Hoyt to rescue for Xaverian
Second baseman delivers winning hit against Lowell
BROCKTON - The first time Xaverian second baseman Chris Hoyt came up to bat with the bases loaded, he grounded to short to end the inning.
But the next time Hoyt was up with the bases loaded - in the sixth inning with his team trailing by a run - he tapped a single past the outstretched glove of shortstop Chad Gens and knocked in two runs to lift Xaverian to a 3-2 win over Lowell in the Division 1 EMass final at Campanelli Stadium Tuesday night.
“I’m just going up there every time trying to hit the ball hard,’’ Hoyt said. “Hopefully it will reach a hole. I got up three times with runners on base, and one time I hit the hole.’’
Hoyt finished 3 for 5 with three stolen bases in the game, and Xaverian coach Gerry Lambert was confident his captain would come up with the big hit.
“When he stepped up with the bases loaded, I was like, ‘You know what? If I had to pick anybody on the team - one guy - that’s the guy.’ ’’
In the top of the seventh, Xaverian (17-8) missed out on a chance to extend its lead when Lowell pitcher Matt Tulley, who relieved Cam Latta, struck out Aidan Desrosiers to get his team out of a bases-loaded jam.
In the bottom of the inning, Lowell (21-5) loaded the bases with one out and Tulley at the plate. But Hoyt orchestrated a wild play that ended the inning.
Tulley popped to second, and with the infield fly rule in effect, Hoyt dropped the ball.
Pinch runner Ricky Rosado broke for home and Hoyt overthrew catcher Andrew Elliott, but Elliott retrieved the ball and threw to first baseman Mike LaVita covering. LaVita made the tag at home to preserve Xaverian’s lead.
“It was intentional to drop the ball, but it wasn’t intentional to throw the ball over the catcher’s head,’’ Hoyt said. “We actually practice that. They brought in a pinch runner and we got him to get a jump, and we were fortunate LaVita backed up the plate.’’
Lambert added, “It often comes down to one play and Chris Hoyt has the presence of mind to execute an attempt. I think Mike LaVita is the unsung hero of that play. That’s just a ballplayer realizing he needed to make a play.’’
Tim Duggan earned the win for Xaverian, going six innings before being relieved by Mark Stefaniak.
After Stefaniak tossed two scoreless innings, junior Austin DeCarr earned the save with a 1-2-3 inning.
“Tim wasn’t quite as sharp,’’ Lambert said. “He wanted to be out there for the seventh inning, but I feel great about our other guys.’’
Xaverian will play the winner of Thursday’s game between Algonquin and Westfield.