Middleboro claims Division 2 baseball championship
BROCKTON — Four walkoff wins in four playoff games had taxed Middleboro coach Bill Lawrence. In Thursday’s Division 2 state title game, Lawrence was hoping for a result that lacked theatrics, but sparked a similar celebration.
This time Middleboro had to protect a late lead, but it still ended up being much of the same excitement for the Sachems, who scored a 4-3 victory over Danvers that gave way to a black-and-orange mob at Campanelli Stadium. It was Middleboro’s second state championship in three seasons.
The Sachems (21-4) also took home a state title in 2013, their final season in Division 3.
“We wanted to just come here and hopefully have a normal win, one that lasted seven innings,” Lawrence said. “We fell behind, but one of the coaches said we’re right where we want to be.”
Middleboro reliever Nik Enos entered with a two-run deficit and runners on first and second with no outs in the bottom of the second.
The junior, who had recently returned from injury, carried his team the rest of the way, stranding the runners and allowing one run on four hits while striking out six.
Middleboro registered its first hit of the game with two outs in the third, but it was a big one. With Ed Hart on first after being hit by a pitch, senior Cody Braga (2 for 2, two intentional walks) ripped a two-run home run to left that came just inches from leaving the stadium.
The tie lasted less than a half inning. Matt Andreas singled to lead off the bottom of the third for the Falcons. A sacrifice bunt from sophomore Jordan DeDonato and a wild pitch put the sophomore catcher on third with one down. Shortstop Devonn Allen would drive in Andreas with a single to make it 3-2.
The Sachems mustered their championship-clinching rally as two runs came across in the top of the fifth. Brendan Chipman scored following an errant throw from short to knot the game at 3. Joseph Scalfani followed with a go-ahead sacrifice fly to deep right as Braga trotted home from third.
Enos secured the victory by ringing up five of the final nine batters he faced.
“This team refuses to lose, and we’ve been contributing 1 through 9. That’s what’s nice about it,” Lawrence said. “I don’t have to rely on the middle of the order. We were lucky enough during the playoff to have everyone, 1 through 9 contributing.”
Northeastern Small MVP Andrew Olszak gave the Falcons (21-4) a chance at victory, allowing three earned runs in a complete-game effort while going 2 for 4 with an RBI.
The Falcons put two on the board in the bottom of the first. Leadoff hitter Richie Martino walked and moved to third on a single by Tim Unczur. Olszak followed with a single up the middle, and Unczur came home on a passed ball.