LOWELL, Mass. -- Shutouts are far from rare in high school baseball. To shutout a team twice in one season? Possible.
But to shutout a team three times in one season? Especially when that team beat Lowell, previously-undefeated Lexington, and Lawrence to get to the sectional final? That is very difficult.
Lincoln-Sudbury did it Monday, however, with a 7-0 victory over Dual County League foe Acton-Boxborough at Alumni Field. L-S outscored A-B 30-0 over the three games they have played this season.
Of course, it is easier when you have Adam Ravenelle, the hard-throwing New York Yankee draftee, on the mound. The right-hander, who pitched in the previous two shut-outs for L-S, pitched six innings of one-hit baseball, striking out eight and surrendering three walks.
“I felt good today, it’s been a while since I’ve felt good with both my fastball and my curveball,” Ravenelle said. “It’s definitely a good time for that to come out.”
“Usually my strikeout pitch is my curveball, but today it was the fastball. I set it up with the curveball, and I guess they were still looking for it and I just kind of froze them with the fastball.”
With the win, L-S (22-2) moves on to play the winner of the D1 South Final, either Xaverian or Franklin, on Wednesday for the right to play for the Division 1 State Championship.
L-S knows that game will be a challenge, regardless of who they play.
“We have two teams left that we’ve played,” L-S coach Kirk Fredericks said. “Xaverian we played and lost 4-0. They’re a good, scrappy team, very well-coached. Franklin we played in the MetroWest Classic Championship game. They hit the ball well and have five or six pitchers that throw the ball as good as any of our guys. We fully expect it to be a war on Wednesday.”
Even though he didn’t let a runner past second base in his six innings of work, it was predetermined that Ravenelle would exit the game when he did. An A-B (18-6) runner did not make it past second base the entire game.
“We decided that we’d probably throw him about five innings today, regardless of the score,” said Fredericks. “He said he wanted to go one more, so we left him out there for one more.”
A-B’s Tyler Dickinson was moving along smoothly on the mound until the third inning when he surrendered back-to-back singles to Matt Cahill and Brian Carroll. Then he walked Dan Cellucci to load the bases. He struck out Carl Anderson for the second out of the inning, but gave up back-to-back singles to Ravenelle and Michael Berry that scored all three runners.
L-S struck again in the fifth with four runs on three hits in a walk, which included a two-run triple by Anderson that was made possible when the A-B leftfielder dove to try to catch the ball, but he missed, which allowed it to roll all the way to the wall.
“That’s baseball,” said A-B coach Patrick Grucela. “That was two phenomenal teams playing a game. We’ve talked all season that big innings are the curse and they got one three-run inning and one four-run inning when things didn’t quite go our way and that was the difference in the game.”
L-S got great production from Cahill and Carroll, their No. 8 and 9 hitters, who each went 3-for-4 in the game. It will need that if it hopes to advance to the State Championship game.
“Everyone takes their turn, and when we can put it together we’re a tough team,” Fredericks said.