The St. Mary’s High School baseball team used an excellence performance by its ace Bobby Alcock and played solid, heads-up defense to defeat Hopkinton, 2-0, in the Division 2 state championship game Saturday at Alumni Field in Lowell.
Alcock, a 6-4 senior right-hander, allowed an infield hit and struck out eight to hold a potent Hopkinton team – who had scored 31 runs in three postseason victories – in check.
Lee Pacheco and Jared Coppola each had singles to produce the runs. Coppola blazed a pitch off the fence above the right field wall for a long single in his first at-bat and added a basehit in the sixth to bring home Colin Reddy with an insurance run. Pinchrunner Kory Oullette scored the Spartans’ other run after alertly tagging up to get to third base. Kyle Oullette had led off that inning with a walk.
The Spartans made key defensive plays in the field, including a double play following a rundown in which all four infielders contributed to the eventual tag on Hopkinton’s lead runner.
Second baseman Colin Reddy ranged behind second base to glove a hard-hit grounder and make a strong throw for the out in the fifth. Rightfielder Rich Pagliuca made a nice catch of a fly ball headed to the gap in the fourth inning. Freshman shortstop Aivan Cabral had four assists while junior catcher John Mulready – who impressed with his mitt and arm all season – threw out a runner attempting to steal. Third baseman Jared Coppola had three assists and started a cross-diamond exchange in the second inning that resulted in a double play.
In addition to his superb pitching, Alcock teamed up with Pacheco to pick a runner off first base in the sixth. Alcock completed the tournament with a 3-0 record, 22 strikeouts and a 0.00 earned run average.
“I was just keeping the ball low,” said Alcock. “I knew Hopkinton was a good hitting team. I used my fastball and kept it low the whole time and it just worked out. We played great as a team in the tournament. We had good pitching, good defense and our offense was really good. Everything just clicked and we started rolling and that’s how it ended and I’m glad it did. It’s really special to do this, especially with all my brothers over there. It feels great. I’ve dreamt of this moment my whole life. I’m really glad it happened.”
Hopkinton Coach Steve Simoes credited St. Mary’s and Alcock after the game.
“We always expect to hit, but he [Alcock] was better than we were today,” said Simoes. “We knew we weren’t probably going to put up seven [runs], but we thought we would certainly put up three or four.”
Simoes said he was impressed by the Spartans’ execution in the field.
“St. Mary’s is well-coached, they play good defense, they’re enthusiastic, they’re good athletes, I’m really impressed by their whole program,” said Simoes.
St. Mary’s Coach Derek Dana, who celebrated his fourth state title (two as a player, two as a coach) said it was a team effort that resulted in a victory and a state championship.
“Outstanding job by Alcock on the mound and outstanding defense behind him,” Dana told reporters. “Bobby just put the exclamation point on his high school career. This was his 20th win today and it couldn’t have been a bigger win. To roll through the playoffs and not give up a run – he just pounded the strike zone and when he needed to make a pitch, he made the pitch. When we needed to make a play behind him, they made the play behind him.”
“As far as this being my alma mater, it doesn’t get old. We loved doing it as players and we love doing it as coaches,” said Dana.