KINGSTON, Mass. -- In the Div. 1 South Sectional quarterfinals, the No. 4 seed Silver Lake baseball team had BC High starting pitcher Trent Berg seemingly on the ropes in the early going on Tuesday afternoon, before the Eagles came away with a 4-0 win.
After back-to-back walks to open the third ran SL’s base-runner count to five in just two plus frames, the Lakers looked primed to break through for the first runs of the game when a double steal set them up with second and third with no outs and their No. 3 hitter Tony Videtto strolling to the plate.
A pitch-out on an attempted suicide squeeze cut down Matt Kauchon at the plate, and a pair of grounders to third sprung the No. 6 seed Eagles (17-5) without any damage against Berg despite his control issues.
“He’s a tight-rope walker in all honesty,” said BC coach Norm Walsh. “He’s frustrated me for two years in that respect. This year, he’s done a better job of regaining his composure and making good pitches when those tough situations came up.”
After getting out of that jam, BC surged off its gained momentum and got to Lakers’ starter Tucker Bouchard for the first time in the top half of the next inning.
After facing just one over the minimum in the first three innings, and needing just 29 pitches to do so, Bouchard ran into some command issues of his own. A hit batter, base hit, and back-to-back walks were made worse when single runs scored on a passed ball and an errant throw, giving the Eagles a 2-0 lead they’d never surrender.
“That was definitely a momentum thing,” said SL coach Ken Tocci. “We don’t get the squeeze down and then we follow it up with that inning. The squeeze worked for us against Mansfield the other day, but today, I guess it kind of blew up in our face. We’re a small ball team though, and we live by the sword and die by the sword.”
From there, Berg settled in retiring 10 of the next 11 hitters -- and erasing the one base runner with a double play. Berg walked two more with two out in the seventh, ending his day with seven strikeouts while surrendering four hits and four walks.
Matt Nielson came on in relief and shut the door against the Patriot League Keenan Division champs, sending BC High to a semifinals bout Wednesday against Dartmouth at 7 p.m. at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton.
BC High added its third run in the top of the sixth when Sean Webster tripled home Mike Roberts. The Eagles tacked on their final run in the seventh when Jake Marotta’s sacrifice fly scored Luke Catarius.
Senior Special: Tocci will say goodbye to arguably the best class in the history of Silver Lake baseball -- a class that led SL to its first league title in 51 seasons a year ago before repeating those honors this season. Headlining the crop were star catcher Sam Ballerini as well as Bouchard and staff ace Mike Lundin.
“Those three are legacy players,” said Tocci. “They’ve sent this program in a certain direction that five, six seven years ago that we hoped we’d be heading. They’re the ones that got us here.”