LOWELL-- The Gloucester baseball team just could not get into a groove in Wednesday’s Division 3 North Semifinal against Lynnfield.
A pair of Pioneers pitchers held the Fishermen offense in check while their pesky bats made Fishermen pitchers grind for every out in a 6-3 win at LeLacheur.
With the loss, the second-seeded Fishermen finish up the season at 18-5 while No. 3 Lynnfield (18-5) advances to Saturday’s Division 3 North Final against No. 4 Bishop Fenwick.
"There's not much to say other than they were better than us tonight and deserved to win," Gloucester head coach Rory Gentile said. "You want to be at your best in these big games. We weren't and they were."
Gloucester jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Lucas Melanson scored on a wild pitch after leading off the frame with a single. The Fishermen, however, would leave two in scoring position in an inning that could have been bigger.
Lynnfield took the lead for good in the top of the third with four runs. The Pioneers drew four walks in the frame, two of them coming on lengthy at bats, fouling off several good pitches.
Luke Martinho tied the score at 1-1 when he came in to score on a wild pitch. Will Garofoli followed with a two RBI single and Matt Fiore followed him with a RBI single to extend the Lynnfield lead to 4-1 in an inning where it only had two hits.
"They were just good in all facets of the game," Gentile said. "They pitched better than us, they fielded better and they got the timely hitting."
Pioneers hurler Clayton Marengi kept the Gloucester bats at bay in 4 1/3 innings pitched, but the Fishermen made a game of it in the fifth when Melanson smoked a double to the warning track in left that plated E.J. Field and Zach Abbott to make it a 4-3 game.
The Pioneers, however, answered back with two more runs in the top half of the sixth to get the lead back to three at 6-3. John Singer did the damage with a double down the line in left and another run came in on a strange play where a runner tagging up to third on a foul ball behind first base scored after the throw to third got away.
Garofoli finished off the game with 2 and 1/3 scoreless innings.
The road comes to an end for the Fishermen in a great season where they won the Northeastern Conference North Division and finished with 18 wins, the third most in a single season in program history.
"It's hard to get to the semifinals and something you can't take for granted," Gentile said. "We have no regrets and it was a great season. The team should know that they did a great job all year. Just wasn't our night tonight."
Division 3 North Semifinals
No. 3 Lynnfield 6, No. 2 Gloucester 3
at LeLacheur Park, Lowell
Lynnfield 004 002 0| 6
Gloucester 100 020 0| 3
L: Luders, SS, 1-0-0; Singer, 2B, 2-1-1; Marengi, P, 4-0-1; Gonzalez, DH, 3-1-1; Garofoli, CF, 4-0-2; Fiore, 1B, 4-0-1; Simpson, C, 3-0-0; Marinho, LF, 2-2-0; Cardarelli, RF, 2-2-1. Totals, 25-6-7.
G: Field, C, 4-1-1; Oliver, 3B/1B, 3-0-1; Mar. Montagnino, CF, 4-0-0; Abbott, P/3B, 2-1-0; Melanson, RF, 2-1-2; MacKillop, 1B, 2-0-0; Costanzo, SS, 3-0-0; Lucido, DH, 2-0-0; Mat. Montagnino, 2B, 1-0-0, Taormina, PH, 1-0-0. Totals, 24-3-4.
RBI: L, Garofoli 2, Singer 2; G, Melanson 2.
WP, Marengi; LP, Abbott.
Records: L, 18-5; G, 18-5.