in for the 4-1 lead which stood up through seven innings. 

But the story Monday was Bartels who pitched a gem, striking out 11 SpyPonders (including the side in the third) giving up a single run on a walk and a single on the second.

The next two games for the Marauders will be at Woburn Wednesday and a match Thursday at Lexington, with the hope that the team can be in the playoffs before prom.

Belmont Baseball, Softball Sweep Watertown in League Openers

The wind was howling out of the northwest Wednesday, April 9; it was not a day that a home run was going to decide the games at the softball and at Brendan Grant Field at Belmont High School as the school’s softball and baseball teams got their Middlesex League seasons underway against arch rivals Watertown High.

But the Belmont teams didn’t need the long ball as both squads saw their lead pitchers make opening day statements as the Marauders swept the visiting Raiders.

Senior co-captain Brendan Shea gave up a single run to the Raiders as his teammates made Watertown pay for some sloppy early season play to win 7-1. The southpaw, who has signed a letter of intent to play for Div. 1 UMass-Lowell next year, struck out 11 while limiting Watertown to a handful of hits.

“[Shea]’s our number one and pitched out of a couple of tight spots. He’s a gamer and that’s why he’s a scholarship player,” said Head Coach Jim Brown.

Belmont scored four runs in the first three innings on a single hit – a single by sophomore shortstop Cole Bartels –  capitalizing on four miscues by the Raiders. That was more than enough support for Shea who got out of a fifth-inning bases loaded, no out jam with a strike out and a double play created by a base-running mistake by a Watertown player.

“We did some small ball stuff but could have done a little better in our execution. That’s how we are going to win this year, with bunting players over and sac flies,” said Brown.

Over at softball, a very familiar athlete was having her way with the Raiders; senior pitcher Kendel Brown – the stellar defender on both field hockey and Girls’ ice hockey – simply kept Watertown batters off balance while the Marauders’ batters had a field day as Belmont swamped the visitors, 22-4, in a shortened five-inning game.

“We had played one non-league game before this (a 16-2 loss to Cambridge Rindge and Latin) and we weren’t ready having only been outside twice before that game,” said first-year coach Steve Price.

“But I had a good feeling coming into this game after a week of practice and we had our line up ready to go today,” he said.

On the offensive end, sophomore shortstop Julia Rifkin had an inside-the-park home run and batted strongly during each at bat as did senior Micaela McKay and sophomore Lia Muckjian had a pair of hits.

“Really, the entire line up swung the bat very well today as evident by the score,” said Price.

IMG_0205 IMG_3769 IMG_3754 IMG_3752 IMG_3738 IMG_3732 IMG_3725 IMG_3719 IMG_3714 IMG_3708 IMG_3696