Foxborough Legion Victorious in Opening Game
After a rocky start and one run on walks, the Legion pulled it together to win 4-3
The Foxborough American Legion Post 93 beat Norfolk Post 335 on Wednesday 4-3 in a match of amazing fielding. Both teams made great plays in the outfield and also kept up the hits, but Foxborough managed to squeeze in the win after being down by one run for most of the game.
Norfolk got the first run in the top of the second inning on a walk. Foxborough hit back with singles from Mansfield's Tom Brady and Nick Carafa, who were both moved into scoring position later by a sacrificial bunt from Aiden Farrell. But Norfolk managed to put away two batters in the field and kept Foxborough from scoring in the second inning.
Norfolk struck again in the third, after the umpires determined that a pick to second was a balk, and the runner on third advanced to the plate. Pitcher Tom Savageau then got two strike outs in a row and Ryan Manning hit a high flyball right to Farrell to end the inning. Norfolk was now up 2-0.
There were no more hits from either until the bottom of the fifth, with both teams showing superb catching skills on the field. Adam Blake started off the bottom of the fifth with a perfect single right over the shortstop's head. Mansfield's Chris Johnson advanced him to second after being hit by a pitch, and Steve Fitzmaurice brought Blake home after a well-placed single. Steve Nagle then hit a grounder to second and got out on a fielder's choice, but that allowed Johnson to come home, tying the game.
Norfolk struck back at the top of the sixth when Cameron Walsh hit a double to center field. Michael Capobianco then hit a line drive up the middle to bring Walsh in, taking the lead again for Norfolk. Foxborough's new pitcher Brendan Fowler then struck out the next batter to stem anymore runs.
Foxborough was able to score again at the bottom of the sixth. Aiden Farrell got on base with a ground ball, and was advanced to second by a single from Andrew Bukuras. Bukuras and Farrell stole again, Norfolk's catcher threw the ball to second a bit too high and it went past the second baseman. Farrell capitalized on this and ran home. Chris Johnson then batted in Bukuras to give Foxborough the lead at 4-3.
Foxborough changed their pitcher again to Mansfield's Nick Carafa, who successfully closed the game. Carafa struck out Norfolk's last batter when they had a runner threatening at third to bring the Legion their first win.
"It seemed like we were both the same kind of teams scrapping for runs," said Head Coach Bill Travers. "We don't have the big boppers, so we have to drive in the runs at third base in two outs; do the little things to bring in the runs you know. The pitchers did well. We have 12 pitchers, which is an advantage; they're not all the most fantastic pitchers, but there's 12 arms, which is nice."
Foxborough goes on to face Canton on Monday. Friday's game against Franklin has been postponed because of Mansfield's graduation and Foxborough's Founding Day celebration.