SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

July 20, 2013

Beverly rallies to top Weston, advances to sectional final

LYNN — All tournament long, Beverly Little League all-star manager Jim Cross has stressed to his team two simple words:

Never quit.

The slogan has become the team’s motto — and it came true in a big way during last night’s Section 4 tournament game at Reinfuss Field.

Down by six runs in the fourth inning, the Garden City kids furiously rallied and managed to score 10 runs in the final three innings to overcome Weston, 15-12.

Beverly, which went 2-1 in round robin play, moves on to tonight’s Sectional final against Peabody West (7:30 p.m.). The winner advances to next week’s Massachusetts Final Four Little League championships in West Roxbury.

“We’ve been a good hitting team,” said Beverly manager Jim Cross, whose team had its best game of the tournament at the plate last night. “There’s no real run differential that we can’t come back from. We’ve got guys that can hit the baseball, so I was just telling them to hang in there. I’m proud of them for not giving up.”

Weston, which finished the tournament 0-3, had an 8-2 lead in the bottom of the third inning, but Beverly never surrendered in hopes of making it to tonight championship game. Beverly got the hits when it needed to and its pitchers, Brayden Clark and Ryan Barror, came up huge in timely situations.

“Obviously in this tournament when you’re play three games in three days, pitching can become a problem at times,” explained Cross. “But Brayden has been one of our best pitchers all tournament, so we had the utmost confidence in him. He’s a competitor and isn’t going to give up. We kept him in there ... and he kept us in the game.”

Clark worked through four-plus innings, giving up nine hits while striking out four batters. He threw the maximum allowed 85 pitches, but also helped Beverly’s offensive comeback in the fourth inning with a leadoff triple.

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