The best way to describe the Salem Senior Babe Ruth baseball team’s win over Saugus in the third and final game of their playoff series at Palmer Cover last night?
They closed the curtain on them.
Troy Curtain had the game-winning hit, an RBI single up the middle with two outs in the seventh, and also threw the last four innings on the mound as Salem took the game, 4-3, and their best-of-3 quarterfinal series.
“It was a great; we had a great crowd and atmosphere at the Cove,” Salem manager Eddie Ryan said. “Curtain had to be the star of the night.”
Salem, which also has players from Beverly, dropped the first game of the series but won the next two to advance. Top seeded Peabody is playing Newburyport in a Game 3 tonight, and Salem won’t learn their next opponent until that series is over. If Peabody wins, Salem will face Hamilton-Wenham (which swept Danvers last weekend) beginning tomorrow.
“The kids seem to be enjoying themselves and having a lot of fun,” said Ryan. “We have kids from Salem and Beverly and we’re usually the big rivals, but everybody’s been playing great together.”
Salem grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first when Greg Spelliotis came up with a two-run double and Matt Marquez also drove in a run. Saugus tied it up, though, and it remained 3-3 until the seventh and final inning.
Matt Ryan got the start for Salem and allowed three runs and three hits in three innings of work. Curtain then came in and allowed two hits and fanned seven in his four innings.
Sean Curtain made a strong defensive play at shortstop to help retire the side in the seventh and keep it tied 3-3.
Cody Mercier had a pair of hits for Salem as well.