As Tommy Falasca stepped to the plate in the seventh inning, the St. Mary’s senior knew it could be his last competitive baseball at-bat.
He wasn’t ready to be done.
Falasca lined a walkoff single to center at Fraser Field in Lynn, driving home freshman Jake Peterson and earning the 10th-seeded Spartans a 3-2 win over No. 23 Wakefield in the first round of the Division 2 tournament
“I just needed to step up big. Knew what I had to do,” said Falasca, who will play football at Saint Anselm College.
St. Mary’s will take on the winner of No. 7 Pope Francis (16-6) and No. 26 Reading (14-6).
The low-scoring tilt was a pitcher’s duel between Wakefield’s Owen Riddell (6 innings, 7 strikeouts, 2 earned runs) and the Spartans’ Josh Doney (complete game, 7 strikeouts, 1 earned run).
“He’s only 14-15 years old, and he’s leading the staff with Tommy [Falasca],” St. Mary’s coach Derek Dana said of Doney. “He’s just getting better and better.”
Wakefield (15-6) took a 2-0 lead when shortstop Matt Elwell cracked an RBI single, and right fielder Cam DePrizio shuffled home on a passed ball in the third.
“We started off really slow but Josh really kept persevering and pitching well,” Falasca said. “And as we got late into the game we got more comfortable with the bats, got on base, and started putting pressure on the other team.”
That pressure resulted in two St. Mary’s runs in the bottom of the fourth to tie it, followed by Falasca’s walkoff .
The Spartans (14-7) tallied four hits — all singles — but got runners in scoring position with an aggressive, scrappy baserunning. St. Mary’s finished with six steals, and a key bunt in the seventh set up Falasca’s heroics.
“We’ve got a couple big, strong kids. But if they’re not hitting the ball in the gaps, then we’ve got to find ways to fight and claw and get that run across,” Dana said. “That’s been the message all year.”
Division 1 State
Methuen 3, Andover 1 — With a sacrifice fly from Owen Kneeland and an RBI single by Owen Sullivan, the No. 21 seed Rangers (12-9) scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to upset the No. 12 Golden Warriors (16-6) in the first round.
Division 4 State
Abington 6, Mashpee 1 — Jon Sellon pitched a complete game and added an RBI double for the No. 12 Green Wave (13-8) in a first-round triumph.
Amesbury 11, Southwick 2 — Trevor Kimball belted a grand slam and struck out nine in five innings of work, Will Arsenault went 3 for 3 with two RBIs and two runs scored, and Luke Arsenault went 2 for 3 with an RBI as the 13th-seeded Red Hawks (11-10) won in the Round of 32.
Division 5 State
Millis 3, Boston Collegiate 1 — Talon Shepardson went the distance, allowing one run on two hits with six strikeouts, and was 2 for 3 at the plate for the No. 12 Mohawks (6-15) in the first-round win. Shea Ferrentino was 2 for 3 and Aidan Sugrue had a key sacrifice fly in the sixth inning. Colin Flynn cracked a solo homer for Boston Collegiate (15-2).
St. John Paul II 8, Quaboag 1 — Sophomore Tyler Ross went the distance, punching out 15 batters and allowing no earned runs, and classmate Ty Reed went 2 for 3 with an RBI and two stolen bases to lead the No. 16 Lions (13-8) to the Round of 32 win.
Division 4 State
Monomoy 3, Lenox 2 — Ryan Casey (6-0, 6-3), Vidan Vujosevic (6-4, 6-2), and Gavin McDonnell (6-2, 6-2) triumphed in their singles matches to lift the ninth-seeded Sharks (12-7) to a first-round victory in Harwich.
Correspondents Ethan Fuller, Mike Puzzanghera, Eamonn Ryan, and AJ Traub contributed to this story.