LYNN– Backed by six shutout innings from starting pitcher Lou Vidal, the Lynn Babe Ruth 16-18-year-old All-Stars defeated Cape Cod 6-1 Saturday afternoon at Fraser Field to earn a spot in the New England Regional final Tuesday.
Vidal allowed no hits on three strikeouts while walking four batters to earn the win for Lynn. David Furtado it in the seventh, striking out two of the four batters he faced.
“Great pitching, great defense and we had a phenomenal pitching performance from Lou Vidal,” Lynn coach Al Donovan said. “Furtado came in to close and got the job done.
“Cape Cod is a great team, they’ve been here before they had been to the World Series last year,” Donovan added. “I think anytime you go up against them you have to play pretty close to a flawless game.”
Zach Elwell (2-for-3 with 2 RBI) led Lynn at the plate. Anthony Nikolakakis (1-for-3), Danny Lilja (1-for-1) and Colin Reddy (2-for-3) each had one RBI for Lynn.
“Started off a little bit slow with the bats but I give credit to their pitcher [Justin Lukos],” Donovan said. “We squeaked away and got a couple plays. Zach Elwell had a big hit and that was kind of the fire that started us off.”
Cape Cod got on the board in the second inning. After an infield error put runners at second and third base, Zach Landry drove in a run on a ground out to second to put Cape Cod up 1-0.
Both teams bats were silent until a walk and a single put runners on the corners for Lynn. Elwell then hit a single to drive in a run and tie the game at 1-1. Later in the inning Elwell had advanced to third and Dayshon Anderson reached on a walk. Anderson would steal second and purposely get caught in a run down, which allowed Elwell to score on a close play at the plate and put Lynn up 2-1.
“We had two outs and two strikes,” Lynn coach Leon Elwell said. “That’s just a play we put on to try to get them to balk or try to make something happen and try to steal a run right there. We were fortunate enough to push that one across and it turned out to be a big play.”
Lynn extended its lead in the sixth inning after a string of four straight at bats to drive runs in. With the bases loaded Nikolakakis ripped an infield single to score a run. The next batter, Lilja, bunted for a single on a suicide squeeze play. Reddy would drive in a run on a ground out to shortstop and Elwell added his second RBI on a single to put Lynn up 6-1 and the game out of reach.
Lynn will play in the New England Regional championship game Tuesday afternoon (1) against Cape Cod. If Cape Cod defeats Lynn, a winner-take-all game will be played immediately afterward (4). The championship game was originally scheduled for Sunday but was postponed due to weather.