On a beautiful Spring day at Medfield Heights’ baseball field, the Friends and St. Frances baseball teams played a tense and action-packed extra inning thriller, with Friends prevailing in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Junior Hunter Duke hit a walk-off single that scored sophomore Paul Berman to help the Quakers (3-4 in MIAA B) prevail.
The game was marked by superb starting pitching by both teams. Panthers’ senior Antonio Crawford hurled eight innings of six-hit baseball, while Friends’ junior starter Arnie Capute dazzled with five innings and nine strikeouts. Duke entered in the 6th inning and threw four shutout innings to earn the victory.
Key defensive plays were made to keep the game close. St. Frances’ sophomore shortstop Jordan Lewis snared a trio of hard hit grounders up the middle, one of which initiated a double play to save a run. On the other side, Friends’ junior outfielder Corey Schmidt made a diving catch on a liner with two outs and two runners in scoring position in the eighth inning to keep the game tied.
Ironically, the game’s major offensive production was provided by the two starting pitchers, with Crawford lining a two run home run in the fifth inning to give the Panthers a lead, and the Quakers’ Capute lining a two run single in the sixth inning to tie up the score and push the game into extra innings.
Friends 4, St. Frances 3, 9 innings
SF 000 021 000 — 3 7 4
F 000 003 001 — 4 7 2
Antonio Crawford, Cheek (9) and Antoine Crawford; Capute, Duke (6) and Loewenberg.
HR: SF-Antonio Crawford.