DANVERS, Mass. -– Sophomore Keath Leavitt played hero for St. John’s Prep on Thursday, launching a two-run homer in the first inning to give the Eagles the first and only lead of the game. Behind Leavitt’s heroics and 6 2/3 innings pitched by started Justin Snyder, Prep knocked off Catholic school rival St. John’s Shrewsbury, 4-2.
Leavitt took the first pitch he saw of the game for a ride, taking the belt-high fastball well beyond the center field fence.
“That kid’s a pretty good pitcher. I tried to pick out the first pitch, I was sitting first pitch fastball and I just drove it to left field. Just the pitch I was looking for,” Leavitt said.
“It felt good, I was pretty confident it might get over. It was a good pitch to swing at.”
Shrewsbury (9-2) starter P.J. Browne pitched all seven innings for the Pioneers, giving up three earned runs and striking out six Prep batters. On the other side, Snyder was lights-out for the Eagles (12-1), not giving up a run until the seventh inning. No Pioneer base runner got past first base until the sixth inning, when Micah Cummins advance to third.
With Tyler Noe out injured for the foreseeable future, beating the Pioneers was just the win that Prep needed.
“It means a lot, that’s a good team right there. Probably the best team we’ve played all year, so to take two from them this year is big. Close games both times…it feels good to get this win,” Leavitt said. “Guys are stepping up, coming in when they have to. It’s all about the next guy, we’re pretty deep on this team.”
Leavitt drew a walk to get on base in the fourth inning. He proceeded to steal second base, and quickly stole third two pitches later. He came around to score on fly ball to center field by Natty Cabral.
“I tried to go on his first move and steal second, and the steal of third I got the sign and saw an off-speed pitch and I decided to take it. I thought it was a good decision to take third too,” Leavitt said with a smile.
Pre head coach Pat Yanchus was complimentary of his young star after the game:
“[The home run] really got us going," he said. "We questioned whether we would bat him fourth against a lefty, but he’s been hitting lefties pretty good, so we went with it. Then he stole two bases and scored the third run too, so that was big."
Honoring Pete Frates: St. John’s Prep wore specially designed uniforms today to honor St. John’s Prep ’03 alum Pete Frates. Frates, who played college baseball at Boston College, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and is close to the St. John’s Prep baseball program. The uniforms -- modeled after the Houston Astros' iconic "sunrise" uniforms from the late 70's and early 80's, but bearing Prep's familiar shades of blue -- were designed by Noe.
“It’s a great cause, I met Pete for the first time this year. He’s really an inspirational guy," Leavitt said. "It’s really great to do something for him...like these uniforms. I’m proud of these uniforms, I’m glad we get to wear them all the time."
To learn more about Frates’ battle with ALS or make a contribution to his fund, CLICK HERE.