By Matt Jenkins
---- — LYNN — The Danvers 13-year-old Babe Ruth all-stars were hoping for a long night of baseball and a state championship last night at Bowser Field in Lynn.
Instead, Danvers suffered through a long fifth inning and dropped an 11-7 decision to Plymouth in the state semifinals.
Facing the prospect of playing a doubleheader, Danvers started quickly, matching runs with Plymouth through the early innings and eventually taking a 6-5 lead after scoring two runs in the top of the fifth inning.
Plymouth, which moved on to play Burlington late last night in the championship, responded by sending 11 batters to the plate in the bottom of the fifth, scoring six runs on six hits.
“We played strong defensively the whole tournament and tonight, too. Unfortunately, they probably were the best hitting team that I’ve seen so far this year,” Danvers manager Randy Boudreault said. “They had a lot of good singles and they got to our ace pitcher (Casey Bussone) and scored five runs with two outs in the fifth inning to take the lead. We couldn’t come back.”
Plymouth actually scored all six of its fifth-inning runs with two outs. Bussone retired two of the first three batters he faced in the fifth, but things quickly unraveled after that.
Josh Plante and Sam Ferriera each produced RBI singles for Plymouth to erase Danvers’ lead. Ryan McLoud laced a two-run double down the right field line and Jonathan Quindley also added an RBI double for Plymouth.
Danvers did get one run back in the sixth inning when Nick Raimo delivered an RBI double, but the mountain was too high to climb. Danvers went down 1-2-3 in the seventh inning to end its summer run.
“We needed to score 2-3 runs in the sixth just to get back to 11-8, 11-9. We battled back, we just hit hard balls right at people, especially in the sixth and seventh innings. That’s not going to get it done,” Boudeault said. “They made the plays at the end of the game and we just couldn’t get the clutch hits.”
Tim Usalis had a good day at the plate, driving in a run with a triple in the third and knocking in another on a ground out in the fifth. Nicco Rossitti also knocked in a run in the fifth inning with a single to right field
“It was a big situation and we ran up against a good hitting team, and that’s what happens. They have a lot of good hitters; there are no spaces in their lineup,” Boudreault said. “We hit the ball tonight. We scored seven runs and didn’t leave a lot of guys on base. We hit the ball hard but right at people.”
Bussone and Rossitti ended up splitting the pitching last night and Danvers got solid play in the infield from Nick Disciullo at second base and Brett Boudreault at third base.
“We went 8-1 through the tournament (before Plymouth) and we lost one when we were up 7-0 and lost 9-8. For the most part, we played really sound defense against a lot of good hitting teams,” Boudreault said. “It was a lot of fun and we had a good time.”