LYNN — To play championship baseball, you have to play clean baseball.
Bishop Fenwick didn’t do that last night, committing seven errors while falling in a Division 3 North semifinal loss to Catholic Central League rival St. Mary’s, 8-4.
The semi-final curse continued for the Crusaders (18-7), who have lost in this round of the state tournament in each of the last four seasons.
Last night, the Spartans (17-6) scored in the first and tacked on three more in the second to put Fenwick on its heels. St. Mary’s, which will face Whittier for the D3 North championship Saturday at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, never relented.
Fenwick clawed its way back into the game, and trailed 5-4 with speedy third baseman Nick Bona at third in the bottom of the fifth. Coach Kevin Canty sent him home on the second pitch of senior Joe Levassuer’s at-bat; the lefty faked a bunt and St. Mary’s catcher Dan Donovan received the pitch and tagged Bona on the tag as his slid into the plate.
Bona was called out, quelling Fenwick’s rally and their momentum.
“I thought he beat it, but that’s part of baseball,” said Canty. “I told Nick I’d send him again. At that point, enough bad things had happened to us in the game that I thought we needed to make something happen.”
The Spartans, mindful that Fenwick had come from behind against Stoneham days earlier, extended their lead. They added an unearned run in the sixth to make it 6-4, then scored their first two earned runs of the game on singles in the seventh.
“That was huge,” said St. Mary’s coach Derek Dana. “With a one run lead, there’s a lot of pressure. We talk about finishing what we start and we did a nice job going all seven innings.”