The powerful Bourgeois won seven games, including a sterling 1-hitter against a well-regarded Bishop Feehan team in the Eastern Mass. title game.
“He wasn’t a natural pitcher, but the best game he ever pitched was against Feehan to put us in the state final,” said Day. “We’d already used Bowser and I told him we’d use him inning by inning — and he just let it go. That was the key moment for us because it could’ve easily gone the other way if he hadn’t pitched like that.”
Billy Haskell won six games for the Falcons as the No. 3 starter and lefty Jason Bovio earned one postseason win. Bowser was 3-0 in the playoffs with a 1.11 earned run average and Bourgeois was 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA.
Like their counterparts from Swampscott, Danvers worked fast and accurately. Falcon pitching issued just 11 walks all postseason and threw strikes 66 percent of the time. Bowser threw 63 percent first-pitch strikes for his career and walked only 13 in 2001.
You’d have to imagine a one-game playoff between these teams would feature Bowser against Rogers and would be a low scoring affair. Perhaps in a series, Swampscott’s depth or the ability of either ace and co-ace to recover and throw again would become factors.
“Baseball is tough. It’s meant to be played in a series,” said Hayes, who played at Bentley after graduating. “That’s why a state tournament run is so difficult, because any team with a great pitcher can contend on a given day.”
Danvers was as dangerous as any team in North Shore history in terms of run production in 2001. The Falcons were led at the plate by Bourgeois and Daryle Crowley, but they were solid 1-through-9 and scored 269 runs in 27 games.
“That era (1999-2001) was the most power we’ve ever had. Ryan Holt, a pitcher, hit eight homers in 2000 and that doesn’t count Crowley, Bourgeois, Derek Lyons ... it was the whole package,” said Day.