Billerica had multiple chances to extend their lead, but St. John’s turned a pair of double plays and got clutch pitching. Jack Burke escaped a bases loaded jam in the fourth, Driscoll induced a double play to end one in the sixth and Hunt came on erase one in the seventh.
To their credit, the Indians did not allow their failure on offense to effect them in the field. “Leaving the bases loaded with no outs in tough. I wanted insurance runs so I don’t have a heart attack, but I’ll take the heart attack today,” said Higgins. “We kept saying leave it in the dugout, go out there and throw the leather, and they did that.”
St. John’s had just five hits from five different players: Buonpane, Leavitt, Bornstein, Crehan and Moore. The Eagles never had two hits in the same inning. They employed four pitchers in Snyder (3 IP, 3 H, 3 BB), Burke (1+ IP, 2 H), Driscoll (2 IP, 2 H) and Hunt (3 IP, 1 HBP). The latter two, who will pitch together at Northeastern next year, got ahead in the count and held Billerica down despite trouble in the last four frames, but the damage was done.
“Mike pitched well,” said Yanchus, who had hopes to close with the hard-throwing Hunt as he had most of the season. “In retrospect, maybe we wish we had gone to Hunt sooner, but its hard to look back on one thing in the whole game.”
The Catholic Conference champions had a great 22-game run, but that elusive state championship wasn’t in the cards.
“We had a great team, a great senior group that played together, played one way and played hard,” said Yanchus. “I’ll remember the camraderie with the team and the coaches and all the enthusiasm. We played head up all year, until today.”