Late rally pushes Classical over English

Classical pitcher Aidan Dow threw six solid innings in Wednesday's win. (Item File Photo)

LYNN — For five innings of Wednesday afternoon’s game between the Classical and English baseball teams, it seemed as though the Bulldogs were on their way to victory. But when Classical’s bats came alive, it was clear the Rams had other plans.

A five-run Classical rally in the top of the sixth inning powered the Rams to a 5-2 win at Fraser Field — their second victory over English this season.

“We took advantage of some mistakes they made,” Classical coach Mike Zukowski said. “It’s not always a timely hit. Sometimes it’s a passed ball or a bad throw that you have to take advantage of. We’ll take any runs we can come across. We’re at a point now in the season where we need wins.”

The Bulldogs played flawless defense for the first five innings. That took a turn for the worse when English committed four errors in the top of the sixth.

“That was the theme of the day,” English coach Doug Mullins said. “We have to play a seven-inning game. Classical’s a solid team. We’ve played them twice and they’ve yet to make an error. We knew what we were up against and we were up to the task for six innings.”

Both starting pitchers, English’s Devin Curley and Classical’s Aidan Dow, went the distance.

English jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Leadoff batter Wilbur Rosario tripled to start the inning and scored on Juan Subervi’s RBI double.

A two-out single from Cesar Carrero was all the offense the Rams generated from innings two through five. The Rams went down in order in the top halves of the third, fourth and fifth innings. Curley, thanks to the defense behind him, made that happen without recording a strikeout.

“Curley pitched a great game for them,” Zukowski said. “I can’t take anything away from that. It gets frustrating when a pitcher keeps you off-balance like that.”

“Devin’s pitched well the whole season,” Mullins said. “Early on he had some bad luck as far as plays behind him. He always comes to battle. He hits his spots, he can throw to both sides of the plate and he can throw three pitches for strikes. We feel very comfortable every time we send him out there.”

Down 1-0, Classical turned the tables in the top of the sixth. It started with back-to-back one-out singles from A.J. Luciano and Sean Devin. David Barnard’s two-RBI single scored Luciano and Devin, giving the Rams a 2-1 lead. Dow kept the rally alive, lacing a RBI single to score Barnard with Classical’s third run. A string of three more Bulldogs errors granted Classical another pair of runs. The Rams led 5-1 through five and a half innings.

“David and Aidan’s hits were huge hits,” Zukowski said. “We needed those. They came through and we were able to put a few extra runs on. Aidan battled, he kept us in the game and we were finally able to put a few runs across in that sixth inning.”

English got one back in the bottom of the sixth. Jomar Moreta and Briston Maynard each drew a walk to start the inning, and Subervi singled to load the bases. Billy Allen’s sac-fly brought Moreta home, making it a three-run game at 5-2.

Dow induced a double-play to end the sixth and retired English in order in the seventh, capping the 5-2 win.

“We can’t hang our heads,” Mullins said. “We came to play, we just didn’t make enough plays. The effort was there, the kids were ready to go. At the end of the day that’s how baseball works. They made more plays than us.”

The Bulldogs (5-9) visit Salem Friday. English needs five wins in its last six games of the regular season to clinch a bid in the state tournament.

Classical (8-7) visits Saugus Friday. The Rams are two wins away from earning a tournament berth.


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