MILFORD — In a scoreless game between Tri-Valley League rivals, Medway capitalized on one pivotal play and stellar pitching from Eli Joyce-Vorce to earn a 1-0 victory over Ashland for the Division 3 South baseball championship Saturday at Fino Field.
The Mustangs (16-6) had outscored foes, 29-1, in its three previous games, but coach Mike Coppinger expected a challenge against Ashland ace Alex Amalfi.
“We had been swinging the bats all year, but facing a guy like Amalfi— he’s great,” said Coppinger. “He kept us off balance all day, but there was little fortunate inning for us.”
The lone run came in the fourth. With Matt Peterson on second, Trent Flood hit a fly ball, but left fielder Shea Donovan lost his footing, the ball dropped, and Peterson came around to score.
That was all the run support Joyce-Vorce would need. The senior righthander kept Ashland hitters off balance, causing 19 combined popups and groundouts.
“I mostly stuck with changeups and sliders to keep them off balance,” said Joyce-Vorse. “It’s what I had been doing all year. I’m not going to blow anyone away [with fastballs].”
Joyce-Vorce ran into trouble in the fifth inning, when Ashland rapped two consecutive singles.
“I was freaking out, not going to lie,” noted Joyce-Vorce. “Coach [Coppinger] came out and talked to me, he said ‘I know you can do this, you had been here all year’ and I settled down.”
After settling the nerves, Joyce-Vorce forced two groundouts, thus ending the threat of a comeback for Ashland.
Medway will play the Bishop Fenwick, an 8-2 winner over Lynnfield, in the state semifinals. Ashland finished 16-8.