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East Side loses; decisive rematch is tonight.

Byline: Craig Holt

WORCESTER - Yesterday's American Legion Zone 4 playoff games proved that Framingham may be peaking at just the right time.

Several hours after knocking off Auburn, Framingham came up big again, getting standout pitching from Robert Averill and Kevin Lacy to topple East Side, 7-2, before a large crowd at Tivnan Field.

The victory avenged East Side's 2-1 win Monday night in the double-elimination tournament.

The teams play again at 7 tonight at Tivnan Field, the winner of Bracket B advancing to the state sectionals.

"We needed to get two, but I told them we had to get that first one first," Framingham manager Bunkie Smith said. "Our guys struggled a bit in the beginning of the first game, but then we got some key hits. Second game, we just battled and battled. Bobby (Averill) pitched a great game and then Lacy came up with that big hit (home run)."

Framingham (19-7) never trailed thanks to the effective pitching of Averill and Lacy. Averill kept the East Side hitters in check early, surrendering just two hits over the first four innings.

Lacy came on in the fifth and also threw well. He struck out three in the last two innings and helped his cause with a solo homer and a two-run double.

With the score tied, 1-1, Framingham went ahead for good with a run in the fourth inning. Averill doubled with no outs, advanced to third on a sacrifice, and scored on an infield out.

Lacy's booming homer to right-center with none out in the sixth expanded the Framingham lead to 3-1.

"I thought they got the big hit at the big times, and we didn't," East Side manager Mark Peters said. "We're going to pitch and we're going to play defense, but we didn't get the hit at the time when we needed to. Give them credit. Their back was against the wall and they battled us."

East Side (18-7) closed to within 3-2 with a run in the sixth inning. Mike Mastrototaro rapped a leadoff single and moved to second on a passed ball. He scored on a single by No. 9 hitter Nate Frederick.

Framingham scored four insurance runs in the seventh inning. Sean MacPhee singled and scored when Brendan Busa reached on an error. Corey was hit by a pitch, and Lacy knocked in Busa and Corey with a double. Averill delivered Lacy with a single.

"The big seventh inning really helped, and we finally broke out a little, which I was hoping we could do," Smith said. "We had been leaving guys on base and squandering chances.

"Winning the first game helped with our confidence. We live to play tomorrow."

East Side's Kyle Brenner's singled to drive in Frederick in the third inning. Frederick had reached on an outfield error.

ART: PHOTOS

CUTLINE: (1) Framingham's Mike Trueblood lays down a bunt, which was fielded by East Side catcher Brandon O'Connor, who threw Trueblood out at first. (2) East Side shortstop Eddie Perez forces Framingham's Edwin Feliciano at second base before making the throw to first in an unsuccessful double-play attempt. Framingham won, 7-2, to force another Zone 4 playoff game at 7 tonight at Tivnan Field, with the winner advancing to the state sectionals.

PHOTOG: T&G Staff Photos/STEVE LANAVA
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Title Annotation:SPORTS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jul 13, 2011
Words:549
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