Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Vasil Pitches a Gem as BC High Tops Braintree in Super 8 Opener

Mike Vasil opened this year's Super 8 with a dominant performance against Braintree.   Photo by Christian Davis.
By Matt Feld (@mattyfeld612)

BOSTON - BC High ace Mike Vasil made sure the Eagles' entrance into the postseason was simply super.

Behind Vasil’s complete game four-hitter on Wednesday afternoon, No. 4 BC High defeated No. 5 Braintree, 3-2, in the first round of the Division 1A Super Eight tournament on Wednesday afternoon at Monan Park on the campus of Boston College High School.

Vasil (CG, 1 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 8 K) was on his game from the opening pitch, firing 23 of 30 first pitch strikes, and throwing 81 of his 107 total pitches for strikes.

The tall right hander, who was measured by a handful of scouts in attendance to be throwing somewhere between 91 and 94 miles per hour for most of the afternoon, saved his best for last, retiring the Wamps 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth to finish off the win.

BC High coach Norm Walsh said his three-year starter just knows how to get the job done.

“Mike (Vasil) just knows how to seal the deal,” said Walsh. “He was throwing as hard at the end of the game as he was at the beginning. I told him before the ninth, don’t get over-amped. Just go out there and throw, and he did a great job.”

Vasil sat down the first 15 Wamps (14-7) in order to begin the game, and faced the minimum through six innings. In the top of the seventh staked to a 3-0 lead, though, the Wamps finally got to him.

Alex Kennedy began the inning by slashing a single to left field. Two batters later Kevin O’Brien laced a single to right, putting runners on the corners with one out.

Vasil came back to get a key strikeout for the second out of the inning, but Wamps’ cleanup hitter Brennan Quigley came through in the clutch.

Quigley roped a single passed diving BC High first baseman Kyle Brennan and down the right field line. The base hit brought home Kennedy, and an errant cutoff throw back into the infield allowed O’Brien to cross the plate, cutting the Eagle lead to 3-2.

The two-time defending Super Eight champions, however, were unable to draw any closer, as Vasil induced a fly ball to center to end the seventh inning threat, then retired the final six batters of the game on 17 pitches.

“Braintree is a terrific team and you know they’re never going to quit,” said Vasil. “I knew getting them out in order in the eighth was huge, and then I just went out there in the ninth and kept the ball low.”

BC High got on top in the opening inning as Timmy Keohane singled, stole second and third base, and come home to score on a balk to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.

Three innings later the Eagles extended their lead, as Bobby Demeo lined a two-out single to right that scored David Driscoll to give BC High a 2-0 advantage.

“We’ve been waiting for that out of Bobby (Demeo),” said Walsh. “We’ve been dropping him down in the order a couple of slots and waiting for him to use the middle of the field. He has great power, but no one is giving him pitches for him to use his power, so he has to use the whole field.”

It was in the bottom of the sixth inning that BC High got the crucial third run of the game that proved to be the difference. Luke Murphy walked, stole second, stole third and then scored on a Sean O’Connell sacrifice fly to put the Eagles up 3-0.

Outside of the single runs in the first, fourth, and sixth innings Braintree starter Jack Andrews was exactly what Braintree coach Bill O’Connell hoped he would be.

Andrews went six innings, gave up three runs on four hits, walked three and struck out six.

O’Connell said Andrews performance is indicative of the regular season he had.

“Andrews was the (Bay State Carey) league MVP and he just works hard,” said Andrews. “He is our horse. He kept us in the game, we just happened to run into an outstanding pitcher in Vasil today.”

BC High advances to the winner’s portion of the Super Eight bracket where they will take on the winner of one seed St. John’s (Shrewsbury) and eight seed Belmont. Braintree, meanwhile, moves to the one-loss side of the bracket, and will face the loser of the battle between the Pioneers and Marauders.

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