NAHANT – Peabody West is the only unbeaten team remaining in the District 16 Williamsport Little League all-star tournament.
They’ve won games in a variety of ways, but their thrilling come-from-behind 9-5 victory over Lynnfield in the winners’ bracket final at Nahant yesterday afternoon is one they won’t forget.
Lynnfield had a 5-2 lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning before Peabody West sent 11 batters to the plate and scored seven times to completely change the momentum.
“We did it the hard way,” said Peabody West manager Frank Beana after his team posted its fourth straight win, advancing to Thursday’s District title game. “Lynnfield is a good team and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them again (in the final).”
Whichever team emerges from the loser’s bracket to face Thursday would have to beat Peabody West twice (including Friday) to wrestle the district crown away from them.
Christian Cummings made the defensive play of the afternoon with a great leaping catch in left field to end the game. Lynnfield had runners on second and third with two down after a baserunning mistake. Lynnfield’s Jon Luders hit a long fly ball that appeared to be going over the left field fence, but Cummings leaped up to make a spectacular catch to wrap up the Peabody West win.
“I thought that ball was going out, but the wind was swirling around and kept it in,” said Lynnfield manager Bob Relihan. “Peabody West is the best team I’ve seen in this tournament. They are well-disciplined and well-coached. We’ll see them again on Thursday (if Lynnfield wins its next game tomorrow).
“We made every mental and physical mistake we could possibly make in that fifth inning. Guys that don’t ever make errors did today. We had Peabody on the ropes, but they came back.”