SHREWSBURY, Mass., August 10 – Lawrence’s John Batista was 2-for-4 with three RBI including a key two-run double in the fifth inning as the Lawrence Post 15 American Legion baseball team eliminated Connecticut state champion Stamford, 9-2 Saturday at the Northeast Regional.
Stamford Post 3 had seven hits in the game but Lawrence used a big five-run fifth inning to seize command of the contest.
Massachusetts state champion Lawrence led 4-0 after 2½ innings but Stamford cut the lead in half, 4-2, with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning on a RBI double by T.J. Wainwright, who scored later in the inning on a Lawrence error.
But Lawrence scored five runs in the fifth inning to take a commanding seven run lead, 9-2.
Jaden Dawkins went 2-for-3 with a double for Stamford while teammates Reid Gesualdi and Wainwright each had doubles for Post 3.
Lawrence faced host Shrewsbury, Mass., on Sunday for the Northeast Region championship and a berth to the American Legion World Series on the line. Shrewsbury Post 397 was playing in the Northeast Regional final for the third straight year.
Lawrence won the opener, 4-3 to force a decisive final game in the double-elimination tournament. Post 15 had just four hits made them count. Christian Varona was 2-for-3 with a double and one RBI for Lawrence while pitcher Miquel Matos went the distance to pick up the victory. He struck out just two but he scattered five hits and walked just one in seven innings of work.
Shrewsbury (30-7) was playing in the Northeast Regional final for the third straight season. Post 397 won the regional championship in 2017 but lost a year ago to Braintree, Mass.
Pitcher John West went the distance for Shrewsbury, giving up one run on three hits. He fanned just three as Shrewsbury beat Lawrence, 3-1 to win the Northeast Regional championship for the second time in three years and a trip to the national tournament in Shelby, North Carolina.
Lawrence was five outs away from a berth at the national championships but Shrewsbury came to live. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Post 397 scored three times. Tyler Hopping’s double to centerfield tied the game at 1-1.
Chris Siciliano gave Shrewsbury a 2-1 lead scoring on a wild pitch before teammate Ryan Conant’s sacrifice fly drove in Hopping from third base for a 3-1 advantage.
Lawrence 9, Stamford 2
At Shrewsbury, Mass.
Lawrence MA 013 050 0 — 9-10-1
Stamford 002 000 0 — 2-7-2
Elvis Rosario, Armani Paulino (6) and Henry Checo; Grant Purpura, Matt Wirz (5) and Joe Skarad; WP: Rosario; LP: Purpura; 2B: Jaden Dawkin (S), Reid Gesualdi (S), T.J. Wainwright (S), John Batista (L); 3B: none; HR: none
2019 Northeast Regional
At Shrewsbury, Mass.
Wednesday, August 7
Game 1: Cumberland RI (Post 14) 11, Stamford (Post 3) 1
Game 2: Brattleboro VT (Post 5) 4, Southington (Post 72) 3
Game 3: Lawrence MA 1, Nashua NH (Post 124) 0
Thursday, August 8
Game 4: Shrewsbury MA (Post 397) 15, Hampden ME 2
Game 5: Stamford 11, Nashua NH 1, Nashua eliminated
Game 6: Southington 6, Hampden ME 2, Hampden eliminated
Game 7: Lawrence MA 4, Cumberland RI 1
Game 8: Shrewsbury MA 9, Brattleboro VT 0
Friday, August 9
Game 9: Cumberland RI 5, Southington 3, Southington eliminated
Game 10: Stamford 3, Brattleboro VT 0, Brattleboro eliminated
Game 11: Shrewsbury MA 6, Lawrence MA 4
Saturday, August 10
Game 12: Lawrence MA 9, Stamford 2, Stamford eliminated
Game 13: Shrewsbury MA 6, Cumberland 4, Cumberland eliminated
Sunday, August 11
Game 14: Lawrence MA 4, Shrewsbury MA 3
Game 15: Final: Shrewsbury MA 3, Lawrence MA 1