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Massachusetts American Legion Senior Baseball Tournament

Jacob Jette takes charge in Franklin’s American Legion championship victory over Leominster

The Franklin American Legion team celebrates its banner achievement after defeating Leominster, 6-2, to win the Massachusetts American Legion Senior Baseball Tournament in Milford on Thursday night.A.J. Traub

MILFORD — The four games leading to the final of the Massachusetts American Legion Senior Baseball Tournament all saw sixth or seventh-inning comebacks. In the championship game, Jacob Jette wouldn’t have it.

The eventual tournament MVP fired 71 of his 107 pitches for strikes, racking up eight strikeouts in 6 ⅓ innings (he was pulled due to tournament pitch count rules) to earn the 6-2 victory over Leominster for Franklin (20-4) at Milford’s Fino Field.

“My changeup was working really well,” Jette said. “It’s on and off, but today it was good. I was getting ahead on batters a lot with my curveball, which really helps.”

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Jette (1 for 4) pitched in the high school state championship for Franklin, where he pitched well but Taunton got the win. Coach Tyler Pasquarosa said this game felt like his second chance.

Franklin's winning pitcher Jacob Jette receives the game's MVP trophy.A.J.. Traub

“He was unbelievable for us,” Pasquarosa said. “Gave us a spark right away. Would not go down without a fight. He’s the best, that’s why he got the MVP. He’s an extremely valuable player but he’s an unbelievable person as well and deserves all the accolades.”

Leominster (26-11) won the earlier game, 6-4, to force an elimination final, since Franklin had no losses entering the day. In the bottom of the seventh, they scored two runs and had the bases loaded with Franklin struggling to make plays in the rain, but couldn’t finish the comeback.

“It’s what we are,” Leominster coach Jeffrey Dedeian said of his team’s prior comebacks. “We’ve done it mostly all year. Kids deserve credit. A couple errors, a really crappy strike three call [to end the game], but that is what it is. From where we started and how average we were and how these kids improved every day and got better, you can’t ask for more as a coach.”

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Jack Marino (1 RBI) and Tyler Bellan (3 RBIs) each went 1 for 3 with a walk and a sacrifice fly, accounting for all of Franklin’s RBIs.

“I had to make adjustments throughout the tournament,” Bellan said. “I was struggling at the beginning, but was finding the adjustments I needed to hit hard line drives.”

Jase Lyons (1 for 3, walk) recorded the last two outs, getting the called strike to end the game after two inherited runners scored on the rain-soaked errors.

“I saw the tough grounders, tough plays, I don’t blame them at all,” he said. “I knew I had their back so I was going to keep throwing.”

Added Lyons: “It was fun to [end] it with a strikeout.

Franklin will face the Vermont state champion at 4 p.m. on Wednesday in the New England Regional American Legion Tournament, hosted by Shrewsbury at Holy Cross’s Fitton Field. It is an eight-team double-elimination tournament as well, with hosting Shrewsbury and champions from New Hampshire, New York, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

Players from the losing teams in the Massachusetts American Legion Tournament will play in the all-star games on Saturday at 12 and 6 p.m. at Fino Field.



AJ Traub can be reached at aj.traub@globe.com.