Peabody West’s bats too much for Lynnfield to handle

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LYNN — Another night, another two-plus hour Little League All-Star baseball game.

Tuesday night at Spagnoli Field in the District 16 tournament, the Peabody West 12-year-olds had the hot bats, eliminating Lynnfield, 12-6, in a game that ended in near darkness.

The game was up for grabs after two innings with West holding onto a 2-1 lead, but after that, it was all West, which pounded out 13 hits – four of them doubles – to put the game away and advance to the championship game against undefeated Swampscott Thursday night (TBD).

“We made a bunch of plays tonight, especially early,” said West manager Mike McMahon. “We said before the game that we were battle tested the way the tournament has gone so far for us. We just needed to stick with it and stick together, and, hopefully, get the job done. Tonight, it was good that we had it (key hits).”

Trailing 12-1 and down to its final three outs, Lynnfield rallied in the button of the sixth to pull to within 12-6. That was because of a two-run, bases-loaded single by Will Shields, but reliever Jed Sencabaugh (1 ⅓ IP, 5 R, 5 H, 2 BB) got the last out with an infield grounder to first to seal the win.

“The kids were playing hard and were positive, but there were just four or five times when we didn’t make the plays. Against a team like West, you just can’t do that,” said Lynnfield manager Mark Hudson. “I thought a lot of our guys hit great tonight, but you just can’t make the mistakes we made.”

Sencabaugh led the Lynnfield hit parade, going 2-for-3 with two runs, three RBI and a double. Danny Lancaster (2-for-3, 2 doubles, R), Owen McMahon (2-for-3, 2 R) and No. 12 hitter Austin Lohnes (2-for-2, 2 R) all had two hits. Riley Gravelese (R), Joe Ryan (2 R, RBI), Ben Wenzel (double, R) and Aiden Muse (R) also had hits.

Lancaster started and earned the win for West. He gave up just one run on three hits with four walks and two strikeouts.

“We needed that from him tonight, but he’s been in spots like that before,” McMahon said. “He told me he’s pitched in a travel-ball championship game, so I guess there was nothing to worry about, then. He doesn’t really feel any pressure and just goes out and executes.”

For Lynnfield, Chase Paton (2-for-3, double, R), Grant Hudson (2-for-3, RBI triple, R) and Will Shields (2-for-2, double, 2 RBI) had two hits each. Justin Migliore (double, R), Luke McEwen (double, R) and Robert Butler (RBI) also connected on hits.

Paton got the start, allowing seven runs on seven hits across three innings. Hudson (3 IP, 4 H, K, BB) came on in the fourth and set down the side – in order – through the next two innings before being touched for five runs in the top of the sixth.

McMahon said West will keep doing what it’s been doing all season long – and stick to basics.

“We’ve worked hard on defense all year and have the kids in the field every single day, almost,” he said. “If our bats stay where they are at, I think we have a pretty good chance. I told them after the game that we were going to practice tomorrow and just take it one day at a time. It will be fun because Swampscott is a really good team.”

Hudson said Lynnfield’s summer season of baseball is far from being over.

“We’re right back tomorrow with a Bay State League game, so we still have some baseball to play this summer,” he said.

  • Anne Marie Tobin is a sports reporter for the Item and sports editor of the Lynnfield and weeklies. She also serves as the associate editor of North Shore Golf magazine. Anne Marie joined the Weekly News staff in 2014 and Essex Media Group in 2016. A seven-time Massachusetts state amateur women’s golf champion and member of the Massachusetts Golf Association Hall of Fame, Tobin is graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Suffolk University Law School. She practiced law for 30 years before becoming a sports reporter. Follow her on Twitter at: @WeeklyNewsNow.

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