By Dan Harrison
---- — LYNN — Both the St. Mary’s and Bishop Fenwick baseball coaches agree, Crusaders pitcher Joe Levasseur is an ace.
Even aces throw a bad pitch once in a while.
After seven innings of strong work at Fraser Field in Lynn last night, Levasseur left a fastball up in the zone against Victor Molle in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Molle pounded a 400-foot triple that scored Chris Butler as the Spartans claimed the 2-1 victory.
“I’ve seen him (Levasseur) for three years now and he’s a great competitor who always gives them a chance to win. He’s an ace,” said Spartans (9-5) head coach Derek Dana, who also talked about his starter, Brendan DeLeire. “Today we found a way to be competitive and keep it close. (DeLeire) gave us everything he had, He keeps getting better and better.”
Molle’s RBI was the only earned run of the game as Levasseur (10 strikeouts) and DeLeire (10 strikeouts) dueled into extra innings.
“He (Levasseur) was an ace last year and he’s been an ace again this year. He left one pitch up and that ball got crushed,” said Bishop Fenwick head coach Kevin Canty, his team now 11-3. “You have to tip your cap at times, that ball went 400 feet. Any other ball park and that’s a home run.”
Canty also talked about the Spartan starter, who was dominant against the Crusaders four and five hitters, Gianni Esposito and Brian Burke.
“He made good pitches against us in big situations,” said Canty. “Gianni Esposito and Brian Burke had tough days and he (DeLeire) made them have tough days.”
Both teams scored their first runs on errors by their respective first basemen.
John Oliviera scored for Fenwick in the top of the third when Nick Bona hit a grounder to third base with two outs but Scott Betts bobbled the throw at first.
The Spartans answered right back in the bottom half of the inning when Justin O’Blenes led off with a bunt single and then scored on a hit down the first base line by Butler. Instead of getting in front of a hot grounder, Burke opted for the backhand snag and came up empty.
The decision leaves Fenwick in a tie with Archbishop Williams atop the Catholic Central League Large standings. Both teams have two leagues losses, and they meet each other Saturday (10 a.m. at Fenwick) and Monday (at Williams).