LYNN — When the Peabody West 12-year-old All-Stars get their bats going, it’s tough to stop them. Lynnfield learned that the hard way in Thursday evening’s 17-2 three-inning loss to Peabody West in the District 16 Tournament final at Wyoma’s Reinfuss Field.
West, undefeated through District 16, tallied 10 runs in the first inning and never looked back.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Peabody West manager Steve Porcella said. “These kids are all friends. It’s what you want. You start in the spring and you can only imagine being on the diamond for a district championship. We’re very proud.”
Pitcher Jayce Dooley earned the nod for West and escaped two bases-loaded jams in his three innings. Dooley finished the game with six strikeouts.
Lynnfield pieced together an early threat in the top of the first. Christian Rosa and Nick Hubbard each walked, and Tyler Adamo (1-for-1) hit a single. Dooley buckled down and fanned the final hitter of the inning to keep Lynnfield off the scoreboard.
“We knew we were going to hit the ball,” Porcella said, “but we never want to let the opponent get up on us. To end that inning like that was huge for us.”
And the momentum West built after escaping the early jam carried over into the bottom of the first. West scored early and often, putting 10 runs on the board to put the game well out of Lynnfield’s reach.
Jacob Behn scored the game’s first run on a passed ball. Back-to-back RBI singles from Nick Villano (2-for-3, 2 RBI) and Josh Scali (2-for-3, RBI) gave West a 3-0 lead. Andy Bousquet (2-for-2, 2 RBI) followed with a RBI single and West led 4-0 before Lynnfield induced an out.
“(West) is awesome,” Lynnfield manager Matt Adamo said. “I hope they take it deep in the sectionals and then move on after that because they’re a great baseball team. Even though we left the bases loaded in the first and second innings, I don’t think we have the firepower to compete with them putting up 17 runs.”
The rally continued with RBI singles from John Horgan (1-for-1, RBI), Thomas Fabbo (3-for-4, 4 RBI), a 2-RBI single from Dooley (1-for-3, 3 RBI), and a bases-loaded walk drawn by Behn, giving West a hefty 9-0 lead. Fabbo capped the first-inning spurt when he raced home as Lynnfield catcher Hubbard fired a throw to first base on a dropped third strike. When it was all said and done, West led 10-0 with full command.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Porcella said. “I’ve been coaching Little League for seven, eight years now and I’ve never seen anything like it. It carried over into the next inning, with everybody contributing. We’ve preached an aggressive first-pitch approach. We practice these things. It’s good to see them actually happen on the field.”
Lynnfield scored twice in the top of the second. Adamo drew a bases-loaded walk, allowing Nate Lopez (1-for-1, run) to cross home plate with Lynnfield’s first run. A West error granted Lynnfield another run, this time Ryan MacEachern scored, slimming the deficit to 10-2.
West added three runs to its lead in the bottom of the second. A.J. Forte (2-for-2, RBI) came home on an outfield error, Bousquet scored on an infield miscue and Fabbo plated Ty Zito on a sacrifice-fly, stretching West’s lead to 13-2.
Villano scored on an error and Forte laced a RBI single in the bottom of the third, setting the stage for Fabbo to seal the mercy-rule 17-2 win with a 2-run double down the left-field line.
“(West) got up there and they just hit every single ball up the middle,” Matt Adamo said. “They didn’t have any cheap hits. They ripped the ball every single time and we couldn’t stop it.”
Despite a tough close to his team’s run in the District 16 Tournament, Matt Adamo said he couldn’t be prouder of Lynnfield’s effort.
“This has been the most spectacular run our Lynnfield program has ever had,” Matt Adamo said. “We won the districts as 10’s, we won districts at 11’s, we won sectionals as 11’s, we went to the states. We made it to the championship game this year. No Lynnfield team has ever done that. It’s been an incredible run with these kids.”
Peabody West advances to the Section 4 tournament and is scheduled to begin pool play next Wednesday, July 18 (TBA).