LYNN — After falling in game one of the New England Regional championship, pitcher Devin Curley led the Lynn Babe Ruth 16-18-year-old All-Stars to a 4-1 win in game two over Cape Cod Tuesday afternoon at Fraser Field. With the win the Lynners claimed the New England Regional championship and advanced to the Babe Ruth World Series.
Curley threw all seven innings in the final game, allowing one run on five hits while striking out six batters. Curley’s performance throughout the tournament earned him MVP honors while Lou Vidal, who threw a no-hitter Saturday against Cape Cod, earned the “best pitcher” award.
“What can you say, Devin’s been lights out,” Lynn coach Al Donovan said. “He’s around the plate on every single pitch. With our pitching it doesn’t matter who we have out there everyone is throwing strikes, even Nick Reiser came in and did a good job in the first game.
“This is a phenomenal team but I’ll match their talent with our talent anyday,” Donovan said of Cape Cod. “They have all been great games with great competition but our guys came in and just did the job.”
The story of the day’s first game, which Lynn lost 5-0, was Cape Cod pitcher Stephen Kalinick. Lynn struggled to hit the left-hander as Kalinick pitched six innings in game one, allowing no runs on three hits while striking out seven, walking three and hitting one batter.
Kalinick (2-for-4 with 3 RBI and a run scored) also got it done at the plate for Cape Cod. With bases loaded in the third inning of game one, Kalinick laced a double to clear the bases and later scored on a sacrifice fly to put Cape Cod up 4-0.
Coming in for relief in the fourth inning, Reiser pitched four innings for Lynn allowing no earned runs on two hits while striking out four batters. However, Lynn couldn’t give him the run support to get back in the game.
“You got to give credit to [Kalinick] he hit his spots,” Donovan said. “But I give a lot of credit to our kids coming back. You lose the first one and you come back in the second one and jump out to a four-run lead in the first inning with timely hitting and set the tone.”
The Lynn bats came alive quickly in the second game. Jomar Moreta started the first inning with a walk and AJ Luciano brought him all the way home with a RBI double in the next at bat to put Lynn up 1-0. Two infield errors and a RBI single from Colin Reddy extended the lead to 3-0 for Lynn. Later in the inning Dayshon Anderson singled to load the bases for Danny Lilja. Lilja grounded to second but beat out the potential 4-6-3 double play at first to put Lynn up 4-0.
From there on out Curley dominated as he allowed only three hits in the first five innings. Cape Cod was able to tack on a run in the sixth thanks to a RBI single by Nathan Amaker to cut the lead to 4-1, but Curley was able to close it down in the seventh, striking out three of the five batters he faced and sealing Lynn’s victory.
The win earns Lynn a spot in the World Series in Jamestown, New York. The World Series will be played August 4 through 11.
“We’re expecting good baseball but these guys they are a great team,” Lynn coach Leon Elwell said. “We’re going to go out there and represent New England and the city of Lynn as best we can.”
“I haven’t even processed it yet,” Donovan said. “Every step of the way it gets tougher and tougher. It’s going to be great for these guys to keep their summer going and have an opportunity to win a national title.”
Lynn ran through the winner’s bracket of the regional tournament undefeated, while Cape Cod had to earn its bid in the final through the loser’s bracket. That meant Cape Cod had to defeat Lynn twice in order to advance.
Lynn finished the tournament at 4-1 and outscored its opponents 22-7 in those five contests.