DANVERS — It took Justin Snyder a few batters to find the strike zone yesterday. But once the St. John’s Prep left-hander did, he was nearly untouchable.
Snyder retired 19 of 21 Malden Catholic batters between the first and seventh innings as St. John’s won its eighth straight, 3-1.
Wearing special alternate jerseys to honor Class of 2003 St. John’s alumnus Pete Frates and his fight against ALS, the Eagles (8-1 overall, 2-1 Catholic Conference) rode great pitching and timely hitting to an important league win.
“We didn’t want to lose on a day that we honored Pete,” said Eagles head coach Pat Yanchus.
After hitting the first batter he faced and walking the next two, Snyder went six innings without even going to a 3-ball count. He escaped a bases loaded, no out jam with just one MC run scored in the first by finding his off-speed location.
Malden Catholic (5-3) was limited to two baserunners the rest of the way, with senior Dustin Hunt coming on to get the final two outs and the save in the seventh.
The Lancers pitched a solid lefty of their own in Jeremy Roberts, but the Eagles came through with timely hitting to prevail. Sophomore Keith Leavitt crushed a homer to right to even the score in the second.
Senior Alex Moore’s infield single led to trouble for MC in the third. After a sacrifice bunt and a stolen base, Prep senior Tyler Noe doubled him home with the go-ahead run. Senior Nick Bragole followed an RBI single after Noe swiped third, and that was all the offense the Eagles needed.
“Ocho (Bragole, who wears No. 8) came up with a big hit. We didn’t get a lot of walks, but we got that timely hitting,” said Noe, who was 2-for-2 with an RBI, a run and two stolen bases. “This was a good team win overall.”