QUINCY—A downpour put a brief damper on Wednesday night’s American Legion sectional semifinal in South Bracket A between Milton Post 114 and Brockton Post 35 at Adams Field.
The game was delayed for 3½ hours, but when the sun emerged, so did every player on both teams, eager to earn a trip to the final Thursday afternoon against New Bedford.
Milton rode a superb pitching performance from righthander Will Archibald to a 5-0 win, locking up a trip to the eight-team intrastate tournament because New Bedford, as tourney host, had already secured a spot.
The double-elimination intrastate tourney, which kicked off Saturday morning with four first-round games, features Billerica 268 (20-2), Newburyport Post 150 (19-1), Hyde Park Post 78 (21-6), Northbridge Post 343 (26-8), South Attleborough Post 312 (18-11), Milford Post 59 (25-8), Milton Post 114 (17-9), and New Bedford Post 1 (20-6).
Barntable Post 206 (22-2-1) is representing the state at the Northeast Regional tournament Aug. 9-13 in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, after capturing the national qualifying state tourney in July.
Pat Collins , in his second season as head coach of Post 114, saluted the work of the 5-foot-8, 170-pound Archibald, who put together a stellar freshman season working out of bullpen at Tufts University, compiled a 2-1 mark with a 2.22 earned run average in 16 appearances for coach John Casey.
“It started with Willie, the pitcher, as it has all year with him. And the team played great defense behind him,” said Collins.
Archibald, a Milton High graduate, struck out 11 and allowed just three hits to improve to 8-1 this summer.
Post 114 plated a single run in the fourth inning before padding the margin with four more runs in the sixth.
“They came ready to play,” said Collins. “They haven’t been discouraged at all. They always bounce back and they always find a way to come back.” After his club was bounced by New Bedford, 11-1, in the first round of the section, Post 114 stayed alive with a 1-0 win over Quincy.
Milton advanced to the state tournament two years ago when Collins was an assistant, but fell to East Longmeadow, 11-3.
“It’s been a team effort the entire season,” he said.
“They really deserve a lot of credit for how hard they worked. We ask for hard work and that’s what they give us. They’re a resilient bunch.”
Coach proud of Rockland
Rockland Post 147, representing District 10, was hammered by host Norwood, 9-1, in South Bracket C at Balch Field, but rallied with a 4-2 win over Marshfield.
Post 147 carried a 7-3 lead into the fifth of the rematch against Norwood, but Post 70 charged back for a 10-8 win.
Sean Roche was on the mound, delivering an impressive performance until he tired in the bottom of the fifth, allowing five runs.
“Sean Roche was tired and even though he didn’t feel tired I think it was just a tiring experience getting up to nearly 100 pitches,” said Thom Roache , in his 10th season as head coach.
Rockland (15-13 overall), making its first postseason appearance in years and registering its first playoff win since 2003 in the District 10 tourney, rallied with a single run to retake the lead, but in the sixth, Norwood answered with two runs, capitalizing on poor play in the outfield.
Still, Roache was proud of his club’s run this season.
“They did exceptionally well, came out of the toughest district in the state, which is District 10, and we played some of the best teams in the state as evidenced by the state champion, Barnstable [which advanced to the Northeast Regional], and we played them this year.
“We came out in position number seven and proceeded to work ourselves in the playoffs to beat the second seed from the seventh position. We beat them and got to the sectionals here. It’s a tough bunch of kids. We played well,” said Roache.
Norwood Post 70 (22-8) was eliminated from the South sectional tournament with a 9-5 loss to South Attleborough Thursday night. The game had been suspended (rain) Tuesday night with the game tied 2-2 in the fourth inning. When play resumed, Post 312 sent 12 batters to the plate in the bottom of the fourth, plating seven runs for a 9-2 cushion.
Coryn Doncaster can be reached at email@example.com.