Friday, May 4, 2018

Butera's Bat Does the Trick to Lift Newton North to Key Bay State Conference Win

By: Matt Feld (@Mattyfeld612)

Newton, Mass. – In need of a Bay State Conference win to right the ship, Newton North received a spark from an unlikely offensive source.

With the Tigers and visiting Brookline tied 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Justin Butera came off the bench and roped a pinch-hit go-ahead RBI triple to right to push the Tigers in front, 2-1. Butera’s hit was the fulcrum of a seven run frame that propelled Newton North to a 7-1 win over Brookline on a humid Friday afternoon at Newton North High School.

Butera, often known for his talents on the mound, proved to be the deciding factor in just his third at-bat of the season

“Coach (Joe Siciliano) told me before the game to be ready,” said Butera. “He told me to go out there and jump on that first fastball. It felt great right away.”

Both starters in Newton North (4-4) ace Kenny Schecter (5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 8 K) and Warriors’ starter Casey Wisel (5 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 4 K) were spotless in the early going.

The two seemingly matched each other pitch-for-pitch throughout the first five innings.

It looked as though the Tigers would break through first in the bottom of the fifth as they loaded the bases with just one out.

On Wisel’s first offering to Cole Whitehouse, Whitehouse hit a hard groundball to third that seemed destined for left field. Warriors’ third baseman Reo Shimbori changed that laying out for a diving stop before getting to his feet and firing home to get the force at the plate. A 1-3 putout officially got Wisel through the jam.

In the top half of the sixth, Schechter blinked first. A hit batter and a single put runners on the corners and with two outs before Maxime Duchesne lined an RBI base hit to second to put the Warriors.

Frazier Bourgoin entered in relief of Schecter and induced a fly out to left field to prevent further damage. Bourgoin’s efforts proved critical as one half inning later Newton North responded.

Dante Taylor led off with a base hit, chasing Wisel from the game. A pop up to first and a line out to short generated the first two outs of the inning, but the Tigers had some two-out magic of their own in store. 

After a wild pitch moved Taylor to second, Spencer Checkoway came through dropping an RBI single to right to tie the game 1-1.

Checkoway’s base hit set the stage for Butera who drilled the first pitch he saw up onto the hill in right for an RBI triple.

“(Spencer) Checkoway has really worked and just had some tough luck hitting the ball right at kids,” said Siciliano. “I put Butera in and he puts a charge into the ball. Then the magic happens. The kids have just persevered and fought through it.”

The Tigers followed up by getting some much-needed insurance due in large part to some erratic Warriors’ pitching.

A walk and hit batter loaded the bases and Whitehouse followed by dropping an RBI single into right field to make it 3-1.

Ryan McLaughlin and Taylor were then both got hit forcing in two more runs, before a fielding error and consecutive walks made it 7-1 Tigers after six.

No comments :