SALEM — The Swampscott Little League All-Stars may not have played a game together since districts a few weeks ago, but that didn’t seem to matter much Friday evening as they took down Beverly, 6-2, in their opening game of the Ray Gallant Tournament at O’Grady Field. Swampscott was able to knock the rust off early and never trailed en route to the victory.
“It was nice to get back out on the field after all this time, but we were definitely rusty in the early going,” said Swampscott manager Steven Correnti. “Once we were able to knock that off, things started to come together. We stranded some guys on base early, but later in the game we were able to knock guys in. It was just a matter of time before we loosened up.”
Offensively, Jamison Ford (2-for-3) and Jack Spear (1-for-3) led the way with two RBI each. Tyler Spear went 2-for-4 with one RBI, while Nick Berube went 3-for-3 with a run scored. Aidan Brown (1-for-3) and Caden Ross (1-for-3) also had hits in the win.
“Getting contributions from up and down the lineup is huge for us,” Correnti said. “Guys are just going up there and swinging free, and it’s working out well for us.”
The Spear brothers also handled the load on the mound for Swampscott. Tyler Spear got the start and earned the victory, tossing four innings and allowing two runs on three hits with five strikeouts. Jack Spear pitched three hitless, scoreless innings with two strikeouts to close things out.
“It was nice to see those two work so well out there on the mound,” said Correnti. “Both of them have great command and throw a lot of strikes, so when it’s clicking for them it’s really fun to watch.”
Beverly only mustered three hits in the game, one of which was a RBI single from Cal McCay. Nick Beurekjian went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
Swampscott struck first in the bottom of the first inning. After two walks and a fielder’s choice put runners on first and second with one out, C.J. Hyer hit a hard grounder to shortstop that turned into an error and allowed a run to come home, making it 1-0 Swampscott.
The score didn’t change until the bottom of the third, when Swampscott stretched things out thanks to a 2-RBI single from Ford with two outs, making it 3-0.
But Beverly wasn’t done, and it made its move to get back into the game in the top of the fourth. With runners on second and third with two outs, McCay stepped into the box and laced a 2-RBI single that got Beverly right back in it at 3-2.
But that momentum was short-lived, as Swampscott answered right back in the bottom of the fourth. After back-to-back RBI hits from the Spear brothers — a 2-RBI single from Jack and a RBI single from Tyler — Swampscott took a 6-2 lead and held it for the rest of the game.
It’s a quick turnaround for both teams, with the next game on the docket scheduled for Saturday. Beverly plays Salem for a chance to remain in the tournament at 1:30, while Swampscott will take on Peabody in a winner’s bracket game (7). All games will be played at O’Grady Field.
“Now that we’ve gotten the rust knocked off, I think it’s only going to get better from here,” said Correnti. “The guys have gotten back out and played a game now, so they’ll be more comfortable this time around.”