By Evan Freedman
EAST BOSTON — East Boston head coach Phillip Brangiforte made a gutsy call in the sixth inning this afternoon, signaling designated hitter Kevin Lara to steal home to break up a tie game.
“No one was holding him on,” Brangiforte said after the 5-4 victory against Westie. “He [opposing pitcher Jovanny Baez] was pitching from the windup, so we made the call. We took a shot and it came together.”
West Roxbury (6-6 overall, 6-2 in conference) scored two in the top of the inning to tie the game. Baez singled to left, and after a wild pitch, junior third baseman Jonathan Bonilla drove him in with a single up the middle. An infield throwing error plated the Raiders’ fourth and final run.
Eastie pitcher Jon Finocchio closed the door in the seventh, and the Jets (4-6, 2-0) had their first conference win. Finnochio was upbeat after the game.
“I felt good,” Finnochio said. “I gave up a few too many walks, left the curveball up, but it was good to get the win.”
East Boston scored three in the fourth to take the lead, thanks to a line drive by right fielder Chris Dioguardi that got through the outfield and seemed to end up at Logan Airport’s Terminal A. He cruised around the bases, giving the Jets a cushion they would ultimately need.
West Roxbury coach Eddie Ocasio thought it was a gritty effort by his club.
“It was a tough loss,” he said. “We played a good game, but came up short.”
He credited Baez’ effort, scattering six hits and taking the tough luck loss.
The Raiders hope to bounce back a 3 p.m. tomorrow against Latin Academy at Town Field. Eastie will enjoy this one for a few days, before hosting South Boston at 3:30 p.m. on Monday back at East Boston Stadium.
Evan Freedman is a volunteer ESL teacher for adults at English High. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org