The Lynn Junior Legion Post 291 baseball team’s hopes of bringing home the Northeast Regional crown were dashed Friday morning after a 9-2 eight-inning loss to Maine at Memorial Field in Concord, New Hampshire.
But Lynn, as it has done all summer, didn’t go down without a fight. Maine pushed across a couple runs in the early stages of the game to grab a quick 2-0 lead. For the first five innings, it was a tough-luck effort at the plate for the Lynners. Things started to turn in their favor when Andrew Luciano scored Jared DiFillipo with a RBI single in the bottom of the sixth.
Luke Mannion scored the game-tying run on Kory Ouellette’s clutch RBI single in the bottom of the seventh, knotting the score at 2-2.
“Kory came up big,” Lynn manager Tony Luciano said. “He struggled a little bit earlier in the game but that hit came at the perfect game. That was huge. The bench livened up. It felt like we were going to pull it out but it didn’t happen. Maine’s pitching was good. Our big bats just hit the ball right at people. I think we only got one hit out of our top four batters.”
Lynn threatened for more but Maine limited the damage by escaping a bases-loaded jam to force extras.
Then, “the wheels just kind of fell off for us,” Luciano said.
Maine made the most of a string of uncharacteristic Lynn miscues in the top of the eighth and scored seven runs to put the game out of Lynn’s reach.
“We just couldn’t find the plate,” Luciano said. “We allowed four walks and hit a batter to start the inning. That’s not going to win you many games in extra innings.
“It was a hard-fought game for seven innings,” Luciano said. “We never gave up again. Maine had a bunch of bloop hits that fell in the right spots. They didn’t hit the ball hard. We were down two runs early. We came back in the sixth and seventh. We could’ve won the game in the seventh but that’s baseball.”
Andrew Luciano got the nod and pitched the first three innings for Lynn. Lucas Fritz and Kyle Durant followed with two innings of relief apiece. Aidan Dow and Luke Mannion pitched out of the bullpen in the eighth inning.
The Lynners are out of contention for the Northeast Regional title but they have one game remaining. They’ll play a consolation tilt Saturday morning (10) against the loser of New York/New Hampshire runner-up back at Memorial Field.
“We have one game left,” Luciano said. “Hopefully we can go home with a win to end the season.”