By Nick Ironside, Globe Correspondent
Silver Lake coach Kenny Tocci knows his team won't quit. That’s why he wasn’t worried when the Lakers blew the 4-1 lead in the seventh inning against Hingham.
“There wasn’t a doubt in my mind we’d come back,” said Tocci, who is in his sixth year as coach. Hingham -- which won the league last year behind current senior Sean Greene’s hitting -- and Silver Lake (8-4, 6-2) entered the game tied for first-place in the Patriot League’s Keenan division.
After Hingham erased the 4-1 lead, Tocci knew the final inning would be tough. “[Hingham’s] lineup is like the Yankees; there’s no easy out,” he said.
The seventh started with Hingham’s ninth-hitter getting on base. After a few more batters reached and a run scored, Greene stepped to the plate. Hingham was down, 4-2, at that point.
“Our pitchers only made a couple of bad pitches,” Tocci said. Greene took one of those and knocked it out of the park for a three-run homer, leaving the Lakers three outs away from ending the day in second-place.
But the Lakers just wouldn’t quit.
“A million coaches would say the same thing, but I could see in their eyes that they were fired up,” Tocci said. “They were ready to go.”
The Lakers loaded the bases and scored the tying run on a fielder’s choice. Senior Matt Woodman strode to the plate and Tocci was confident.
“He was hitting the ball hard all game,” Tocci said. “I can’t remember the last time [Woodman] struck out.”
With runners on second and third, Woodman drove a pitch that skipped over the right-field wall for a ground-rule double, giving his team a 7-5 win and first-place for the time being.
“I don’t ever recall a team with this much resolve,” Tocci said. “Their chemistry is good, they’re a tight group, they exude character and I’ll bet on them any day of the week.”
Tocci made a point to praise Hingham’s resilience in the seventh inning. “Anytime you play a team like Hingham, you know you’re going to battle for seven innings,” he said. “They make you pay for mistakes.”
At the end of the day, the Lakers don’t quit mentality was too much for the defending league champions.
“I really think the sky is the limit with this team,” Tocci said. “We have a lot of good pitching and they know what they’re doing at the plate.
“They always find a way to want it more than the other team.”
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