“When we have a good approach, we get runners on and we get them home,” said Salem coach Paul Caron. “That’s been a weakness for us; we have to have a better approach so we can do that more often.”
Toomey clobbered a 2-run double in the fourth and McDonald followed with his second RBI of the day as Beverly built its lead to 8-1 before Salem got two back.
“One thing I liked was that every time they scored, we added on some runs,” said Wilbur. “We didn’t quite let them back in the game.”
Kapnis battled to hold Beverly scoreless over the last two innings. The senior gave up six hits in all, though he issued six walks and hit three batters while also fanning four.
“Ben’s a three-year varsity player and he knows how to compete,” said Caron. “Some of our younger kids are learning that, and that’s the biggest thing we’ll take away from this year.”
Eric Messina struck out a pair in a perfect seventh for the Panthers. Toomey finished with six innings thrown, four hits allowed and just one walk. He struck out the side in the fourth.
“I thought Alex pitched well,” said Wilbur. “Eric missed a start because we didn’t play last Friday. He’ll go (tomorrow) so this was basically his bullpen today. It lets us shuffle the deck a little bit.”
Ryan doubled in the first and Josh McRae walked to put the pressure on Beverly early, but the Panthers turned a 4-6-3 double play to escape the jam. Mercier had two hits for the Witches while Sammy Arias and Chad Fontaine had one each.
Brown, Beverly’s Tufts-bound center fielder, reached on all four of his at-bats and scored three runs to set the table. Anthony DiOrio singled, scored twice and drove in a run, and Cam Rogers reached twice and scored once as the top of the Panthers batting order did the bulk of the damage.