NEWS

Brockton brings down final curtain on the Mariners to secure state title

Joe McConnell and Eli Pearlstein

It was fun while it lasted, but an overworked, albeit gritty pitching staff just ran out of steam and Brockton had no trouble dispatching the Swampscott American Legion Post 57 baseball team in the state championship game at Hudson’s Riverside Park, 17-4 Aug. 8.

Brockton Post 35 as the visiting team put the Mariners behind the proverbial eight ball right away with five runs in the first.

“The wheels were coming off, and we just ran out of gas,” said coach Jeff Newhall after the game. “We walked into a heavyweight fight, and got punched in the mouth. It stings a little bit right now, but overall we had a great season. We just ran into a hot team on the wrong day.”

Swampscott went 3-2 in the state finals, and were 7-2 throughout the entire tournament. Brockton was 5-1 in the state finals to secure the 2007 championship. Their only loss was to Swampscott in the opener, 8-5 Aug. 4. They will be packing for Burlington, Vt. for the regionals beginning Aug. 16.

But coach Newhall has few complaints about his team’s tournament run.

“We went a lot further than a lot of people thought we would have gone with the pitching we had,” he said. “It wasn’t necessary that we lost the states, but it’s the fact that the road is now over for this group of kids this season. It was a very exciting season, and a lot of fun for all of us connected with the program.”

Peter Kinchley pitched the first five innings for Swampscott. Chris Nemeskal went the next 3.2 innings, before Andrew Dewing was given a shot on the mound while playing in his final legion game. He gave up a walk, but also fanned a batter, and nobody will ever forget his two blasts against Brockton in the opener and Milton that tied up that classic in the eighth, eventually won by Swampscott in the 10th, 8-7 Aug. 5.

Steve Moran scored the first run for the locals on a wild pitch in the fifth. Brockton was leading 10-1 at that point. John Hicks came through with an RBI single in the sixth after Doug Shribman scored via another wild pitch. It was now 10-3.

Ryan Squires was credited with a run producing single in the eighth to account for the final Swampscott run of the season. Brockton tacked on five more in the ninth to seal the deal on the state title.

David Dole (5 hits) and Sean Keane (4 hits) paced the Brockton offensive attack that collected a total of 19 hits off the Swampscott pitching staff.

Brian Maloney, pitching on just one day’s rest, went five innings to secure the win. Maloney scattered four hits and one walk, and gave up just one earned run. He also fanned 11, including the first nine batters.

Jeff Puopolo finished up on the mound, pitching the final four frames. Puopolo allowed four hits, three walks and three earned runs, while striking out three.