Twenty-four wins, two losses—both of which came in the American Legion state tournament and one coming to the eventual state champions—an undefeated regular season, a second-straight District 10 championship.
There’s no denying the heights that the Clark Haddad Sandwich Post 188 baseball team soared to this summer on the field. But what head coach Brian Tomasini will remember most is the continuity and bond that was formed among his players.
“It was definitely, talent aside, one of the more special teams I’ve been a part of,” he said. “This group really meshed well right off the bat. We could tell right away they had a great work ethic.”
It was that methodical approach from the team that got them within a game of representing the Bay State in the American Legion regional tournament this weekend. But, like most great things, their season came to an end.
Playing Ashland Post 77 on last August 1 at Fino Field in Milford for the right to play Lawrence in the state final later that evening, Sandwich was shut out, 3-0, to complete their otherwise memorable season.
“We felt like we belonged there,” Tomasini said. “I think this team really showed that Post 188 deserves to be in that tournament every year.”
The Sandwich ball club had to square off against Ashland’s Luke Gustavson, who pitches for Tufts University in the spring. Gustavson went the distance, allowing only five hits and a walk while striking out four.
“He’s a good pitcher. We knew he threw well this season and knew he was going to get the ball for them in this game,” Tomasini said.
Despite being held scoreless, Post 188 had their chances, putting good wood on a number of balls, but hitting them directly to players. Mike Petit (Sandwich) had two runners in scoring position when he hit a laser to Ashland shortstop Jackson Hornung, who made a leaping grab to make the out and save potentially two runs. Ashland’s Dominic Cavanaugh also made a great snag at third base to rob another Sandwich player of a would-be base hit, Tomasini said.
But no one was robbed more than Zach Landry (Mashpee), who hit a ball more than 400-feet, Tomasini said, that was ultimately caught for an out. With no fences at Fino Field, the Ashland right fielder was able to keep drifting back until he eventually settled under the ball to record the out.
“If that was at Fenton Field that ball would’ve been off the port-o-potties,” the head coach said.
Tyler Wudyka (Sandwich) and Cam Scheuer (Sandwich) each had two-hit days for Post 188.
That, however, wasn’t enough to support left-handed starter Ben Smith (Bourne). He went pitch-for-pitch with Gustavson, going in the distance in the losing effort. He scattered 11 hits and gave up three runs while striking out five.
“It was unfortunate we couldn’t help out Ben on the mound, because he was great that day,” Tomasini said.
Ashland scored two runs on infield singles and went 1-0 in the first inning on back-to-back hits with two outs.
The season may be over the Post 188 senior team, but the junior team is still competing in the American Legion tournament. They qualified for regionals after placing second in the state tournament. They’ll represent the Bay State this weekend in Concord, New Hampshire, playing the best teams from around New England.