Whitman-Hanson baseball coach Pat Cronin didn’t just earn his 500th career victory Friday at Plymouth North. He won it in style.
Thanks to the heroics of junior Trevor Googins — who extended the game by throwing out the potential game-winning run at home plate in the eighth, then won it with an RBI single in the ninth — Cronin became the 17th member of Massachusetts high school baseball’s 500-win club with a 3-2 Patriot League victory at Plymouth North. He’s the first to reach the milestone since Roger Day of Danvers in 2018.
“I probably don’t even belong in such a group, but that’s the way it goes,” Cronin said. “This is a celebration for the Whitman-Hanson and the East Bridgewater kids. I’m thinking of them today and thanking them. Kids play the game, coaches don’t play, and I understand that.”
Cronin coached East Bridgewater from 1981-2015, winning three South sectional championships and reaching the 1993 Division 3 state final. He won 421 games with the Vikings before returning to his alma mater, Whitman-Hanson, where he starred on the 1966 Class B state championship baseball team after winning a state title in football in 1965.
His coaching career began as an assistant at Cardinal Spellman in 1972 under Peter Ambrose, a member of the 600-win club. After three years Cronin moved to EB, where he spent five seasons as an assistant before being promoted.
“It feels like just yesterday I started,” he said.
He’s now in his 41st, and final, season as a head coach.
“It’s my last year and I’m glad I’m still working with the kids,” he said. “We’ll see if we can get some more excitement going. I’m kind of glad [500 wins] is behind me.”
The Panthers, who had lost twice already this week in their quest to get Cronin his 500th, jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning. The Eagles got one back in the sixth before forcing extra innings with a run in the bottom of the seventh.
In the eighth, Googins scooped up a ball in left field and threw out what would have been the game-winning run at home.
“Huge,” Cronin said. “Without that, the game is over.”
In the top of the ninth, Evan Yakanovis reached base and stole second before Googins ripped a run-scoring single.
Aidan Barry (0 earned runs, 6 hits, 2 walks, 7 K’s) pitched the first eight innings for the Panthers before ceding to freshman lefthander Ryan Baker, who pitched around a two-out hit in the bottom of the ninth.
“He showed tremendous poise,” Cronin said. “Then it was celebration time. It was just a great game. It was celebration time for all of us.”
Whitman-Hanson (6-8, 6-6 Patriot) must win four of its final six games or getting into the top 32 of the Division 2 power ratings to reach the playoffs for the sixth straight season (not counting 2020), which is quite the turnaround for a program that hadn’t been to the postseason for nearly a decade before Cronin arrived.
“For me, this couldn’t be a more appropriate team to get my 500th with,” he said. “They’re like me. They just work it to death and then they keep working.”
Beverly 10, Winthrop 0 — Cooper Gavin allowed just one hit over five innings for the Panthers (8-4), and Logan Petrosino and Sam Armbruster each drove in three in the Northeastern Conference win.
Bishop Feehan 2, Mansfield 1 — Senior captain Andrew Cook fired a two-hitter for the Shamrocks (11-4) to take the nonleague win. Seniors Ben Feeley and Sean Stephenson each recorded two hits.
Bourne 2, Case 1 — Chris Klueber opened the game with a two-run homer, then shut down the opposition for six innings on the mound, striking out eight for the Canalmen (10-5) to earn the South Coast win.
Braintree 13, Brockton 0 — Dan Surette (inside-the-park grand slam) and Jeffrey Charron (three-run homer) helped break the game open in the second inning, putting 11 runs on the board as the Wamps (11-4) finished the nonleague win in five innings.
Chelmsford 4, Methuen 1 — Donovan Ryan went the distance, striking out five for the No. 12 Lions (11-3) to take the Merrimack Valley Conference win.
Dighton-Rehoboth 5, Old Rochester 3 — Senior Myles Mendoza laced a two-run single to take the lead in the fifth for the Falcons (9-5) in the South Coast victory.
Framingham 2, Holliston 1 — Victor Jaramillo (four innings, three strikeouts) and Jack Beverly (three innings, one strikeout) combined to keep opposing batters in check and take the nonleague win for the Flyers (9-5).
Hanover 11, North Quincy 4 — Mike Losordo (four RBIs) hit his first career home run, and Evan Hebblethwaite struck out six in a complete-game Patriot League win for the Hawks (7-6).
Mashpee 2, Hull 1 — Sean Fancher drove in both the runs, including the walkoff for the Falcons (8-8-1) in the South Shore win. Robert Sanborn struck out nine in the complete game effort.
Milton 6, St. Mary’s 0 — Senior Charlie Walker (5 RBIs) blasted a grand slam as part of a two-homer day, and classmate Brian Foley (5-0) allowed just one hit, striking out nine in six innings for the No. 2 Wildcats (13-2) in the nonleague matchup in Lynn. Junior Owen McHugh struck out the side to finish out the game and senior Marcus Ollivierre went 3 for 3 with a double and two runs scored.
Peabody 2, Danvers 1 — Jacob Palhares bunted home Brendan Smith to walk it off, after Smith tripled in the bottom of the ninth for the Tanners (8-6) to take the Northeastern Conference win.
Sandwich 10, Falmouth 5 — Sophomore Brayden Ramsey drove in two and senior Alex Marancik struck out eight and recorded the win for the Blue Knights (10-4) in the Cape & Islands clash.
Somerville 8, Everett 4 — Juniors Kevin Clark, Jared Antonelli and Brady Roche combined for six RBIs, leading the Highlanders (11-2) to the Greater Boston League victory.
Tewksbury 7, Billerica 2 — Dylan Paulding hit a two-run homer and Drew Nestor went five innings, striking out five and allowing one earned run for the Redmen (5-9) in the Merrimack Valley win.
Correspondents Colin Bannen, Sarah Barber, Lulu Kesin, Joseph Pohoryles, and AJ Traub contributed to this story. To report scores, call 617-929-2860/3235 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tweet scores @GlobeSchools.