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Tide baseball falls to host Braintree in Division 1 state tournament preliminary round game

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Worthy Everett threesome chosen to the 2023 GBL all-star team to cap off exemplary campaigns

By Joe McConnell

EVERETT – Nobody can say that the 2023 Everett High School (EHS) baseball team (10-11) didn’t have grit and determination to keep on striving to reach its goals.

Back on March 20, when coach Joel Levine got together with his prospective players for the first day of practice in the EHS gym, there was only one thought on their minds, and that was to qualify for the Division 1 state tournament for the second straight year. And they did just that just over two months later after winning their last two out of three regular season games against Greater Lawrence and Mystic Valley Regional Charter School. They then played the waiting game, while also practicing some more, before the tournament pairings were announced on May 31, when they found out they will be heading to Braintree the next day to take on the Wamps (11-11) in a preliminary round game. The host team was the 23rd seed, while the Everett boys ended up 42nd.

Despite scoring the first run of the game, the Crimson Tide eventually fell to Braintree, 9-3. For their efforts, the Wamps moved on to play St. John’s Prep (13-8, 10th seed) in Danvers on June 5, where they lost rather convincingly in the Round of 32, 9-1. The Eagles were now Sweet 16-bound, and Catholic Conference rival Boston College High (13-8, seventh seed) provided the competition on June 7 in Dorchester after press deadline. Those Dorchester Eagles shutout Barnstable (14-8, 26th seed) in their Round of 32 encounter.

In what turned out to be their final game of the year, the Tide jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second on an RBI single by Matt Turilli. But the lead did not last long. After a few Everett defensive miscues that loaded the bases with two outs, Braintree’s Jack Fitzgerald belted a grand slam to get his teammates on the scoreboard for the first time in the game.

“Matt (Turilli) (4 Innings, 3 hits, 1 earned run) threw the ball extremely well, but unfortunately his only mistake was hit out of the park,” said Levine.

Braintree tacked on a few more, but Everett was still scratching and clawing to narrow the deficit. Omar Marshall (2-4) was credited with an RBI single, and Alex Lara (1-3) had a run-producing double to account for the other two Tide runs. Nordeivy Santana also contributed to the offense with two hits.

“I’m extremely proud of what this team has accomplished this season,” said Levine. “At the beginning of the season, we as a coaching staff thought it would be incredibly difficult to make the tournament, because of the way we played early on. However, these kids kept on battling to win some really big games. It was simply a pleasure to coach such a great group of kids.”

Star-studded Tide trio

Seniors David Saia (.354 batting average, 15 RBI, 25 runs scored) and Alex Velasco (.371 batting average, 10 RBI, 19 runs scored), and junior Alex Lara (.364 batting average, 22 RBI, 14 runs scored) are the Everett representatives on the 2023 Greater Boston League all-star team.

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