BEVERLY — Lynn got off to a hot start in the Gallant Tournament with a 17-3 win over Marblehead Friday night at Harry Ball Field.
Juniel Guzman (3-for-4 with 3 RBI) led Lynn at the plate with two home runs. Alex McMillan (2-for-5 with 2 RBI) also added a solo home run in the fourth. Chris Marks (1-for-2), Braydon London (1-for-3 with a HBP) and Mornel Castro (1-for-3 with 2 walks) also all drove in runs for Lynn.
Guzman also pitched three near-perfect innings to start the game, striking out eight of the 10 batters he faced and not allowing a single hit.
“He’s a monster, he can play,” Lynn manager Jeff Earp said of Guzman. “He’s confident but not arrogant. He’s a dream to coach and a great kid, you love to have him on your team.”
A huge part of Lynn’s victory was aggressive base running, which included three stolen bases from Kevin Whalen.
“Third base coach Rich Avery did a great job keeping the kids running, it was huge,” Earp said. “We wanted to stay aggressive and make the other team make plays.”
Marblehead was only able to record three hits on the day, one each by Brooks Keefe, Bodie Bartram and Chris Cannuscio. The Marblehead defense also committed seven errors in the field.
“Unfortunately we weren’t a full squad. We had a couple kids on vacation and had to call up some 11-year-olds,” Marblehead manager Brent Tarasuyk said. “Errors killed us, they had seven unearned runs. I think if we field and pitch better we could have a chance but we didn’t do much right tonight.”
Lynn got things started early thanks to a two-run home run that Guzman laced to center. Another run was scored by Gabe Diaz on a passed ball to put Lynn up 3-0.
The Lynners added another run each in the second and third innings, capitalizing on Marblehead errors in both innings and taking a 5-0 lead.
The lead was extended further when Lynn scored four runs in the fourth inning. Castro and Marks both each added a RBI while McMillan highlighted the inning with a solo home run to put Lynn up 9-0.
Marblehead got on the board in their half of the fourth. Andy Palmer, Anthony Michaud and Keefe all scored on errors by Lynn’s infield, to cut the score to 9-3.
In the fifth inning, Lynn extended the lead to 12-3, drawing four walks and capitalizing on two more Marblehead errors.
Guzman added his second home run of the game to leadoff the sixth inning. London, Castro and McMillan each also added a RBI in the inning to extended the lead to 17-3.
That was all Lynn needed, as Whalen came in to close things down on the mound and secure the win.
Lynn now looks to their next game, Saturday at 4 p.m. against Beverly, with plenty of room for improvement on defense Earp said.
“Beverly is the real deal,” Earp said. “Pitching is our strength but our defense is a bit suspect and something we need to work on.
“Everyone chipped in tonight and these kids have worked hard,” Earp added. “We just need to keep it going.”