Mount Everett wins W. Mass. D-III baseball title
CHICOPEE -- The Mount Everett Regional High School baseball team made history Saturday. And the Eagles celebrated like it was just another win.
Dylan Wheeler pitched a two-hitter and the Eagles scored three late runs to beat Frontier Regional 3-1 in the Western Massachusetts Division III Tournament final at Szot Park. It was the first boys team championship in any sport at Mount Everett.
"There are no words to explain" the first title, Wheeler said. "I got nothing."
When third baseman Garrett Torrico fielded a grounder and threw across the diamond to first baseman Erik Derwitsch for the final out, the sixth-seeded Eagles pumped their fists and high-fived, a more subdued celebration than what is typically seen.
"This is the way we’ve operated all year," Mount Everett baseball coach Jesse Carpenter said. "You can see it with our pitchers. Nobody gets too fired up. Our pitchers never lose it."
Mount Everett (16-8) will play in the state semifinal Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Szot Park. It will face the winner of Sunday’s Central Mass. final between Hopedale and Oxford. The only other team to reach this stage of a tournament was the 1990 softball team, which featured Amy Joch and also won at Szot Park. Joch is now Carpenter’s wife.
"We planned that [celebration] in the beginning," Wheeler said. "We were just going to walk off the field if we win."
Wheeler struck out one, walked one and allowed only back-to-back singles to start the fifth, the inning the top-seeded Red Hawks (19-5) scored their run. The lefty kept Frontier off balance, worked quickly and was the beneficiary of quick outs. He had four 1-2-3 innings.
"He did a great job," Frontier coach Aaron Campbell said. "He got outs. He pitched to contact and he worked inside-outside. He did a fantastic job. You tip your cap to him."
Of the 21 outs, seven were ground outs, nine were fly balls, three were pop outs, one was a strikeout and one was a 7-1-5 play to end the fifth.
"This kid Wheeler is unbelievable. He’s got nothing left," Carpenter said. Wheeler battled arm problems this season and pitched Tuesday. "He went out today and pitched a gem. He bulldogged his way to a victory."
The Eagles answered Frontier’s fifth with two in the sixth. No. 9 hitter Sage Angell, who played in just his fourth varsity game of his career, led off with a single. He took second on a balk then scored when Colby Rueger’s single to right was bobbled in the outfield. Ethan Chamberlain then plated Rueger with a single to left.
"Our guys were clutch and we did it all year long," Carpenter said. "That’s how we’ve come to play this year. I’m just really proud of our guys getting the first one in school history."
Mount Everett added an insurance run in the seventh. Derwitsch reached second with one out when the third baseman overthrew first. He took third on a ground out then scored on a wild pitch.
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