JAMAICA PLAIN — Hamilton-Wenham baseball coach Reggie Maidment had a tough to call to make when deciding which of his senior pitchers would get the ball against top-seeded Boston English in a Division 3 North quarterfinal yesterday.
In the end, he needed them both — and veterans Pete Duval and Jack Clay delivered.
Duval’s curveball danced in the early innings and Clay came on to get the save as the Generals ousted the No. 1 seed, 5-2.
Hamilton-Wenham (15-7) is now through to the North semis for the first time since 2002, where they’ll face Cape Ann League rival Pentucket tomorrow at Fraser Field in Lynn (4 p.m.).
Boston English ends its season at 20-4.
“At practice, coach called us over and said Boston was a good fastball hitting team and I had the good curve, so I was starting. I was excited about it,” said Duval, who allowed two hits through the first five innings and earned the win. He started the fifth and gave up three straight hits before Clay relieved him and allowed an inherited runner to score before retiring the side.
Hamilton-Wenham led 4-2 after that inning, added an insurance run in the top of the seventh, and Clay threw a perfect seventh to earn the save.
“The way Boston English hit, I couldn’t show them the same look the third time through. No way,” said Maidment, who was an H-W player on the 2002 team that fell to Swampscott in the North semifinals.
“I told Jack to be ready at all times and he was; he came in and threw strikes. Pete is just a gamer, and with his great curveball he was the guy today. I have all the respect in the world for what he did out there.”
The Generals had their own troubles with Boston English pitcher Frank Gonzalez, who mixed his pitches well and stranded runners in scoring position in each of the first four innings.