LOWELL — It was a cool and calm night at LeLacheur Park, where a similarly cool and calm Billerica team defeated Westford Academy, 7-1, in a Division 1 North semifinal Saturday.
The No. 7-seeded Indians jumped on the No. 11-seeded Grey Ghosts early and never looked back on their way to a sectional final showdown against St. John’s Prep Sunday at 4 p.m. at LeLacheur.
After a quiet first inning by both teams, Billerica scored five runs in the second and third innings. Indians cleanup hitter Eric Eknaian highlighted the big offensive effort, sending a two-run home run sailing out of the ballpark off Westford starter Jake Robbins.
“Eric has been hitting the ball for us all year. He started out in the six-hole but we moved him to the four-hole because he was smashing everything . . . tonight he just kept staying hot and everything he hits is a bomb,” said Indians coach Jon Sidorovich .
Billerica led 5-0 until the fifth, when Eknaian came back up and sent a solo shot over the right-field fence.
Indians starter Dylan Lavery pitched a complete game, allowing Westford’s lone run in the sixth inning.
“Earlier in the year, he was struggling with his control. He was walking a lot of guys but in the last two games, [he had] no walks and today I think he might’ve had one or two. He did a great job pounding the strike zone and mixing his pitches,” said Sidorovich.
Billerica scored on an error in the seventh inning for its seventh and final run.
“I want this championship, everyone does. It’s going to be a great game but the best team is going to win and I think that’s us,” said Eknaian.
The slugger’s coach had a similar mind-set.
“Well, St. John’s University,” Sidorovich joked. “We’ve got to play a top-notch game all the way around to be able to beat them. They’ve been No. 1 in the state for a reason, but we’re going to come out and give it everything we’ve got.”