LYNN — The North Reading baseball team doesn’t see much of the Northeastern Conference. But when the Hornets come to Lynn to play in the Clancy Tournament, they know they’re in for a grind.
English had enough gas in the tank in for a tight battle in the early going but North Reading pulled away in the late stages for a 12-3 win in Friday’s Clancy Tournament opener at Fraser Field.
“English is a well-coached team,” North Reading coach Eric Archambault said. “We knew after we had that first big inning early they weren’t going to quit at all. Their kids competed the whole way through and so did ours. We were fortunate enough to get the win.”
“We made a lot of mistakes,” English coach Doug Mullins said. “Some were mental, some were physical. But they hit the ball well and they made enough plays to get the win.”
English’s Wilbur Rosario (1-for-3) scored the game’s first run on a Hornets error in the bottom of the first. North Reading rallied in the top of the second. Dan Lignos-Kavonian and Ryan Connor each laced a RBI single. Joseph Frammartino added a two-RBI single and the Hornets led 4-1.
English answered in the bottom half of the second. Briston Maynard (4-for-4, RBI) belted a RBI single, scoring Julio Figueroa (1-for-3). Jomar Moreta (0-for-2, two walks) crossed home plate on a Hornets error and English slimmed it’s deficit to 4-3.
“We’ve been down numerous times all year and we’ve come back,” Mullins said. “Unfortunately we’ve come up short most of those times, whether it’s a run or so. We’ve had five one-run losses this season. We always compete.”
The game settled down through the next few innings.
North Reading loaded the bags in the top of the fifth but Moreta induced a fly out to escape the jam. The Hornets returned the favor in the bottom half when English placed runners on first and third with one out but failed to score.
The Hornets put the game away in the top of the sixth. Connor, Matthew Solecki and Cole Doke each hit a RBI single, Marco Vittozzi hit two-RBI single and Matthew DeBenedetto raced home on a wild pitch. Jack Keller roped a two-RBI double to cap the rally and the Hornets turned a 4-3 game into a 12-3 rout.
“We looked at the scoreboard and we saw five zero’s and they scored all their runs in two innings,” Mullins said. “Give them credit, they made the plays. Our effort’s been there, we just can’t make the next play.”
With the loss, the Bulldogs fall out of contention for a state tournament bid. English plays St. Mary’s in Saturday’s (11) consolation game.
“Our kids have a lot of heart,” Mullins said. “That’s what I respect most about our kids. We’ll come back and fight Saturday.”
North Reading battles Classical for the tournament championship (2).
“With this tournament, all three other Lynn teams are good, well-coached teams,” Archambault said. “It’s one Division 1 team and two Division 2 teams that pitch the ball well, hit the ball well and field the ball well. We know it’ll be a competitive game.”