By the time Drew Burgard crossed the plate with Lexington Post 38’s 15th run against Concord Post 158, the baby Blue Sox American Legion baseball team’s recent struggles at the plate seemed all but a distant memory.
Against Concord, Lexington racked up 14 hits on its way to a decisive 15-5 victory on a crisp July evening at Lexington High School.
The home team scored in every inning but the second, including five apiece in the fourth and sixth frames. For coach Matt Lawlor, the offensive outburst was a welcomed signed that his team had broken out of its doldrums at the plate.
“We’ve been kind of struggling to hit the ball lately,” Lawlor said after the offensive onslaught. “It’s awesome as a coach to see these guys swing the bats going into the Chairman’s Cup.”
Overall, Lexington’s hits were well spread out, with just three players picking up more than one. Michael Loughlin and Kyle Laughlin had three singles apiece, while Billy Borden, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the fifth inning, had a triple, a double and four RBIs.
“We’re at the point (in the summer) when we don’t have much pitching after the starter,” Post 158 coach John Morrissey said. “We’re trying to piece it together. You know, (Lexington) just hit the ball well.”
Concord took a 5-4 lead in the top of the fourth inning with a pair of runs for the second straight inning off Post 38 starter Scoop Ruxin (3 2/3 innings, 6 hits, 6 walks, 5 runs, 2 strikeouts). Leadoff hitter Alex Nardone scored on a wild pitch after reaching with a double and Jackson Forelli crossed the plate on Brendan Canavan’s single through the left side.
The lead wouldn’t last long, as Post 158 didn’t score again and Lexington was only just heating up.
Nick Murray picked up the victory for Lexington, pitching 1 1/3 innings of relief. He allowed a single hit and struck out one batter. Will Marcal closed things out for Post 38.
“We battled today,” Lawlor said. “We played great defense, pitched well and swung the bats.”
Against Post 158 starter Gibson Holland in the fourth, back-to-back walks and a throwing error on Holland didn’t start things very well for the visitors, despite a flyout for the first out. Ruxin plated a pair with a triple to left-center field, while Loughlin and Laughlin each had an RBI single.
Alex Ruocco also scored in the inning, but his run was unearned as he crossed the plate on Holland’s miscue.
Two innings later, Post 38 touched reliever Michael Woo for five more runs. Borden had the big hit in the inning, a three-run double to center field. That came an inning after he smacked a pinch-hit triple to score a single run in the fifth inning.
Also in the sixth, Bobby Sabatino and Burgard drove in Laughlin and Loughlin, respectively.
“I think today we just had a better approach (than recently),” Lawlor said. “We were more aggressive early in the count, with two strikes we were battling and made the pitcher throw a lot of pitches. That’s stuff that’s hard do and I think we did it today, which was the key to winning.”
Lexington remains home Friday to take on Hudson. The Blue Sox will then play several makeup games this weekend before competing in next week’s consolation postseason.