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By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
It was a tough end for Needham Post 14 Legion on Sunday afternoon in Braintree. Less than 24 hours after a miracle 10-9 comeback victory against Norwood to keep their season alive, No. 4 seed Post 14 took on No. 2 seed out of the East Division, Hyde Park, for a spot in the District Six semifinals. Despite a late rally to cut the deficit to one run, an early 4-0 hole was too much to overcome and Hyde Park eliminated Post 14 by a 10-8 final.
Back-to-back doubles and an RBI single in the top of the first gave Hyde Park an early 2-0 lead. Hyde Park extended its lead to 4-0 following a pair of singles and a pair of wild pitches to the backstop in the bottom of the second.
Wellesley’s Matt Connelly wore a pitch on the arm to lead off the top of the fourth for Post 14. Drew Dorsey walked with two outs followed by a passed ball, putting runners at second and third for Bryce Anderson. On a 3-2 count, Anderson delivered a single to right to plate both Connelly and Dorsey and cut the deficit down to 4-2.
An RBI triple and a passed ball to the backstop allowed Hyde Park to extend its lead back to four at 6-2 in the bottom half.
Hunter Anderson singled to begin the top of the fifth and advanced to third following a fielder’s choice and a stolen base. St. Sebastian’s product and Westwood native Joe Fiore and Will Foley drew back-to-back walks to load the bases for Andrew Ko, who smacked a bases-clearing double into the right-centerfield gap to trim the deficit to 6-5.
Hyde Park rallied once again in the home half, plating four runs to seize a commanding 10-5 lead after five full.
Matt Connelly crushed a home run to right-center in the top of the sixth to cut the deficit to 10-6. Joe Fiore worked his way out of a first and second no-out jam in the bottom half to keep the deficit at four entering the top of the seventh. An RBI triple by Bryce Anderson made it a 10-7 game with one out, followed by an RBI groundout by Dorsey to plate Anderson and make it a 10-8 game. Hunter Anderson worked the count by struck out to end it in the ensuing at-bat as Hyde Park advanced with the 10-8 victory.
For funny and insightful sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter @fLAno0.