LOWELL, Mass. -- The Division 2 North title might be North Andover’s to lose. After fighting off a pesky Gloucester team 3-0 Saturday in a Division 2 North semifinal, only Lynn Classical stands in its way Monday.
“Yeah (it's our tournament to lose), but there are definitely some other good teams in the tournament though,” said Mike Weisman, who tossed a complete-game shutout for the Scarlet Knights (22-1). “Gloucester (12-11) was the No. 13 seed and they gave us a heck of a game, so I can only imagine what some of the other teams are going to bring to us.”
Weisman fanned 10 Gloucester hitters over seven innings and never let a runner get past second base. He also allowed only three hits and one walk. North Andover head coach Todd Dulin has seen his left-hander hit a stride during the stretch run of the season, which helped propel his team to get as far as it has.
“(Weisman) has figured out his change-up over the past month, which has made him that much more effective whenever he can throw it well,” he said. “Wherever Brandon (Walsh, the catcher) puts the glove, he throws it.”
Gloucester’s Adam Philpott cruised through the first four innings, but found himself in trouble in the fifth after surrendering two walks to start the inning. After the runners advanced on a passed ball and Rick O’Connor had a pinch-hit single, North Andover had the bases loaded with only one out. A David Foote sacrifice fly and Cam Couillard strikeout put only one run on the board.
A three-hit sixth inning plated the other two North Andover runs. A well-placed bunt by Alex Jillson moved Wiseman up to second base, which allowed him to score on a Tyler Leavitt single. Philpott was removed from the game after giving up the final two runs.
“One through nine everybody takes good at-bats,” said Weisman. “We don’t give at-bats away, so sooner or later something is going to give. I don’t care who is pitching against us, to get 21 outs against us is going to be tough.”
Even though his team was able to get to the hard-throwing right-hander, Dulin was still impressed with what he saw.
“Philpott I thought was really good,” he said. “I had never seen him pitch before but I heard he was sneaky quick, the way the ball comes out of his hand. I thought he pitched a great game.”
In a day filled with uncertainties about start times and possible weather postponements, both teams teams came out at the top of their game. After an almost-three-hour rain delay during the 10 a.m. Division 4 Final, the remaining games set to be played at LeLacheur Park Saturday had to be pushed back during the afternoon. The adjustment and inclement weather did not effect either team.
“It wasn’t really different for us except we couldn’t take infield-outfield before the game,” Weisman said. “We were at the school at noon and Coach sent us home when we found out that the game got changed so we got bumped around a little bit but we’ve learned how to deal with it.”