Summer finally made an appearance on Saturday, giving Holy Cross’ Fitton Field a true baseball playoff feel. On hand for the high noon start were the Blackstone Valley Tech Beavers and your Auburn High School Rockets. The blaring June sun turnedout to be a common opponent for both teams.
The game was scoreless heading into the third inning, when Auburn senior, Steve Saucier lined a base hit to left field. Saucier advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt.
Senior Josh Tower struck out, but the catcher dropped the third strike and Tower took off for first base. On the throw to first, Saucier headed to third, forcing a bad throw from the BVT first baseman that led to Saucier scoring easily on the error.
BVT came right back in the top of the fourth. Justin Metlcalf bombed a triple over center fielder Steve Saucier. He scored on a sacrifice fly to right field, tying the game at 1.
All the while, both teams battled the sun, perched high in the sky for the midday game. More than a few routine popups became adventures, as players lost the ball in the sun.
Ultimately, it was this solar advantage that shone most brightly on the Rockets. Senior Collin Hines lifted a high infield pop up, but second baseman Nate Charron lost the ball in the sun.Saucier then laid down a perfect bunt single, intended to be a sacrifice, but Saucier legged out the throw to first. In the meantime, Hines got a little too far past second, and ended up being tagged out in a rundown. Next up though, was the imposing Josh Tower who absolutely crushed a triple to the fence in right field.
“I just got a great pitch to hit and I got all of it” said Tower after the game.
That would be it for scoring. Auburn’s Mike Breen proceeded to retire the Beavers on 5 pitches in the top of the sixth, and though it was but a one run game, you could almost feel the wind leave the Beaver’s sails. The final ended up 2-1 Auburn.
Saturday was the 20th District Championship appearance for Auburn, and their 12th victory.
“We get another few days together” Auburn coach Eric Swedberg told his team after the game. “That’s what we want, we get to play together a few more days.”
Auburn takes on the WMass Champs, Waconah, Tuesday at 4pm at Westfield State University.