By Joe Mitchell
The Lynnfield Little League Williamsport all-stars know something about winning pressure-packed tournament games. Last year as 11-year-olds, they won the District 16 title with a 4-0 record, and then went 3-1 in the state sectionals to advance to the state championship game, where they ended up losing a heartbreaker to Brookline.
The Lynnfield boys are back this year with much more at stake in this granddaddy of all tournaments, plus they have added one more player to their championship roster, Nick Hubbard, a versatile athlete who will see action behind the plate, on the mound and at first base.
Coach Matt Adamo guided them to the state finals one year ago, and he would like nothing better than to see them conquer the state this time in order to go on to Bristol, Conn., the site of the New England regional, with the winning team then advancing to the Mecca of Little League baseball in northeastern Pennsylvania to vie for the world title. But first things first: They still have to win the districts again, and they took the first step toward that goal with a convincing 10-3 win over the Saugus Americans at Pine Hill in Lynn on June 29 after getting a bye in the first round.
Saugus actually scored the first run of the game in the top half of the opening stanza, but the Lynnfield boys immediately erased that deficit right away with three in the home half, thanks to a three-run blast by Anthony Grabau.
Lynnfield pretty much scored in every inning after that to seal the verdict on this contest. Nick Groussis accounted for three singles and three runs scored to help pace the offensive attack. Tyler Adamo singled in a run, and scored once. Nate Lopez, the game’s winning pitcher, helped his own cause with a two-run single. Jarrett Scoppettuolo had a single and scored a run. Christian Rosa was credited with scoring three runs.
Lopez went the first five and two-thirds innings on the hill, scattering three hits and two walks while fanning 10. Rosa then came in to retire the final batter of the game on a pop-up.
After taking some time off to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday, Lynnfield will return to the diamond Friday, July 6, to take on Swampscott at Wyoma in Lynn, starting at 5:45 p.m. Coach Adamo will send Lopez back to the mound once again, looking to secure the second win in as many games.