DARTMOUTH — The North Attleboro American Legion Post 49 junior baseball team extended its unbeaten skein to 19 games this season with a thrilling 7-6 victory over New Bedford Saturday at UMass Dartmouth to take home the District 9 championship.
North Attleboro will now travel to the Mass. State Tournament July 27-31 in Wilbraham.
Attleboro High’s Nick McMahon surrendered an unearned run to New Bedford in the first inning, then fired three scoreless frames to allow Post 49 to come back.
Post 49 scored its game-winning run in the sixth inning. In taking a 7-3 lead, Jared Penta singled to center field with one out, stole second base and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
New Bedford used three hits and a walk in the sixth inning to plate three runs and narrow the game. But McMahon induced a pop-up to third baseman John Connolly to strand the game-tying run.
McMahon pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning with two strikeouts, and fielded a ground ball for the final out to preserve the win.
Post 49 was held hitless through the first two innings. In the third inning, Justin Neidel drew a leadoff walk, and with one out, Penta also walked and McMahon reached on an infield single to load the bases. Kyle Briere singled to left to drive in two runs, then Matt McMahon followed with a two-run single down the third-base line. After Luke Vaillancourt singled, McMahon scored on John Connolly’s sacrifice fly to center.
Post 49 added to run in the fifth inning. Vaillancourt drew a one-out walk, advanced on a wild pitch, went to third on a Connolly base hit and scored on a wild pitch.
North Attleboro won the opening game 9-3 at Community Field. Post 49 had strong pitching from Briere, Danny Curran and Jason Pappone, who combined on a five-hitter, walking two, striking out six and allowing only one earned run.
North tied the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the first as Penta drew a walk, stole second base and scored on a Nick McMahon ground ball.
Post 49 took the lead with a pair of third-inning runs. Benn Sherman led off with a walk and Owen Taber hit an inside-the-park two-run homer to the right-field fence.
Curran came in and pitched two shutout innings in the fifth and sixth for North. Then Post 49 rallied for four fifth-inning runs to take a 7-3 lead. Curran led off with a single and Penta drew a walk, followed by Nick McMahon singling to left to load the bases. After Curran came home on a wild pitch, Briere and Vaillancourt spanked RBI singles. A Billy Roche sacrifice fly to right field created a four-run lead.