By Brian Hines, HockomockSports.com Contributor
FOXBORO, Mass. – The Foxboro Warriors had everything going during Wednesday’s 8-2 victory over Coyle Cassidy.
The Warriors were rewarded for following the same approach at the plate they’ve taken all season, scoring eight runs on nine hits. The Warriors also drew two walks and were hit by pitches six times.
“Our approach all seasons been going to the opposite field gap,” said Foxboro head coach Derek Suess. “We’ll react in on pitches, fight off curves or changeups if we have to and our guys kept that approach today and did the job. All of our hits, at least most of them were to the opposite field, nice line drives.”
With the win, Foxboro qualifies for the state tournament via the Sullivan Rule.
Foxboro struck first in the second inning when Chad Bearce drew a leadoff walk. After Devin Hassett reached on a fielder’s choice, a Matt Rongione single scored both runners.
Coyle Cassidy responded in the next inning with an RBI walk by Troy Oliveri, but Foxboro quickly answered when an error allowed for Joe Freitas to score.
Foxboro’s bats then blew the game open, scoring five runs over the fourth and fifth innings to increase their lead to 8-2.
“Joe Freitas, Jack Franceschelli, Matt Rongione all had those opposite-field hits to the gap,” Suess said. “Anthony Mollica as well, just one after another, everyone contributed today.”
Along with the Warriors offense, starting pitcher Steve McLaughlin was able to limit Coyle Cassidy to just two runs over 5.2 innings.
Coyle Cassidy threatened early in the first inning, loading the bases with just one out. McLaughlin was able to retire the next two batters, escaping the jam.
“Steve’s at his best when he gets ahead in counts because he can work his off-speed stuff,” Suess said. “He’s a senior, he’s battle tested, he can get out of them when we need him to. He did that today, did just enough for us on the mound and then we went to our bullpen.”
When Foxboro went to their bullpen, they called on freshman Sean Yoest. Yoest forced the first batter he faced to ground out, leaving two runners on base. Suess then turned to junior Anthony Mollica for the final two innings, who struck out four out of the eight batters he faced.
“Yoest did his job and Mollica came in and finished the job for us,” Suess said. “I’m proud of all three pitchers today.”
Behind all three pitchers was a fantastic defensive performance by Foxboro. Mollica at shortstop and Bearce at third made several key plays to which helped prevent scoring opportunities and Coyle Cassidy rallies.
“Great defensive effort today,” Suess said. “We preach that a lot, especially with guys on base and two outs, we got to keep the ball in the infield. They did that in a few spots, where that kid might score from second base if it squeaks through. We’re a bunch of dirt dogs out there [and] did what they needed to do to help us out and I’m just very proud of my guys, very proud.”
Foxboro (3-12 Hockomock, 5-14 overall) returns to the diamond Thursday at home for the final game of their regular season against Mansfield. Coyle Cassidy will return home to take on Bishop Connolly Saturday afternoon.