The Lynn Junior Legion Post 291 team started its state tournament quest on a high note with a pair of wins over the weekend.
Lynn defeated tournament host Wilbraham 6-4 Saturday and stunned North Attleborough with a come-from-behind 5-4 victory Sunday night. Both games were played at Farrell Field.
Lynn built an early lead Saturday and benefited from clutch hitting in the closing stages.
Starting pitcher Lucas Fritz tossed three shutout innings to get Lynn going on the right foot. Fritz left the mound with a 4-0 lead. Brendan McManus (two innings) and Terrence Moynihan (one inning) followed in relief. Aidan Dow picked up the save with a scoreless inning of relief.
“I felt great for Lucas,” Lynn manager Tony Luciano said. “We only pulled him out because of the pitch count rule. We might need him later on (in the tournament). Same with the other kids who pitched. We saved some pitching. It’s tough to take your pitcher out with a 4-0 lead but I had confidence in the other guys we put in the game. That’s why we made the moves.”
At the plate, Kory Ouellette reached base in all four plate appearances and scored three runs. Colby Magliozzi went 2-for-3 with three RBI and three runs scored. Magliozzi delivered a crucial go-ahead RBI single in the bottom of the sixth, breaking a 4-4 tie, and plated an insurance run on Nico Galeazzi’s RBI single. Galeazzi’s clutch RBI single gave Lynn a 6-4 advantage.
“Kory and Colby have been doing it for the last eight to 10 games,” Luciano said. “They’ve been finding ways, whether it’s by getting base hits or walks. They find ways to get on base and put pressure on other teams. They’re getting the job done at the top of the order and that’s why they’re there.”
Lynn’s defense was sharp in Saturday’s win. The Lynners escaped an early jam with a 6-4-3 double play in the top of the first inning and turned another double play in the top of the second.
“In the end, we made the plays when they counted,” Luciano said. “We made some uncharacteristic errors. We rebounded in the end. It was a total team win. We picked each other up. Wilbraham hit the ball hard. They were never out of it. Our guys dug deep and they got the job done.”
Lynn dug itself out of a 4-0 hole Sunday. Moynihan started and battled his way through four innings. Dow followed in relief and kept Lynn in the game with six scoreless innings.
Ouellette delivered a game-tying two-run single in the top of the sixth, knotting the score at 4-4. Magliozzi gave Lynn its first lead of the game with a two-out RBI double in the top of the 10th. Shawn Anderson scored the eventual game-winning on Magliozzi’s double.
“It was a great game to be a part of,” Luciano said. “North Attleborough deserves a lot of credit. They have some incredible athletes. Their leadoff hitter is the fastest kid I’ve seen in this tournament. He stole four bases on us. I’m just glad we got the win.
“To battle back after being down 4-0 says a lot about these kids,” Luciano said. “They just kept battling. I’m just glad to be a part of it.”
Lynn plays a winner’s bracket tilt Monday night (8) against Franklin.
“We’re guaranteed at least another game Tuesday,” Luciano said. “Hopefully we can keep it rolling and make the championship game Wednesday.”
The state tournament follows a double-elimination format.