Peabody West makes District 16 Little League final

(Anne Marie Tobin)

LYNN — In a battle featuring the only remaining undefeated teams in the District 16 tournament, Peabody West came out firing on all cylinders en route to a 16-2 win over Lynnfield Saturday at Wyoma’s Reinfuss Field to punch its ticket to Thursday ‘s final (TBA).

Jayce Dooley had a monster day at the plate, going 4-for-4 with a 2-run homer, double, five RBI and five runs scored.  He also had a solid outing on the mound, pitching 3 ⅔-plus innings of 1-hit ball. Dooley and reliever Thomas Fabbo (2 ⅓ innings, 1 hit) kept Lynnfield in check to hand Lynnfield (undefeated as 10s and 11s) its first district loss in three years.

“We have had them on our radar all year,” said Peabody manager Steve Porcella. “Once we shook off the early nerves and got to that second time at bat, the kids didn’t miss. Any time Dooley makes contact, he hits the ball hard and he really toughed it out on the mound.”

Lynnfield manager Matt Adamo had a different take.

“They just kicked our butts,” Adamo said. “They played fantastic. We had a real dogfight with Swampscott the night before, but tonight was certainly not the outcome we were hoping for. That’s a huge win for Peabody as now they will have all of their pitchers available for their next game.”

Both teams manufactured solo runs in the first, both on wild pitches with Dooley (double) scoring for Peabody and Tyler Adamo (walk) scoring for Lynnfield.

Peabody scratched out four runs in the third, all with two outs, the big hit being a 2-run double by Dooley, to make it 5-1, West.

If there can be a turning point in a 16-2 rout, it came in the second. With Lynnfield’s Nick Lucich and pinch-runner Nathan Lopez at second and third with one out, Brendan Manoogian grounded out to first baseman Nick Villano.  Lopez, now a third of the way down the third base line, started toward home, but Villano alertly held the ball and ran Lopez back to third.

“No doubt about it, that was the turning point of the game,” said Porcella. “Had we started throwing the ball around, that would have been a big opening for them, but Villano kept them at bay with that play.”

Lynnfield closed to 5-2 in the bottom of the third.  Adamo beat out an infield single and scored from third on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Nick Hubbard.

After that, it was all West, with a little help from Lynnfield’s pitchers who struggled to find the strike zone.

Dooley started the party with his 2-run shot over the fence in right field, scoring Fabbo, who led off with a single.

Lynnfield walked the first four batters of the fifth, all of whom scored, to make it 8-2, then a 2-run single by Villano and RBI single by Josh Scali made it 11-2.  

Peabody added insult to injury with four more runs in the sixth, the big hits coming from Scali (2-run double), Anthony Herbert (2-run double) and Dooley (RBI single).

“Once it got to 7-2, the kids got deflated and the game got out of hand,” said Adamo.  “Credit to Peabody, they made every play in the field and all we can do is tell the kids to forget about it.  Our backs are up against the wall, but I don’t think there is another team better equipped than us to deal with that.”

Lynnfield’s next game is Tuesday (5:45, TBA) against the winner of tonight’s Swampscott-Salem game.

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