SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

June 12, 2014

Masconomet baseball team looks to finish dream season today

(Continued)

“We have four guys we don’t have any problems throwing out there on the mound. We’re hoping to compete and keep it tight. We have a team with some fighters,” Westwood head coach Brian Whelan said. “We know Masco’s a good program and they play in a tough league. They’re battle tested.”

The Chieftains return to the site of last year’s state semifinal loss against Hingham looking to win the school’s first state baseball title since 2000. With realignment, the state moved Central and Western Mass’ Division 2 and 3 teams down to Division 3 and 4, respectively, meaning today’s North/South game in Division 2 is a state final.

Westwood was moved up to Division 2 from D3 for this season and certainly showed they belong. It’s also worth nothing that the Division 2 North champ hasn’t beaten their South sectional counterparts since 2005, with Masconomet’s program falling in this game three times in the last eight years.

“Division 2 South is very strong. We saw that last year with Hingham,” said Baril, whose record in two years as Chieftains’ head coach is an incredible 40-8. “This game, like any game, we want to have the same attitude that we’ve had all year. We want to come out and play the best that we possibly can.”

Berluti is Westwood’s most dangerous hitter with a .461 average and 16 RBI. Bamford hits at a .400 clip and has driven in 15 runs, and the Wolverines are hitting .313 as a team for the season.

“Our offense is a ‘When in Rome’ philosophy. It’s whatever the game calls for,” said Whelan. “It sounds like both of Masco’s guys can pitch pretty well, so it might be hard to pound the ball all over the park. We’ll do what we need to try to score runs.”

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