Pentucket Sachems Baseball '17

Mon, May 29, 2017 03:45 PM @ Pentucket
Team Final
Masconomet 2
Pentucket 0

Lose in finale costs Sachems tourney berth

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GROVELAND — If Pentucket baseball can take away one thing from Monday’s loss to end the season, it’s that the team was there in the first place.

Though the Sachems lost 2-0 to Masconomet at home on senior day, eliminating them from postseason contention, the chance to even play a game of that nature was something that wasn’t so certain just a short time ago.

“Obviously, it’s the totality of the moment. Not making the tournament is heartbreaking for these kids,” said Sachems (9-11) coach Tom L’Italien. “But when you start 1-7, you have to play pretty much perfect and we came up just short... If you asked me four weeks ago if we had the last weekend to make the tournament, I would’ve said sign me up.”

And in the loss, the green-and-white can hang their hats on a fantastic day on the mound from three different arms who kept their team in the game.

The first was freshman Peter Cleary, who got the ball and worked the first three innings. The youngster was solid on the mound, throwing strikes and pitching to contact, allowing just one walk and one hit.

But unfortunately for the Sachems, the one hit allowed was a towering pop-up from Will Hanson that carried out to left and over the short fence for a two-run homer in the second inning.

Senior Jimmy Cleary, Peter’s older brother, then came in and provided two innings of scoreless relief allowing just one hit before senior captain Stevie Noyes handled the last two innings and kept the home team in striking range.

“We started a freshman on the mound, we needed a good two-three innings out of Peter and he did a good job through three,” said L’Italien. “Jimmy threw 50 pitches the other day. He came in for two innings. Stevie Noyes hasn’t pitched in a while. He gave us two good innings.”

But the Sachems never got a chance to strike, as the Chieftain (12-8) pitching staff combined to hold their opponents to just three hits on the day.

David Hunter got the start and went two innings with one hit allowed and one strikeout and yielded to Jack Hurton, who came in and provided four and 2/3 innings of relief allowing just two hits with two walks. Hanson then recorded the last out as the Sachems put men on base in the sixth but failed to score.

“Hurton was outstanding,” said Cheiftains coach T.J. Baril. “The plan was David was going to throw his two innings and Jack was going to go as long as he could and he did an outstanding job. He pitched out of Jams a couple of times, then Will coming in and shutting the door right there.”

Hanson reached three times in the game with the homer, a walk and a single, while Hunter reached twice with a walk and a single and Dylan Duval also had a hit.

“Will (Hanson) put a good swing on the ball and it just carried over the fence,” said Baril about the homer. “He swung the bat well, made a nice play in left field and comes in and closes, so good day for him.”

Duval also had a great play at catcher to pick off a runner at third with nobody out to erase a Sachem scoring threat.

Though this brings the season to an end for the Sachems, they can hang their hats on their strong finish to the year. At the beginning of May, the Sachems were 1-7 with little shot of making the playoffs, but since then, the team won eight of its last nine heading into last weekend.

L’Italien credited his captains for the turnaround.

“As I told (the team) throughout our nice run to get back into the season, I haven’t changed, they made the change,” said L’Italien. “I wasn’t changing who I was, I wasn’t changing my expectations. They made the changes, they bought in, all the credit goes to those guys.”

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