Richardson, Oliver Ames Take Down Milford

Oliver Ames baseball Jack Richardson
Oliver Ames senior Jack Richardson struck out 10 in a five-inning effort against Milford. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 NORTH EASTON, Mass. — Oliver Ames senior Jack Richardson had strike three called for the final out of the top of the fifth inning and headed to the dugout with five shutout innings under his belt.

But an umpiring mistake on the third strike, which was dropped with runners on first and third, ended up being corrected and it put the batter on first to load the bases instead of the third out.

Oliver Ames baseball

Milford cashed in when sophomore Keith Lee snuck a grounder up the middle to plate two to make it 5-2, and the tying run came to the plate. But Richardson quickly jumped ahead of the next batter and induced a fly ball to left that was hauled in by a sliding Ian Kelly to get the third out, again.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

That was the only damage done by the visiting Scarlet Hawks, as OA junior reliever Andrew Zagami pitched out of a bases-loaded threat an inning later and the Tigers secured a 5-2 win at Frothingham Park.

“We try to do one thing at a time and we focus on what we can control,” said Oliver Ames head coach Joe Abarr. “We don’t let the calls influence us, we ignore what’s going on in the stands, we just focus on the next pitch and try and be as competitive as possible. And I think Jack has bought into that completely. You see it at the plate, he’s unshakable in the box. He’s been a tremendous leader for us at the plate, on the mound, he’s been phenomenal.”

Richardson (5IP, 2R, 0ER, 4H, 2BB, 10K) worked around a leadoff walk (erased by catcher Nathan Carpentier at second) in the first, stranded runners at second and third with a big strikeout in the second, and retired the side in order in the top of the third.

OA left a runner at second in both the first and second innings but finally broke through in the bottom of the third. Nathanial Lewis reached on a one-out single and advanced to second on a single from Patrick Finnerty. Lewis came in to score on a single from Ian Kelly, and both Finnerty and Kelly moved up a bag on the throw.

A walk to Jake Waxman loaded the bases and Richardson came through to help his own cause, smacking a single to bring in two runs. Two batters later, Joe Cicchetti was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Carpentier connected on a two-out single to bring in two more runs for a 5-0 lead.

“I think we’re getting a little more confident at the plate, we had good at-bats both yesterday (at Canton) and today,” Abarr said. “And it’s getting to be contagious too. Now we have a little bit of a gap until our next game next week so we have to keep that mindset rolling until then.”

Oliver Ames baseball

Milford sophomore Anthony LaPierre (6IP, 5ER, 7H 3BB, 4K) bounced back with a strikeout to end the inning, stranding runners at first and second.

LaPierre finished the game strong, only allowing three Tigers to reach in the final three innings. The tall righty sat the home side down in order in the fourth, erased a walk with a 6-3 double play by shortstop Damien Carter to first baseman Evan Cornelius, and ended the inning with a fly ball to center after an infield single from OA’s Jack Muir.

“I thought Anthony LaPierre did a really good job for his first varsity start as a sophomore, before and after that inning really settling down keeping them five to give us an opportunity,” said Milford head coach Alex Dion. “Obviously we didn’t capitalize on it, but for his first varsity start, I was impressed with that.

“I think we’re seeing some growing pains right now, when we have the opportunity to make a play, we just aren’t making. We were a play or two away from getting out of that inning with two runs instead of five, and then it’s a different game.”

After OA’s big third inning, Cornelius drew a one-out walk but Richardson got all three outs via strikeout.

“I told him that was one of the best high school pitching performances that I’ve seen,” Abarr said. “He had great stuff, he had swing and miss stuff, but he was willing to attack and get those swinging strikes. And he himself made a couple tremendous defensive plays. I give him a tremendous amount of credit and I think the rest of the guys saw what he was doing and bought into it.”

An infield error allowed Ian Carter to reach in the top of the sixth for the Hawks and a passed ball and wild pitch moved him all the way to third. After Tyler Lane drew a walk, the Tigers went to their second reliever of the day in junior Andrew Zagami.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Zagami got the second out with a pop-up to the shortstop Jack Morley but a two-out walk to Grant Scudo loaded the bases for the Hawks, with Scudo representing the tying run at first. Zagami induced a grounder to third and got the force out at the bag to escape any damage.

Zagami closed the game by retiring the side in order in the top of the seventh.

“He fills up the strike zone, that’s his thing,” Abarr said of Zagami. “He’s worked on holding runners and looked pretty good today in that regard. He loves baseball, he wants to get out and throw strikes, work with his catching staff, and he went out there and did exactly what we needed him to do today.”

Oliver Ames baseball (4-1 Hock, 4-1 overall) is off until next Wednesday when it hosts non-league foe Dighton-Rehoboth at Frothingham. Milford (2-2, 2-2) returns home for a date with Mansfield on Friday.

Oliver Ames baseball
Ryan Lanigan
Follow Me