The Wilmington baseball team hung with Lynn Classical until the last out of Thursday’s North Division 2 postseason opener. But in the end, a strong Wildcat season came to a close with a tight road setback.
Lynn struck for two runs in the opening frame before Wilmington knotted the score in the third with a pair of runs. But single tallies in the fourth and sixth innings helped seal the 4-2 home win.
“We asked them to leave it on the field, and they left it on the field,” said head coach Aldo Caira. “The outcome may not be what you want, but as long as the effort was there, that’s what we’re looking for.”
Though the hosts struck quickly, three seniors led a two-out rally in the third that helped Wilmington even things up. Phil Lentini started the rally with a single, Cole Peffer followed with a single of his own, and Dalton Rolli brought them both home one batter later.
John Keough started on the mound for Wilmington and lasted into the third. But with two runners on base and no one out, the senior felt something pop in his shoulder and was removed from the game.
Sophomore Brendan McDonough came in as a relief pitcher and walked the first batter he faced. But a solid defensive play by Peffer led to the first out of the frame and McDonough notched back-to-back strikeouts to sneak out of the jam.
Rolli led off the sixth with a single as the Wildcats trailed, 3-2. But he was stranded at second and Wilmington never managed another serious offensive threat.
Caira said despite the loss, this was a memorable season with his team, which earned the Middlesex League Small School Division regular season title.
“We had a great year,” said Caira. “This team was unlike any other team I’ve had. They were a close-knit team. They played together, won together and lost together. It was just a fun year.”