EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

July 28, 2013

Haverhill on a surge for playoffs

Haverhill Post 4 has picked the right time to be playing its best ball of the summer.

With the District American Legion playoffs set to start today, Post 4 is coming off a five-game winning streak that included a pivotal 5-4 comeback win over Andover, to take the third of four District 8 slots.

Haverhill (16-7-1) opens today at 2 p.m. at Alumni Field against District 5 No. 2 seed Lowell (15-5) in the eight-team tournament.

Lefty ace Paul Mahoney will be on the mound today for Post 4 with Shane Surrette and Nick Comei slated to pitch following games.

“We think we have a great rotation and Mahoney has been unbelievable,” said Haverhill coach Larry O’Brien.

“He’s matured so much in one year, it’s incredible. He keeps the ball low and has great composure.

“We’re playing very well right now, putting things together better than we were.”

Nick Comei and Nate Frongillo have been Post 4’s top hitters all year but they’ve been getting more support recently.

Haverhill joins, from District 8, top seed Middleton (16-6-1), second seed Newburyport (16-7-1) and Methuen (15-7-1), which won a tough game against Swampscott Friday night to edge Andover for the fourth spot.

Methuen, which played eight games in 10 days, slipped a bit late in the season but, with Andrew Wells and Cam Cyr at the top of its rotation, remains dangerous.

It opens at District 5 top seed Sudbury (18-2) at 4 p.m. today against a team it lost to 2-1 in 12 innings at Holy Cross in the mid-season national tournament.

Leading the offense for Methuen have been Evan Lacroix, Jon Pierce, Will Martin and Cyr.

Newburyport opens at 1 p.m. today at Eiras Field in Rowley against Medford (15-5) and will send former

Pentucket standout and ace Corey McNamara to the mound. Post 150 overcame a slow start and has played solid ball over the last month.

Recent Pentucket grad Josh Creamer, who plays second base, and third baseman Colton Fontaine have been Post 150’s most consistent hitters.

Middleton will also play at Rowley today, scheduled for 4:30 against Billerica (15-5).

There are two brackets in the tournament, with Middleton, Lowell, Billerica and Haverhill in Bracket A and Sudbury, Newburyport, Methuen and Medford in Bracket B.

The top team from each bracket will advance to the state tournament, which begins next Sunday.

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