HAVERHILL, Mass. ----- The Massasoit baseball team scored five runs in the top of the first, but Northern Essex used two big early innings to claim a 10-6 victory on Sunday afternoon.
Score: Northern Essex 10, Massasoit 6
Records: #1 Northern Essex 23-14, #2 Massasoit 17-12,
Win: Richard Reidy (5-2)
Loss: Luke Lewando (1-3)
Save: Ryan Sharkey (1)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Massasoit roughed up NECC starter Richard Reidy for five runs in the top of the first, but NECC responded with six runs in the fourth and added on four more in the fourth for the 10-6 victory.
In the first, after Reidy recorded an out to start the game, then the Warriors had seven-straight batters reach, six of which were singles to put up an early 5-spot on the top-seeded Knights. Sophomores Preston Rankin and Ricky Sherlock each roped two-run singles to highlight the early inning success.
The high-powered NECC offense responded in the bottom half of the second, batting around against Warrior starter Luke Lewando, touching home six times to own a 6-5 lead.
In the fourth, Ryan Collins led of the frame with an inside-the-park homer, ending the day for the southpaw Lewando. NECC added three more runs in the frame to go up 10-5.
Lewando knocked in a run in the fifth on a ground out, but that would be the last time either team would score, with NECC holding on for a 10-6 win.
Massasoit received a stellar relief appearance from Tim DeCouto (Whitman) as the righty went the last four innings, allowing only five hits and fanning three, but did not figure in the decision.
After the tough first inning, Reidy settled down for the Knights, earning the victory to improve to 5-2 on the year. The lefty went the first six innings, striking out six and allowing just one run after his first inning of work. Ryan Sharkey worked the final three innings allowing only one hit to earn the save.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Massasoit is 2-8 in the last 10 meetings vs NECC
- Luke DiTondo is 6-for-11 (.545) vs NECC this season
- Massasoit stranded 12 base runners. NECC left 8 men on base
- Tim DeCouto lowered his team-best ERA to 1.77 on the season
- For the second straight season, NECC defeated Massasoit in the winner's bracket