Friday, June 24, 2005
Carlisle School baseball team dominates
With a well-balanced team of sixth, seventh and eighth graders the Carlisle Middle School baseball team dominated play in the Nashoba Valley League this spring. The team finished 9-1-1, averaging 13 runs a game, while limiting their opponents to a total of 24 runs for the season.
Carlisle was led by outstanding pitching from Grant McCandless, Jesse Pearlman (2-0), Evan Scarlett (2-0), Jaskson Forelli (I -0) and Adam Koski (I -0). McCandless, Sean LaLiberte and Ben Verrill, a trio who led the team in most offensive categories, keyed a strong hitting attack.
The season began with a tight, well-played, contest at Clarke Middle School in Lexington. Carlisle held a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning when Clarke batters converted two walks, three hits and an error into five runs, giving their pitcher, Joelle Zahka, all she needed to register a 7-4 complete game victory.
Carlisle responded to the loss with a sparkling combination of excellent pitching and timely hitting. Solid victories over Hanscom (24-2), Lincoln (16-0), and Parker (18 -2) were followed by a classic pitcher's duel against Diamond Middle School of Lexington. Grant McCandless pitched nine innings of three-hit baseball, striking out ten batters. Carlisle managed only one hit in the game. It came off the bat of second baseman Sean LaLiberte and drove in Jesse Pearlman with the only Carlisle run in the fourth inning. Diamond staged their rally in the top of the seventh. After a lead-off walk and a single, Diamond's number-three hitter drove a pitch deep into the left centerfield gap. The runner on second base scored easily. Then came the defensive play of the season as centerfielder Ben Verrill fired the ball in to shortstop Jesse Pearlman, who relayed a bullet throw to catcher Brett Heigl, nailing the second runner at home plate. Two scoreless extra innings were followed by a 5:30 p.m. league curfew with the game ending in a nine-inning 1 -1 tie.
Sixth grader Jackson Forelli performed very capably in his first pitching opportunity, striking out four and allowing only two hits in 15-3 victory over Hanscom. Due to a series of rainouts, Grant McCandless faced Parker School of Ayer twice in a row.
A week after beating Parker 13-2 in Carlisle, Grant threw a no-hitter on the road at Parker, with Ben Verrill contribuiting a three-run triple in the 13-0 win.
The next day the Huskies were away again at Lincoln where Jesse Pearlman threw three-hit shutout with 9K's. Brett Heigl tripled and Jamie Mattson doubled, both with the bases loaded, driving in five of the Huskies 19 runs.
Lincoln visited Carlisle looking to even the score with their fire-balling lefty ace on the mound. Evan Scarlett matched him pitch for pitch with key run-producing hits from Peter George and Sean LaLiberte sealing the 7-4 victory.
The final game of the season featured the pitching debut of sixth grade lefty Adam Koski. Adam did a fine job, limiting Hanscom batters to five hits while his teammate pounded out eighteen in the 20-3 blowout. David Reed was the hitting star for Carlisle, going a perfect three for three, driving in three runs.
While hard-throwing lefty McCandless was the ace of the pitching staff, he had plenty of help from Jesse Pearlman, seventh-grader Evan Scarlett and sixth-graders Jackson Forelli and Adam Koski. Brett Heigl (.483) was an outstanding catcher and clutch hitter for the team all season.
At first base Grant McCandless (.500), Max Herman (.571) and Adam Koski (.464") were steady sure-handed performers. Smooth fielding Sean LaLiberte (.654) and Alex Japko handled second base. Jesse Pearlman (.417) and Evan Scarlett (.542) provided great middle defense at shortstop. Kevin Clarke (.273) and Jackson Forelli displayed their strong arms from the hot corner.
Fleet-footed and blessed with great instincts, Ben Verrill (.483) blanketed centerfield for Carlisle. Speedy Jamie Mattson (.263) and versatile Peter George (.313), who also played some at catcher and cruised left field. The trio of David Reed (.435), Justin Harris and Alex Daniels caught everything hit their way in right field.
Every team needs a good manager. Sixth grader Steven Chamley did a wonderful job this season. The whole team is extremely grateful and wishes him well in his quest to make the team next year.
All seven graduating eighth graders will be missed next season, especially Grant McCandless who has been on the team for three years. I am looking forward to working with the nine returning veterans and next years' new players — teaching, competing and having fun playing baseball.
© 2005 The Carlisle Mosquito