By Matt Williams
---- — It’s been hard to keep the Danvers 13-year-old Babe Ruth all-stars off the scoreboard so far in the Eastern Mass. state tournament being held in Lynn.
Saturday in the top of the seventh inning, it proved impossible for Arlington.
Danvers scored six in that inning to come away with a 7-2 win. The victory enabled Danvers to advance past the pool play portion of the state tournament and into the single-elimination semi-finals, which begin tomorrow back at Bowser Complex.
“That was a game we probably needed. It was the clincher,” said Danvers coach Randy Boudreault. “We were down 2-1 going into the top of the seventh and we scored six to get through.”
Nick Raimo (2-for-4), Tim Usalis (2-for-3), Zack Dillon (3-for-5) and Max D’Amore (2-for-3) all had multiple hits in the game and helped contribute to the rally.
Danvers is now 7-1 this summer including district play. Eight teams that won their district titles qualified for the 13-year-old state tournament, which was divided into two division of four teams. Danvers was in the “American” division with Burlington, Arlington and Silver Lake, while the “National” division had Dedham, Maplewood, Plymouth and the host team, Lynn.
The top two teams from each division advance to the single elimination semi-finals. Danvers finished second to Burlington on their side because they fell, 9-8, in their meeting. They’ll meet the winner of the National Division in the second semifinal at 8 p.m. tomorrow.
“We’re hanging in there. We had a lead in the game we lost and we made some errors down the stretch,” said Boudreault. “If we play good defense, we can play with most anybody we face, and we’ve been very successful with that besides the one game.”
Including their 16-14 win over Silver Lake to open the state tournament, Danvers has scored 31 runs in three state tournament games.
Danvers also has plenty of pitching. Their top three hurlers, Dillon, Nick Rossitti and Casey Bussons, should all be ready to go for Tuesday’s semi — and hopefully for the final if Danvers advances. The winner of the Eastern Mass. crown advances to the 13-year-old Babe Ruth New England Regional.
“We’re getting ready,” said Boudreault. “We have to win Tuesday or we’re out and it’ll be one of the first single-elimination games we’ve played. We have to play well and play good defense.”