So what did Baril say to his team before the seventh inning began?
“I’ll be 100 percent honest with you: we told them ‘You guys talk’,” he said. “We’ve played 24 games together now and know who we are and what we need to do.”
And so they did.
Elias Varinos (Speros’ freshman brother) reached on an infield error with one out, took second when Greg Dougherty singled to deep shortstop and scored when his brother fought off a Raffy Tylus fastball on the hands and snuck a sharp grounder by Danvers shortstop Evan Eldridge and into left field, giving Masco its first lead, 3-2.
“I just wanted to get a good swing in after being down 0-2, then fouling another pitch off,” said the 18-year-old Varinos. “I knew I couldn’t strike out in that situation. I got a fastball and with the infield in, I just had to poke it through.”
With runners on second and third, Danvers chose to intentionally walk Klingensmith, the cleanup hitter, and face Tom Budrewicz. The junior got some advice from Jain before stepping into the batter’s box and flared a shot into right field, scoring both Dougherty and pinch runner Sam Hamburger.
“Greg Jain told me to take it as an insult when they were walking Joe,” admitted Budrewicz. “He said get up there and make them pay.”
Second-seeded Danvers played uncharacteristically at times; the Falcons commited three errors (after playing errorless ball in their previous three playoff games) and made nine outs through the air instead of hitting the ball on the ground and forcing the Chieftains to make plays.
“Their infield was playing two or three steps in on the grass at times; we needed to hit down on the ball and some ground balls through their defense,” said Danvers head coach Roger Day. “We’ve won this season with pitching, great defense and finding a way to get around the bases, but today we weren’t able to do that.