After giving up three runs to West Bridgewater in back-to-back innings, déjà vu started to set in for Norfolk Aggie.
The Rams had been whipped, 30-1, by the Wildcats in West Bridgewater in the teams’ first meeting April 7 -- but this time, on their home field, the Rams made it a battle.
“You would question our ability to come back against a strong team like that,” said coach P.J. O’Toole. “But I think we were pretty confident.”
Joe McCarthy hit a two-out single in the fourth to bring in two. Jeff Boyle, Sam Lawlor and Evan Witherbee hit three consecutive doubles in the fifth to cut the lead to two. After a wild, error-filled sixth inning, Rams were up by a run.
Half an inning later, though, they again trailed by a score. According to their coach, his kids were unfazed.
“After that happens, you always feel a little down,” said O’Toole. “But they were ready to get the bats and get after them in the bottom of the seventh. Our confidence was still high.”
Norfolk Aggie’s Tommy Bonome singled to start off the inning. Alan Harrington then bunted, and after a botched throw to first, pinch-runner Gabe Whittemore came around to tie. Harrington advanced to third.
Pinch-hitter Colin Edgerly hit a grounder down the third base line, scoring Harrington and giving the Rams the hard-fought 9-8 win.
The comeback brought the Rams to .500 and kept them on pace to make their first state tournament appearance.
They’ve accomplished this feat despite bringing around 13 kids to each game, O’Toole said -- but he doesn’t look at his small roster as a handicap.
“We’re challenged in some ways by the numbers,” he said. “But the kids give it all they’ve got, all the time.”
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our fall correspondents:
- Anthony Gulizia | @gulizia_a | Div. 1 football
- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
- Stephen Sellner | @stephen_sellner | Div. 3 football
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Div. 4 football
- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
- Lorenzo Recupero | @LorenzoRecupero | Div. 6 football
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls volleyball
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