Post 158 Closes out Summer Season with Chairman's Cup Loss
Lexington Post 38 too much for Concord in District 5 consolation postseason tournament.
Not even the scorching, triple-digit temperatures were enough to light a fire under the Concord Post 158 American Legion baseball team on Friday evening, as its bats remained quiet in a Chairman’s Cup losers’ bracket loss to Lexington Post 38.
The same could not be said of Lexington, which strung together 17 hits topped 15 runs for the second time in three consolation tournament games (Post 38 forfeited the other).
Post 38 ousted Concord from the postseason with a 16-1 victory at Lexington High School. The home team scored nine runs in the first two innings and never looked back.
“We had gotten into one of those funks and really couldn’t get out of it,” Post 158 coach John Morrissey said. “It had been like that for much of the second half of the year. Really after that Fourth of July holiday. We went into that with some good momentum, but after that it just never came together for us.”
Post 38 moves on in the Chairman’s Cup and will play again Saturday against an opponent to be determined. Concord’s season comes to a close, as Post 158 lost its tournament opener to Medford Post 45 on Tuesday.
The heavy hitters for Lexington against Concord were first baseman Chris Shaw, shortstop Nick Murray and leadoff man Tommy McKenna. Shaw, returning to the team off several scouting trips, drove in five runs with a first-inning grand slam and a second-inning double, while Murray reached base all five times he went to the plate (three singles, a double and a walk) and McKenna picked up three singles.
“They’ve got some guys that can really swing the bat well,” Morrissey said of Lexington.
Lexington was raking from the start of the game, putting up six runs on five hits in the first inning and three runs on three hits in the second.
In the first, McKenna, Murray and center fielder Will Marcal reached on two singles sandwiched around a walk to bring Shaw to the plate. His blast down the right-field line landed in the parking lot beyond the fence, taking a high bounce off the pavement.
Post 38 scored two more when Mike Loughlin tripled to drive in Bobby Sabatino. Loughlin scored when an errant throw to the third base skipped into the bleachers.
Lexington nearly batted around for a second straight inning the next frame. Loughlin plated two runs with a double after Shaw drove in his fifth run of the game on a double.
“To have options is huge,” Lawlor said of Post 38’s deep bench. “I have a team full of guys that could pretty much start on any team in this league. I have kids that don’t get regular at-bats that could on a lot of different teams.”
Concord’s lone run came during the top of the second inning. Andre Della Volpe was hit by a pitch, advanced all the way to third on Gibson Holland’s double to right field and eventually scored when Brendan Harrington singled through the left side.
However, Post 158 could only muster two more hits the rest of the way against Lexington starter Jason Tzannes (six innings, five hits, four strikeouts, one walk and two hit batters), who also picked up the victory for Post 38 against Weston, Lawlor said.
“He’s pitched well both times,” the coach said. “He just goes out there and battles and, for the most part, throws strikes and gets ahead in counts. When you do that you can throw different pitches and mix things up a lot more.”
Alex Gutwillig took the hill for Concord, but didn’t fair quite as well. Not someone who starts often for Post 158, Morrissey said, Gutwillig pitched all seven innings, allowing the 16 runs and 17 hits to go with three walks and two strikeouts.
He settled down after the first two innings and set the side down in order in the fourth and fifth. But the wheels fell off once again when Lexington came to bat in the sixth inning.
The home side sent 11 batters to the plate and scored seven runs on seven hits. McKenna had an RBI single, Nick Murray had a two-run double, pinch-hitter Connor Murray had an RBI single, catcher Kyle Laughlin had a two-run double and third baseman Alex Ruocco plated one run with a single.
By the time the dust cleared, Lexington was already getting ready for Saturday, while Post 158 was looking ahead to the rest of its summer.