ESSEX — As the Lynnfield baseball team paraded its entire lineup to the plate and notched four runs in the top of the fourth inning against Manchester Essex yesterday, it appeared that the game was slipping out of the Hornets’ fingers.
After manufacturing a run in the first inning, Manchester Essex’s bats had gone quiet, and with the Pioneers finally getting to starting freshman pitcher Brandon Bartlett, the game’s momentum had taken a serious swing in Lynnfield’s direction.
The Hornets didn’t go away, though, and capitalized on their opportunities. A Mike Loebelenz two-run single paced a three-run fifth inning that tied the game, and senior co-captain Max Nesbit laced a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Hornets a 6-4 lead — and, eventually, a 6-4 win.
Sean Desmond, who slammed the door on the heart of the Lynnfield lineup in the top of the seventh, got the win in relief, and the Hornets improved to 1-1 with the impressive comeback victory.
“That’s what we’ve been trying to preach to them for the whole season: In baseball, things are going to happen,” Hornets’ coach Bob Garrett said. “It’s how you bounce back from it. Teams are going to score runs against you, you just need to come back and score runs of your own.”
The Pioneers (1-2) didn’t hit Bartlett hard at all during his four innings of work, piling up just two hits through the first three innings. But in the fourth, as so often happens, balls started to find holes.
A leadoff walk got the ball rolling, but that runner was erased at the plate after an A.J. Gallo double was relayed from left fielder Kevin Carter to shortstop Cory Burnham, whose throw beat the runner to sophomore catcher Dominic Cerrone.