Haverhill Hillies Baseball '19

Sat, May 25, 2019 10:00 AM @ Haverhill
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Final
Lowell Catholic 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Haverhill 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2

Casto walk off sends Hillies into title game

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Saturday, May, 25 By Jeff Hamrick

HAVERHILL – Three years into its own Hillie Classic, Haverhill finally found what it had been looking for – a classic tournament win. And true to season form, that victory wouldn’t come easily.

After watching Lowell Catholic tie the game in the top of the seventh, Mark Casto sent the Hillies into today’s Pena Division title game with a 12th-inning, one-out single that plated Bryan Carter for a 2-1 victory Saturday morning at Trinity Stadium.

“I was just thinking about getting a hit,” Casto said. “I was preparing for a fastball down the middle and drive it and put it somewhere in play. There were two runners in position for me.”

 Haverhill, which had lost all four previous tournament games, squares off against Methuen at 11 a.m. for the championship. The last time the two teams played earlier this month, the Rangers walked off with the game’s only run on a bases-loaded walk. Haverhill claimed a 4-0 victory in late April.

Against Lowell Catholic (9-5), the Hillies scored in the second when a Patrick Kelleher single drove in Connor Thornell, who began the two-out rally with a single of his own before advancing on a Ryan Brown walk.

But Haverhill (5-12) left runners on third in the fourth when they had the bases loaded with one out, in the sixth and in the eighth when the runner became the final out at the plate trying to score on a Cole Farmer fly ball.

“I always had faith,” Casto said. “The record may not show it, but we put everything we have into every play.”

In the 12th, Carter and Jordy Oriach both drew one-out walks setting up Casto’s single to left.

“Anytime you have a game go into extra innings, everyone feels a little more pressure, maybe,” Sartori said. “But we tried to keep it light, and the kids responded. Give (the Crusaders) a lot of credit. They hit the ball several times right on the nose, but fortunately it was right at our guys.”

The only senior in the Hillie lineup, Tyler McDonald was Haverhill’s tough-luck starter, allowing five hits with five strike outs and three walks over seven innings. He got out of a second-and-third jam with no outs in the third with back-to-back strikeouts followed by one of his nine ground-ball outs.

 “I was just thinking about getting the next batter,” McDonald said. “I wasn’t trying to throw anything special and just try to find the zone because I had good defense behind me.”

But a lead-off walk in the seventh would haunt McDonald, who then surrendered two singles sandwiched around a sacrifice. The RBI came on a two-out bouncer up the middle by Alex Graves.

“He was pitching ahead in the count,” Sartori said of McDonald. “He was pitching with a tremendous amount of confidence. It looked like no matter what the situation was, he was in charge. He did a great job for us. He didn’t pitch in a lot of difficult situations so he didn’t put a lot of stress on his arm.”

Zach D’Urso threw the final five innings, allowing three hits with five strikeouts and one walk. He escaped a jam in the ninth when right fielder Kelleher, first baseman Elijah Moses and catcher Casto hooked up to catch an errant runner between home and third after a one-out single to right by Graves. That would be Lowell Catholic’s final threat until Graves was stranded at second in the top of the 12th.

“This is incredible because obviously being the last three games as a senior you want to close it out with a bang,” McDonald said. “And there is no better way to do that than winning on a walk-off.”







Game Statistics:

Lowell Catholic (1): Peter Sawyer 2b 4-0-0, Kevin Galligani p 1-0-0, Alex Graves p/2b 5-0-2, Kyle DeRoma c 6-0-0, Nate Sayer lf 6-0-0, David Gill ss 6-0-2, Matt Larson 1b 4-0-1, Josh Sayer cf 4-1-1, Andrew Martin 3b 4-0-2, Ian Sullivan rf 3-0-0 Liam Fisher ph 0-0-0. Totals 43-1-8

Haverhill (2): Jordy Oriach cf 5-0-0, Mark Casto c 4-0-1, Elijah Moses 1b 5-0-0, Zach D'Urso 5-0-2, Cole Farmer 3b 5-0-1, Connor Thornell lf 4-1-2, Ryan Brown 2b 4-0-0, Patrick Kelleher 5-0-1, Bryan Carter ss 3-1-0, Matt Maginnis ph 0-0-0, Sam Boyer cf 0-0-0. Totals 40-2-7

RBI: Lowell — Graves; Haverhill — Kelleher, Casto

WP: D'Urso 3-5 (5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K); Also: Tyler McDonald (7,5,1,1,3,5); LP: Galligani

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