With relentless command, Toomey limited Peabody to three hits over seven innings. He needed only 72 pitches, tossed three innings with single-digit pitch counts, and retired 14 of the last 16 he faced.
“Alex was awesome. He was on his game, and he threw his breaking ball for a strike. That was the key,” said Beverly coach Dave Wilbur. “You’re hoping your best players play their best in these situations and today Alex carried the team.”
The only trouble for Toomey came in the third, when Steve Leavitt (double) and Maynard Wheeler led off with back-to-back hits. Peabody only got one run, on Crovo’s fielder’s choice RBI, and was hitless the rest of the way. Beverly’s senior righty pounded the strike zone, hitting for first-pitch strikes 80 percent of the time.
“When you’re pitching with the lead (in the count), you feel better about getting those outs,” said Toomey. “I was trying to hit my spots and I was bearing down. I tried to keep the ball lower today.”
Beverly amassed 13 hits: Three from Toomey, two from Brown, DiOrio and Berchoff and singles by Kevin Cuneo, Luke McDonald, Craig Hall and Matt Hamor. Peabody’s Butcher stranded the lead-off runner in the third, fourth and fifth, but Toomey matched him step-for-step.
“They crush mistakes. They hit in the clutch today and they hit the long ball,” said Bettencourt. “Butch held them back for four innings and I felt good about that, but Beverly’s one of the best offensive teams in the league and they’re going to break through.”
Peabody had the go-ahead run at third in the sixth when Matt McIsaac was hit by a pitch, swiped second and moved to third on a fly out. Toomey stranded him there, and at that point Beverly had left five in scoring position.