LYNN — The early stages of Friday evening’s District 16 Tournament game against Swampscott didn’t seem too promising for the Lynnfield 12-year-old All-Stars. Swampscott’s first two batters of the game reached on a single and double, both hard hits, to put Lynnfield on its toes early.
Lynnfield, however, allowed just one run to Swampscott’s early threat and found its groove from there, en route to a 4-2 win at Wyoma’s Reinfuss Field.
Nathan Lopez earned the nod for Lynnfield and went the distance. Lopez tossed six solid innings, allowed two earned runs on eight hits, walked two and struck out four Swampscott batters.
“Nathan’s our ace,” Lynnfield manager Matt Adamo said. “He’s awesome. He throws strikes, he throws hard. There were a couple situations they had the bases loaded but he never gets rattled. He fields his position well too, which is great.”
At the plate, Nicholas Hubbard led Lynnfield’s offense. Hubbard went 2-for-3 with two RBI. His solo home-run in the bottom of the second tied the game at 1-1. Hubbard added a RBI single in the bottom of the fourth, bringing home the go-ahead run for Lynnfield.
“Nicholas is awesome,” Adamo said. “He’s a huge kid and I don’t know if that (home run) ball has landed yet. You never see a ball with that type of height and distance get out, so it was fun to see.”
On other side of the field, Swampscott’s Dawson DiBarri started on the mound and pitched five innings. DiBarri allowed four earned runs on nine hits and fanned two Lynnfield batters without allowing a walk.
“Dawson’s a gamer,” Swampscott manager Joe McGonagle said. “He’s a gamer. He can locate pretty well. He was moving the ball around and he’s not afraid to throw the pitch he needs to.”
Swampscott jumped out to an ideal start in this one. Leadoff hitter Frank Pappalardo started the rally with a single and Daniel Domeniconi (3-for-3) followed suit with a double. Liam Wales (2-for-3, RBI) laced a RBI single, scoring Pappalardo with the game’s first run, but Lynnfield dodged a bullet when Domeniconi was thrown out at home. A pop-fly and a strikeout ended the inning and Lynnfield trailed 1-0 heading into the bottom of the the first.
“That was huge,” Adamo said. “Swampscott was hammering the ball but that’s what Nathan does. He doesn’t get rattled, he bares down. They had a bases loaded situation later in the game and he got out of that one. That’s what he does. He doesn’t get fazed.”
Nicholas Groussis (2-for-2) singled to lead the bottom of the first but DiBarri retired the next three Lynnfield batters to end the frame.
After Swampscott went three up, three down in the top of the second, Lynnfield tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom half of the inning when Hubbard launched a solo home run to left-center.
Swampscott threatened to grab the go-ahead run in the top of the third. Luca Croft drew a one-out walk, and singles from Domeniconi and Wales loaded the bases. But Lopez, once again, buckled down and escaped the jam with a strikeout and lineout to keep the game tied.
Lynnfield took the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Hubbard’s RBI single scored Christian Rosa with the go-ahead run. A groundout from Jarret Scoppettuolo’s (0-for-2, RBI) bat scored Anthony Grabau, bumping the lead to 3-1. Cole Hawes (1-for-1, RBI) capped the rally with a RBI single, bringing Nicholas Lucich home for the 4-1 lead.
Refusing to quit, Swampscott made things interesting in the top of the sixth. Ben O’Brien walked and Will Roddy reached on an infield error. Quinn Fitzpatrick’s (1-for-2, RBI) RBI double plated O’Brien and slimmed Swampscott’s deficit to 4-2. But then back-to-back groundouts to Lopez ended the game and Lynnfield held on for the 4-2 win.
“We had two runners on, winning run at the plate with one out,” McGonagle said. “We felt pretty good about it. We had a couple good hitters coming up. A couple grounders back to the pitcher and he (Lopez) made some good plays. It was just a well played game.”
“Swampscott’s excellent,” Adamo said. “You have to earn every victory. You’re not going to win on errors, walks and bad plays. You have to hit the ball, make the plays in the field and pitch the ball. Swampscott was outstanding.”
Lynnfield plays Peabody West Saturday (5) at Wyoma. Swampscott’s back on the diamond Sunday (5) against Peabody at a location to be announced.