Seekonk Shuts Out Pittsfield in State Title Game

By Stephen Sports
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WORCESTER, Mass. – Seekonk’s Javi Borges struck out 14 on Saturday to lead his team to an 8-0 win over Pittsfield in the Division 4 State Championship Game at Polar Park.
The fourth-seeded Warriors (22-3) struck early with five runs in the bottom of the first inning and went on to defend their 2023 state title in impressive fashion.
Borges was lifted for a reliever with one out and a runner on second in the top of the seventh inning, but there was little doubt about who was most responsible for Seekonk’s second state title win in its third straight championship game appearance.
In addition to holding the Generals to just three hits, Borges also helped his cause with three hits of his own. He also scored twice and drove in a pair of runs as Seekonk won its eighth straight game and outscored its five state tourney opponents by a combined 34-1.
“I think their guy just pitched a hell of a game,” Pittsfield coach Drew Pearce said. “He had us on our heels all day long, all game long. We didn’t make the adjustments to put the ball in play that we needed to make to beat a quality team like Seekonk.
“Fastball and curveball. He spun that breaking ball with that high strike, which was something they were giving. And we didn’t make the adjustment. A couple of times, like with [Morrie Fried in the fourth inning], he had to go at it because of what had been called. And that’s what you have to do. I’d rather him go at that one than sit there and watch him get punched out.”
Seven of Borges’ strikeouts came on called third strikes, including three straight Ks in the top of the first inning to set the tone.
“Weird strike zone, nothing we’ve really dealt with before,” Pittsfield senior Rohsan Warriar said. “Just a tough strike zone. We’ve got to fight through it. I don’t think we adjusted that well to it, and you can see that as a result of three hits.”
On the other side, Seekonk opened the game with six straight hits.
Declan Lush led off the bottom of the first with a double down the third base line, and Tyler Kropis and Connor Flynn each drove in runs in a five-run rally to open the game and chase Pittsfield starter Cam Hillard.
Simon Mele came on in relief and got a strikeout and a groundball to stop the rally and strand a runner. And he held Seekonk off the board over the next two innings, picking up his fourth strikeout to leave two runners on base in the bottom of the third.
After Borges went through the Pittsfield batting order in order with eight strikeouts, the Generals finally broke through in the top of the fourth.
Ben Jacob worked a leadoff walk and went all the way to third on Jake Duquette’s single. Duquette then took second to give Pittsfield two runners in scoring position with nobody out in a five-run game.
But Nick Brindle lined out to first base, Borges picked up another strikeout and the inning ended on a groundball to first base with the score still 5-0.
Pearce said he did not get the feeling that his team was overly deflated by the missed opportunity.
“Nick Brindle hit a helluva shot, and the first baseman was right there to grab it,” Pearce said. “That ball goes through, and you know how baseball is, it changes the complexion of the game.
“Was the wind out of the sails? No. There’s a lot of outs still to be had and a lot of at-bats to have. We have to make better adjustments throughout it to get to a top-notch arm like that. That kid was dominant, and we didn’t hit enough balls hard.”
Seekonk answered the threat in the top of the fourth by tacking on three more runs in the bottom of the frame. Borges hit a two-run single, and Greyson Baldizar singled up the middle to drive in the game’s last run.
Brayden Gutzmer pitched the last two innings for Pittsfield, striking out three and stranding a pair of runners in bottom of the sixth.
The Generals’ offense got a leadoff single from Connor Devine in the top of the sixth, but Borges got the next hitter to ground into a fielder’s choice and struck out the next two to avoid damage.
In the top of the seventh, Pittsfield’s Fried hit a leadoff double, but the Generals were not able to advance him. Two fly balls to right and a pop-up in foul territory on the first base side ended the game.
It was not the end to the season that sixth-seeded Pittsfield (20-6) wanted, but the Generals went farther than any PHS baseball squad has in 20 years and picked up a Western Mass Class B Championship along the way.
“We started off rough,” Warriar said. “Some people wouldn’t picture us being there, but we had the belief the whole way that we’d get here. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get it done, though.
“It was an honor to play here in my last game as a senior. It was a great run for the program. A lot of people are looking at Taconic across town. But I think this year really proves our turnaround, and I think we’ll be back here in the future.”
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