SUDBURY – When a pitcher throws strikes and his team makes the plays in the field, baseball is a very simple – and usually successful – game.
“We did neither, unfortunately,” Methuen coach Dave Mosher said.
As a result, Mosher’s American Legion Post 122 squad saw its season come to a disappointing end.
Sudbury’s defense not only made several outstanding plays but also rode an offense that took advantage of errant pitching for a 10-5 victory in last night’s district elimination game at Feeley Field.
Post 191 jumped to an 8-1 lead with four runs in both the second and third innings despite only four hits.
“It was a real good group of kids,” Mosher said of his team, which opened play in the B Bracket of the district tournament with a 4-0 victory Sunday over Sudbury. “But it’s like anything – the last game of the year you’re always disappointed when you don’t win. Ultimately, there’s only one team that wins the last game they play.
“Obviously, we wish we would’ve had more pitching.”
The four hurlers Mosher used last night each struggled to find the plate.
The group of pitchers combined to throw 161 pitches over six innings and went to at least three balls on 19 of the 39 Sudbury batters. They finished with 12 walks, a couple wild pitches and a balk while allowing eight earned runs.
“We went through a lot of extra-inning games this year, and used up a lot of pitching,” Mosher said. “And pitching’s the name of the game.”
Methuen (17-9-1) took a first-inning lead when Enrique Veras singled, stole second and scored on an Andrew Wells single. But that would be the extent of the offense until a four-run seventh-inning rally made the final score respectable.
The five innings in between, however, Methuen struggled against Ben Chaisson, who needed only 70 pitches in his first six innings.
But Post 122 chased the Sudbury starter in the seventh, which Connor Norton began with a double. Jon Parsons and Nick Delois each had run-scoring singles and Cam Cyr plated the other two with a blast to the right-field fence.
“It was just another kick at the cat,” Mosher said. “Some of the older guys that are done playing (Legion) now we got them some at bats.”
Sudbury will square off with Newburyport, the bracket’s only unbeaten team, and must win two to advance to the state tournament.
“We have a tough opponent in Newburport (which defeated Methuen 6-2 on Monday,” Sudbury coach Len Noce said of his squad, which also defeated Medford 11-3 in yesterday afternoon’s first elimination affair. “They’ve been sitting back watching, but this is what you play for.”
agateHed:SUDBURY POST 191 10, METHUEN POST 122 5
agateText:Methuen (17-9-1) 100 000 4 -- 5
Sudbury 044 002 x -- 10
Methuen (5): Evan Lacroix p/rf 2-0-0, Will Martin rf 1-0-0, Jon Pierce 3b/p 4-0-0, Enrique Veras lf/p/3b 2-1-1, Connor Norton p 2-1-1, Andrew Wells ss 3-0-1, Jon Parsons lf/rf 3-1-1, Derek Fox 1b 3-1-1, Gary Carbonneau c 2-1-0, Nick Delois 2b 2-0-0, Cam Cyr cf 3-0-2. Totals 27-5-6
Sudbury (10): Robbie Oliphant 2b 3-2-0, Alex McLaughlin 3b 5-2-3, Joe Euele ss 5-0-2, Andrew Della Volpe c 1-0-0, Pete Zuckerman lf 3-0-0, Bobby Peterson rf 2-2-0, Gino Fordiani dh 3-0-1, Rory McHare 1b 2-2-0, Sam Miller cf 3-2-2. Totals 27-10-8
RBI: M – Cyr 2, Wells, Parsons, Delois; S – McLaughlin 5, Oliphant, Euele
WP – Ben Chaisson; LP – Lacroix