By Brian Hines, HockomockSports.com Contributor
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Nearly two weeks off in between games didn’t seem to bother the North Attleboro Red Rocketeers, as they defeated the Somerset Berkley Raiders, 5-0, in a Division 2 South baseball quarterfinal matchup.
University of Maine commit Nick Sinacola tossed a complete game shutout for the Rocketeers, allowing just two baserunners all game (one hit). The right-hander struck out 12 Raiders, including six straight batters in the second and third inning.
“Nick has some great ability out there,” said North Attleboro head coach Mike Hart. “He trusts his stuff, he really is trying to pound the zone and come after hitters. A lot of the guys, when they’re up to bat, have faith in him to keep the game within reach and keep the other team’s hitters at bay and gives us confidence at the plate.”
And the lineup showed its confidence at the plate, striking early and often.
North was able to take an early lead in the first inning off a Zach DeMattio sacrifice fly, and they then doubled their lead in the third after a hard-hit single by Nate Pearce.
The duo struck again in the fifth, as a DeMattio single scored Sinacola and Pearce’s double plated pinch runner Billy Drummond.
North’s offense wasn’t done, however, as Brendan McHugh’s sacrifice fly in the fifth inning allowed the Rocketeers to jump out to a 5-0 lead.
McHugh, DeMattio, and Pearce accounted for six of the Rocketeers nine hits on the afternoon. McHugh, who batted leadoff, was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. No. 3 batter DeMattio went 1-for-3 with RBI single and sacrifice fly, while Pearce, who batted clean-up, went 3-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI.
“They have a lot of ability of up at the plate,” Hart said. “They’re great athletes, which translates into hitting. Those are the guys that we rely on, they’re at the top of the order for a reason.”
The North Attleboro base running and defense was also as terrific as it has been all year, stealing seven bases in seven attempts and not committing an error.
#9 Somerset Berkley ends their seasons 12-10, with one win in the playoffs. The top-seeded Red Rocketeers (19-2) now advance to the semifinals, where they play #5 Dartmouth (15-7) on Wednesday night at 5:00 at Rockland Stadium at Rockland High School
“We’re going to keep taking the same approach, one game, one pitch at a time and just worry about the things we need to do to win some games,” Hart said.