East Boston Jets fall 7-5 in MIAA playoffs
After an 18-2 regular season that landed them the No. 4 seed in the 20-team MIAA Division 3 North post-season playoffs, the East Boston Jets ran into a Big Blue buzzsaw and saw their season come to an end in a 7-5 loss to Swampscott Saturday, June 3, at Memorial Park.
The Jets fell victim to solid pitching by Swampscott’s Dave Peterson and a scintillating diving catch by Swampscott centerfielder Sean Lahrizi that robbed the Jets of at least two runs in the sixth inning that would have tied the game.
Some loose defense plagued the Jets as well.
Swampscott jumped out to an early lead when Lahrizi led off reaching first on an error by the Jets usually sure-handed second baseman Joe Giardina. Spencer Perkins then ripped a double off East Boston starter Josh Rivera to drive Lahrizi home.
Swampscott pulled away in the second. Rivera, whose season included a no-hitter against New Mission in April, just couldn’t find a groove. With one out, he surrendered three consecutive hits, including a triple to Graham Inzana. With three runs in, East Boston coach made the switch to right-handed stalwart Jake Scanlon with the Jets trailing 4-0.
The Jet rallied in the fourth inning and closed the gap to 4-3. After Nick Giardina led off with a single, he was erased on Joe Giardina’s fielder’s choice.
With Joe Giardina on first, Josue Baez and Joe Serpa walked to load the bases, setting up an Izzy Vega base hit that scored Giardina and Baez.
Serpa, though, was thrown out at second on the play.
The base-running miscue proved costly to the Jets as Scanlon nailed a double to left center that scored Vega to make it 4-3.
Swampscott crept to a 5-3 lead in the fifth when Lou Oliveri tripled and came home on a sacrifice fly.
But the real back-breaker–or heartbreaker, from the Eastie perspective–came in the sixth.
With two on and two out, Izzy Vega lashed a line drive destined for the gap in right-center and extra bases. Swampscott centerfielder Sean Lahrizi got a good jump on the ball, though, sprinted about 30 yards to his left, and made a diving catch to end the inning.
Swampscott added a pair of runs in the top of the seventh off the tiring Scanlon, and Eastie scratched out a pair of runs off Swampscott reliever Colin Frary in the bottom of the seventh, but with two outs and the tying runs on base, Baez lofted a soft fly to shallow right field that Big Blue first baseman AJ Venuti caught to close the curtain on the Jets season.