BROCKTON — Wednesday night’s Super Eight baseball matchup between BC High and Mansfield was an elimination game, a familiar feeling for an Eagles team that seemingly has played with its backs against the wall for much of the second half of the season.
BC High was forced to regroup after surrendering a seven-run lead to the Hornets. Senior Sean O’Connell knocked in the tying run in the seventh and junior Pat Roche plated the winning run in the ninth to walk off with a 10-9 win at Campanelli Stadium.
The No. 5 Eagles, who won their final five games in the regular season in earning a Super Eight berth, advance to face Catholic Conference rival and second-seeded St. John’s Prep on Friday.
“It’s been a kind of pattern where we have been dead in the water and went on a streak to end the season, and I think both times we ended up in third place,” BC High coach Norm Walsh said. “Hopefully we can get beyond that this time.”
Pinch-hitter Stephen Parsons walked to lead off the bottom of the ninth and moved to second when a pickoff throw got away. Roche ended it quickly, stinging a single to right that scored Parsons easily to extend their year.
“Over the course of the year we have been scoring early and then going flat,” Roche said. “I think today our seniors did a great job of keeping us up the whole game, and we put good ABs. Stephen Parsons doesn’t play all game, gets called up in the bottom of the ninth and gets on base, I get a good pitch to hit, and we win.”
Mansfield had a promising inning going in the top of the ninth as Garrett Burke singled on a perfectly-executed hit-and-run with no outs, but BC High threw behind to get the runner at third on an aggressive turn and the rally short-circuited from there.
The Eagles used an eight-run third, highlighted by a bases-clearing double by Charlie Devin to build an 8-1 lead and knock out starter Jake Gerraughty.
Mansfield (18-7) answered back with three in the fourth and four in the sixth to tie it at 8-8, getting big hits from Sam Nugent, Dan Sarceno and Eric Longley, and forged ahead on a throwing error in the seventh, one of 11 total made in a sloppy defensive contest.
Luke Linnehan went 3 2/3 scoreless innings to pick up the win in relief of O’Connell.
“We don’t give up, ever,” Roche said. “There is no letdown in these guys. I love playing with them and I can’t wait to go to practice tomorrow.”
Source:: Boston Herald