LYNN — The Lynn 14-year-old Babe Ruth All-Stars stayed hot Thursday night with another mercy-rule win, this time cruising to a 15-0 victory over Saugus at Fraser Field.
John Diaz got the nod on the mound and dominated through five innings, allowing just three hits with two walks and eight strikeouts.
“John looked good,” Lynn manager Paul Hartford said. “He got better as the game went on. He was worried about his speed and his control so he didn’t throw as hard in the first inning. The first couple of batters hit him but I think once he got comfortable on the mound and found his rhythm he pitched really well. He hasn’t pitched in a couple weeks so it was good to see.”
Just about everyone contributed at the plate. Shea Palmer (2-for-3, run) and Nico Ramirez (1-for-1, walk, two runs) each had three RBI while Jack Anderson (1-for-1) drove in a pair of runs. Eldrian Bonilla (0-for-1, two walks, RBI) scored three runs while Brendan Falasca (0-for-1, two walks) and Brady Bullock (1-for-1, two walks, RBI) each scored two. Diaz, Deniel Ortiz, and T.J. Walsh each had one RBI and scored one run.
With the runs coming in by the dozens each game, the offense makes it easier for Hartford to manage pitch counts in shortened tilts.
“John threw 70 pitches (Thursday),” Hartford said. “Five innings, around 14 an inning and he struck out eight guys. It makes it a lot easier getting the runs. The way it’s set up, one of the tiebreakers is run differential. You hate to do it to a team but you don’t want to lose a tie breaker because you didn’t score runs.”
Saugus managed some solid contact in the first, including a base hit from Chris Giordano, but once Diaz settled down he cruised through the lineup for three innings.
Bullock started the first inning with a walk and a pair of steals put himself in scoring position. After two quick outs, five straight batters reached base to give Lynn an early lead. Ortiz beat out a ground ball to second to plate Bullock and give Lynn a 1-0 lead. Falasca and Bonilla drew a pair of walks to load the bases. Ramirez came up next and laced a line drive into center field that cleared the bases and stretched the lead to 4-0. Palmer added another RBI single to cap the five-run first.
Bullock walked again in the second and took advantage of an errant throw on a pickoff to get to third base before scoring on a passed ball to give Lynn a 6-0 lead.
Bonilla reached on an error and Ramirez walked with one out in the third. Diaz laced a single next to plate Bonilla and Ramirez scored on the same play after an errant throw to stretch the lead to 8-0. Consecutive singles from Brady Warren and Bullock tacked on another run.
Mike Capone and Nick Sacco strung together a pair of hits to put runners in scoring position for Saugus in the fourth but Diaz got out of the jam.
Yoniel Cabral singled to start the fourth and scored after an error and a pair of walks to give Lynn a 10-0 lead.
Walsh drove in a run on an infield single and Palmer and Anderson each added a two-run single to cap the scoring for Lynn. Diaz struck out three in the fifth to seal the 15-0 win.
Finishing the first round with a 4-0 record, Lynn will have around a week off before seeding is determined for the round of eight, which will be played at Bowzer Complex.
“We didn’t hit the ball as well as I wanted to hit the ball (Thursday),” Hartford said. “Defensively we didn’t really have a lot of plays to make with 15 outs and eight are strikeouts. The infield didn’t really get a lot of work. We’re there but we still have room for improvement.”
Babe Ruth 13-year-old All-Stars
Lynn 11, Peabody 4
Pitcher Juniel Guzman struck out nine over 5 2/3 innings. Luis Dasilva followed in relief and struck out four over 1 2/3 innings.
Leadoff batter Darnell Leon went 3-for-4 and scored three runs. Armani Gerado drove in three RBI.
Lynn (3-0) travels to Winchester Saturday (5:30).
Babe Ruth 15-year-old All-Stars
Lynn 20, Peabody 5
Lynn swept the district round with four consecutive wins. Aaron O’Connor (three hits, four RBI), Nolan Mulcahy (two hits, three RBI) and Ethaniel Almendarez (two hits, two RBI) powered a Lynn offense that tallied 19 hits.
Ryan Fraher gave the Lynners another solid outing on the mound. In two district starts, Fraher allowed just four hits over 10 innings.
“I’m very proud of the guys,” Lynn manager Brian O’Connor said. “We came in with a plan and executed. Now we need to do the same thing in the state tournament.”