ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Despite struggling to generate offense for the majority of the game, Attleboro delivered in two key moments to capture a 2-1 win in walk-off fashion over Brookline in the D1 South quarterfinal on Monday.
After surrendering the game’s first run to the Warriors in the top of the fourth, the Bombardiers answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning. With the score tied 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh, senior Nolan Kane was called upon as a pinch hitter and drove a ball to deep center field that sailed over the defense and allowed the winning run to score from third.
“We’ve been an opportunistic offense all year,” Attleboro coach Matt Bosh said. “The kids keep battling. We have 11 seniors who are playing their hearts out and don’t want to play their last game. We just keep fighting and we keep playing.”
Attleboro sophomore designated hitter Dakota Kirby led off the seventh inning with a double to right center field. Third baseman Robbie Araujo then grounded back to the pitcher, moving Kirby to third on the fielder’s choice. Kane then pinch hit, and after fouling off a number of pitches, delivered the game-winning hit.
“He tears the cover off the ball in practice, so I gave him a shot,” Bosh said. “Nobody else was having any success today. Top of the lineup, bottom of the lineup, nobody else was doing anything. He has hit the ball well in practice all year, give him a shot, he’s a senior. There’s nothing to lose, like I said, nobody else is doing anything.”
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Jon Dunn reached on an error for Attleboro’s first base runner of the game off of Brookline freshman pitcher Josh Richardson. With Tyler Stowe at the plate, Dunn faked as if he was going to steal, forcing the second baseman to cover the bag and allowing Stowe’s grounder to the right side to sneak through for a single. Nate Tellier then lined a single up the middle, scoring Dunn from second and tying the game.
Attleboro junior pitcher Tyler McGovern went the distance for the win, allowing just one run on eight hits with seven strikeouts. Three singles in the fourth inning accounted for the only Brookline run, with Mitchell Schroeder driving in Reo Shimbori. A second runner attempted to score on the play, but Attleboro catcher Will Carter applied a tag at the plate to keep it a one run deficit.
“They’re a tough team,” Bosh said. “They played well defensively and they had scrappy little hitters up there. They had a ton of chances and Tyler buckled down when he had to and got the outs.”
Richardson retired the first nine batters he faced in the game and missed the zone with only three pitches in doing so. After Attleboro’s run in the fourth, he again set down nine of the next ten Bombardiers before the walk-off hit in the seventh inning. While only striking out two, Richardson allowed just five hits and one earned run, and his command of the strike zone early in the game led to his success.
“He’s good,” Bosh said. “That sidearm delivery, he was pounding that outside corner first pitch all day and we just couldn’t solve him.”
After two one-run wins to begin the D1 South Sectional tournament, Attleboro baseball will now face #1 Silver Lake in the semifinal round on a date and time to be announced as of publishing. Attleboro’s schedule will be updated as soon as a date, time and location are announced.