Friday, June 8, 2018

Super Eight Elimination Games: Preview and Picks

By Matt Feld (@Mattyfeld612)

Friday afternoon brings with it the first handful of Super Eight elimination games down at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton. 

Two teams will advance to the final field of six teams while another two will see their successful seasons come to a close. First up at 4pm, sixth-seeded Lexington takes on No. 2 Wachusett and then at 7pm Mansfield takes on Walpole for the second time this season.

Here is how we expected the two one-loss games down in Brockton to play out later today. Check back in tomorrow morning where we will preview the two quarterfinal matchups set to take place.

No. 6 Lexington (16-7) vs. No. 2 Wachusett (20-3), 4pm
Probables: Madison Dina – Lexington, RHP (5-1, 0.94 ERA); Wachusett - TBA

Overview: Both Lexington and Wachusett saw a potential opening round win slip through its fingers in the late innings on Wednesday, but face a quick turn around as they square off on Friday afternoon in a Super Eight elimination game. Madison Dina is expected to get the start for the Minutemen. The right-hander has experience pitching against top-tier opponents, shutting down BC High and coming in relief versus Belmont as well as Exeter (NH). While coming from just above a three-quarters arm slot, Dina features a four-seam fastball, and two-seamer that cuts back over the plate to right-handed hitters, and a slider. On the year, Dina is 5-1 with a 0.94 ERA with his lone loss coming to Catholic Memorial 

The Mountaineers’ offense was quieted through the first six innings versus Franklin ace Jake Noviello on Wednesday, but came to life in the late innings to showcase some of that explosiveness they were known for during the regular season. Cole Durkan continues to hit as well as anyone in the state, while Eddy Beauregard, Barry Walsh, and Mike Maher provide depth. 

Prediction: In a high-scoring affair, Lexington finds just enough pitching necessary down the stretch to hold off Durkan and the Mountaineers in order to stay alive for another day.

9-7, Lexington

No. 8 Walpole (15-6) vs. No. 5 Mansfield (19-4), 7pm
Probables: Matt Donato – Walpole, RHP (6-1, 1.30 ERA); Kevin Dow – Mansfield, LHP (5-1, 0.59 ERA)

Overview: In a rematch from earlier this season, Walpole will hope to exert some revenge on Friday night in an effort to keep their season alive. Junior Matt Donato is expected to get the ball and all season long he has been rock solid when the Rebels have needed him most. The right-hander is 6-1 with a 1.30 ERA with wins over Braintree, Silver Lake, and Natick. Tyler Page continues to excel behind the dish for Walpole with Dylan Hanifin and Bryan Kraus surround Page at the top of the order.

Kevin Dow already shut down Walpole’s lineup once this season, and Hornets’ coach Joe Breen is hoping the left-hander can do it again. Dow was superb behind Tyler Dalton in the Mansfield rotation during the regular season going 5-1 with a 0.59 ERA. He struck out 52 hitters in 35.2 innings and had key non-league wins over Xaverian and the aforementioned Rebels. Offensively, Dalton and Dow lead the way in the middle of the Hornets’ order while Dan Saraceno and Sam Nugent set the table.

Prediction: In front of a solid evening crowd, Dow and Donato each turn in quality performances to keep their respective teams in the game. Page comes through in the middle innings to put Walpole in front, but Mansfield comes storming back to take down Walpole for a second time this season and advance in the Super Eight.

6-4, Mansfield


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