Despite being up against a BC High team playing its best baseball of the season, Shrewsbury was more than up to the task.
Alex Martin collected three hits and four RBI while David Siciliano allowed just two earned runs over 5 2/3 innings as No. 4 Shrewsbury defeated fifth-seeded BC High 7-3 in the Div. 1 quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon at Shrewsbury High School.
Shrewsbury (20-3) will play either No. 1 Franklin or No. 9 Bridgewater-Raynham in the Div. 1 state semifinals on Tuesday.
“After a win like today it feels we have a special group but by far the job is not done,” Shrewsbury coach Lee Diamantopoulos said. “So, we’ll enjoy tonight and then get back to being miserable tomorrow.”
Ahead 2-0 and with starter Ronan Donohue having retired 11 straight, BC High (17-6) appeared to be on cruise control.
Shrewsbury changed all of that within the blink of an eye. Two walks and a base hit loaded the bases with one out for the Colonials and an Andrew Peris RBI groundout got the hosts on the board. Shrewsbury then tied the game moments later when, with runners on the corners and two outs, a pickoff attempt at first went down the right field line.
Now even 2-2, Shrewsbury kept its foot on the gas pedal. AJ Hamm laced a go-ahead RBI hit to right centerfield to end Donohue’s day. Then, Martin capped off the four-run fifth with an RBI base hit of his own to left.
“We made a couple of mistakes early on but credit to our leaders who turned the page and refocused,” Diamantopoulous said .”We loosened up, put together some good at bats, and were able to change the game.”
BC High cut the deficit in half in the top of the sixth when Donohue doubled and later scored on a double-play ball. Shrewsbury, however, busted the game open in the bottom of the sixth when Martin crushed a two-out, bases-clearing triple to right field with them loaded to push the lead to 7-3.
Junior right-hander Ben Griffith closed the game for Shrewsbury relieving Siciliano (5 2/3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) in the sixth before capturing the last four outs. Siciliano settled in nicely, retiring 11 straight hitters through the middle innings after BC High got to him for a pair of runs in the second inning on an error, walk, balked, passed ball, and Shea O’Reilly RBI single.
BOSTON, MA – JUNE 11-SATURDAY: Shrewsbury pitcher Ben Griffith celebrates after striking out BC HighÕs Ronan Donohue for the final out of the game during the seventh inning June 11, 2022, in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. Shrewsbury won 7-3.(Photo by Paul Connors/Media News Group/Boston Herald)
“We expected a really difficult game today and that showed itself,” Martin said. “BC High has excellent hitters and pitchers. We had to play our best game and we came close to that.”