Baseball Loses Two Close Games In Weekend Doubleheader

David Creed •

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Freshman catcher Eli MacIver has had a strong start to his first varsity season. Photo by Chris Tran

The Nantucket baseball team is still searching for their first win of the season three weeks in but came close to earning it over the weekend as they played a doubleheader on Saturday – coming up just short in a 9-7 loss to Boston Latin Academy and a 1-0 loss to O’Bryant.

Through the team’s first three games, Whaler head coach Jack Pearson was adamant that his team was playing decent baseball and felt the scores weren’t reflective of the performances put forth by his players. The issue has been offense – with the Whalers scoring just one run in their first three games. Pearson said he was happy to see the offense come to life against Boston Latin but says there is still work that needs to be done.

"Both were really competitive games, and both came down to the last opportunity to tie it up with the last pitch," Pearson said. "We looked solid out there. We played well. We had better approaches at the plate. We pitched really well. Those were both two good teams.

"In the first game, Boston Latin jumped out to a 5-1 lead," Pearson added. "Keegan (Bedell) was pitching well. He was throwing strikes. (Boston Latin) has a good lineup.”

Nantucket had runners on the bases in the sixth inning while trailing by two runs, but were unable to do anything with them following a pair of base running mistakes that let Boston Latin off the hook. Freshman Alex Horton had a pair of singles and freshman Eli MacIver continued his strong start to his first varsity season with three hits and a pair of runs in the first game.

As for the O’Bryant matchup, the bats cooled off in large part because of the quality pitcher that the Tigers had on the mound. Senior captain Shea Dwyer took the ball for Nantucket and Pearson said he was very proud of Dwyer’s performance while acknowledging the stark contrast in pitching styles between the two aces in this pitcher’s duel.

“Shea pitched great,” Pearson said. “The kid that O'Bryant threw was definitely their ace. He was a good pitcher. The best we've seen so far and the best I've seen in the past couple of years probably, and Shea outpitched him. It was really cool to see. He's a right hander throwing gas and Shea is kind of a crafty lefty that's mixing up tempo and picking his spots and mixing in the breaking ball. It was a cool contrast. Shea ended up outpitching him and it came down to a throwing error.”

The Whalers had a chance in the sixth inning to tie the game with more runners on base. Dwyer hit a single but was picked off. MacIver then got on base with a single and was caught stealing after being sent by his manager.

“The catcher made a good throw. That's how close we were,” Pearson said. “That adds to a little bit of the sourness of coming away (without a win) is like, ‘Oh, we’re right there’ and now I'm second guessing whether I should have Eli stealing second in that situation. I've had some time to digest it, and it was the right call. The guy just threw him out. That happens. That's the game.”

Afterwards, Pearson was very complimentary of MacIver, Horton, and sophomore shortstop/pitcher Ronald Del Rosario Gomez - who are quickly emerging as core pieces for a very young Whaler squad.

"I couldn't be happier with where Eli is,” Pearson said. “First off, he's a great kid. He gets his work in. He's just a gamer. He is a ballplayer. What he's done behind the plate defensively, I don't think he can be praised enough for it. A freshman to come in and take over a pitching staff the way he has - I'm not sure he's had a pass ball yet. He had four hits between the two games Saturday and several stolen bases. The kid can run. He has been great.

“Alex had two hits and played left field and made some great defensive plays in the outfield,” Pearson continued. “Ronald had a couple of hits, one of which in the first game was a two out, two RBI single.”

Nantucket will have a chance to earn their first win of the season at home on Monday, April 22 when they host Cape Cod Regional Tech High School at 3:45 p.m. and for the first time ever, the game will be live-streamed by the Nantucket Sports Connection. You can access that livestream, which will be on YouTube, by clicking here.

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