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Sabers offense, Gaudet’s pitching gets them to Division II semis

By Jack Belanger - Telegraph Sports Correspondent | Jun 2, 2024

Souhegan's Ethan Gaudet delivers a pitch during Satuday's Division II quarterfinal win over Pembroke. (Photo by Jack Belanger)

AMHERST — Souhegan High School baseball coach Chris Metz had one message for his team after their opening round playoff game against the Pembroke Spartans.

“The job is not done,” he told his players.

It was an appropriate line after Metz saw his explode for eight runs in the fourth inning en route to a 11-1 5-inning win over the Pembroke Spartans. It was another complete game for the offense as every hitter got on base.

The Saber offense will look to stay hot in the semifinals as they will face the 10-seed Oyster River Wildcats, who upset St. Thomas in their quarterfinal game. The two teams will face off at Memorial Field in Concord on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Sean Zerega got the Sabers (13-5) on the board in the third inning with a bases loaded double to deep left center field that brought two runs home. Mike Fiengo followed Zerenga with an RBI double of his own to make the score 3-0. Both players finished with three RBIs on the day.

Those were all the runs the Sabers would need thanks to a stellar pitching performance by Ethan Gaudet. He pitched all five innings for the Sabers and only gave up one unearned run and four hits, striking out one batter.

“Ethan pitched his butt off today,” said Metz. “He got us here and earned this start today.”

The Spartans looked to jump on Gaudet in the first inning after a leadoff double by Cam Plum. Gaudet settled in quickly as he set down the next six batters in a row. Plum finished with two doubles in the game and was the only Spartan to reach base twice.

“I was a little antsy coming out for the first playoff game,” said Gaudet on his start. “I just wanted to do my job and let the defense make the plays.”

Pembroke responded with a run of their own in the fourth to cut into Souhegan’s lead on a sacrifice fly from Josh Maccarone.

Unfortunately, the Spartans didn’t stay within striking distance for long.

In the bottom of the inning, the Sabers began to attack Pembroke pitcher Devin Riel. After getting the first out of the inning, 11 of the next 12 Sabers would reach base. Drew Regan started the rally with a walk and would later score. He then had an RBI single when he came up for a second time in the inning.

Fiengo came up with the big hit during the rally, driving in two runs on an RBI-single that opened the game up to 7-1. Matt Silk also had a big game for the Sabers, going 3-4 and two runs scored.

It looked like it the game was going to be a pitchers’ duel as Riel pitched a scoreless first two innings. The Sabers offense was just too much in the final two innings as they knocked him for seven runs before he got pulled with one out in the fourth.

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