Fighting northbound traffic to Newburyport on the first 90-degree Friday afternoon of the year, only to get shut out in the first round of the state tournament, isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time.
But for a Charlestown High baseball team without a single senior on the roster, Friday’s 11-0 loss to Newburyport in Division 3 North meant that the Townies achieved a goal they had set at the start of the season.
“Baseball is a game of chances and a game of staying in the game, and when you give a team like that that many chances, it’s going to catch up to you,” said first-year Charlestown coach Mayron Ramirez. “Errors and walks always catch up, and it’s a young team.
"And it’s a hard lesson to learn when you come this far, but I have all of them coming back, so the future looks bright for this team.”
Newburyport pitcher Connor MacRae earned the shutout victory, striking out five and walking five, while third baseman Colton Fontaine had two RBIs in a seven-run second inning.
The scoring started after two Newburyport players reached on consecutive bunts, the second of which resulted in an overthrow to first.
“That’s where we have to grow as a team,” Ramirez said. “Just staying mentally strong, staying focused in the game, and battling through adversity. We know we’re not always going to be successful, but we have to work through those types of innings and those types of plays.
“But I’m extremely proud of this team and, like I told them all, I want them back to look at the bright future that they have in front of them.”
Newburyport second baseman Brian Fiascone, shortstop Colby Morris, and catcher Connor Wile all had an RBI apiece for the No. 8-seeded Clippers (14-7). Wile’s came on a deep shot over the right-field fence in a four-run fifth inning.
While Newburyport advances to play the winner of top-seeded North Reading and No. 17 Swampscott early next week, No. 9-seeded Charlestown ends its season with a 10-7 record.
Ramirez said making states in his first season was for sure a silver lining, especially since the team was only 5-7 last year.
“I told them, 'Let’s forget about what’s happened in the past in Charlestown,' ” Ramirez said. “I’m new, we’re all new. Let’s try to build something for ourselves.”
This year’s team has five juniors, six sophomores, and three freshmen.
“I’m looking forward to keep playing with this team,” said losing pitcher Luis Atiles, a sophomore. “Just need to keep on practicing, keep on fighting.
"We are proud we made it this far. At least we got the chance to [go to states] and play a good team. We can learn from this for next year.”
Ramirez said he was most proud of his players for seeing through the commitment they made at the start of the season.
“I’m extremely proud of their character, and for them to stay together as a group for the entire season was awesome,” he said. “Baseball’s a long game. It’s a game that if you’re not focused, you’re going to lose, so hopefully from this experience and this bad taste, seeing other people celebrate, they are going to rebound. And that’s what I like about this team, they always rebound.”
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