Crimson Tide in strong start for the 2022 GBL campaign
Sophomore righthander Justin Longmore dominated on the mound and his teammates delivered some late noise at the plate in a convincing win over crosstown rival Malden in the Greater Boston League opener for both teams on Monday. The Crimson Tide hurler was nearly perfect through the first four innings as Everett clung to a 2-0 lead and then watched as the Everett offensive fireworks unloaded for seven runs all told in the fifth and sixth innings in an eventual 11-1 win.
It was a solid season opener for Everett second-year Head Coach Joel Levine, who tipped his hat to Longmore for doing yeoman’s work on the Tide mound in the win. “He was sharp early and late and was able to keep [Malden’s] hitters off-balance, mixing speeds and location,” Coach Levine said. “It was good to see our bats come around later in the game and stretch out the lead.”
Malden High (1-1, 0-1 GBL) matched Longmore’s pitching with some solid work from its own starter, sophomore righty Jake Simpson. Simpson was solid throughout, allowing zero earned runs and just three hits through the first four innings. Both of Everett’s two early runs came across unearned in the top of the second inning on an errant infield error throw.
The 2-0 lead loomed large as Longmore, who recorded eight strikeouts and walked two, continued to set ’em up and knock ’em down like clockwork.
A key play came in the bottom of the fourth when Malden senior leftfielder Sam Ortega absolutely smoked a line shot down the right field line which appeared to hit “chalk” and be fair for extra bases. With Shai Cohen on base at third after a single and stolen base, Malden appeared to have a huge hit and its first run. But the home plate umpire ruled “foul” and froze that potential Malden rally.
“That was a gamechanger. Ortega’s ball gets called ‘fair’ and we are right in the game there,” Malden sixth-year Head Coach Steve Freker said. “It looked fair from where we were.”
Everett got to Simpson for a couple of hits and runs in the top of the fifth, and in came another sophomore righty for Malden, Saul Kruckenberg. Kruckenberg got the first out on a groundout to second, but then hit two consecutive batters to load the bases. Three Everett singles followed, two-run singles by Matt Turilli and Longmore himself, as Everett went ahead, 5-1, quickly. Kruckenberg, making his varsity debut, pitched out of it, but not before Everett scratched out two more runs for a 7-1 lead.
Turilli led Everett’s offense with two hits and four RBI. Longmore knocked in three runs with two hits. Frankie Velasquez had two RBI; sophomore Enrico Vega had two stolen bases and scored two runs. Vega also had two hits. Senior Brian Gibbs stole three bases, scored three runs and was on base four times with two hits and two walks.
For Malden, sophomore Ryan Coggswell kept a hitting streak going with a single in his second straight game, junior Brandon McMahon had a deep double in the third inning and sophomore Ezekiel Noelsaint hammered a long triple into the right field in the bottom of the seventh off the Tide reliever, Turilli.
The Malden coach said he was impressed by both pitchers, including his own, Simpson, who was making his first career varsity start. “Jake [Simpson] pitched great. He threw strikes, which created contact and a lot of groundouts early. The only runs [Everett] got in the first four innings came after we made an infield error.”
EXTRA INNINGS: Everett High baseball (1-0) was scheduled to stay on the road Monday, April 11 to play Lynn Classical at 4:00 p.m. at Fraser Field in Lynn. Next Wednesday, April 13, the Crimson Tide hosts Lynn English at Glendale Park at 4:00 p.m… Malden High baseball played Somerville at home on Thursday. The result was after Advocate Sports press deadline. The Golden Tornado team was scheduled to be back in action Monday, April 11 on the road at GBLer Chelsea (4:00 p.m.) and then is on the road for two straight games: at Lynn Classical on Wednesday, April 13 (4:00 p.m.) and at Revere on Monday, April 18 (Patriots’ Day) at 10:00 a.m. … Many of the Malden and Everett players were well known to each other, since they had been either teammates or opponents in the local Malden Babe Ruth League. Everett’s leadoff hitter and centerfielder, junior Omar Marshall, who hit a double down the right field line in the top of the sixth inning, was last summer season’s Most Valuable Player in Malden BRL. Marshall played on the Pilots, whose manager Phil Cook is an assistant coach on the Malden High baseball coaching staff and was present on the Golden Tornadoes bench in time to greet his former Pilot players after the game. Also on the Pilots with Marshall were both Everett pitchers, sophomores Justin Longmore and Matt Turilli.