MARBLEHEAD — Mental mistakes came back to haunt the Lynn English baseball team, as the Bulldogs fell in an 8-6 loss to Marblehead at Seaside Park Friday afternoon.
The Magicians, in their first game at Seaside this season, were able to make the most of their opportunities in the early innings. Marblehead plated two runs in the first inning and three more in the second, forcing English to play from behind for the majority of the game.
“We took advantage of a couple mistakes,” Magicians coach Mike Giardi said. “I think the weather played a little havoc on a couple fly balls that fell in front of them. This is our first day out on this field. That’s a big thing for us.”
Magicians starting pitcher Ben Brennan tossed the first four innings, Alex Rosen threw two innings in relief and Chris Gally shut the door in the seventh for the save.
English starting pitcher Christian Santos went six innings and tallied four strikeouts.
Marblehead got off to a quick start, taking advantage of a few English defensive miscues to get on the board in the bottom of the first. Erick Gonzalez hit a 2-RBI double to left field, scoring Brennan and Cole Garaventi to give the Magicians a 2-0 lead.
Brennan helped his own cause in the bottom of the second on a blooper that hung in the air and fell in for a RBI single, bringing Gally home for the 3-0 lead. Gonzalez added a RBI single and an infield error granted Marblehead another run, boosting its lead to 5-0 after two innings.
“This is game five of the year and through the first four games we only made one error,” English coach Doug Mullins said. “We’ve been clean on defense. I talked to the kids and I said ‘there’s no way we’ll go through the season without making mistakes.’ The physical mistakes will be there and we have to push those behind us. We can’t let those mistakes bring us down. The physical errors didn’t cost us today. We had numerous mental errors.”
Down 5-0, the Bulldogs climbed back in. English chipped away at Marblehead’s lead, starting with a two-run rally in the top of the third. Jomar Morera got English on the board with a RBI double, plating Wilbur Rosario. Moreta came around to score on a RBI single off Briston Maynard’s bat, slimming the deficit to 5-2.
Rosario laced a 2-RBI double in the top of the fourth, scoring Erick Ubri and Julio Figueroa, whittling the Magicians lead down to 5-4.
“I think that’s what you’ll see in the NEC,” Giardi said. “Also, we have guys that can pitch well once through the order. Twice, you have to pitch a little more. On a day like today where you’re sitting through some long innings, that can be pretty tough.”
Garaventi scored on an errant pickoff attempt in the bottom of the fourth, giving the Magicians an insurance run.
English answered quickly, with a 2-RBI double from Juan Subervi, plating Moreta and Maynard to tie the game at 6-6.
“It was just a mental approach,” Mullins said. “I’ve been preaching to these guys all week about mental toughness and battling.”
Marblehead reclaimed the lead in the bottom half of the fifth on an English infield error.
Down 7-6, English threatened with runners on second and third in the top of the sixth but the Magicians escaped the jam unscathed.
With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, the Magicians added an insurance run to their lead. Brennan, on a heads up baserunning play, raced home on a bad throw to the mound to bump Marblehead’s lead up to 8-6.
“That was a huge play,” Giardi said. “That changed everything for us. That was a big, big run and big heads up baserunning from Ben for sure.”
Gally pitched a 1-2-3 seventh to close the 8-6 Magicians win.
Both teams are back in action Monday when Marblehead (3-1) hosts Revere and English (3-2) visits Beverly.
After a controversial play in the top of the sixth inning, English played the game under protest.
English protested a decision by the umpires that was made when the Bulldogs had runners on second and third with one out. Marblehead elected to intentionally walk the batter at the plate and the English runner on second base jogged over to third in belief that time was out. The Magicians tagged the runner and he was called out. After further discussion, the umpires upheld their decision and ruled that as the second out of the inning. English lodged a protest before the next pitch.