CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Dexter School head baseball coach Dan Donato didn’t forget the two losses his team suffered last season at the hands of BB&N, apparently neither did the rest of his team.
Donato’s club ran it’s winning streak to eight games in 2011 after an 8-4 win over BB&N (8-4) on Monday night at Harvard University, which was the site of an exciting extra-innings affair won by the Knights last season.
“We came over here with a little sense of purpose to avenge some of those losses,” said Donato.
Dexter used a four-run top of the fifth inning, and tacked on three more in the final two innings to give starter John Magliozzi and relief pitcher Ryan Sullivan breathing room to work. Magliozzi gave up two earned runs and struck out seven in six innings of work, while Sullivan survived the seventh despite watching two runs cross the plate.
The Knights’ grabbed the early 2-0 lead after Rhett Wiseman took advantage of some second life in the bottom of the third. Wiseman got jammed, but Pat Curtis couldn’t corral the short pop-up despite a valiant diving attempt.
Wiseman smacked the next pitched up the middle by the diving centerfielder to plate Mike Samko and Robert Krentzman.
Dexter started 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, but finally broke through when freshman Mark Webber singled in Barrett O’Neill in the top of the fourth. Knights’ starter Devin Perry was moving through the lineup with five strikeouts in the first four innings, but a blister he developed on the top of his thumb on his throwing hand opened the Dexter floodgates.
Dexter plated four in the top of the fifth, with Curtis coming through with the crushing two-run double to push the lead to 5-2. Magliozzi’s sacrifice fly brought home Matt Cuneo in the top of the sixth off of reliever Matt Pugh, and Brendan Fitzgerald later scored on a throwing error as the right-fielder overthrew the cut-off man.
“It came down to some fundamentals and I thought our kids did a good job in those areas,” Donato said. “We found a way to battle a good pitcher”
Keeping the runs coming against a very tough BB&N team was very important for Donato, because Magliozzi had to weasel his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the sixth and the Knights did tack on two in the final frame.
“I knew we had to, because their bats are that good,” Donato said. “In the late innings we were still running, we were still trying to manufacture runs, because I have a lot of respect for what they do and how they play the game.”
Life Without Chin
There was a glaring void for BB&N on the mound as Andrew Chin is out for the remainder of the year. The talented lefy, who is expected to play next season at Boston College, will undergo Tommy John Surgery in the next few weeks, according to Knights’ head coach Rick Foresteire.
Foresteire has had to do some shuffling, and seeing his new No. 1 starter Perry leave the game with a blister issue was probably the last thing that he wanted to see.
“He just cut it somehow on the top,” he said. “It’s not anything long-term. He hasn’t had a chance to stretch out in the last week or so in terms of innings. I think he threw well. … I think it got a little irritating (for him).”
Perry, Pugh and Brandon Kerrigan will have to fill in for arguably the most consistent starting pitcher in the entire state. The shock of losing the ace of the staff, who helped BB&N go 20-0 last season, is still tough to shake off for Foresteire and the rest of the club.
“It’s been tough,” he said. “He’s a great kid and that’s why it’s been so tough on all of us. Not only is he talented, but what he’s meant to the program. You know he wants to be out there competing, and to not get to see him pitch is sad.”