PLYMOUTH, Mass. -– The Silver Lake baseball team may been held hitless until the sixth inning against Plymouth North, but it was Lakers’ starting pitcher Mike Lundin who left Siever Field as the best pitcher on Tuesday.
Lundin threw a 101-pitch complete game in the Lakers' 4-1 eight-inning win in the opening round of the Brad Martin Tournament on Tuesday, setting them up with a match-up against Bridgewater-Raynham in the finals on Thursday at 2, back at Siever Field in Plymouth. Plymouth North will face New Bedford in the consolation game.
The senior hurler surrendered just two hits and one unearned run while striking out nine –- including five in the final two innings as Silver Lake improved to 5-0 on the season.
"Mike’s a stud. Mike’s a horse," said Silver Lake coach Ken Tocci. "This was just a good old fashioned pitcher’s duel. We were lucky enough to get out on top, because he made big pitches when he had to."
He was efficient in out-dueling Eagles (3-1) starter Ken Drew, throwing 68 of his 101 pitches for strikes.
"He kept us off-balance all game," said Plymouth North interim coach Pat Lamb. "Kids were ducking out of the way on called third strikes. His curve ball was working and he throws hard. Some days you just tip your hat, and today is one of those days. He pitched a little bit better than our guy."
Drew threw the first seven innings for North, holding Silver Lake hitless until a Sam Ballerini fell in down the right field line for a two-out double in the top of the sixth inning.
After Cory Boudreau walked, stole second and took third on a throwing error in the first inning, he came in to score an unearned run on a fielder’s choice from the bat of David Murphy.
Drew quieted a pair of potential SL rallies in the third and fourth innings, as they put runners on second and third in both, despite not having any hits.
It took until the top of the seventh for the Lakers to finally get to him. Freshman Anthony Videtto led off with a walk and quickly stole second base, despite a pitch-out by Plymouth North.
With one out, the speedy second baseman swiped third, forcing Plymouth North to pull its infield in to try and prevent the game-tying run from scoring.
Sophomore Tanner Bouchard –- who was Silver Lake’s first base runner after drawing a walk to conclude a nine-pitch at-bat in the third – fought off a pair of two-strike pitches before smacking a grounder toward shortstop.
Videtto was off on contact, and slid across the plate with the tying run just a blink of the eye ahead of the tag.
“We’re aggressive,” said Tocci. “Anyone who watches us know we’re aggressive, and you live by the sword, and die by the sword. He could have very easily been thrown out. We noticed that it was sort of a slow infield and balls weren’t getting to position players the way they would if the grass was cut lower. One out, working toward the bottom of the order, we decided to be off on contact.”
Plymouth North made a move to the bullpen in the eighth with Drew already at 116 pitches, and Silver Lake took advantage.
Josh O’Neill led off with a walk, and Matt Kauchon followed with one as well. Ballerini laced a line drive deep toward the right center field gap that was caught near the fence, allowing O’Neill to race to third base.
O’Neill scored the go-ahead run for SL on a wild pitch with Tucker Bouchard at the plate.
Bouchard was award first base after being hit by the next pitch, bringing Videtto back to the plate. He drew his third walk of the game.
Tanner Bouchard extended the lead when he laced a two-out single over the third baseman’s head, scoring both Kauchon and his older brother.
Lundin allowed two base runners in the bottom of the eighth, but ultimately recorded all three outs via strikeout to cap his impressive showing and punch Silver Lake’s ticket to Thursday’s championship game.
"Good pitching will always shut down good hitting," said Tocci. "We found a way to scratch one out and pulled ahead late."