Chelsea scored in each inning to complete a 10-6 victory over non-conference foe East Boston fueled by an outstanding pitching performance by senior O’Danys Urbaez.
The three-year starter protected his home turf, striking out 15 batters in six innings of work. He gave up five hits and four earned runs while walking one.
“This is his first start of the season; he had some arm trouble early so this is the first time he has really been stretched out,” Chelsea coach Alan Beausoleil said. “When he’s around the strike zone, he’s hard to hit.”
Chelsea put two runs up in the bottom of the first to collect an early lead. After a leadoff walk, the Red Devils strung together two hits while capitalizing on miscues by the East Boston defense. Sophomore third baseman Carlos Vega picked up one of his five RBIs on the day to push the second runner across the plate.
East Boston managed a run in the second to cut the Chelsea lead in half. After back-to-back singles to start the inning, the runners moved over on an infield fly play before senior catcher Danny Auch hit a sacrifice fly. He finished the day two-for-two with 2 RBIs.
But the Red Devils scored one run in each the second and third innings to keep the pressure on the Jets.
“Just the offensive game plan is when you get a pitch to hit, you have to be ready to swing and that’s what our guys were doing today,” Beausoleil said. “We weren’t going to be overpowered, their pitcher was around the plate, so we knew he was going to throw it in there so we had to be ready.”
East Boston’s best offensive inning came in the top of the fourth where they netted three runs.
Shortstop Ramon Quinenes led off with a triple and was pushed home by a single from Martinez. Auch came to the plate later in the inning with two on and one out, the senior hit a single up the middle to drive home the two runners and tie the score at four.
Chelsea retook the lead in the bottom half of the frame, picking up two more runs, the second of which was walked in by Jets pitcher Mike Theriault. The sophomore went 4.2 innings, giving up four hits and five earned runs with four walks. He struck out nine.
“We try to have balance throughout the lineup, try to make sure that whether you’re the nine hitter or the one hitter, that everyone is ready to go,” Beausoleil said. “Everyone is counted on to contribute and that finally came through today.”
Theriault was relieved by southpaw Anthony Difeo. The senior went 2.1 innings, giving up four runs on two hits and two walks while striking out four.
Chelsea kept East Boston off the board in each the fifth and sixth innings.
“(Defensively) it’s much easier when the pitcher strikes out (15) guys, you don’t have to make a lot of plays,” Beausoleil said. “But when he had to make the play, we play the play so that’s what we focus on.”
The Jets went into the top of the seventh down 10-4. They faced Red Devils reliever Seison Reyes, who allowed East Boston’s final two runs of the game.
Difeo led the seventh off with a double and later scored on a 2-out RBI single from Quinenes. Martinez picked up his second RBI of the morning, pushing Quinenes across the plate with an RBI single up the middle. That was as close as the Jets would get as Reyes (1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 K) struck out the final batter to end the game.
East Boston falls to 3-3 on a morning when head coach Phil Brangiforte said four starters were on the bench after not showing up to scheduled practices.
Chelsea improves to 2-2 and 1-1 in the Commonwealth Conference.
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