Crowned Section 2 champs with 7-1 victory over East Boston
Published in the July 14, 2016 edition.
WAKEFIELD — Wakefield’s Senior League played a must win Game 3 in East Boston Monday evening and prevailed by a 7-1 score at Noyes Field.
As a result, Wakefield has gained a berth in the State Final.
East Boston’s 8-4 win at Walsh Feld on Saturday forced a must win for both teams. Prior to that, Wakefield blanked Woburn by a 9-0 score on Thursday, July 7 at Walsh Field.
Wakefield drew away on the coin toss and started out the first inning with a single by Tyler Pugsley and a sacrifice bunt by Cole Kraus. Ben Nakhoul drove in Pugsley to put Wakefield on the board with one run.
East Boston answered with a run in the bottom half of the first. Two strikeouts by Kraus on the mound ended the inning with the score tied at 1-1.
Wakefield started the third inning with a single by Kraus. Nakhoul reached first and Colin Jaena scored Kraus with a solid line drive up the middle giving Wakefield the lead 2-1. But Wakefield stranded men on second and third.
East Boston responded with two lead off singles in the bottom of the third only to be squashed by a double play by Kevin DeLeary and Jaena. Chris Brown’s quick reaction at third base on a well hit ball ended the inning with Wakefield still in front, 2-1.
The fourth inning was quiet for both teams. Wakefield started off the fifth with a walk by Brendan Coughlin and finally Wakefield’s bats exploded with DeLeary, Jaena and Brown each reaching on doubles and putting Wakefield ahead 4-1.
East Boston threatened in the bottom of the fifth with a single and a steal of second only to be denied by Coughlin who fired to third on an attempted steal that ended the fifth.
East Boston changed pitchers in the sixth after Robert Shaw reached on a walk and Wakefield quickly took advantage. Back to back singles by Pugsley and Kraus scored Shaw. Coughlin singled to score Pugsley. DeLeary continued the hit parade with another single and then Jaena’s third hit of the night scored Kraus to put Wakefield up 7-1.
A strike out and catches by Shaw in left field and Paul Gould in right ended the sixth for East Boston.
Kraus retired the last 12 batters ending with eight strikeouts after six innings.
Officials called the game after six innings and Wakefield was declared the winner.
Coach Matt Shea was very happy with the overall effort, especially with the pitching and timely hitting. “In our loss Sunday, we left 12 men on base, so we had talked about driving in runs when the chances came up. Early in the game we left five guys on in the first two innings, but Jaena broke the ice with his big hit in the third and everyone just followed along. Also, Cole Kraus was stellar on the mound. He really learned a lot from our game Sunday and took advantage of their batters’ weaknesses. He has great control and he put the ball where they couldn’t do damage. Holding that team to one run was really impressive.”
With the win Wakefield captured the Section 2 title and advanced to the State Finals where it will face Oxford in a best two-out-of-three series taking place Saturday, July 16 at 5 and 7:30 p.m. in Billerica at Locke Field, 110 Allen Rd., Billerica. Game 3, if necessary, will be at 2 p.m. on July 17 at Locke Field.