WORCESTER – It took six innings for the Archbishop Williams bats to finally connect in Saturday night’s Division 4 state baseball final against St. Mary’s of Westfield.
It was too little, too late.
The Bishops tagged St. Mary’s starter John Daley for three runs in the sixth, but it was the only offense they could muster as the Saints held on for a 5-3 win at Fitton Field.
“I have absolutely no regrets with this group,” Archbishop Williams coach James Dolan said. “We talked about playing as much baseball as we could together, and we got to practice yesterday, we got to the final game, we took a final bus ride and the score didn’t go our way.”
St. Mary’s (23-2) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when junior Matt Masciadrelli crossed the plate after a wild pitch. But Archies freshman Myles McDermott settled down after a rocky first and went 4⅔ innings, allowing two runs. The Saints added to the lead in the fifth and sixth to take a 5-0 lead. Junior Jake Gardner drove in three runs and Masciadrelli added an RBI before the Bishops (20-6) began to push back.
“We haven’t been down like that a lot this year,” Dolan said. “Our senior leadership has been outstanding all year, and it’s nice to see that doesn’t change in a big moment.”
Senior Benjamin Murphy got the Bishops on the board with an RBI single, and senior Jack Rega followed with a two-run double. Rega’s double knocked Daley out of the game, but junior Nate Bonini recorded a four-out save to deny Archies its first baseball state title since 1995.
St. Mary’s dominant pitching once again prevailed in the tournament.
Entering the final, the Saints had allowed just three runs in four playoff games.
“John did a great job, he pitched one heck of a game,” St. Mary’s coach Troy Collins said. “These guys don’t panic, they were fine, no nerves, no nothing . . . they just play right at this level, they never get too high, never get too low.”James Duffy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.