Masconomet baseball coach T.J. Baril knows his team is glad to be able to play another game.
“All we’ve said all along is that we want to keep playing games,” he said last night. “We’d play in a driveway or in a parking lot just to be able to play a game together.”
The venue for today’s Division 2 state championship game with Westwood High School is a bit classier than pavement: Campinelli Stadium in Brockton. The Division 2 North champion Chieftains (21-2) will face the Division 2 South champion Wolverines (19-4) play at 4 p.m.
Senior Joe Klingensmith is scheduled to take the mound for Masconomet, which is 3-0 in the playoffs (with Klingensmith beating Dracut 2-1 and fellow senior Will Twiss throwing a pair of postseason shutouts). Twiss has had four days of rest since last week’s North final and will be available if needed.
Masco also has strong arms in junior Ethan Dyer and center fielder Tommy Budrewicz, who has come out of the bullpen during the season.
Westwood has three arms to choose from: Dan Howard has eight wins and an earned run average of 0.95; Eric Bamford had five wins and a similar ERA of 0.92; and Liam Burke is also strong with an ERA of 1.11 and three wins.
“They have some outstanding pitching, very good team speed and a solid defense,” Baril said of Westwood. “We’re expecting the same kinds of games we’ve seen through the tournament: low scoring with good pitching on both sides.”
The Wolverines were the No. 1 seed in Division 2 South, won a pair of 1-0 playoff games and then edged Dartmouth, 2-1, in the sectional final. They finished second in the Tri-Valley League (league champ Bellingham has already advanced to the Division 3 state final), with Howard, Bamford and Bo Berluti earning All-Conference honors.