BROCKTON — It was Friday, May 23. Even though Memorial Day weekend and summer were right around the corner, a winter wind whistled across Braintree’s home baseball field.
The Wamps were hosting Walpole in their season finale, and right behind home plate was Newton North coach Joe Siciliano, observing his team’s biggest conference rival through the rusted backstop, his hands shivering inside thick, black gloves.
That night, Siciliano told the Globe he knew his Tigers would come across the Wamps before they could capture a state title. A few weeks earlier, Braintree had been the only team to defeat Newton North this season, the road team winning, 2-1 — a mirror of the teams’ first meeting in April.
On Monday, Newton North (23-1) exacted revenge for the earlier loss, roaring past Braintree, 6-2, to capture the inaugural Super 8 crown, thanks to a five-run seventh inning at Brockton Rox Stadium.
“They deserve everything they’ve got because they work their tails off,” Siciliano said of his club. “They really like each other and they just get the job done.”
While the Tigers are far from a Cinderella story, their come-from-behind win followed a familiar script.
In the Super 8 opener, Newton North trailed Catholic Memorial, 4-1, in the bottom of the seventh before ultimately emerging victorious in 14 innings. In the second round, the Tigers overcame a 3-1 deficit in the bottom of the fifth inning to knock off Silver Lake.
To get to the championship, Newton North needed a two-run seventh to answer Bridgewater-Raynham tying the semifinal game at 4-4 an inning earlier.
So in the title match, the Tigers felt at ease when trailing the Wamps, 2-1, heading into the bottom of the seventh.
“We go down, things aren’t going our way, but they make adjustments and pick each other up,” Siciliano said. “Then bingo! They get some key hits. These kids just get timely hits.”
Newton North’s entire lineup batted in the frame. With the bases loaded, senior Alex Joyce slapped a two-run single into center to score Christian Cox and Eric Mah.
Newton North tacked on three runs in the inning for good measure.
“You live for those moments, bases loaded with a chance to break it open,” Joyce said. “We felt like if there was one team to beat, it might as well have been Braintree. To beat them for the championship, there’s nothing better than that.”
After Newton North’s bats provided the comeback, Dylan Sbordone emerged from the bullpen to close out the contest. Sbordone recorded the final six outs, highlighted by an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play in the eighth.
Sbordone pitched in all four games of the Tigers’ Super 8 run, collecting two wins and two saves while fooling batters with a mixture of cutters and fastballs.
“The adrenaline gets you through it all,” the righthander said. “It was just ‘protect and preserve’ out there.”