BEVERLY — As the regular season winds down, certain games take on added significance.
Friday’s meeting between the Beverly and Gloucester baseball teams was that kind of game.
For two squads that have met in the Division 2 North tournament in each of the past two seasons and again appear among the section’s top contenders, any late season meeting is going to carry some weight. It came as no surprise, then, that Friday’s game at Cooney Field had a tournament feel to it — the kind of game that could hinge on a single play.
A week after Gloucester ripped the cover off the ball in a win over the Panthers, Beverly got its revenge behind a stellar performance from Cam Rogers. Rogers held a prolific Gloucester offense to just three hits and allowed just one runner to reach second base in a complete-game, shutout effort to pace the Panthers’ 1-0 win.
“First of all, to shut those guys out is really something,” Beverly coach Dave Wilbur said. “They can hit. They really hit the ball. Cameron was immense today. He really hit his spots. He had his fastball in, had his fastball out, threw his curveball for a strike, kept them off-balance. They hit the ball hard a few times but he really was masterful. One thing about Cameron is that he knows the situation. He knew it was 1-0 and he couldn’t give up a run. He’s just really mentally tough and a great competitor on the mound.”
In the bottom of the third inning, the Panthers appeared primed to blow the game open. An inning before, a Craig Hall single plated Luke McDonald, who had led off the inning with a double to left field, for what proved to be the game’s winning run.