Peabody 3, Xaverian 2

Wednesday, Apr. 3, 2013, at Westwood

Peabody baseball coach Mark Bettencourt challenges his team with a difficult nonleague schedule to see how his players measure up. This season he figured there’d be no better way to assess his squad than by opening on the road against Xaverian — the defending Division 1 state champion. Bettencourt could not have asked his team for a better start, as the Tanners beat the Hawks, 3-2, Wednesday in Norwood. “It couldn’t have been a happier bus ride home for us,” Bettencourt said. “The kids were excited, and this was a big win for us. One of our goals were to beat Xaverian, and being able to knock them off gives the team confidence.” Sophomore Ryan Collins made his first varsity start at shortstop, and delivered timely hits when it mattered most. In the top of the sixth inning, with the game tied 1-1, Collins drove a two-out single up the middle off Adam Chochrek, scoring Steven Leavett and George Tsonis for a 3-1 lead. “Collins made an error in the fifth inning with two runners on base,” Bettencourt said. “And he made up for any doubt that he couldn’t handle it mentally and delivered.” Junior Andrew Mclaughlin pitched five innings for the Tanners, and was relieved by David Apostolides. Xaverian scored a run off Apostolides to make it 3-2, but Collins turned in a big play to halt the Hawks’ comeback. With the tying run on third, A.J. King grounded a slow roller to short, and Collins charged in and made a running throw to get King out at first and preserve the lead. In the bottom of the seventh, Apostolides retired Xaverian in 1-2-3 fashion, needing just eight pitches to earn the save. On Saturday, Peabody will host another Catholic Conference powerhouse in St. John’s Prep.


Updated: Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 9:23 p.m.

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