Central Catholic Raiders Baseball '10

Sat, Jun 05, 2010 03:00 PM @ Lawrence
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Final
Central Catholic 1 2 0 0 0 0 6 0 0 9
Lawrence 0 1 2 2 1 1 2 1 0 10
Tim Jean/Staff Photo. Central Catholics Connor Perry (8) is surrounded by his teammates after crossing the plate for a run against Lawrence during a baseball game at Lawrence High School. June 6, 2010  » Tim Jean, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Lswrence survives Central in classic slugfest

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Saturday, June, 05 By Hector Longo

LAWRENCE - Central Catholic pushed Lawrence High to the baseball brink.

The Lancers responded with a diamond personality few might have thought they had.

Up 7-3 then down 9-7 in the seventh, second-seeded Lawrence rallied for two in the seventh and a single run in the eighth, surviving the Division 1 North first-round nail-biter, 10-9. Monday evening at 6:30, the Lancers will host No. 7 Peabody in the North quarters here at Devlin Field.

"We kind of panicked, especially when we thought the weather was going to end the game," said outfielder Devin Montanez. "We played pretty nervous. We got down a couple times and fought through it."

Upset-minded Central finally solved the Michael Calzetta riddle. After a pair of dominant complete games by the Lancer ace, the Raiders chased the reigning Eagle-Tribune MVP in the seventh with five straight singles, clubbing 18 hits overall.

Somehow, it just wasn't enough. Lawrence was shaken by the six-run Raider outburst in the seventh then had to sit and wallow in the 9-7 deficit thanks to a 15-minute lightning delay.

And still the Lancers found a way.

"The knock on this team was that if we have to slug it out we might be in trouble," said Lancer coach Brendan Neilon. "We don't have any automatic outs which is good. They've been around for a while, and we expect one through nine to hit."

Lawrence, which squandered chances in the loss to Masconomet a week ago, paid closer attention to the business at hand with runners on.

With one out in the seventh, Juan Ventura singled and raced to third on a Jose Sandoval double.

Tito Lluberes plated one with a ground out, and Harvey Blanco knotted the score with the biggest two-out hit of the Lancer season, a double to right.
Reliever Victor Mendez settled in, and the Lancers scratched out the game-winner in the bottom of the eight.

Devin Montanez tripled to the gap with one down, bringing unheralded No. 7 man Edwin Brito to the plate.

"I knew he was throwing a curve ball, so I just stayed back and tried to drive it," said Montanez.

 The junior Brito delivered, lifting a sacrifice fly to deep center - Lawrence's fourth of the day - to score the fleet Montanez with ease.

"The team needed me, and I needed to come up big," said Brito. "It was maybe the biggest at-bat of my life. I had to get it done."

Victory didn't come without one final scare.

Raider cornerstone Matt Pelletier laced a two-out single in the ninth and Ben Bousa reached on an error to make things interesting.

But Mendez wouldn't be denied his seventh win of the year, closing it out with a ground ball to second.

"I was ready, ready to give it 100 percent," said the junior right-hander. "Mentally I was ready. I want to be in there. I'll be ready again on Monday."

For Lawrence, the lesson in survival was very balanced. Every hitter contributed, paced by Ventura and Blanco with three hits each. Sandoval, Calzetta, Montanez and Elvis Guilamo all had a pair.

"We fought to the end, and we came through," said Montanez.

The MVC large tri-champion Central finishes at 12-10.

All-conference Raiders Pelletier and Zach Bardwell each had three hits. Connor Perry, D.J. Swarbrick, Karl Mann, Bousa and Adam Johnson had two apiece.

"I have absolutely nothing but positives to say, this was one for the ages," said Central coach Marc Pelletier. "The privilege was being able to coach not only all 19 but this group of seniors. They were left to fend for themselves at the beginning of the year with all those kids from last year graduating. They refused to give in, right to the end. There was a resilience about this team and there was a willingness like no other team in my 24 years."


Game Statistics:

Central Catholic (9):  Zach Bardwell cf 5-2-3, Connor Perry dh 5-0-2, Colin Walsh 2b 5-1-1, D.J. Swarbrick rf 5-1-2, Karl Mann 3b 5-1-2, Matt Pelletier c 5-2-3, Ryan Sullivan pr 0-0-0, Ben Bousa 1b 4-0-2, Dan Shields p 3-0-1, Alex Valenti p 2-0-0, Adam Johnson lf 4-2-2, Brian Allen ss 0-0-0, Totals 43-9-18

Lawrence (10):  Jose Sandoval 3b 4-1-2, Tito Lluberes 2b 3-1-0, Harvey Blanco ss 4-2-3, Dionys Quezada c 3-1-1, Michael Calzetta p 3-1-2, Victor Mendez p 1-0-0, Devin Montanez rf 5-1-2, Edwin Brito 1b 3-0-0, Elvis Guilamo lf 4-2-2, Juan Ventura cf 4-1-3, Totals 34-10-15

RBI:  CC - Walsh, Swarbrick 2, Pelletier, Bousa 2, Johnson; L - Lluberes, Blanco, Quezada, Calzetta, Brito 2, Guilamo, Ventura

WP: Mendez; LP:  Valenti

Pitching: L - Calzetta 6 ip, 8er, 14h, 0bb, 7k; Mendez 3 ip, 2er, 3h, 0 bb, 1k; CC - Shields 5ip, 6er, 10h, 4bb, 3k; Valenti 3ip, 3er, 5h, 1bb, 3k

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