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June 11, 2013

TWO STEPS AWAY: Masconomet baseball faces Hingham in state semifinals tonight

(Continued)

The Hingham Harbormen, coached by Kevin Niles, have won eight of their last nine with the lone loss in the second half of the season coming against Reading. They knocked off Plymouth North, which had been to four of the last five state semis, in the Division 2 South quarterfinals.

Righty Evan Flanagan, who is committed to the University of Rhode Island, could get the call for the Harbormen today. The co-MVP of the Patriot League threw 10 innings and struck out 16 in his team’s semifinal win over Nauset four days ago and also smashed the game-winning double.

“He throws a lot of strikes, he’s efficient with his pitches and it seems like he doesn’t mess around,” said Baril. “We have to be ready to swing the bats.”

Facing an opponent without much history is one of the challenges of the state tournament.

“We’ve been fortunate to have people see Hingham twice, and we know they have three lefties in the lineup and they swing good bats 1-through-9,” said Baril. “We keep telling our guys that at this point in the season, there are no bad teams and no easy games.”

Hingham also has Patriot League all-stars Eddie Bowler, Stephan White and Billy Boynton, all seniors.

Interestingly, the team from the North sectional hasn’t won a state semifinal since back in 2005, when Division 1 powerhouse Lincoln-Sudbury was still a Division 2 team.

The Chieftains expect to give the ball to Cape Ann League MVP Speros Varinos today for his third postseason start. He won both via shutout and also saved the win over Danvers; in the bullpen if needed, Masco could rely on Will Twiss or Tommy Budrewicz.

Run prevention has been a big part of Masco’s winning streak. With pitching and solid defense, the Chieftains haven’t allowed more than three runs in game in their last 15 contests.

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