Baseball team handles Peabody, clinches tourney spot

Stefan Shepard went 2-for-3 in his team’s 10-0 win against Peabody. Photo by Libby O'Neil

The Marblehead baseball team (10-7) took care of business at home against the Peabody Tanners (6-11) Thursday afternoon.

The win secures Marblehead’s spot in the Division 2 state tournament, while the loss for Peabody means it’s a no-go for the playoffs.

The Magicians got off to a picture-perfect start, scoring six runs in the first inning. Bodie Bartram and Matthew Mahan each recorded two RBI singles to account for four of the six runs.

“For us, it was important to jump out early,” Marblehead coach Mike Giardi said. “It was important for us to establish an early lead and I thought we swung the bat well. To get some big plays and runs early never hurts.”

Peabody coach Mark Bettencourt praised the Magicians for their offensive firepower.

“They’re on a different level than we are,” Bettencourt said. “They’ve got some good hitters on that team and experienced players – and it showed.”

Despite the big first inning, the Magicians failed to register a run the following two innings, something Bettencourt was pleased to see from his team.

“After they scored six runs in the first, I was proud that we were able to shut them out for the next two,” Bettencourt said. “We got punched in the face, but we didn’t fall down and we kept fighting.”

Unfortunately for Bettencourt and company, the Magicians revived that offense in the fourth inning to score four more runs – a bulk of it from a three-RBI double from Bartram.

Giardi was pleased with Bartram’s five-RBI game.

“He’s been doing a great job,” Giardi said. “He had a slow start, but he’s been hitting the ball well. He has a good approach and he sees the ball really well. He doesn’t go up trying to hit home runs. He’s hitting line drives and, hopefully, he can keep it going.”

Walks plagued Peabody, something Bettencourt acknowledged postgame.

“We can’t make mistakes against teams like this,” Bettencourt said. “In the last inning, two or three of their runs came from guys we walked.”

Peabody’s bats couldn’t get hot against Chris Cannuscio, who threw a complete game shutout with four strikeouts. It’s even better when his defense commits zero errors.

“The big thing is to try and keep the ball in the infield,” Giardi said. “The defense helps the pitcher out. If the pitcher sees that his defense is playing well behind him, he won’t have to worry about throwing strikeouts. Rather, he just needs to throw strikes. I think that was the big thing for us today.”

Despite the loss, Bettencourt was pleased to have Giovani Guglielmo back in the lineup for the second time this season. Guglielmo, who hit .421 last season, tore his ACL in the fall and has recently returned.

“It’s nice having that big bat back in the lineup,” Bettencourt said. “He’s one of our best baseball players and not having him for 15 games hurts the team… Having him back gives the team a little bit more confidence.”