It’s Final: Mashpee Downs Abington, Will Face St. John Paul II in South Title Game

ROCKLAND – It wasn’t the start that Jason Demers and the Mashpee baseball team wanted, but the Falcons made true on the old cliché, it is not how you start but how you finish.

After allowing two runs to score in the first inning, Demers settled down to retire the final 14 Abington batters of the game, while the Falcons received a boost from the bottom half of

Mashpee High School's Jason Demers was superlative in the Falcons' South Sectional Semifinal win over Abington Wednesday afternoon at Rockland Memorial Stadium. Phil Garceau/ Sports

Mashpee High School’s Jason Demers was superlative in the Falcons’ South Sectional Semifinal win over Abington Wednesday afternoon at Rockland Memorial Stadium.
Phil Garceau/ Sports

their lineup to defeat the 10th-seeded Green Wave, 5-3, in the Div. 4 South semifinals at Rockland Memorial Stadium.

“It was just… I was in the bullpen a little too early because we thought the game was going to get started early,” Demers said after the game. “So I had a tough time starting up in the early innings, but then I settled in and hit my spots.”

It was the first semifinal appearance in Mashpee High history. Now, the Falcons will continue to explore uncharted territory as they advance to the Div. 4 title game where they will meet top-seeded St. John Paul II Lions who walked off with a 6-5 victory over Monomoy on the opposite side of the bracket (see “Faith Prevailed” story by Sean Walsh).

Abington came out swinging to open the game, picking up three consecutive singles to load the bases with no outs. The Green Wave, however, grabbed only two runs out of the situation, scoring on a fielder’s choice and a sacrifice fly to center before a fielder’s choice ended the inning.

“I don’t think Jason was sharp the first inning,” Mashpee head baseball coach Dan Patenaude said. “They didn’t hit the ball hard, but they put the ball in play. Abington is Abington, I don’t care who they have out there, whatever (coach) Steve Perakslis puts out there, you know it will be competitive.”

The Falcon hitters showed off patience at the plate as Abington pitcher Mike Burgess struggled to find the plate in the early going. Burgess struck out two Mashpee hitters in the opening frame before the Falcons settled down in the second.

With runners at first and second and one out, eight-hitter Dan Crowley ripped a triple into the left-center canyon, easily scoring Jordan Pinhack and Mike Fraser to tie the game at 2-2.

Mashpee's Alex Morry gets back to first base versus Rockland Wednesday in the Division 4 South Sectional Semifinals. Phil Garceau/ Sports

Mashpee’s Alex Morry gets back to first base versus Rockland Wednesday in the Division 4 South Sectional Semifinals.
Phil Garceau/ Sports

Eddie Childs followed up with a groundout to the third basemen, scoring Crowley on the back-side to take the lead.

“It was huge, we were throwing some helmets and threw some bats and we said good teams don’t do that,” Mashpee coach Dan Patenaude said. “You can’t let that happen and they really settled down.”

Abington tied the game in the following half inning, taking advantage of the Falcons’ lone defensive miscue of the afternoon.

Nate Riorden reached base after a mishandled ball at shortstop, and a double by Cater Cristoforo had runners at second and third with one out. Demers forced a groundout, which scored Riorden, and then he buckled down to strike out Evan Fanara to escape further damage.

Cristoforo would be the last Green Wave batter to reach base the remainder of the game. Demers retired the final 14 batters he faced and struck out eight over that span to shut down the Abington lineup. Demers went the distance, holding the Abington offense to three runs (two earned) on six hits and striking out eight.

‘He was stronger as the game went on,” Patenaude said. “There is no question about it, one of the assistant coaches turned and looked at me in the sixth inning and said the same thing.”

With Demers holding the Green Wave offense in check, the Falcons got what they needed in the bottom of the fourth inning, once again from the bottom of their lineup.

Entering the inning tied at three Fraser and James Murphy hit consecutive singles to set up runners at the corners with one out, allowing Patenaude to dig deep into his bag of tricks.

With Crowley at the plate and garnering attention after his deep triple in the previous at-bat, Patenaude got the wheels spinning with a double steal. Murphy took off for second base and once Fraser saw the throw go down to second, took off for home and executed a perfect hook slide to tally the game-winning run.

Murphy came around to score two batters later when Childs singled him home, giving the Falcons a 5-3 lead.

“Danny’s triple was key, it got the energy going for us,” Patenaude said. “But the bottom part of the order did it for us today, and the double steal to get that fourth run, the kids executed well.”

Looking ahead to the Div. 4 title game, Patenaude said he will hand the ball to Pat Madden, who picked up the victory in the Falcons’ quarterfinal win over Cohasset.

“We have one and two, and you aren’t going to win if you don’t have two solid pitchers, and Patrick pitched solid against Cohasset and he’s next in line.”

— Story written by contributing Sportswriter Phil Garceau. Edited by Sports Editor Sean Walsh

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