LYNN — The stakes for Monday evening’s Lynn City Series final between the Wyoma Red Sox and the Lynn Shore Braves at Kiley Park were simple. A Red Sox win would force a winner-take-all game between the two teams on Tuesday. On the other side, a Braves win would conclude the City Series and clinch the crown for Lynn Shore.
Behind a four-run rally in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Braves erased a 5-4 deficit and earned the championship with an 8-7 win. The win marks the second year in a row that Lynn Shore has claimed the City Series crown.
“I’m so proud of these kids,” Braves coach Paul Hartford said. “Two years in a row. These kids have worked harder than any team I’ve ever seen. The coaches, Mark Sullivan and Ryan Gendron, they spend so much time with these kids. It’s endless and it pays off.”
Despite the loss, Red Sox coach Rick Anderson was proud of his team’s effort.
“(After the game) I told the kids I had fun,” Anderson said. “We had a fun season. We had six 12-year-olds and we’re going to miss them. I told them they were one of the best teams in the city. To come this far, they should be proud of themselves and we’re proud of them too.”
Wyoma, the visitor, got things going quickly with a pair of runs in the top of the first. Aidan George ripped an RBI single, scoring Shea Palmer with the first run of the game. Three batters later, Ryan Dugan drew a walk and took a wide turn towards second base. As Dugan made his way towards second, Henry Azzun raced home from third for the 2-0 lead.
Lynn Shore got both runs back in the bottom of the first. Isaiah McDonald, who singled, sprinted home on a wild pitch from third base. Yordy Contreras, who doubled and took third on the wild pitch, scored the tying run on an errant pickoff attempt.
Wyoma retook the lead with a pair of runs in the third. The first scored when Jack Anderson took home on a wild pitch for the 3-2 Wyoma lead. The second scored when Shea Newhall drew a walk with the bases loaded, padding Wyoma’s edge to 4-2.
Lynn Shore worked a two-run rally of its own in the bottom of the third. Eldrian Bonilla, who started on the mound for Lynn Shore, laced an RBI double to left field, scoring Contreras. Three batters later, Bonilla raced home from third on a wild pitch to even the game at 4-4.
“Lynn Shore’s a good team,” Anderson said. “They’re well-coached. The kids can hit the ball, up and down their lineup. They’ve got some talent over there on Lynn Shore.”
The Red Sox reclaimed the lead with a run in the fifth inning, taking advantage of a Lynn Shore defensive mistake. Azzun drew a walk to lead the frame and stole second. Dugan singled to shallow right field, and Azzun took off for third. An errant throw to third base gave Azzun a ticket to home plate and the Red Sox led again, 5-4.
“It’s not the type of game I wanted but it’s what I was expecting,” Hartford said. “Wyoma’s a great team. They battled us the first game. We had one big inning but otherwise it would’ve been a close game. I expected a tough game from them.”
The Braves responded by sparking a four-run rally in the bottom half of the fifth. Rafael Reyes was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, bringing home the tying run. Elijah Quintana followed with a two-RBI double, making it a 7-5 Braves lead. JJ Martinez added an RBI single to bump Lynn Shore’s advantage to 8-5.
“We told the kids to look for a pitch they like and hit it,” Hartford said. “We told them to work the count, don’t wait for a called third strike. See one you like and hit it.”
Wyoma made it a one-run game in the top of the sixth but the late surge fell short and Lynn Shore held on for the 8-7 win. The championship is Lynn Shore’s 12th in the City Series.
“We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have that kind of attitude,” Anderson said. “We don’t quit and we don’t give in. The top of our order came up in the sixth and the kids showed fight.”