Yordy Contreras went the distance on the mound for Lynn in the team's Gallant Tournament opener. (Katie Morrison)
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Lynn draws first blood in Gallant Tournament

BEVERLY -- The Lynn team knew this year’s Gallant tournament would be a challenge with a field of talented teams on the schedule.

But the defending champion got off to a hot start in this year’s event, topping Beverly, 4-2, at Harry Ball Field Friday night.

Brady Bullock got the game started on the right foot for Lynn with a leadoff single. He'd come around on Shea Palmer’s 2-out single to put Lynn on the board.

Lynn starter Yordy Contreras, fresh off a City Series win with the Lynn Shore Braves, picked up where he left off after that tournament’s championship. After allowing a leadoff single to opposing pitcher Sam Armbruster, Contreras settled in and retired the next three hitters. In the second, he struck out the side, getting each batter swinging.

“He was tremendous he showed a lot of guts,” Lynn manager Jeff Earp said of Contreras. “With this mound, he couldn’t throw his curveball, which is devastating. So he fought through throwing fastballs.

“I’m tremendously proud of what he did tonight,” Earp said. “Very gutsy performance.”

Beverly had one of its best chances in the fifth, as a walk and hit batter put two on with two outs and the top of the order due up. But the Lynn defense, which had been strong all game, shut down the threat to escape unscathed.

Contreras, who went 2-for-2 at the plate, responded by driving the first pitch of the sixth to the left field corner for an easy double. That started the hit parade for Lynn, scoring three runs to make the score 4-0.

Eldrian Bonilla advanced Contreras with a single to center. Shea Palmer brought home the first run with a sac fly to center. Jack Marks dropped in a bloop single behind second to bring in Bonilla, and Jack Anderson roped a double to score Juniel Guzman, who reached on a fielder’s choice that erased Marks.

“We just told them to stay aggressive and swing the bats,” Earp said. “They were swinging at a lot of strikes, so make contact and don’t take a lot of pitches, and that’s what we did.”

The big inning knocked Armbruster out of the game, and Noah Guanci took over to get the final out.

The runs couldn't have come at a better time, because the Beverly bats woke up the next inning. A single, error and walk loaded the bases with no outs. A fielder’s choice and single brought in two runs for Beverly, but Lynn buckled down and catcher Brendan Falasca got the final out at home on a squibber in front of the plate.

Beverly threatened in the seventh as Logan Petrosino singled with one out, but second baseman Brady Warren, who snagged the first out of the inning on a hard liner, turned a double play on another lineout to seal the win.

Contreras went the distance, allowing two runs on five hits while walking three and striking out seven.

Lynn has a quick turnaround, as it takes on Peabody, which has yet to play in the tournament, today at 5:30 at Harry Ball Field.

“We’re right back at it, and it’s not going to get any easier,” Earp said. “We beat a very good team, and tomorrow is going to be tough, but they fought tonight, and what can you say, just have to go out there and play.”

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