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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

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The Tanners summoned Moorer, who would be Gatorade Massachusetts Player of the Year in 2004 and is now in the Seattle Mariners' system. He did the job and sent his team to the dish desperate for the tying run.

Prep coach Pat Yanchus called on his own ace, the UConn-bound Sirois, who'd thrown against Lexington days earlier.

Peabody pounced.

Joel Levine got the rally started with a single and moved up when Allison singled. Moorer then knocked a hard bouncer that ticked off Sirois' glove and found the sure-handed Antonelli at short.

But Antonelli's throw to first sailed wide and allowed Levine to cross with the tying run.

Allison moved to third and Moorer remained at first with two down. What transpired next will never be forgotten.

Grand theft of home

Peabody head coach Ed Nizwantowski later told reporters they'd spotted a flaw in Sirois' delivery and had given Allison the green light to steal home. With Bobby Celentano — who hit a late growth spurt and became a beast on the diamond at Salem State — at-bat and down to his final strike, Allison charged toward the dish.

Sirois fired to St. John's catcher Larry Day, who blocked the plate and looked to apply the tag. But Allison leaped in the air and kicked Day's glove off his hand and touched home.

After a moment's hesitation, the umpire ruled him safe. Peabody was ahead 2-1.

"I was putting on my gear to catch the next inning, and all of a sudden everybody's up because (Jeff) broke for home," said Garrity. "On our side we were all ecstatic, trying to get the crowd going. The Prep side was flipping out."

Bedlam ensued as Yanchus protested that Allison should be ruled out because he did not attempt to avoid a collision at home plate. Day, who played at UConn and is now an assistant coach at Vanderbilt, was extremely upset.

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