By Matthew Sprague, Berkshire Eagle Staff
WORCESTER - Mount Everett's run through the MIAA Division III baseball bracket stopped one win short of the school's first state championship Saturday.
Trailing 6-0 after two innings, the Eagles cut the North Reading lead to as few as two runs, but couldn't finish the rally as the Hornets won 8-4 to take the championship at Fitton Field. Mount Everett was playing in its first team state championship game in school history, while North Reading won its first title since 1974. Berkshire County hasn't had a state baseball champion since Drury in 1990.
"For our community, it took us close to 60, 70 years to make a run and get a team in the state final," Mount Everett coach Jesse Carpenter said. "We found a way to do it."
North Reading scored all the runs it would need in the second inning, chasing Eagles starting pitcher Dylan Wheeler while scoring six times in the frame.
Erik Derwitsch - who shut out Oxford in the state semifinals - came on in relief and provided stability, but the Hornets tacked on single runs in the fourth and seventh innings. Derwitsch gave up just two earned runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings. Derwitsch was 1 for 2 with two runs batted in and a run scored, while Wheeler was 2 for 3 for the Eagles. Mount Everett, the
Western Mass. Division III champion, finishes the season 17-9.