McCarthy’s homer sinks Witches, 6-5

Sophomore Nick McCarthy swatted a walk off homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Winthrop High baseball team a dramatic 6-5 victory over Salem last week.

“Nick got hold of a fastball and the ball was over the left fielder’s head within a second of it leaving the bat,” said WHS head coach Frank DeMarco of his catcher’s clutch and prodigious blast.

Winthrop had faced an uphill battle for most of the contest. Salem had jumped out to a 3-0 lead before Winthrop erupted for four runs in the third. McCarthy, who was three for four on the day with an RBI and two runs and who now is hitting .306, provided the spark that ignited the rally with a lead off triple. Consecutive base hits by Matt More (.429 average), Will Milano (.375 average), and Paul Finn (.425 average), and a safety later in the inning by Joe Boudrow, accounted for the four markers.

However, Salem scored twice in the fifth to retake the lead, only to have Winthrop respond with a run in the sixth to knot matters at 5-5. Jim Evans led off with a bunt single (Jim’s seventh bunt hit of the season), McCarthy singled, Moore walked, and Milano lifted a sacrifice fly to rescue Evans.

After a shaky start, Winthrop hurler Rob Swanson settled down to hold Salem scoreless in the sixth and Milano came on in the seventh and eighth with two more scoreless frames.

“We got the pitching and hitting when we needed them,” said DeMarco afterwards. “It was a tremendous victory for us.”

However, the Vikings’ joy proved short lived as they suffered successive defeats to Lynn Classical, Matignon, and Lynn English.

“Our performance in the past few games has been disappointing,” said DeMarco, whose squad is now 4-7 on the season. “We need to get back to the basics and win some games.”

The Vikings were scheduled to play at Revere yesterday (Wednesday) and then will host Peabody today. They will be back on the road to Gloucester Monday and then host Swampscott next Wednesday.

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