BOXFORD — The 2013 baseball season has brought North Reading coach Frank Carey’s 700th career win and another postseason trip but it will not bring an undefeated season. Masconomet dashed the seventh-ranked Hornets’ dreams of a perfect season Saturday, winning, 2-1.
“North Reading is the class of the league. Coach Carey has done everything that every coach wants to do so it’s a good win for us,” said Masconomet coach T.J. Baril.
The Chieftains (13-5) were anchored by starting pitcher Speros Varinos, who allowed just one hit. The team captain threw a complete game, with nine strikeouts and five walks.
“Speros really put us on his back out there and we made some nice defensive plays,” said Baril.
Varinos used his fastball and changeup to keep the Hornets (16-1) guessing all day.
“They’re a good hitting team, so keeping them off balance was huge,” said Varinos. “Early on in the game I went right after them with the fastball, but later on in the game you really have to mix it up with the changeup. Luckily I was able to do a good job of that.”
The Chieftains scored both runs in the first four innings.
“We had the runners moving . . . we were happy from what we saw at the plate,” said Baril.
North Reading loaded the bases in the sixth, and Mike Moscaritolo drew Varinos’s fifth walk to force in a run. But Varinos got out of the inning.
“Most guys you get a little bit nervous but with Speros, we had plenty of confidence in him. We went out and talked to him and he assured us that he was all set,” said Baril.
Varinos sat the Hornets down in order in the seventh, striking out two.
“The changeup came up huge in the sixth and seventh innings. I got a tip from Coach not to hold back too much. Two of the last three outs were actually on the changeup. It was a huge pitch.”
Riding a seven-game winning streak, Masconomet has two games left before the state tournament.
“It’s good to get this tight baseball in now so we know what we have in us for the tournament. It’s a great bunch of guys that love playing baseball,” Baril said.