LYNN — The Pentucket baseball team’s state tournament run came to an abrupt end yesterday afternoon after the Sachems were no hit by Hamilton-Wenham’s Austen Michel.
The Generals’ ace was dominant from the first pitch, striking out five of the first six batters he faced before ultimately finishing with 15 strikeouts on the day.
The Sachems more or less shut down the Generals’ lineup too, but a couple of key errors and well-timed hits gave the Generals all the offense they’d need to claim the 3-0 victory and a trip to the Division III North Finals.
“Their kid pitched an excellent game and we made mistakes at the wrong time,” said Pentucket coach Tom L’Italien. “They deserved the game — they played better than we did.”
The first half of the game was a power-pitching clinic, as Michel and Pentucket starter Bobby Barry went back and forth striking out the opposing team’s batters. In the first two innings alone, Michel and Barry combined for 11 strikeouts, and both teams would carry no-hitters into the fifth inning before Hamilton-Wenham’s Ian Dickey finally broke through with a single to center.
The Generals actually took a 1-0 lead before then in the bottom of the third after Generals senior Brett Harring walked, advanced to third on an error by Barry and then came around to score on a passed ball.
Pat Beaton came on in relief for Barry shortly after that, and Barry finished with the unusual line of 3.2 innings pitched, one run, no hits, four walks and seven strikeouts.
Though Pentucket couldn’t get any offense going, the Sachems did have a few chances to put some runs on the board. In the first inning, DJ Englke hit a towering fly ball to left field that would have easily been a home run had it not been foul.