DANVERS — If we — and by we I mean North Shore high school baseball fans — are lucky, then both teams will take the lessons learned here at the Twi-Field Saturday night and put them to good use straight through the middle of June.
If you’re host Danvers High, it’s finding a way to bottle the surge of momentum gained from their 3-1 upset victory over St. John’s Prep and to keep using that confidence — an area they’ve improved in more than any other as a team since the beginning of April — now that the postseason is less than a week away.
For St. John’s Prep, a talented team that will still qualify as one of the top four seeds in the inaugural Super 8 state tournament when that draw is announced later today, it’s finding a way to shake off the funk that has followed it for the last week or so and get back to being the juggernaut that won 15 straight games, scared opposing pitchers and played smart baseball both on the bases and in the field.
“I think it’s a great win for those guys,” said St. John’s Prep first-year head coach Dan Letarte, motioning across the diamond to the host Falcons. “They deserved it because of how they played and how Brandon (Hyde) pitched.
“For us, we’ve got to look at it like it’s a new season now ... and hopefully we show up to play. You can’t just get off the bus and hope to win.”
St. John’s Prep (16-4) had but two hits, both sharp singles up the middle by Rosario Missitti in the fourth and sixth innings. But they also committed a highly uncharacteristic five errors, including three in the third inning that allowed the Falcons to score their first run, and two more on the same play in the sixth inning. The Eagles were also picked off base twice.