By Joe Clark, HockomockSports.com Student Reporter
WRENTHAM, Mass. – King Philip escaped a jam in the top half of the fourth and scored three runs in the bottom half to pick up a 4-1 non-league win over North Attleboro on Tuesday afternoon.
Pitching dominated the game early on as both North’s Nick Sinacola and KP’s Stephen Murray pitched 1-2-3 first innings. Through three innings, the only hit of the game was a second inning single single by North Attleboro catcher Zach DeMattio, who paced North’s offense with a 2-4 day, including an RBI triple.
After DeMattio’s single, Nick Crowley got hit by a pitch which set North up with first and second and nobody out, but Murray got a pop out to third and then a fly out to Patrick Limerick in left field, then doubled off DeMattio at second after he left early. Nick Sinacola set down the first nine KP batters he faced, striking out three.
In the fourth, both teams got their offense working, as North loaded the bases after back to back singles from Nick Crawley and Matt Iaconis and a two out walk by John Brennan, but Murray got out of the bases loaded jam by getting a hit back to the mound for a 1-3 put out.
“That’s what Steve does. He’s been with me for three years now, and when he gets in a jam I don’t get nervous, I get worked up, but not nervous because Steve’s gotten out of situations like that so many times now,” said KP coach Pat Weir about Murray’s ability to get out of jams.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Warriors took advantage of that momentum. Kyle Guenther became KP’s first base runner with a single into center, and Will Weir connected on a one-out single, which set up first and second with only one out. Sinacola got his fourth strikeout of the game for the second out but walked Ben Furfari to load the bases.
Collin Cooke then drew a walk to score Guenther, and Sinacola just barely hit Jack Webster with a pitch which allowed Weir to cross the plate. Chris Wing drew KP’s second bases loaded walk of the inning, which brought home Furfari and gave KP a 3-0 advantage. After Wing’s walk, Peter Cohen came in to relieve Sinacola, and he induced a grounder to Brennan, who stepped on second for the force out to end the inning.
In the top of the fifth, North answered back with a two out rally of their own. Nate Pearce hit a two-out double into the gap and DeMattio crushed a ball deep into right for a triple to bring home Pearce and get North on the board and cut the KP lead to 3-1.
In the bottom half of the 5th, Guenthner drew a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Limerick. Will Weir singled home Guenther, and advanced to second on an error on the throw home. Murray was then hit by a pitch, and with Furfari at the plate, Murray and Weir executed a perfect double to steal to set up second and third with only one out.
However Furfari’s ensuing flyout was not deep enough to score Weir, and a ground out to short to end the inning.
After walking Iaconis to start the top of the sixth, Murray was pulled from the game, but he still had a very impressive outing, striking out three in five inning of work while only allowing one run. Jackson Shiebler replaced Murray, and induced a pair of fielder’s choice outs and then got a force out to end the inning.
Cohen set down the Warriors in order in the bottom of the sixth. In the seventh, Shiebler got a fly out to center and a ground out, but after walking Nate Pearce, North had one last chance. After a tough at-bat with DeMattio fouling off a couple of pitches, Shiebler ended the game with a strikeout.
KP (5-1) will get back at it on Thursday at noon when they take on Taunton (4-0) at home.
North Attleboro (3-3 for tournament purposes) will return home to Community Field on Thursday where they’ll do battle with Stoughton (4-2).