Beverly scored three times on four hits in the big eighth inning, with the bottom of the order delivering the biggest blows.
Relief pitcher Joe Phinney of North Andover had come into the game in the third inning after Beverly took a 3-0 lead and had given up a single to Matt Collins, the first hitter he faced. But he shut down the Garden City boys until the top of the eighth when Clayton McAlpine led off with a single and Collins beat out a bunt down the first base line. But a sacrifice bunt attempt by Jack Cairns turned into a double play when he was out at first and McAlpine was thrown out at home plate.
Clark, the No. 8 batter, then delivered a clutch RBI double to the gap in left-center to score Collins with the go-ahead run. Kyle Camara followed with a double of his own to the base of the center field fence, scoring Clark. Camara then came around on an infield hit by Ward to give Beverly a three-run lead.
“The bottom of the order came through when we needed them,” said Cross. “Clark is an 11-year old, and he got a huge hit in a big time spot. He’s a real competitor, and I’m so happy for him.
“We battled to the end. These kids don’t quit and they worked extremely hard for this one. We couldn’t figure out their second pitcher (Phinney) for a long time. He was tough, but we finally got some big hits.”
North Andover East threatened in the bottom of the inning when Ward walked Carpentier, but catcher Johnny Gilbride threw him out trying to advance on a wild pitch. Ward got McElroy to ground out to third base to end the game, stranding runners on first and third. He pitched three innings of scoreless relief, surrendering only one hit, walking four and striking out six.