The following is submitted to Stoughton Patch. Photos in the gallery by Justin Braga:
Another game, another huge upset for the .
Five days ago there were four teams within a game of the coveted first place spot in the District 6 East division in local American Legion baseball but in that span the young, upstart Stoughton Post 89 baseball team has knocked off two of those teams.
Following up their , the 89'ers knocked Weymouth Post 79 out of a first place tie with Hyde Park on Thursday, July 5 at Stoughton High School with a gutsy 11-9 win.
Stoughton is now 4-11 on the season.
Jovani Pires was given his first Legion start after throwing 7+ solid innings in relief so far this season.
Weymouth loaded the bases in the first inning with one out on Pires and pushed across a run on a wild pitch before stretching the lead to 2-0 with a sacrifice fly. Pires righted himself and got the final 2 outs of the inning to get out of further trouble.
Stoughton cut the lead in half in their half of the first inning, with leadoff hitter Patrick Jackman assuming his usual role of catalyst. After being hit by a pitch, Jackman stole 2nd and 3rd base and road home of a sacrifice fly by Kaleb Ballou to cut it to 2-1.
Weymouth loaded the bases in the second inning once again via an error and 2 free passes but Pires composed himself and escaped without any damage.
"Jovani has good stuff, but today he struggled a bit with his control," said Post 89 Manager Jim Derochea. "But today he learned that though he may not be at his best, he still has enough ability to get himself out of trouble. I would have liked to see him go longer, but he's been in the bullpen up until now and he just needs time to build up his stamina."
Still trailing by a run in the third inning, Stoughton put up a 3-spot in both the third and fourth innings to take a 7-2 lead.
In the third inning, catcher Brian Crimmins started things with a one out double. After Pat Jackman was hit by a pitch for the second time, Mike Gallagher followed with an RBI single to put runners on the corners. Post 89 then executed a double steal as Gallagher stole second base easily while Jackman raced home on the throw to second to give Post 89 a 3-2 lead. Pat Raeke followed with an RBI single to give Stoughton a 2-run cushion, 4-2.
In the fourth inning, Jack Kane hit a one out single then stole second base. Eric McPherson walked to put 2 runners on base, then with two outs Jackman ripped a long double to center field to plate 2 runs. Mike Gallagher followed with a long double of his own to score Jackman for the 7th Stoughton run.
Stoughton made it 8-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning on an RBI groundout by Eric McPherson that plated Will McGrath who had walked earlier in the inning.
Meanwhile, Alex Fernandes had come in to relieve Pires beginning in the third inning and set down all 9 Weymouth batters that he had faced before running out of gas in the sixth inning. After a walk and 2 seeing eye singles, Fernandes reached back for a strikeout for the first out but a long at bat by the next Weymouth batter ultimately took it's toll.
After five 2-strike fouls, Fernandes was touched for a 2 run single to cut the lead to 8-4, then 2 batters later a long double suddenly cut the once comfortable lead to one run.
Manager Jim Derochea called on ace Mike Gallagher to put a stop to the Weymouth comeback and Gallagher obliged by promptly slamming the door on the rally by inducing a pop up to the catcher to preserve the 8-7 lead.
Stoughton looked to turn the momentum in their half of the sixth inning to try to take some steam out of Weymouth's sails.
After a couple of walks and a wild pitch netted a run, short stop Jack Kane stepped in and belted a clutch double to deep center field to plate 2 more runs to give Stoughton an 11-7 lead.
Kane's hit would prove to be vital as Weymouth showed why they've been at the top of the division all season by scoring 2 runs in the seventh inning and bringing the tying run to the plate.
But Gallagher closed it out, appropriately enough, with a pop up to Kane at short stop to end the game.
"This was a big win for us," Derochea said. It wasn't always pretty but we took advantage of what they [Weymouth] gave us and we stemmed the tide when things got close. I am so happy for this team because they have worked hard and now they are getting the results against quality teams."