PEABODY — It’s hard to get to a crafty left-handed pitcher like Beverly’s Dan Patrazza early in a game. Sometimes, it takes hitters an at-bat or two to learn patience with the classic, looping lefty curve ... and sometimes those batters remain baffled for the entire game.
Luckily for Peabody, the epiphany at the plate did happen.
The Tanners put together eight singles in the fourth inning and scored all their runs while batting around on their way to a 7-0 win over Beverly at Bezemes Diamond.
Peabody (5-0) didn’t have an extra-base hit all afternoon — and didn’t need one in its big inning. A succession of singles, some timely stolen bases and smart baserunning provided the offense they needed, with pitchers Andrew McLaughlin and Matt Correale combining for the shutout.
“Normally as a coach you’re not happy to only score in one inning, but that fourth spoke volumes about our patience,” said Peabody’s Mark Bettencourt. “You have to sit back and be willing to drive the ball and shoot the middle against those crafty lefties. After being way out front early, we made the adjustment and got it done in that inning.”
The Panthers (2-3), who travel to Newburyport this morning for a 10 a.m. nonleague contest, could’ve escaped the big inning allowing only two runs, but couldn’t convert two pickoff attempts at first that turned into stolen bases. Run-scoring singles by Correale, Sean McGrath and a two-run knock by David Hoar extended Peabody’s lead with two outs, however.
“That was Danny Patrazza’s first varsity start against a very good baseball team. He kept them off balance and kept the ball down,” said Beverly coach Dave Wilbur. “They took advantage of some situations, but he pretty much had a good outing.”