The Stoughton boys varsity baseball team beat Mansfield Wednesday 5-2. Mansfield started off strong and put up a great showing in defense, but was unable to get enough on the plate to take the win.
Mansfield started the scoring off in the game with a sacrifice fly from Andrew Bukuras to bring in Steve Nagle from third base after two steals.
Stoughton pitcher Brian Kaplan stopped Mansfield’s momentum with two strike outs after the sacrificial fly to end the bottom of the first inning.
Stoughton was able to tie the game after a bases-loaded walk from Mansfield pitcher Mike Farrell. A fly out ended the top of the second.
Stoughton stopped Mansfield with a double play at the bottom of the second after a runner tried to steal second on a fly ball. Mansfield repaid the favor at the top of the fourth when a miscommunication between the batter (attempting a bunt) and the third base runner resulted in Will McGrath trying to steal home when Mansfield catcher Matt Harris had the ball. McGrath was tagged out and runner Zach Gibb was caught between second and third.
“It was nice,” Stoughton head coach Mike Armour said. “It’s been a tough run with Mansfield. We’re just clawing and trying to get it right.”
Farrel ended the inning with a strikeout.
The top of the fifth saw Stoughton build some momentum. After Mansfield pulled Mike Farrell in favor of Jake Charette, Mike Gallagher hit a line drive single to bring in Kaplan to put Stoughton in the lead.
Pat Raeke hit a long double to to bring in Gallagher and Mike Connelly to bring the score to 4-2.
Stoughton struck again at the top of the final inning with a sacrifice fly from Gibb to bring the score to 5-1.
“We showed some times today,” Mansfield head coach Tim Graham said. “We [usually] struggle defensively and those couple nice plays were good signs, but we really need to hit the ball. We’ve had something like four hits in two games and that’s really not going to get it done.”
Mansfield was gearing up to rally with a sacrifice fly out from Steve Nagle, but the inning ended before any significant scoring was made.
“It was nice to come out on top,” Armour said. “It seems like a lot of years we don’t make that play to finish the game. That was a plus.”
Mansfield pulled their starting pitcher Mike Farrell after 79 pitches. Today’s game was the first time he started as a pitcher. Stoughton’s Brian Kaplan started and finished the game. He pitched 110 pitches during the game.
“He put just a lot of heart and soul into this team and to see him come up like that is great,” said Armour. “It was a great W for him and a great W for this team.”