In a clash of Boston City League rivals, fifth-seeded Boston English used a pair of runs in the first and second innings to prevail against top-seeded New Mission, 4-3, in a Division 4 North semifinal at Trinity Stadium in Haverhill.
“We have been struggling the last few years—we never passed the second round and this is a big improvement,” said Boston English coach Ricardo Figeruoa, in his 15th season with the team.
After struggling initially, sophomore pitcher Wilson Mejia went the distance and recorded five strikeouts for English (16-5).
“Glad I could do the job,” Mejia said through an interpreter. “It’s a pleasure to be in the finals my first year.”
Junior De Los Santos, a junior first baseman, notched a two-run double in the top of the first inning and freshman Joskar De Los Santos hit an RBI double in the top of the second. He later scored in the inning on a fielder’s choice.
The Titans (18-4) also scored twice in the bottom of the first, and didn’t score again until a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, freshman Alex Fernandez came to plate for New Mission and smashed a ball to left field that went foul and missed a home run by a few feet.
Division 1 North
Andover 3, Lawrence 1 — Senior lefthander Arvin Nunez delivered a complete-game gem and sophomore Nolan Schirmer tallied the go-ahead base hit in the top of the eighth inning as the battle-tested Golden Warriors (14-9) edged their Merrimack Valley Conference rival Lancers (14-9) in a D1 North semifinal at Alumni Field in Lowell.
“It was really my teammates who helped us win today,” said Nunez. “We have just stayed resilient and persevered even through the long innings.”
Nunez did not allow a hit until the fifth inning and didn’t allow a run until Christian Varona connected on a sacrifice fly to left field in the sixth, tying the game, 1-1.
Nunez ran into a bit of danger in the bottom of the seventh when Luis Colon led it off with a single up the middle. But a failed sacrifice bunt attempt and a strike-them-out, throw-them-out double play ended the threat.
Andover leadoff batter Matt Potts reached base in the eighth, and after an infield error, and a flyout, came around to score the go-ahead run on Schirmer’s hit to right field.
Lincoln-Sudbury 5, Chelmsford 4 — The top-seeded Warriors (20-2) struck for three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and held on for the D1 North semifinal win over the No. 4 Lions at Alumni Field in Lowell.
L-S will face Andover in the final Saturday at 6 at Alumni.
“[Our approach at the plate] really wasn’t good in the first few innings,” said L-S coach Matt Wentworth. “The second time through the lineup we looked like we were a lot better and finally settled in.”
Chelmsford (15-8) took a 3-2 lead in the second on a base hit to right from senior Michael Connor and senior ace lefty Shea Ryan settled down, keeping the Warrior bats in check until the fifth inning.
Junior Tyler Smith lined a one-out hit and scored the tying run two batters later on a single by Connor Lachman.
Sophomore Jesse McCullough followed with an RBI double into the gap for a 4-3 lead. Senior James Dillon added a base hit for another run. Chelmsford closed within a run when Connor drove a ball to deep center field that tipped off from the center fielder’s glove.
But the Lions stranded the tying run at third, and one at second in the seventh. Sophomore Robbie O’Connor pitched four masterful innings in relief for the win.
Division 1 South
Taunton 2, Xaverian 0 — Senior righthander Jack Moyniyhan tossed a two-hit shutout, striking out five, and batterymate Andrew Gomes knocked in a run to propel the fourth-seeded Tigers (18-7) to the program’s first D1 South final since 2012 with the win over the No. 9 Hawks in Westwood.
Both runs came in the bottom of the fifth inning. Gomes hit a triple into the gap in right center to score Jared Rodrick from first. Then Gomes beat a throw home by first baseman Charles Beans to score on a bunt by Evan Melo.
“We’ve worked all offseason and during the season to get better as a team every game,” said Moynihan. “We’re just happy to keep playing.”
Taunton will take on Hockomock League rival Attleboro in the South final (TBD).
Attleboro 2, Durfee 0 — Senior Eoin Kelleher threw a three-hit shutout for the Bombardiers (14-9) in a D1 South semifinal at Fino Field in Milford.
Division 2 North
Woburn 6, Wakefield 3 — Middlesex League MVP Ryan Qualey came on relief to strike out the final two hitters with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh as the fourth-seeded Tanners (17-6) earned the D2 North semifinal win.
Division 3 North
Lynnfield 6, Gloucester 3 — Pitchers Clay Marengi and Will Garofoli combined to allow just four hits in 7 innings for the Pioneers (18-5). Lynnfield will play Bishop Fenwick in the D3 North Final Saturday at 3 PM at Alumni Field in Lowell.
Division 3 South
Medway 7, Dedham 1 — Senior Eli Joyce-Vorce tossed a three-hitter and senior Justin Pratt went 2 for 3 with three RBIs for the Mustangs (13-6) in the D3 South semifinal.
Division 3 West
Wahconah 9, Frontier 8 — Caden Frazer worked his way out of a full-count jam in the bottom of the seventh, sending the go-ahead run down looking as the Warriors (14-8) advanced to the D3 West final.
Division 4 North
Manchester Essex 3, Snowden 2 — One year removed from arm surgery, Manchester Essex’s Harry Painter did not shy away from the big moment. The senior captain moved down Snowden’s order the entire game, striking out thirteen.
And in the bottom of the seventh with runners on the corners and one out, he struck out consecutive batters to lead the third-seeded Hornets (17-5) to the Division 4 North semifinal victory over the second-seeded Cougars (17-5) at Haverhill Stadium.
“I just wanted to go right at them,” Painter said, acknowleding he did so without his best stuff in the complete-game effort. “I had been struggling with my control all day so I was really just looking to go out there and throw strikes those last couple innings.”
Junior captain Lars Arnsten hit an RBI single in the top of the sixth inning to give Essex a 3-2 lead that they held the rest of the way.
“Great team effort,” said head coach James Weed. “The bottom of our order came through.” Manchester Essex will play Boston English in the sectional final on Saturday at Frasier Field in Lynn.
Alex Bensley reported from Haverhill, Karl Capen from Lowell and Steve Sousa from Westwood.