By Jennifer Mageary
Special to the Journal
For two years running, the District 1 finals have been a showdown between the Lynn and Saugus all-star teams. This year, the Lynn Babe Ruth 15-year-old All-Stars, under Manager Mike Mageary and coaches Brian O’Blenes and John Kasian, prevailed against the Saugus team in a 6 – 4 battle.
Saugus jumped out early to a 1 – 0 lead and carried it into the fourth inning, but Lynn responded with patience at the plate, timely hitting and aggressive play.
The next three runs came in when Kyle Devin, Ben Bowden and Matt Merritt drew walks from Saugus’ starter Kory Dominick with no outs. A pitching change ensued that brought Nick Antenucci to the mound and Chris Narducci to the plate. Narducci, who had a key hit in the Peabody game, came through again with a clutch double that scored two and brought Merritt to third.
Lynn decided to get aggressive on the bases and attempted two suicide squeeze plays on two consecutive pitches with Chris Coito at the plate. On the first attempt, Merritt scored on a dropped ball by the Saugus catcher, but on the very next pitch, Narducci came barreling down the third base line only to return to third as a result of Coito’s ability to foul off a high and outside pitch to prevent an out.
“Chris [Coito] did a great job there. We knew with a strong team like Saugus we had to be aggressive, and had to push runs across any way possible,” said Mageary.
Lynn scored twice more as P.J. Dorsey reached on a walk and a sacrifice by Brendan Mageary resulted in both reaching. Another walk loaded the bases that allowed Ben Bowden to unload a shot to center field.
In the top of the seventh, Brian Tatis led off with a towering double to left field, and Jeff Calder came in to pinch run. PJ Dorsey sacrificed Calder to third base, and Mageary hit a deep sacrifice fly to center to bring in a significant sixth run.
Saugus refused to go down without a fight as their bats came alive in the seventh, but Lynn’s pitcher Merritt proved once more his capabilities on the mound and struck out Saugus’ final batter for the win.
“Saugus has represented its district with talent and class and we knew they would be the team we had to go through to accomplish our goal,” said Mageary.
Lynn will be playing in the state tournament in Plymouth, Massachusetts.