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August 27, 2013

Fantasy Matchups: 1993 Swampscott, 2001 Danvers battle for NEC best bragging rights

(Continued)

Bourgeois’ 2001 season may never be matched. He drove in 54 runs, which led the state and doubles what’s considered a good season these days. He had 42 hits (nine of them triples) and graduated with 101 RBI and 17 homers.

Crowley, who batted cleanup for four years, graduated as a .454 career hitter with 117 RBI and Lyons, the shortstop, hit .415 and scored 90 career runs. Matt Valentine highlights the depth of Danvers’ lineup: the right fielder hit .469 in 2001 and was insanely disciplined with just one strikeout.

The team also hit in the clutch, with Ryan Hayes (.409 in the playoffs), Crowley, Billy Langmaid, Bourgeois, Bowser and Haskell all clubbing playoff homers. Kyle McCullough chipped in a .357 postseason average.

“Every single pitch mattered to those guys,” said Day. “In baseball, you really have to grind away and stay in the present, thinking about that one pitch. That group had that concentration, energy, desire and focus. They had a special mentality.”

Swampscott had a similar approach at the plate: they were relentless. Rogers, who earned one All-America nod and was MVP of the Eastern Mass. all-star game, hit .500 during the regular season to lead the Big Blue. DeSimone hit .350.

The Big Blue were bolstered by a group of young players that jumped into the varsity lineup with confidence and had success. Outfielder Dave Portnoy hit at a .400 clip during the regular season, and shortstop Peter Woodfork hit .295 with a .403 on-base percentage. J.J Doherty, Jimmy Seranton and catcher Traeger DiPietro were also valuable contributors.

“We had an injection of youth on that team, guys that had won a lot of big games in Little League and as kids,” said Hayes. “They had this really confident attitude about that, especially Woodfork and Portnoy, and they injected a lot of confidence in the team.”

The confidence carried over to the playoffs, where the Big Blue scored 51 runs in five games. Swampscott hit .325 as a team in the playoffs and Rogers, Portnoy, Doherty and Lindsay Parker all hit better than .400 in the postseason.

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