Haverhill Hillies Baseball '08

Thu, May 29, 2008 04:00 PM @ Haverhill
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Final
Playoff Game North Division 1 - Preliminary Round
Lynn English 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Haverhill 0 1 3 1 1 0 2 0 0 8

Robinson paves way for Haverhill victory

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Roger Darrigrand, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Friday, May, 30 By Eric Peterson
Staff writer

Sometimes, all that is needed for a team to generate a win is a standout performance by one key player. Taylor Robinson was that key player for Haverhill.

Despite playing some shaky defense, the Hillies topped Lynn English, 8-1, in the preliminary round of the Division 1 North Sectional.  Robinson led the way on the mound by tossing an 8-inning win on eight hits and five strikeouts. He also provided the bulk of the offense with a 3-run homer in the bottom of the third inning.

"Robinson was good today but he got in a pitch-count situation because of the defense," said coach Chip Dunn. "He pitched well when he got into situations and his homer got us off the schneid."

The first few innings showed early signs of a possible long afternoon as the Hillies booted a pair of infield grounders. But a Robinson punchout erased any hope of an English rally. In the next inning, Robinson struck out Estaban Paula with the bases loaded to get out of the jam.

In the bottom half of the second, Haverhill took a 1-0 lead on a single by Ronny Rosario and walks by Robinson, Brendan Bretton and Josh Chasse (RBI).  

The early lead stayed true into the third inning when Robinson knocked in both Bobby Shirling and Rosario with the bases-clearing shot over the left field wall.

"That was big to know that I had run support. After that, I could just lay back and do my own thing," said Robinson.   

Following a walk and a stolen base by Steve Lesiczka in the fourth, Shirling laced an RBI single to right field to make it 5-0.  

The Bulldogs broke up the shutout in the fifth inning on Paula's RBI triple.  

Haverhill added insurance runs on a pair of Chasse RBI singles to score Peter Byron and Robinson scored on a mental error by the visitors.

Regardless of the lopsided score, Dunn was less than pleased.

"We didn't do a lot of things exceptionally well today. We played a team that was always around, " said Dunn. "Our pitching was solid and that is why we've won most of our games this year."

The pitching will have to come through again when the 15-6 Hillies travel to 16-5 Malden for a first-round matchup Saturday at 2 p.m.

These are the good old days

For a program that didn't make the tourney for 39 straight years (1956-94), Haverhill is making up for lost time. Complete Eagle-Tribune record go through the 1988 season, and in this 21-year span, this year's Hillie team has the most wins with 15 and counting. Last year's club went 14-7. The only 13-win seasons in that span were 2006, 2005 and 1995.

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