SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

June 10, 2013

Chieftains' Coronation: Masconomet scores 3 in 7th to topple Danvers for Division 2 North crown

LOWELL — Their starting pitcher wore fluorescent green socks under his ankle-length baseball pants.

He and the rest of his Masconomet teammates, as they have since mid-April, wore baseball hats with the words ‘Boston Strong’ written in black ink on either side of the red ‘M’ that adorns their caps.

And everyone associated with the Chieftains’ baseball program wore smiles as long as Route 97 by the middle of yesterday afternoon.

Captain Speros Varinos snapped a tie game in the top of the seventh and final inning with an RBI single to left and teammate Tom Budrewicz added a two-run single, enabling Masconomet to capture the Division 2 North title with a 5-2 victory over Danvers at LeLacheur Park.

It was the 13th straight victory for Masconomet (19-5), which won the North crown in head coach T.J. Baril’s first season at the helm. The Chieftains haven’t given up more than two runs in a game since their winning streak began on May 6.

“It’s just a great, great feeling,” said Varinos, the Cape Ann League’s Player of the Year, who had two hits, scored twice and knocked in the game-winning run. He also earned the save, coming on in the bottom of the seventh after teammate Joe Klingensmith hurled the first six frames to pick up the win.

“We knew we were facing a great team, but we’re confident in ourselves and our ability. We got down early but had the faith we could come back. We got that run to tie it (2-2) in the sixth, then really made it happen in the seventh.”

After capturing the program’s fifth North championship, the Chieftains advance to the Division 2 state semifinals tomorrow night in Brockton (time TBA) against Hingham.

Trailing since Danvers (21-4) got two runs in the bottom of the second inning, Masconomet got a run back in the third on Klingensmith’s long double to left, which plated Varinos. They tied it in the sixth after Klingensmith had an infield single, was sacrificed to second and came home on third baseman Greg Jain’s single to center.

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