“It’s a big plus for us. Alex pitched extremely well at the end of the season last year, but we had to take it easy with him early on,” said Beverly coach Dave Wilbur. “He knows how to pitch. His location has been on and we’re playing good defense behind him.”
Monday, Beverly (5-2) was bolstered by the return of slugging first baseman Kevin Cuneo, who missed a week with a leg injury. He drove in a run in a victory over Salem.
Northeastern Conference crossover (Large vs. Small) games begin this week, and Beverly athletic director James Coffey tells us that they will count for the standings in baseball this spring. There was some confusion because the league did not count those inter-division games in boys hockey this past winter, but they will be included in the baseball race.
Peabody (7-1, 5-0 NEC) leads the Large race by two games after the first run through, while Danvers (8-0, 5-0) had a game-and-a-half lead on Gloucetser in the Small chase.
There may not be a team playing more close games than Bishop Fenwick, which rallied to win a pair of wild ones (11-9 over Gloucester and 8-7 over St. Mary’s Lynn) against good teams over the last six days. The Crusaders (6-1) have been getting clutch hits from seniors Brian Burke and Gianni Esposito in their six-game winning streak. Burke also picked up the save in the win over St. Mary’s.
Fenwick has two big Catholic Central League games coming up, with unbeaten Archbishop Williams today and Arlington Catholic next week.
Peabody native Matt Hosman, a sophomore at Phillips Andover, will be back on the North Shore today when Phillips visits Pingree in South Hamilton. Phillips won the Central New England title a year ago and the Highlanders have won four of the last six New England Small School titles, so it should be a good take between solid programs.
Around the Horn, a column on North Shore high school baseball, appears in The Salem News every Wednesday during the spring sports season. Contact assistant sports editor matt Williams at 978-338-2669, MWilliams@salemnews.com and follow him on Twitter @MattWilliams_SN. #StrikeOutALS.