By Dakota Antelman, Managing Editor
SHREWSBURY – Shrewsbury Legion Post 397 baseball’s dominant season came to an end last week with a rollercoaster performance in the Northeast Regional tournament.
Ending their season with a 17-7 win-loss record, Shrewsbury had been working to defend their 2019 Regional Championship in their first set of playoff games following the disruption of COVID-19.
“We better be ready,” manager Frank Vaccaro told the Community Advocate prior to the tournament.
Strong start energizes Post 397
Hosting games at their home field on the campus of the College of the Holy Cross, Shrewsbury opened with an Aug. 4 faceoff against Essex Junction, Vermont.
They roared through that game, shutting out Essex Junction in what was eventually a 10-0 victory.
Connor Lyons led the way at the plate, launching a two-run home run to back up the four-inning, shutout performance of pitcher Connor Schmautz. Schmautz racked up four strikeouts against Essex Junction.
Shrewsbury then continued the fireworks just a day later. This time, though, they delighted fans with a comeback after falling behind against Windsor Locks, Connecticut.
A seven-run seventh inning put Post 397 on top, giving them the victory and the 2-0 tournament record in a game that had onlookers stunned.
“What a finish,” read a tweet from the official team Twitter account. “On to tomorrow!”
Losses to Beverly, Hamburg, NY end tournament run
Riding high after their blowout victory and their comeback heroics, momentum shifted for Shrewsbury on Aug. 6 as they dropped their matchup against Beverly by a score of 7-3.
That set up an elimination game on Aug. 7 against Hamburg, New York.
Playing as the away team in this tournament format, Post 397 drew first blood when they scored on a first inning wild pitch.
Hamburg quickly answered, however, tying the game at 1-1 with their first at-bat. They then took the lead in the second inning and did not surrender it for the rest of the game.
Shrewsbury trailed 11-4 by the end of the fourth inning. They locked down on defense from there and began to mount a comeback.
Cutting the score to 11-8, they still fell to Hamburg and wrapped up their season.
“Fought til’ the end,” the team tweeted. “…Our season comes to a close here at the Regionals — best of luck to all of the remaining teams!”