The Winthrop High baseball enjoyed but a brief time in state tourney play, falling by a 5-0 score to Swampscott Thursday evening in a contest on the local field that was called after five innings because of lightning and a downpour.
Winthrop had a chance to strike an early blow that could have changed the complexion of the contest from the outset when the Vikings loaded the bases in the bottom of the first with none out on base hits by Nick McCarthy and Joe Boudrow and a walk to Tyler Pettee. However, Swampscott pitcher Nick Meninno got out of the jam thanks to a ground out, a pop out, and another ground out.
“That typified much of how our second half of the season had gone,” said WHS head coach Jim Gillis. “We had a chance to break the game open early and perhaps knock out their top pitcher, but we couldn’t get a timely hit and we let him off the hook.”
The Swampscott hurler settled down thereafter and his teammates came up with four runs in the third (thanks to a bunt that was thrown into right field and allowed two runners to score) and another marker in the fifth.
Winthrop had a chance to do some damage in its half of the third, but a base running miscue when a Viking runner thought a ball had been caught in centerfield resulted in an out and squelched another rally.
In the top of the sixth the sound of thunder and a subsequent rain storm sent both teams running for cover. After an hour delay, the umpire called the game, which was official because the usual MIAA rule that tourney games must be completed does not apply to first round contests.
“It obviously was not how we wanted our season to end,” said Gillis, “but we had a good year and this was a great group of kids.” Playing their last game in a Viking uniform were Rob Swanson, Will Milano, Brendan Ronan, Antony Spinazzola, Harry Benson, and Christian Howard.