Milford Legion Slams North Hampton, 12-5
By Nick Rando Sports Reporter/Intern · July 30, 2012
Fino Field and all its spectators witnessed yet another exciting baseball game on Sunday, July 29 as Milford Legion cruised past North Hampton, 12-5.
The blow-out win can mostly be attributed to Post 59's star first baseman, Matt Ferrelli and his outstanding performance at the plate.
After a deep RBI double to left in his first at-bat, Ferrelli crushed a grand slam homerun deep over the left field wall for his first homerun of the season.
Ferrelli's homerun was the first dinger to leave the yard at Fino Field this season. The blast came at a time when his team needed it most, trailing 3-2 in the second.
"It's Matt Ferrelli. He's been that guy that's come up big for us in big situations throughout the year and he did it twice tonight with the double to score the run and the grand slam," said Milford manager Brian Macchi.
Ferrelli finished the game going 2-for-5 with the grand slam and a double. The slugger tallied five RBI's in the sectionals semi-finals while putting Milford on his shoulders. Ferrelli matched North Hampton's scoring for the entire game in his first two at-bats.
"(Ferrelli) propelled us and got the jitters out for us," said Macchi. "He continues to be really important going forward."
Milford's offensive success is coming at the best possible time as Post 59 continues to push for the interstate tournament championship. Eight of the nine Milford batters recorded a hit as Milford bounced back from a 3-0 deficit in the first.
Milford manager Macchi believes that the offensive success can be attributed to the time off that was due to the number one seed in the playoffs.
"Personally, I think it was nice to get the number one seed and have a week off to go along with a couple of days off mixed in with some good batting practice," said Macchi. "There was a good 34 days where we played almost all of those days having maybe two or three days off here and there."
Although the extended rest seemed to work wonders for the offense, the same cannot be said for the pitching staff. Milford ace JJ Branch struggled out of the gate, but was able to battle and still produce a quality start for his ball club.
"He (Branch) didn't have his usual stuff and his usual command...but he definitely got us through six innings," said Macchi. "He's the ace of your staff for a reason and he doesn't need his best stuff to get you deep into a ballgame."
Branch battled through six innings with three strikeouts and three walks. The righty allowed five earned runs on nine hits, but still got the victory.
After Branch fought through six innings, he was relieved by Ian Strom. The left hander went for the three inning save while tallying four strikeouts, two walks and no hits.
"Ian did a nice job finishing off the seventh, eighth and ninth," said Macchi. "He came in the seventh and got back into the groove after having that time off...then you look at the eighth inning and he just took over from there."
Post 59 returns to action on Tuesday, July 31 at home versus either Ludlow or Leominster. Dan Avery will be on the hill looking to keep Milford rolling towards an interstate championship.
"Right now, we're looking forward to coming to the field on Tuesday and having good batting practice," said Macchi. "Whether its Ludlow or Leominster...as long as there's a spot for Milford there, we're excited."