LYNN -- Chelmsford High entered the postseason with a 10-10 record and was the 11th seed in the 14-team Division 1 North Sectional field.
Hardly anyone expected Chelmsford to make much noise in the tournament. But the Lions came out roaring in high school baseball's second season, clawing their way to a berth in the sectional final.
The Lions continually made more plays than their opponents when the game was on the line once the tourney began. Unfortunately, Chelmsford's tremendous postseason run came to an end after getting beat at its own came by MVC foe Andover.
Andover snapped a 3-3 tie with three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and beat Chelmsford, 6-3, in the Division 1 North title game at Fraser Field.
Chelmsford finished 13-11. Andover improves to 16-8 and will play South champion Norwood in a state semifinal Tuesday at LeLacheur Park in Lowell at 7 p.m.
"I give (Andover) all the credit in the world for the sixth inning that they had," said Chelmsford coach Mike O'Keefe. "They hit some good pitches and they deserved to win.
"We had a great run. It was a great season. We had a lot of ups and downs. But credit these guys, they were resilient and they stuck it out. I told them right now it stinks to lose, but when you look back on it you will be very proud of what you accomplished this year. And they should be.
Jack Campsmith (1 RBI, 1 run scored) and Ben Sauter had 2 hits each for Chelmsford.
Mike Tice started on the mound for the Lions and pitched well, working into the sixth before Andover's bats came to life.
Gabriel Hernandez and Patick Pengeroth smacked back-to-back run-scoring triples for Andover in the sixth that helped break the game open.
"We had an opportunity to win it, we just came up a little short today," said O'Keefe. "Sometimes you have to tip your hat to the other team. Andover played well. They had some good at-bats, especially in the sixth inning. It wasn't like they had cheap hits. They drove the ball hard."
Chelmsford posted tournament wins over sixth seed Acton-Boxboro (11-6), third seed Billerica (5-0) and 10th seed Methuen (7-5). With a number of talented underclassmen returning, the future looks bright for the Lions.
"It was a great run," said Campsmith. "We didn't have any doubts in our mind that we could make a run like this. It wasn't like we said, 'Oh, have to play A-B, oh, we have to play Billerica.' Our approach was this is the next task and let's get it done. We kept that mentality and we did a great job.
"I feel very good about next year. We're going to work very hard because we know we can be something special. We just have to put our minds to it and we'll be good."
Chelmsford took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on an RBI single by Campsmith.
After Andover scored two runs in the bottom of the first to take a 2-1 lead, the Lions moved in front 3-2 on a two-run single by Derek Adamson in the third.
Andover tied the score, 3-3, in the fifth. Golden Warrior reliever Samuel Bennett pitched the final 1 2/3 innings to earn the win.
Jack Hansbury and Quinn Cooney had the other Chelmsford hits. Mike DeDonato (second base) and Campsmith (shortstop) played strong defensive games.
"A while ago I remember saying to my assistant coaches, 'If we ever get into the tournament we're going to be tough,' " said O'Keefe. "We started playing much better (down the stretch). They started believing in a lot of the small things and began to execute.
"We'll be back. We should be pretty good next year. I'm looking forward to that challenge already."
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