By Ayoub Kourikchi, Globe Correspondent
Xaverian's baseball team extended its win streak to five games and earned a postseason berth after toppling Catholic Conference powerhouse and No. 5 ranked St. John’s Prep, 2-0, Monday at home.
The Hawks (10-1, 3-4) have now downed another ranked team this week along with No. 6 BC High and No. 16 Peabody.
"This was a big win for us because before the season one of our big goals it to pick up the 10th win and play into the postseason,” said head coach Gerry Lambert. “Hopefully we can finish up strong and can carry the momentum into the post season.”
Senior pitcher Tim Duggan (3-1) recorded five strong innings, scattering five hits while collecting six strikeouts to earn the win. He showed poise in the fifth inning when he struck out an opposing batter on a full count while facing a bases loaded situation with one out.
Duggan (1 for 3) also showed his versatility early on after singling to left field to knock in senior captain and second baseman Chris Hoyt, who drilled a leadoff single early in the first inning.
“You count on your seniors to be the backbone of your team,” Lambert said. “They are the ones that have carried us to the level of success that we have had this season and Tim has been one of those terrific competitors.”
In the bottom of the fifth, first baseman Mike LaVita singled to center field to lead off the inning and advanced to second base after a sacrifice bunt by senior Mark Stefaniak. With two on, sophomore catcher Andrew Elliott laced a single to right field to drive in Lavita to put the Hawks up 2-0.
Stefaniak entered the sixth inning to relieve Duggan and recorded his first save of the season after giving up two hits and striking out two batters in two innings to hold off the Prep.
“When we were 5-6, I thought we were in trouble, but at a certain point you have to stop the bleeding, and you have to understand that when you play a tough schedule you have to make sure you qualify for the post season,” Lambert said. “This win was a strong testament to the team’s mental toughness. Now we have been able to put that losing streak behind us and move forward with positive momentum.”
The Hawks look to continue their win streak against Catholic Conference rival Catholic Memorial Tuesday.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our fall correspondents:
- Anthony Gulizia | @gulizia_a | Div. 1 football
- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
- Stephen Sellner | @stephen_sellner | Div. 3 football
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Div. 4 football
- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
- Lorenzo Recupero | @LorenzoRecupero | Div. 6 football
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls volleyball
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail email@example.com.