WORCESTER — Standing on the third base line of Fitton Field on the campus of Holy Cross and awaiting the program’s first state championship trophy, the Austin Prep baseball team touted black T-shirts with the words “THAT WAS A SUPER SEASON” on the back.
Feeling left out of the MIAA’s most prestigious tournament, junior pitcher Cam Seguin and Austin Prep (24-2) delivered a statement victory in the Division 3 title game, exploding for seven runs in the fourth inning en route to a 9-1 victory over last year’s Division 1 champion, Taconic.
“I think every single game in this tournament was a statement to the MIAA and their Super 8 committee,” said Seguin, who won his third game of the tournament Saturday by pitching a complete-game two-hitter, striking out 10.
“I think they made a mistake, personally, but I am very happy with the Division 3 state championship as it is. It is a great season whether we get to play Super 8 or not.”
Taconic (20-5) was held off the base paths in a scoreless contest until Cedric Rose hit a two-out double in the top of the fourth inning. Freshman Brendan Stannard followed with a single into left field to open the scoring.
The advantage for the Braves didn’t last long.
Nick Cafarelli singled to lead off the bottom half and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jake Thain. A walk to Jonathan Gilbride followed and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Senior Denis Taylor came through with a run-scoring single to right field, and Gilbride crossed the plate on another wild pitch.
An errant throw to home plate on Dylan Arnold’s chopper to third scored two more runs for the Cougars.
Arnold came around to score on another Braves’ error, and Cafarelli returned to the dish and delivered a two-run single up the middle to cap the outburst.
An RBI single by Colin Jaena in the fifth and Logan Bravo’s homer in the sixth was all the insurance the lefthander Seguin needed.
“Honestly, [this] is the way it was supposed to end,” said Austin Prep coach Steve Busby.
“This is not just about this year but all of the alums that have turned the whole program. When I took over this program they hadn’t made the playoffs in four years, and now we are state champs.”
Karl Capen can be reached at email@example.com.