Haverhill Hillies Baseball '08

Mon, Jun 02, 2008 06:00 PM @ Haverhill
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Final
Playoff Game
Acton-Boxboro 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 3
Haverhill 0 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 5

Haverhill still coming up aces

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Tuesday, June, 03 By Hector Longo
Staff writer

Acton-Boxboro couldn't go to Clemson-bound ace Scott Weismann on three days rest, but Haverhill had Vermont-recruit Leif Sorenson rested and ready.

Sorenson fired 8<1/3> innings of seven-hit ball as Haverhill broke to a 5-0 lead and held off the Colonials, 5-3.

Thursday night (7 p.m.) at Lowell's Alumni Field, junior righty Taylor Robinson will be ready, again on full rest, as the No. 10 Hillies challenge sixth-seeded Malden Catholic in the Division 1 North semis.

"Why change things now?" said an elated Hillie coach Chip Dunn, who held Sorenson until the third postseason game because of the senior's ability to relieve if needed. "We've done it this way all year. There's no reason to make a change now."

Haverhill, as it has in all three tourney wins, got the jump on the opposition.

Robinson and Peter Byron smacked run-scoring doubles to highlight a four-run second. Josh Chasse chipped in with a run-scoring grounder and Steve Lesiczka provided a sacrifice fly in the frame. An inning later, Byron skied a sacrifice of his own for the 5-0 lead.

Sorenson's side-winding missiles proved unhittable most of the early evening for the Colonials. He cruised through six scoreless frames on just three hits before the only hiccough of the night in the seventh.

Three Hillie errors helped A-B creep back to within 5-3 when defense made the difference.

Eric LaForest's single plated the third run of the frame, but a perfect Josh Chasse-to-Robinson-to-Ronny Rosario relay shot down a second run on the play at the plate.

Instead of 5-4 with two outs and a runner at second, it was still 5-3 and the Hillies had escaped.

"I saw the hit and got angry, so I really didn't see (Chasse's scoop and throw), but Taylor made a great throw and Ronny did a super job of blocking the plate," said Sorenson. "They argued, but he really looked out to me. It was huge."

Sorenson dominated a 1-2-3 eighth but gave up a one-out single in the ninth, causing Dunn to summon Robinson, who shut the door with a flyout and an infield grounder.

At 17-6 and staring at 17-5 Malden Catholic, the Hillies are eying their second trip to the sectional semis in four years.

"Not many teams can roll out three guys on the mound like we can," said Sorenson. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing. And it just feels great to keep it going."

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