Sports 06-13-2018

East Boston High baseball defeated, 1-0, at state tournament

After losing 13 players to graduation and a transfer, East Boston High School (EBHS) baseball entered this season with a goal to reach the state tournament.

Having reached that goal, the eighth-seeded Jets were unable to advance farther, as the ninth-seeded Salem High School defeated East Boston, 1-0, in the first round of the MIAA North Division 2 baseball tournament.

“We gave them everything that they could handle,” East Boston head coach Jeff Arinella said. “We had a couple chances to try to push a run across, but just couldn’t. But a one-nothing loss against that type of team … it’s an unfortunate ending for us, but I’m very proud of the way they battled all year.”

East Boston pitcher Josh Rivera started the game on fire—two strike outs and a flyball—for a quick top of the inning. The game would prove to be a low-scoring battle of endurance as Salem defense forced the Jets to a quiet inning.

The strong defense continued in the second: East Boston again halted the Witches from reaching base, while Salem’s Bryan Pena struck two out to match Rivera. No player on either side advanced past the second base until the sixth inning.

“Hats off to him. He pitched a great game,” Arinella said of the opposing pitcher. “Our guy pitched just as good of a game, and unfortunately we were on the short end of it, but that’s how it goes sometimes.”

In the sixth, Salem’s Tommy Beauregard struck a double off a costly Jets error. With two outs, designated hitter Troy Zipper hit an RBI single to bring Beauregard home for the game’s first and only run.

The Jets retaliated and created an immediate scoring opportunity in the bottom of the inning. First-baseman Alexis Amparo’s sacrificing bunt helped fellow senior Jonathan Pimentel reach the second base. Pimentel then stole the third base, but Euddy Brito’s hit went straight to second baseman Joey Baez, scratching the Jets’ opportunity.

The rest of the afternoon stayed quiet, and Pena struck out Joseph Troville to close out the game with eight punch outs.

“We never quit,” Arinella said, “and that’s one thing about these guys: they’ll never quit on us. They kept in the game, they kept the enthusiasm, and they kept battling. We came up just short, but we never quit as a team, and I’ve very proud of them for that.”

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