BOSTON -- Dylan DeFlorio reacted physically like he knew exactly what was coming.
Mentally might have been a different story.
The Lincoln-Sudbury second baseman made a game-saving diving catch on a hard-hit ball up the middle to record the final out of the Warriors 8-7 victory over host No. 1 BC High on Saturday. The Eagles (7-1) had the bases loaded with two outs chasing a run in the bottom of the seventh. The line drive struck by Chuckie Connors most likely would have brought in a walkoff win for the hosts, but DeFlorio stretched out and snared the hot shot to hand the hosts their first loss of the season.
“I don’t remember anything,” DeFlorio said with a laugh. “I just remember looking at my glove and I had the ball in it.”
Alex Weiland got the first two outs of the inning in the bottom of the seventh, but the veteran Eagles lineup started to get to the sophomore on their last leg. Jake Marotta reached on a single and Rich Roach got on for the fifth time when he was plunked with a Weiland pitch.
Ryan Tufts hit a deep grounder to short and Marotta came around to score when the shortstop made an off-balanced throw to third in an effort to get the Eagles’ baserunner at home plate. Bobby Melley was walked on four pitches to set up a force at any base, and on a 2-0 pitch, DeFlorio bailed out his team with the defensive play of the young season for the Warriors.
“He made a play that we were able to celebrate,” said Warriors head coach Kirk Fredericks. “So that was good.”
PRESSURE, PRESSURE, PRESSURE
It’s not secret that Fredericks is still searching for the combination of young pitchers who can come in a throw strikes against teams that the Warriors (4-1) will most likely see later in the season.
Weiland is starting to show that he belongs in the mix.
The sophomore came in relief in the fifth inning and was able to strand a runner at second with the Warriors up a run at the time. In the bottom of the sixth, Connors found his way on third base with an out, but again Weiland buckled down to get two fly balls to right field to sneak his way out of trouble.
“That’s the second time he’s been in a pressure situation [this season],” Fredericks said. “For him to be able to throw strikes that’s giving us some guys that we can compete with.”
QUICK START NOT SUSTAINED
The Eagles looked like they would run away with this game in the first inning after battering the Warriors for five runs on five hits.
But the offense sputtered in some key situations later in the game. After posting a run in the third inning, the Eagles left the bases loaded with a chance to bury the Warriors already up 6-2, and missed out on another bases loaded chance before DeFlorio flashed some leather.
“A couple of games we sustained it, but we haven’t been able to maintain our focus at the plate,” Eagles head coach Norm Walsh said. “We still got a ways to go, but we can be a really good team.”