Earlier win over North Attleboro remains promising season highlight
It was a common theme almost all season long for the Milton High baseball team, namely winning a certain game for the first time in years and defeating a team that had won a title a season ago.
Such was the case when the Wildcats defeated North Attleboro in the first round of the Division 2 South Sectional on June 6.
Behind an outstanding performance on the mound from Finn Doherty and some timely hitting from Wildcat hitters, Milton notched its first tournament win in eight years with a 7-2 victory over the defending Division 2 State Champion.
Entering the game with identical 11-9 records, the visiting ninth-seeded Wildcats jumped all over the number eight seed Rocketeers with junior first baseman Ross Dexter, senior outfielder Kyle Coull, and sophomore infielder Colin Hoey all knocking in a run.
Junior Johnny Carey added on with a two-out bases-loaded hit that blew the game wide open for Milton. Junior shortstop Andrew Possi scored two runs in the win.
The star of the game was unquestionably starting pitcher Doherty. As he had done all season long, the junior carried the team on his shoulders, going six innings, fanning eight Rocketeers, and yielding only four hits and one run.
“Doherty was the story,” second-year head coach Brendan Morrissey said, “He had another great pitching performance. It was a good team win in which everyone contributed.”
The win earned Milton a date with number one seed Hopkinton four days later.
Milton battled hard throughout the contest, entering the bottom of the sixth inning down 5-3. However, the Hillers would show why they advanced all the way to the Division 2 State title, plating seven runs in the frame and eventually pulling away for a 12-3 victory. “It was a tough game. Hopkinton could really hit the ball,” Morrissey said. “The boys never quit. That’s who they are. We were only down 5-3 in the sixth but the wheels fell off. Hopkinton was a really good team.”
Although it may have been a disappointing end, it certainly wasn’t a disappointment of a season in the least for the growing Wildcats.
Defeating teams like Braintree (for the first time in 10 years), defending Division 1 champion Boston Latin, Division 1 runner-up Needham, a ranked Wellesley team, defending Boston City League champion Snowden, and reigning Division 2 champion North Attleboro for its first tournament win in eight years before hanging in there with a powerful Hopkinton team puts in perspective how far this team has come over the years and what it could become in the future.