Roslindale's Gavin Pittore Leads Roxbury Latin to Win in Season Finale
Roxbury Latin defeats Rivers 15-0 to end season at 12-5.
Earlier this season, Roslindale resident and Roxbury Latin junior pitcher Gavin Pittore found himself on the losing end of a 15-0 loss at Belmont Hill, watching from the mound as his team fell to a slow 1-2 start. In a showing of what can go wrong when a pitcher loses his control, Pittore hit six batters in that game.
But in Monday afternoon's season finale against Rivers, it was the Parkway Little League alumnus who saw his and his team's fortunes run in stark contrast to that early season hiccup as the Foxes closed out a 12-5 season with a 15-0 home win of their own. Pittore went six one-hit innings in the victory, holding Rivers hitless through five innings.
"When I look at my guys, he was the guy who improved the most from start to finish," RL head coach Dave Morgan said of his number two starter following the game. "...he just worked all year at pounding the strike zone, getting the ball down, concentrating on getting ahead in the count, and you can see that."
Pittore did walk three batters through his six innings, but Rivers batters were unable to muster much of anything against the right-hander. Groundballs and strikeouts accounted for most of Pittore's outs, and the lone hit came on a weak line drive to lead off the sixth by Jake Willsie. RL's Thomas Crispi, who had come on to play first base in the waning innings, made a poor read on the ball he could have handled. Crispi, a junior southpaw who serves as the team's number one starter, was visibly frustrated to have not helped his teammate preserve the no-hit bid.
By the time the lone hit fell, RL had already secured the victory. The Foxes scored eight in the fifth inning to put things completely away at 14-0 and held a 3-0 lead after one.
Offensively, a patient approach paid off for the Foxes, as RL drew five walks and went deep into counts, driving Rivers starting pitcher Andrew Kaufmann from the game before the end of the crooked fifth. RL also benefited from Kaufmann's four hit-by-pitches. For the most part, when the pitches found their way into the strike zone, RL batters were able to capitalize.
"At the end of the day, I wanted the guys to be aggressive," Morgan said. "I don't think they got a lot of good pitches to hit today, but when they got a chance with the ones that were over the plate, they did a good job with them."
Playing in their final games, seniors Sean Heide (captain) and Eric Bartholomae each drove in a pair of runs. Heide collected a walk, a first-inning RBI single, and a sacrifice fly en route to a 1-2 afternoon while Bartholomae's two fifth-inning hits (a single and a double) helped tie the knot for the Foxes afternoon. Sophomore shortstop Will O'Sullivan (2-4, 2 RBI), junior third baseman David Kussel (1-3, including a two-RBI double), and junior catcher Kevin Godin (2-2, 1 RBI) also contributed to RL's offensive onslaught.
The Foxes completed their first season under Morgan's guidance with a 12-5 record, assuring themselves a top-five finish in the tough Independent School League. Though Morgan noted that his team could have been in contention for the league title if a few of their closer contests had gone their way, he said the future looked "exciting" given that Crispi, Pittore, Godin, O'Sullivan, and Kussel will return, each with at least two years' varsity experience come next spring.
"We're going to have to find a third starter [in place of senior Darragh Heffernan, who graduates after a 5-0 season on the mound], a closer [in place of Heide]," he said. "We're going to have to fill some spots, but for the most part, this core is here.
"And in this league," Morgan continued, "usually a good one and two starter, like Crispi and Pittore, will get it done. So it does bode well for our future, and hopefully we'll be talking next year about the successes we'll have on the horizon."