, Salem, MA


September 6, 2009

The 10 Greatest North Shore high school games of the Last 20 Years, No. 4: Herculean Effort; Allison's 156-pitch gem, theft of home toppled Antonelli in star-studded showdown

Allison's 156-pitch effort, theft of home toppled Antonelli in star studded showdown


As soon as St. John's toppled Lexington High in its state tourney opener, Eagles' staff ace Rich Sirois spoke about how much his team was looking forward to facing Allison, saying, "It's the best thing that could happen because everyone wants to see that game. We've been waiting a long time for it."

The baseball season's main event was originally scheduled for a Thursday night, but sprinkler issues at the field postponed it a day. That gave Allison an extra day of rest and guaranteed he'd be on the hill.

It wasn't the only guarantee he had in mind.

"It won't happen this year," he said of the Prep's previous domination over Peabody in the state tournament. "Believe me, it will not happen. I'm going to make sure of that."

St. John's takes control

Perhaps Allison's words served as bulletin board material — or perhaps the Prep was as talented as advertised. Either way, they hit Allison like he hadn't been hit all season.

Tommy Haugh had three hits off of him, as did teammate Sean DeYoung. Antonelli was all over Allison's 95-mile-an-hour heater and wreaked havoc on the basepaths. Peabody made several errors in the field, and eventually Antonelli crossed the plate on a wild pitch.

The Prep's Ryan Williams, who went on to star at St. Anselm, was pitching for his squad, and runs were going to be hard to come by.

"The pitching matchup was so great that anytime someone got on base, both sides (thought) 'Here's our opportunity. All we need is a run,'" said Garrity. "When we got down 1-0, I was pretty nervous."

Things appeared bleak for Peabody when Allison (who finished with 14 Ks), left the mound and headed to the outfield in the eighth. No doubt the hot-hitting Eagles thought it was their chance to put the game away.

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