NORTH READING — In a bulldog effort on the mound, Hamilton-Wenham junior Austen Michel had stranded the go-ahead run behind him in both the sixth and seventh innings yesterday.
Host North Reading didn’t let another opportunity go to waste, with Scott Allan knocking in the winning run to lift the Hornets over the Generals, 4-3, in eight innings at Carey Park.
Hamilton-Wenham (9-5) lost their second straight extra innings game, this one after they rallied to score three times in the top of the sixth to even the score. North Reading (11-3) now trails Masconomet (14-2 overall, 12-2 in league) by just one game in the Cape Ann League Kinney Division standings, with the Hornets and Chieftains scheduled to play on Saturday.
“This is a tough one, and a game we felt we should’ve won,” said H-W coach Reggie Maidment, whose club edged North Reading 4-0 in the season opener. “North Reading is a team that we could see again, a tournament caliber team that was a bit of a measuring stick for us.”
North Reading pitcher Scot Leslie was dominant early in the game, retiring the first 14 batters he faced. H-W’s Ben McDonald broke up the perfect game bid with a single in the fifth, but by that time the Generals were already trailing 1-0.
Ryan Sanborn’s lead-off triple led to the run on catcher Keith Linnane’s RBI single. H-W turned the first of three double plays as Michel got out of a bit of a jam with two on and one out with only one run allowed.
Michel went the distance, allowing seven hits with six strikeouts over eight innings. He only walked two but was victimized by five errors, and did his best work in bearing down to get outs with runners on base.