---- — HAVERHILL — With two wins against MassBay, the Northern Essex baseball team advanced to the Region XXI playoffs for the third straight season.
The Knights defeated MassBay in both ends of a doubleheader, 12-0 in the first game and 11-1 in the second, finishing the year with a 15-13 record. Pitcher Zack Beckwith threw in the first game, going five innings without allowing a run. Beckwith struck out six batters in the game.
With Beckwith’s shutout, he moved to 6-1 on the season. The righthander finished the regular season with a 2.83 ERA and 40 strikeouts, leading the team in each category. In the week ending April 14, Beckwith was named the NCAA Division III pitcher of the week.
Leading the way for the Knights offensively was Tyler Johnson. Hitting .322 for the regular season, Johnson led the team in home runs with four, including a walk-off grand slam against Dean College. Johnson hit over .400 in league play.
The Region XXI tournament starts this weekend, with the schedule expected to be released in the middle of the week. The Knights look to advance to Tyler, Texas for the NJCAA Division III World Series for the second straight year.