LYNNFIELD — Baseball, bocce or badminton — it really doesn’t matter what the sport is. If you fall behind by a big margin early, your chances of winning are scant.
It was a good lesson for the Hamilton-Wenham baseball team to be reminded of yesterday as it fell down by four runs after one inning and trailed by five after two frames. Host Lynnfield took care of business the rest of the way, pinning a 7-4 defeat on the Generals in a battle of two of the Cape Ann League’s top squads.
Against Generals’ ace moundsman Austen Michel, Lynnfield had five hits in the first inning and three more in the second, leading to six runs. Michel had a lot of zip on his fastball and a nice roundhouse curve, but the Pioneers brought their hitting shoes with them to the park on this day.
Senior shortstop Jordan Roper, who’ll play college ball at Assumption next year, was 3-for-3 and cranked a 350-foot homer to left-center in the first inning for a quick 2-0 lead. Teammate Spencer Balian added a two-run double later in the frame, and Hamilton-Wenham (now 8-3) never got closer than three runs the rest of the afternoon.
“You can’t give a good team like this that first inning,” H-W head coach Reggie Maidment said. “Austen missed a few pitches early, left them up, and they hit the ball. That kid Roper, you can’t put it down the middle 0-2.
“We battled back and held them; they had two hits after the second inning. Austen bore down, we scored some runs ... we didn’t win it, but it showed the resiliency of my team.”
The Generals got a run back in the second after Pete Duval (2-for-3) doubled and came around to score on a wild pitch, but the home team got two more of its own in the bottom of the inning after Jake Rourke (sacrifice fly) and Trav Briana (fielder’s choice) drove in teammates.