By Dan Harrison
---- — BEVERLY — With a little help from its horses, the Hamilton-Wenham Wiliamsport all-stars emerged from the District 15 elimination bracket with a 4-3 win over Danvers American last night at Harry Ball Field.
The Generals will face Beverly tonight (7:30 p.m.) needing to beat the Garden City Little Leaguers twice to claim the District 15 championship.
Hamilton-Wenham pitching Adam Parady went four 1/3 innings and struck out nine. He also scored the game-tying run and had the game-winning RBI for the Generals (6-2 overall in the tournament). Leadoff man Cameron Peach relieved Parady and didn’t allow a base runner, striking out four of the five batters he faced with some fine off-speed stuff.
Parady allowed a three-run bomb in the first inning off of the bat of Jon Weimert after H-W made an error in right field that would have ended the inning. After that, Parady settled in nicely and a few big plays from the Generals’ biggest players proved enough to defeat Danvers (6-2) for the second time.
“Obviously Adam had a big game. You never know how a kid is going to react after giving up a home run like that but he shut them down after that and we were able to find a way to win,” said HW head coach Bill Peach. “And Cam came in, in a tough spot to put a kid in. That was a gutsy performance.”
Trailing by a run in the top of the third, Parady led off with a double, advanced to third and eventually home on passed balls to tie the game. Then after Mark Roselli legged out an infield single with two outs in the top of the fourth, Peach doubled down the third-base line before Parady ripped a RBI single up the middle to make it 4-3.
H-W’s No. 4 hitter Phil Durgin blasted a two-run homer in the top of the first to give H-W an early 2-0 lead.
“I kept thinking as the game went on that we we’re letting them hang around. I thought that might come back to bite us,” said Peach. “We didn’t play our best and we left a lot of runs out there. But we found a way to win.”
Danvers couldn’t do much at the plate outside of a Weimert’s dinger. The defense did turn a triple play in the top of the sixth and Matt Taylor pitched well in relief.
“We made some mistakes. We’re a little disappointed because we thought we could win the District,” said Danvers coach Mike Holland. “But things happen. I was pleased with the effort.”
Hamilton-Wenham will have its second best pitcher, Durgin, available to go tonight against Beverly.
“Beverly is a very good team and we’re fortunate to be in a situation where we have Phil Durgin lined up,” said Peach. “He’s one of our two aces so we’re happy to have him going.”
A win tonight by Beverly would give the Garden City kids their first District 15 title since 1993 and put them in next week’s Section 4 tournament being hosted by Wyoma in Lynn. If Hamilton-Wenham wins tonight, the teams would meet again tomorrow in a winner-take-all game at Harry Ball Field (7). Tonight’s 7:30 game will be preceded by a Challenger exhibition at 5:30 p.m.