SHREWSBURY – A difficult start didn’t end the Shrewsbury High School (SHS) baseball team’s season on Wednesday.
Instead, the squad bounced back, defeating Lincoln-Sudbury at home to move one step further in this year’s state championship tournament.
“Survive and advance,” Head Coach Lee Diamantopoulos said after the 5-2 win. “That’s the rule of tournament play, you never look past your next opponent.”
Griffith helps boost team in win
Hosting this Round of 16 game at SHS, the Colonials initially fell behind in the second inning, with multiple errors in the field.
They bounced back though, quickly tying the game before cementing a lead.
“I’m just so proud of how the boys competed out there today,” Diamantopoulos said.
“We had a couple self-inflicted wounds to start,” he continued. “They overcame that and I think that’s a sign of a great team to be able to grind out some great at bats and play good defense out there.”
Shrewsbury allowed just one more run after the second inning.
Its bats, meanwhile, came alive.
Ben Griffith led the way, hammering a pair of RBI-triples into the outfield to pad Shrewsbury’s advantage.
“I was seeing the ball well – better than I have the past few games,” Griffith said. “I was feeling confident at the plate. Hopefully, that continues throughout the playoffs.”
Griffith then took the mound as a relief pitcher in the game’s final frames to navigate Shrewsbury’s final outs against Lincoln-Sudbury after a five-inning start from teammate Rocco Hickson.
“Ben’s been our guy all season,” Diamantopoulos said. “There’s no one else we want on the mound there to finish the game. We felt good with him on the mound when we needed to close it out.”
All this did mark a rebound for Griffith, who had struggled both at the plate and on the mound in recent appearances.
“I’m so happy for him,” Diamantopoulos said after Wednesday’s win. “He’s worked really hard and he’s definitely a gamer. We’ve got total confidence in him.”
Shrewsbury bounces back from defeat
Ranked fourth out of the 42 teams that qualified for this year’s Division I state baseball tournament, Shrewsbury has had its share of dominant days this spring.
As it did in the early moments of this most recent game, though, the team has also had its share of struggles.
Just last week, the Colonials lost to 27th-ranked Algonquin in an upset in the CMADA finals on the eve of state tournament seeding.
Players and coaches noted that defeat on Wednesday while celebrating their program’s ability to make adjustments.
“We responded well to losses all year,” Griffith said. “We’ve gone on win-streaks after losses.”
“It just gives us fire,” he continued, “so, we perform.”
‘We still have more to win’
Shrewsbury is now set to take on BC High School in the state quarterfinals on Saturday, hosting the Eagles with a spot in the Final Four on the line. First pitch in that game is set for 2 p.m.
“We’ll turn the page and figure out who we’re playing next,” Diamantopoulos said on Wednesday before that pairing had been set. “Hopefully we can improve and give them our best shot.”
“We still have more to win,” Griffith added. “Whoever’s next, we’ll take them.”