Andover’s Gabriel Hernandez struggled to find words as he stood near the dugout. But the shaving cream pie on his face said it all. The junior shortstop’s triple in the bottom of the sixth inning brought home the eventual winning run for the Golden Warriors, who captured the sectional title at Fraser Field in Lynn with a 6-3 win over Chelmsford. Andover will play Norwood in the state semifinals on Tuesday in Lowell’s LeLacheur Park.
E.J. Perry was hit by a pitch to lead off the sixth and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from John Cox. Perry then took third on a wild pitch, before Hernandez (1 for 3) lined a triple into the gap in right-center to make it 4-3.
Senior Patrick Pengeroth followed with another triple to right-center to score Hernandez. Timothy Awiszus extended the lead to 6-3 with a sacrifice fly to right.
Sam Bennett pitched the final 1⅔ innings in relief of starter Colin Flynn (five strikeouts, no earned runs) and got the win. Chelmsford took a 3-2 lead in the third when Derek Adamson knocked in two with a single. Alexander Brickman tied it for Andover in the fifth with a sacrifice fly.
Division 3 South
Bellingham 5, East Bridgewater 0 — The second-seeded Blackhawks used a balanced offense and solid pitching to beat the top-seeded Vikings and claim the sectional title at Brockton Rox Stadium.
The Blackhawks advance to the state semifinals Tuesday in Lowell against North winner North Reading. It is only Bellingham’s second sectional title, the other coming in 2003.
Bellingham (21-3) had to go against East Bridgewater’s Mike Kelly, who entered with a 9-0 record and 1.13 earned run average. Bellingham had long at-bats, pushing Kelly’s pitch count into the 70s entering the fourth inning.
The Blackhawks got to Kelly with four runs in the fourth. An infield error and a fly ball that found its way between the center and right fielders gave the Blackhawks runners at the corners with no outs, and the bottom of the lineup produced. Anthony Crowley drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly. A double by Reed Pike and a single by Mike Ryan each scored a run. Kyle Goulet added an RBI single to give Bellingham a 4-0 lead.
Division 4 South
Pope John Paul II 3, Abington 0 — Senior Austin Houlihan went the distance, logging seven innings of two-hit ball, and the Lions clinched a second straight sectional crown with a win over the Green Wave in Brockton.
The win sets up a rematch between Pope John Paul (24-0) and Lowell Catholic for the EMass crown on Tuesday at Wheaton College. Houlihan was on the mound in last year’s EMass final when Lowell Catholic won in walkoff fashion.