North Andover East Little League coach Rob Carpentier knows virtually nothing about the other teams in the Section 4 tournament in Lynn this week, but he knows a thing or two about his own District 14 championship team.
“We’re experienced and we’ll be ready,” said Carpentier. “We’re playing well and I think we have as good a chance as anyone.”
North Andover opens the tournament Wednesday at 5:15 at Wyoma Park in Lynn against the District 13 champion, Weston, which defeated Acton-Boxboro 9-5 in its district title matchup. That game will be followed by a clash of the other two teams in the four-team field, perennial power Peabody West and Beverly.
North Andover will then face Beverly on Thursday and Peabody on Friday. The top two teams with the best records will face off in the championship game Saturday.
If East has one advantage, it could be pitching depth. It has several quality arms and Carpentier isn’t sure who will be the starter against Weston although he says that Steven Hajjar and Jake McElroy are the likeliest choice. Both pitched extremely well in the district playoffs.
Offensively, outfielder Joe Quinlan has been immense and McElroy and Hajjar have been hitting the ball hard throughout. McElroy and Quinlan hit home runs in the district title victory over Andover National. Leadoff batter Connor Gough has also been playing well of late.
“We have the talent to win it but it’ll come down to timing — getting timely hits,” said Carpentier.