“We hadn’t seen St. John’s, but we knew they had great talent and a bunch of quick pitchers,” said Billerica coach Joe Higgins. “(Snyder) was a little off and we took advantage early. That’s what you have to do in a big game.”
The Eagles were not sharp. They committed four errors, though excellent relief pitching by seniors Mike Driscoll and Dustin Hunt made sure most of them didn’t hurt.
The Indians’ final run, which turned out to be the winning run, scored on a Driscoll balk in the fifth. It was emblematic of St. John’s uncharacteristically sloppy play.
“We practiced hard. I think it’s just one of those baseball things where we didn’t play well,” Yachus said. “It seemed like we made more errors than we’d made all year — and there were mental errors too.”
Trailing 2-0, St. John’s bounced back when Alex Moore delivered their first hit on a bunt single and sophomore Keith Leavitt clobbered a 2-run double to right to tie it (scoring Bingel, who had walked and stolen second).
Indians pitcher Chris Murphy (6 IP, 2 H, 9 K on 131 pitches) didn’t allow the Eagles to grab a lead even though they had runners in scoring position in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. The Prep put runners on in all three frames against reliever Robby Gambale, but stranded them, too.
The Eagles left 10 on base in all and failed to take advantage of 10 walks.
Billerica took the lead with a pair in the fifth. Kyle Murphy’s second hit was an RBI double; he later reached third and scored on a balk. The Eagles managed to make it 4-3 in the bottom half when senior Tommy Buonopane reached on an error, stole second, took third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch. They got no closer, however.