HARVARD -- For whatever reason Ayer Shirley has had Bromfield's number this season. Panthers starting pitcher Danny Baldino hurled a complete game one-hitter Friday afternoon at Bromfield as Ayer Shirley blanked the Trojans, 8-0.
Ayer Shirley exploded for four runs in the opening frame and it never looked back. The game was called in the top of the sixth inning due to the injury of Bromfield center fielder Tommy Jackovitz, who had to be bussed to the hospital for an apparent concussion.
Jackovitz dove for a line drive double sprayed into the right center field gap by Baldino, but he came up short, and it appeared that his jaw connected with the turf.
"Coach told us that Tommy has a cut on his forehead and that he hurt his neck from when he dove," Bromfield starting pitcher Cam Maddalone said. "He had a headache in the back of his head, he is being brought to the hospital to check for concussion. It seems like he got whiplash on impact."
Baldino struck out seven and walked one batter, while allowing just one-hit to junior catcher Zane Atwood in the fifth inning.
"That was the best Dan has pitched all year," Ayer Shirley head coach Scott Callanan said. "We had a goal of winning two-out-of-three games this week. We cleaned up our act and accomplished that mini goal we set for ourselves.
Now, we have something to look forward to the rest of the season. We have to win four of our last six games to make districts. We are playing every one of our games like it is a playoff game. That's the mentality we started the game with."
Ayer Shirley bounded out to a 4-0 lead after one inning. Lead-off man Alex Walker reached on a single up the middle, but he would be later gunned doown at the plate by Bromfield third baseman Jon Schmidt. Atwood laid the sweeping tag on the diving Walker for the first out of the inning. Baldino reached on a full-count walk by Maddalone, and he would later score on a one-out RBI single to right field by shortstop Kyle Jumper. Five-hole designated hitter Bobby Lawton scorched a two-hit line drive double up the middle to score Jumper from second to make it 2-0. Lawton would later come around to score on a 2 RBI double to right field by senior first baseman Jake Hannon. Baldino struck out the first two Bromfield batters he faced to start a 1-2-3 first inning. The Panthers added three runs on four hits in the second inning to extend their lead to 7-0 after two. Bromfield could not solve Baldino, who was mixing his pitches well between his fastball and nasty curve.
Not only was he dominant, but he was effective.
Baldino threw just 64 pitches over six innings, and 23 pitches in the opening two frames.
"Danny never gave them an opportunity to get back in it," Callanan said. "That's the second-straight game where we have had our starting pitchers throw games sub-100 pitches. Michael Tonelli threw 86 on Wednesday for us. We had good base-running today, and we had some big two-out hits in the first inning. Bobby for us all season now has really checked in the middle of our batting order. He has really extended our batting order, and he has done a really good job."