MARBLEHEAD — It's hard to say if it was the cool weather or the accurate off-speed pitching by Winchester's Patrick Lucas, but the Marblehead High baseball team (10-11) struggled to get on base all afternoon, losing, 2-0, in the preliminary round of the Division 2 North tournament.
"A couple of hits fall for us, and it's a completely different game," said Marblehead coach Jason Tarasuik, whose team managed just four hits.
Lucas pitched a complete game four-hit shutout for the Sachems, (11-10) who move on to play Madison Park on Saturday.
"Patrick has been our MVP all year," said Winchester coach Dave Blanchard.
Lucas forced the Magicians into a lot of easy popups and groundballs by using his off speed pitches and staying ahead in the count.
"Give him (Lucas) credit, he threw a lot of strikes," said Tarasuik.
Winchester scored the game's first run in the top of the fourth when Lucas crossed home on a fielder's choice grounder by Cameron Becker. Lucas finished with two hits, two stolen bases, and a run scored. Becker finished with two RBI after he homered over the left field fence in the top of the sixth to put the Sachems ahead 2-0.
Marblehead pitcher Evan Comeau had a very strong outing despite picking up the loss. In a complete game effort Comeau allowed just one earned run on four hits while striking out eight. He had control difficulties at times but bailed himself out with timely strikeouts.
"There was good pitching from both teams," said Tarasuik. "We just couldn't capitalize on our chances."
Marblehead failed to get a hit with a runner on base. The Magicians grounded into an inning-ending double play in the second inning and popped up to the catcher on three occasions. The big hit was simply lacking.
Marblehead second baseman and shortstop tandem of Nick Haller and Corey Meyer combined to make 10 putouts.
"It was a tough game," said Meyer. "A few things go our way, who knows what would have happened."
Meyer had Marblehead's best hit of the day when he roped a two-out double deep into left field in the bottom of the third inning.
The Magicians are graduating a lot of seniors from this year's team and will need to rely on talent from their deep junior varsity and freshman teams for the future.
"We have a lot of good players at the JV and freshman levels. We have some great young arms," said Tarasuik.