Wednesday evening (May 10) was an instant classic between Marblehead’s baseball team and Masconomet. Masco got out to an early 6-0 lead, but the Magicians scored four in the final inning to win 8-7 in, frankly, theatrical fashion.
It seemed like everything was going against the Magicians to start the game. Masco scored six runs early and when Marblehead was up at bat, the home faithful let its voices be heard, disagreeing with the majority of the umpire’s calls.
“Some tough plays and tough calls went against us,” Marblehead coach Mike Giardi said. “It’s tough, but you have to battle your way through it and we did.”
Fast forward to the bottom of the sixth inning as Marblehead trailed 7-6 with two outs. The bases were loaded for Chris DeWitt, who made Masco pay with a two-RBI single up the middle for an 8-7 lead – the eventual winning run.
“Chris DeWitt has been struggling all year, and he came up with a big hit up the middle for us,” Giardi said. “He slipped out of the box at his first at-bat, but I told him he’ll get another one and he did. He put a good swing on the ball. He needed that and we needed it.”
With the game on the line and starting pitcher Ian Maude getting near his pitch count, Giardi turned to Chris Cannuscio to close out the game.
The first two batters got on base, putting Cannuscio in a jam with zero outs and both runners in scoring position. He regained his composure, however, striking out the next two batters. With one more batter to face, Cannuscio got his batter to hit a fly ball to center field that was caught for the final out.
“He did a great job. We kind of rushed him at the end. He just battled and it was awesome to watch,” Giardi said.
Giardi received a warning from the home plate umpire after voicing his opinion on a controversial foul call in the third inning.
The Magicians didn’t let it get to their head, using it as motivation to chip away at Masco’s lead. With Stefan Shepard and Riley Schmitt on base, Cannuscio hit a hard shot to second that took a favorable bounce in the outfield to score both Shepard and Schmitt to make things 6-2.
Brooks Keefe and Bodie Bartram recorded RBI in the same inning, making it that much more interesting at 6-4.
“Getting four runs and feeling like we got a shot is always a big thing. Our kids just battled at the plate. No one gave in and they just did a fantastic job,” Giardi said.
Carrying the momentum into the fourth inning, Maude (7 strikeouts) struck out the side – much to the delight of the home crowd.
“He (Maude) was thinking a bit too much at the start. I told him to stop thinking,” Giardi said. “I wanted him to play his game and get it done and he did exactly that. He did a great job and made some really good adjustments.”
When asked if that was one of the better wins of the season, Giardi – without hesitation – said yes.
“Especially considering how many of our games have started this season. I feel we spotted them a few runs,” Giardi said. “We gave them three runs in the first and then three more runs in the second inning. It ended up being a complete win for us. Guys battled and fought the whole way.”