After a 3-run game-tying rally in the bottom of the 7th at the hands of Easton Post 7, Norton Legion coach Joe Orsi knew his team could bounce back in extra innings.
"We’re confident," he said. "They can hit top to bottom and they know that it’s just expected."
Sure enough, Post 222 (6-8) responded when the pressure was on, bouncing back with a 5-run rally in the top of the 8th to seal a 10-5 victory over Easton Monday evening at Frothingham Park in Easton.
After loading the bases to start the inning, Norton leadoff hitter Anthony Hallgren reached on an errant throw to the plate to drive in Ryan Loud and take a 6-5 lead. From there, Christian Delano, Anthony O'Leary and Brendan Tamul chipped in with RBI hits to give Post 222 four more insurance runs.
"It was a good team win," Orsi said. "We had a lot of good hits in the last inning. We had contributions from everyone. That’s the important part."
The extra inning was another squandered opportunity for 2-9 Easton Post 7, which came back from 3 down in the bottom of the 7th to tie the game at five.
Easton's A.J. Ferrara started that rally with a single to left field, followed by a David MacKinnon RBI double. Cleanup hitter Andrew Mancini followed with a single, setting the stage for a Mike McMillan 2 RBI single to tie the game.
"That was huge," Easton coach Frank Auditore said. "We tried to run a hit and run and Michael was able to come through for us."
In the end, it wasn't enough for Post 7, though.
Easton's bats were kept quiet throughout most of the game by Norton pitcher Brian DiOrio, who allowed 3 earned runs on 5 hits and 4 walks while striking out 5. His brother, Nate DiOrio closed out the game for Post 222.
While Easton came away with a loss, pitcher Brian Brady was a bright spot. Brady came in relief in the 2nd inning and surrendered 4 earned runs to keep Post 7 in the game.
It's a role the pitcher has become accustomed to.
"He did the same thing and had the same situation for Berkley last week where a kid started and hurt his arm and Brady came in for five innings and just shut them down," Auditore said.
Easton will hope to turn things around Tuesday at Seekonk. First pitch is scheduled for 5:45 p.m.
Norton will host Berkley Post 121 Friday at 5:45 p.m.