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By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter
On Thursday afternoon, Medfield and Westwood’s baseball teams met with both teams fighting for their playoff lives. Unfortunately for Medfield, a complete game shutout from junior left-hander Danny DeLorey would leave them continuing to search for answers after an incredibly promising start to the season.
In the first inning, Westwood’s Ryan Shea drove in two runs to give the Wolverines a 2-0 lead. Those would be the only runs scored the entire day, as Westwood would go on to win the game 2-0.
That’s not to say that nobody was hitting the ball; throughout the day, runners would be stranded on base as clutch pitching on both sides kept the score the same throughout.The Warriors may have gotten distracted by their frustrations toward the umpires after a couple of huge calls went against them. In the third, a questionable call at first ended the inning when, off of a bunt, it appeared the runner may have beaten the throw at first. Two innings later, a Medfield batter was hit by a pitch, but the umpire determined he had stuck his heavily-padded elbow into the path of the ball on purpose. Medfield erupted at the call and were especially upset at the delay the umpire took in making it.
Still, they had their chances. A huge strikeout from DeLorey in the sixth stranded a man on third. Then in the final inning, Jack McDonald doubled to center field after the Westwood fielder slipped chasing the ball. With the tying run at the plate, the center fielder redeemed himself by catching a popout. Then, a groundout was induced to Cal Guarino, who made another of many nice plays at third on the day. Finally, DeLorey would end his successful day by catching a popout to end the game.
Medfield coach Dave Worthley noted that his team has struggled to score runs after playing so well at the beginning of the season. “We’re now 6-7,” he said. “After starting off 5-1, we hit a rough patch offensively. We need to win three of our next five to make the state tournament. But today, the pitching was good, the defense was good. The Westwood kid threw very well. We’ve got to do a better job of grinding out at bats and hitting pitches in the counts that we create.”
Still, Worthley saw positives in the game, notably his team’s pitching and defense.
“I thought Harry Guarnagia pitched very well. He gave up a couple of runs in the first, but then really settled down and went four more strong. Aidan Clarke pitched well in the sixth, Ryan Murray had a couple of hits, Jack McDonald had the key double in the end, we just came up short.”
For Westwood coach Rob Flynn, there was no question his pitcher was the star of the day.
“This is Danny’s second start, and he just showed the utmost confidence and the ability that we expect from him every game. He’s a heck of a pitcher. He had two really good starts last year, and he just continued that this year. He was on point, he showed confidence up there, he showed poise. He was just firing on all cylinders. I think our defense was just all around outstanding, we didn’t hit in the opportune moments, but Danny DeLorey and our defense did a great job. Jacob Nguyen behind the plate did a great job working with Dan and the battery was really working today”
As good as this game was, Westwood has more work to do, because they are far from a shoo-in when it comes to the postseason.
“We’re 6-5 right now, so we’ve got to go 500 plus,” said Coach Flynn. “That puts us at a point where we’ve got to win. We’ve got four more games; we’re looking for four more W’s to get to the states, and we’re going to make that happen.”
More games from their pitchers like this one from Danny DeLorey, and they just might.