By Lorenzo Recupero
The Crimson Tide baseball team found themselves in a playoff situation before the postseason ever started, as they competed in a win-or-go-home scenario at Glendale Park on Monday against Winchester.
They didn’t make it easy on themselves, either. A fielder’s choice by Greg Reed in the bottom of the seventh inning clinched the, 3-2, win and the team’s first visit to the postseason in three years.
Assistant coach Joe Lento Sr. could only describe picking up the victory in one word.
“Lucky,” said Lento, who admitted his team “just could not get anything going” when up to bat. Inconsistencies in the bullpen and at the plate led to a seesaw like season that was filled with plenty highs and lows, but in the end the Tide were able to pick up the must-win game against Winchester for their 10th victory, the exact number to clinch an MIAA division 1 playoff berth.
Coach Lento Sr. relayed optimism for the postseason, while pointing out the current roster has been waiting for this moment.
“We only graduated about 8 players the last two seasons, so most the guys on the team now have been playing since we last made the playoffs and are looking forward to their first time, “said Lento Sr.
In order to succeed in the postseason, coach Lento Sr. knows the team will have to do better than they’ve done in the regular season.
”We have to see who we draw (in the seeding) and we have to hit and pitch,” said Lento Sr., who noted the team will lean on its hottest players right now, including infielder Greg Reed, pitchers Evan Mallard and Jared Corbett, catcher Jonathan Fitzgerald, centerfielder Michael Sullivan and shortstop Alex Barnes, who has owned the team’s top batting average all season. “The last few games, even with the win, we haven’t been sharp. Good teams score runs and get hits so that’s what we need to do [to win in the playoffs],” said Lento.
The MIAA First Round pairings will pin the Crimson Tide (10-10) against Chelmsford (13-7). The game will be played Thursday (6/6) at Ayotte Field in Chelmsford at 4PM.