By Mac Cerullo
---- — ROWLEY – The Newburyport Legion Post 150 baseball team wrapped up a successful regular season earlier this week, and tonight the team will take on Haverhill to start its playoff run.
Post 150 finished the year in first place with a 14-2 league record, while Haverhill finished with an 11-5 mark. The two will now play a best of three series over the next three days, with the winner advancing to next weekend’s District 8 Championship.
Tonight’s Game 1 will be played at Eiras Park in Rowley tonight starting at 5:30 p.m. Game 2 will be played in Haverhill tomorrow, and if necessary Game 3 will be back in Rowley on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Post 150’s head coach Tim Southall said he expects a good series from Haverhill, but considering the talent he has on his roster, he believes his squad should at least advance out of its District.
“For us we’ve got to get to the states to be a success at this point,” Southall said.
Post 150’s roster is essentially a who’s who of local high school All-Stars. The team’s biggest strength has been its pitching rotation, which includes St. John’s Prep ace Evan Roberts, Pentucket ace Ryan Kuchar and Georgetown ace Patrick Slack, just to name a few.
“The best part has been our pitching,” Southall said. “We’ve used five different starters and they’ve all done great. That’s been the backbone of our success this year.”
Southall added that the team’s defense has also been exceptional, and while the offense has slumped at points here and there, they’ve ultimately come together to play solid baseball all season long.
Should Post 150 beat Haverhill and then win the District 8 Championship, the team would qualify for the state tournament in Sudbury and would be among eight teams vying for a shot at the World Series. At that point, the tournament would shift to a double elimination format, and every game they would be competing against the best players in Massachusetts.
“To get to states is a big accomplishment,” Southall said. “Anything after that would be icing on the cake.”
Post 80 beats Saugus
Newburyport Legion Post 80 won its first playoff game last night, beating Saugus 13-3. Dylan Wright hit for the cycle, going 4-5 with 3 runs and 2 RBIs, and Ian Davis and Connor O’Neil combined to pitch 6 innings, allowing just 1 run on 2 hits with 7 strikeouts. In addition, Dan Beaton went 2-4 with a double and 2 RBIs, Cam Wolbach went 2-3 with a triple and 3 RBIs, Kiernan Haley scored 3 runs and Liam O’Neil had a double and scored a run.