PHOTOS: Saint John’s walk-off sends Pioneers to semifinals

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PHOTOS: Saint John’s walk-off sends Pioneers to semifinals
The Saint John’s Pioneers are moving on to the MIAA Division 1 semifinals. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

SHREWSBURY — There’s no quit in these Pioneers.

Despite being one strike from elimination, the second-seeded Saint John’s Pioneers defeated the No. 7 St. John’s Prep Eagles, 7-6, in the quarterfinals, sending the team to the MIAA Division 1 semifinals for the second consecutive year.

Conor Secrist’s ninth-inning, up-the-middle single won the game for the Pioneers. After the walk-off win, Saint John’s players sprinted into the outfield to celebrate. The win over St. John’s Prep marked the Pioneers’ second straight walk-off win.

“Our guys — there’s no quit in them… The resilience of this team is impressive,” first-year Saint John’s Head Coach Casey Cummins told reporters after the game.

With the teams tied at 4-4 entering the seventh inning, St. John’s Prep’s Nic Lembo belted a two-run homer over the left-field fence to put the Eagles ahead 6-4. The Pioneers were down to their final strike, but Jack Forgues’ two-run double knotted the game again.

“He is a tough out. He’s probably one of the best hitters in Massachusetts. That kid is a competitor in everything he does — his jersey is covered in dirt. He’s everything you ask for in a player both on and off the field… He has carried us offensively for almost the entire year. I can’t say enough great things about Jack Forgues,” said Cummins.

Two innings later, Secrist’s single iced the game.

The Pioneers lost to Taunton — the eventual champion — in last year’s semifinal game. Cummins, who was a fan in the stands watching that contest, hopes Saint John’s fares better this year. The Pioneers will face either No. 3 Xaverian Brothers or No. 11 Durfee.

“Hopefully we can finish the job. Whoever it is, we’ll be ready,” Cummins said.

 

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