LAWRENCE — In Monday’s opener of the best-of-three American Legion championship series, Newburyport took advantage of a few Lawrence miscues in the second inning to score all of its runs en route to a 4-3 win.
Last night, Post 150 took matters into its own hands with four more runs in the second, and didn’t stop there.
Newburyport exploded for a 15-3 victory over Lawrence to clinch the state finals berth out of District 8 for the third straight year.
“At the end of our season, the bats slowed down,” said former Timberlane player Cam Toohey, who drove in three runs for Newburyport. “I don’t know what it was, but when it was time to shine we all hit. Everyone hitting in clutch situations was really great.”
Newburyport, which rapped 14 hits on the night and batted around in the second, third and seventh innings, was paced by Rosario Missiti, who had four singles — three of which drove in a run. Toohey and Colton Fontaine each scored three runs.
The assault started in that fateful second when former Georgetown High star Colby Ingraham’s double drove in Fontaine, who had doubled. Justin Cashman followed with a sacrifice fly before Missiti’s RBI single provided what would be the fourth run, which proved enough for Connor MacRae and reliever Joseph Levasseur.
Toohey’s two-run triple in the third aided the cause.
“MacRae did a nice job early in the game,” Newburyport manager Tim Southall said of his starter, who struck out four and allowed three hits in his three innings. “Lawrence is a great hitting team, and he kept them off balance early. We managed to put some runs up and that took the wind out of their sails.”
Five players combined for six extra base hits for Post 150, including Tyler Chaisson who had a double and triple. Levasseur took over with no outs in the fifth and retired each of the final nine batters he faced, including four via strikeouts.
As it did Monday, Lawrence (15-5) took an early 1-0 lead on Javier Morales’ first-inning sacrifice fly. In the third, a pair of doubles by Joshua Casado and Jesus Ventura cut Newburyport’s lead to 7-2. But Lawrence managed only one more run — on an infield ground out by Darluigi Gonzales.
Toohey and Ingraham were not the only locals to contribute for Newburyport.
Eagle-Tribune All-Star Ryan Kuchar, who graduated from Pentucket this spring, was 1 for 1 with an RBI and a run scored. Fellow former Sachem Bobby Barry added a pair of hits, an RBI and a run scored and former Whittier standout Ralph Francesconi of Georgetown added sharp defense at first base.
Newburyport (21-4) will open state tournament play Saturday in Sudbury. The schedule for the eight-team field will be announced Thursday.
NEWBURYPORT 15, LAWRENCE 3
Newburyport (15): Tyler Chaisson c 3-2-2, Rosario Missiti 2b 5-1-4, Ralph Francesconi 1b 4-0-0, Ryan Kuchar 1b 1-1-1, Daniel Rose dh 4-1-0, Austin Toohey ph 1-0-0, Colton Fontaine 3b 4-3-2, Cam Toohey lf 2-3-1, Colby Ingraham cf 5-1-1, Bobby Barry rf 4-2-2, Justin Cashman ss 4-1-1. Totals 37-15-14
Lawrence (3): Darluigi Gonzales cf/p 3-0-0, Jesus Ventura rf 2-1-1, Jose Cedano c 2-0-1, Javier Morales 3b 2-0-0, Jose Abreu lf/cf 3-0-0, Elvis Peralta ss 3-0-0, Jose Martinez 2b/lf 1-1-0, Nick Worden ph 1-0-0, Joshua Casado 1b 1-1-1, Steve Cochrane ph 1-0-0, Brahaim Ortega p/2b 1-0-0, Justin Landry ph 1-0-0. Totals 21-3-3
RBI: N — Cashman 4, Missiti 3, C. Toohey 3, Ingraham 2, Kuchar, Barry; L — Ventura, Morales
WP — Connor Macrae. LP — Ortega. S — Joseph Levasseur