By Joe Mitchell
The Lynnfield High School baseball team seems to be turning the corner with two more wins this past week against Georgetown (2-1) and Ipswich (6-2) to improve its record to 7-2.
“We’re definitely playing better,” said coach John O’Brien, “and that Georgetown game was a classic pitchers’ duel.”
And who else would be involved in a duel other than Lynnfield’s junior ace Fernando Gonzalez, the author of a one-hitter against Masco that also featured 13 strikeouts in a truly dominating performance.
Against the Royals, Gonzalez, now 2-1 on the season, scattered five hits and three walks, while whiffing another 10 batters. He also contributed to his own win offensively with a game-winning double in the sixth, and then went on to strikeout the side in the seventh to end this game in style.
The Pioneers managed just two hits against the Royals. Senior tri-captain Nick Giammarco produced a single to go along with Gonzalez’ two-bagger.
Both teams scored one run apiece in the first, before Gonzalez knocked in tri-captain John Luders with his double in the sixth.
Against Ipswich, junior Matt Fiore went the distance on the mound for the Pioneers to help secure the team’s seventh win of the year. Fiore gave up seven hits, two walks and one earned run, while fanning four.
The Pioneers pounded out nine hits. Tri-captain Cooper Marengi collected a single and a double to account for two RBI. Fiore helped his own cause with an RBI on a fielder’s choice.
But the big blast of the game came off the bat of Gonzalez, who socked a grand slam in the third to give his teammates a 5-2 lead.
Gonzalez’ early-season heroics hasn’t taken his coach by surprise, because he saw it coming throughout the last two years. “[Gonzalez] had a nice freshman year, and ever since we expected him to continue it. He has become one of the best players in the Cape Ann League,” said O’Brien. “We have certainly not been disappointed.”
The Pioneers looked to continue their winning ways against Manchester Essex May 3 after press deadline. They will then take on host Malden at Maplewood Field (behind Malden Catholic) Friday night, starting at 7 p.m., before facing host Triton Tuesday.