WORCESTER — The Wellesley baseball team rode on the coattails of a few seniors and talented underclassmen all tournament. But in the Division 1 state championship Saturday at Fitton Field, the ride came to a halt one game short.
Taconic senior Izaiya Mestre spun a complete game as the Braves defeated the Raiders, 3-1, to win the program’s first state title.
Wellesley (16-10), the 13th seed in the South Sectional, have a number of underclassmen returning next season.
“We knew we were getting better during the course of the season, and finally it clicked at the right time,” said Wellesley coach Rob Kane. “I think that we now have the idea of what we need to do to get to where we want to be at. We want to win this game.”
But the veteran group at Taconic just seemed to be a step above.
“I cannot say enough about these seniors and what they have meant to this program,” said Taconic coach Kevin Stannard. “They just did their job today.”
Sophomore Henry Weycker, coming off a complete-game gem in the state semifinals Tuesday, only gave up one run in four innings. But riding a pitch count, the lefthander was replaced in the fifth inning by sophomore Michael Kenney.
Taconic (24-1) jumped all over the righthander. Senior Jake McNeice deposited his second RBI double of the game to dead center, giving the Braves a 2-1 lead. An RBI single from junior Drew DeMartino followed to knock Kenney out of the game.
Freshman Max Zajec settled things down to escape without further damage, but a two-run single from senior Jack Cooney in the bottom half of the sixth inning gave Mestre more than enough insurance.
Back-to-back singles by senior Isaac Weycker and freshman Matt Maiona lead off the seventh for Wellesley, but Mestre struck out the next two and got a groundout to send the Braves into celebration.
“The feeling is unbelievable. I can’t even speak right now,” said Mestre. “Going in [the team] was like, ‘Zeke, this is what you do. So go out do what you do.’ That’s what I did.”
Wellesley scored in the first inning when junior Colin Blasco came through with a sacrifice fly. Mestre kept the Raiders off the scoreboard from there, finishing the game with seven strikeouts and one walk.Karl Capen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.