Haverhill Hillies Baseball '11

Sat, May 14, 2011 01:00 PM @ Haverhill
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Final
Methuen 1 1 5 4 0 3 0 14
Haverhill 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 4

Methuen snaps losing streak

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Saturday, May, 14 By Jeff Hamrick

METHUEN — Just when it began to appear as if Methuen was playing its way out of any chance of a postseason trip, the Rangers proved they're capable of making a late push into the playoffs.

The Rangers snapped a three-game losing streak with a convincingly well-played affair yesterday afternoon in a 14-4 victory over Haverhill in an MVC encounter.

"Today we played well from beginning to the end," Methuen coach Dave Fabrizio said. "We've played some very good games and beaten some very good teams. Our pitchers have to throw strikes and we have to get timely hitting. When we do that, we win. It's a simple formula."

Methuen (6-8 overall, 6-6 MVC) got a strong performance out of starter Bobby Cole, who threw five shutout innings while letting his defense do its work. The Ranger infield played error fee while contributing 14 putouts, nine of them on ground balls.

The senior right-hander needed only 11 pitches while recording six consecutive outs in the fourth and fifth innings. Cole faced the minimum in four of the five innings he worked before giving way to Cam Conway in the sixth.

"I was throwing OK and throwing strikes," said Cole, who allowed two hits and one walk. "They weren't all strikes, but I didn't have a strikeout so the defense played great behind me. They were swinging at my offspeed and my fastball, and they just hit them where the defense was."

Not only was the defense doing its job, the Rangers also racked up 14 hits, including doubles by Eric Lacroix, Cole and Conway, who drove in Methuen's final three in the sixth. Methuen scored single runs in the first and second before erupting for five in the third and four in the fifth. The Rangers had two sacrifice flies and four stolen bases.

The most interesting line belonged to Methuen third baseman Evan Cyr who drove in three without benefit of a hit, knocking in one with a sacrifice fly, another with a bases-loaded walk and another on a groundout.

"You're supposed to get better as you go along," Fabrizio said. "Today we kind of put it all together, and hopefully the next two weeks we can continue to play this way and see what happens.

Methuen had been outscored 23-4 in its previous three games, but yesterday's showing should help the Rangers, who play of their final four games at home against Andover, Everett and Lawrence. The lone road games is at Whittier.

"I think this can boost our confidence," Cole said. "We hit the ball really well today. We were fielding really well, so it should give us confidence going into the last few weeks."

The Hillies (2-12, 1-10) averted the shutout on an RBI single by Stas Firek in the sixth before Dan Burrows led off the seventh with a mammoth homer to left followed by a run-scoring single by Riley Ruth. David Herook capped the scoring on a delayed steal of home.

"I think we felt the after effects of the Junior Social last night," Haverhill coach Chip Dunn said. "It seemed like right from the get go we felt the effects of a long night of dancing and having fun. And they should go to that. When you're a team makes a lot of mistakes and you can't, it's going to hurt, and that goes right down the line ... We can play the game. It's just a matter of mentally playing the game."

Game Statistics:

Haverhill (4):  Riley Ruth 2b 3-1-1, Manny Vargas ss 4-0-0, Stas Firek dh 4-0-1, Dan Dubois c 3-0-2, Jon Delacruz cf 3-0-0, Nick Comei p/rf 3-0-0, Jon Ruith lf 2-0-0, Dan Burrows 1b 1-1-1, Nate Bresnahan 3b 1-1-0, David Herook rf/p 2-1-1. Totals 26-4-6

Methuen (14):  Cody Cry cf 2-1-0, Cam Conway p/1b 1-0-1, Corey Shepherd 2b 3-0-0, Steve Arsenault 2b  2-0-0, Eric Lacroix lf 2-2-1, Cal Carroll ss 4-2-2, Paul Tomacchio dh 3-2-1, Nick Buote c 0-0-0, Jared McAdam ph 0-1-0, Bobby Cole p/cf 4-3-3, Cam Cyr 1b 2-1-1, Mac Lannon ph 1-1-1, Evan Cyr 3b 1-0-0, Chintan Patel ph 1-0-0, Kevin Higgins rf 3-0-2, Kyle Charette rf 0-1-0. Totals 29-14-12

HR — H, Burrows (none on in seventh)

RBI:  H — R.Ruth, Firek, Burrows; M — Evan Cyr 3, Conway 3, Higgins 2, Cody Cyr, Lacroix, Tomacchio, Cole

WP: Cole 2-1 (5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K), Cam Conway (1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1), Cam Cyr 1, 2, 3, 3, 2, 2); LP:  N. Comei (3, 9, 11, 7, 2, 0), David Herook 3, 3, 3, 3, 1, 1)

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