Mount Greylock Wins School's First Baseball State Title
WORCESTER, Mass. – It is not every day that a pitcher throws a no-hitter and gets overshadowed by the opponent.
Saturday was a day like no other in the history of the Mount Greylock baseball program.
Jack Cangelosi struck out 12, and the Mounties scored three times without the benefit of a base hit in a 3-1 win over Hopedale to earn the school’s first baseball state championship.
“We’re a team that can win without putting any hits on the board, and we showed it today,” Cangelosi said. “We just grinded it out – every at-bat, every baserunner that got on.
“And we were able to make something special happen, first state title in program history. That’s huge. We’re all really grateful and thankful to be a part of it.”
The Mounties also were part of a little state baseball history. There is no record of another team winning a state title game without recording a hit.
Mount Greylock coach Rick Paris said Saturday that he has never been a part of the baseball rarity.
“These kids just wanted it,” he said. “That’s the key. Once we got on base, we were able to get their guy out of his rhythm, and that caused a lot of trouble.”
The third-seeded Mounties (22-4), who had more than 50 stolen bases coming into the state final, put the pressure squarely on the Cohasset defense in the top of the third, resulting in a pair of runs to erase a one-run deficit.
After Cangelosi reached first on a one-out error, courtesy runner Leif Johnson stole second.
He then scored when a hot shot off the bat of Derek Paris was misplayed at first. The throw home on the play allowed Paris to reach second base.
Paris then stole third, and he came home to make it 2-1 on a fly ball from Landen Jamula that was dropped in short right field – Hopedale’s third error of the inning.
“We knew they had a guy coming in throwing some heat,” Rick Paris said of Hopedale starter Will Parker. “It was going to be hard just to get runners on base, first of all. But we knew we were going to get some barrels on it, try to get on.
“We knew we had to run, and once I saw he had a high leg kick … we had a game plan already that we were going to be stealing.”
Another stolen base factored into Mount Greylock’s insurance run in the top of the sixth.
Anthony Welch worked a walk to open the inning, and he proceeded to steal second ahead of the top of Mount Greylock’s lineup.
Cangelosi dropped down a sacrifice bunt to get Welch to third with one out, and Paris lofted a fly ball to right field that allowed Welch to score with ease to make it 3-1.
The Mounties won despite an uncharacteristic error that opened the door for Hopedale to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
Parker reached with one out when he was hit by a pitch. And when he stole second, Paris’ throw from behind the plate got into center field. Parker alertly bounced up and raced all the way home to give his team the game’s first run.
It was also the last time Cangelosi allowed a runner past second base.
He stranded runners in the second and third before pitching a 1-2-3 fourth.
In the fifth, Mount Greylock erased a leadoff double when Paris threw down to shortstop Jackson Shelsy to pick the runner off. And a one-out walk was erased when Cangelosi threw to first to start a rundown that eventually led to the out.
Hopedale got the tying run to the plate again in the sixth and the seventh.
In the sixth, a one-out single was followed by two Cangelosi strikeouts.
In the seventh, a leadoff single was followed by a fly ball to Chase Doyle in center, a swinging third strike and a fly to short left field.
Welch said the final out was never in doubt.
“Well, I saw it go up, and I saw Jackson running back, and I thought, ‘Alright, I gotta go get it,’ “ Welch said. “And then I said, ‘We won,’ and I caught the ball.
“Before I caught the ball, I thought, ‘That’s it. Can’t make a mistake.’ So, yeah, great feeling. I got it, and now it’s in my back pocket.”
Like his senior classmates – actually, fellow alumni as of a week ago – Welch was rewarded for a late May and early June that saw the Mounties’ core give up “senior moments” in favor of a quest for a state crown.
“We had big games during Senior Week and, you know, we couldn’t take any days off,” Welch said. “That meant missing senior class trip, specifically, because we had a game that day. And I guess, we all as a group were like, ‘We’re not going.’ We said we’d rather be with these six other guys, the seniors, than with the rest of the class.
“I just think the chemistry on this team is spectacular. We’re really a unit. And, like I said, we all want to be with the team more than to do anything else. We set our sights on today. And we knew what we had to do to get here, and it was great to be able to do it with our friends.”