WORCESTER — On Wednesday afternoon at Tivnan Field, a classic pitcher’s duel broke out.
For seven innings, Northboro’s Jack Chaote and Milford’s Mason Consigli of Northbridge matched each other pitch for pitch. It was only a matter of who blinked first.
“It was a great ballgame,” Milford manager Steve DiVitto said. “Two great pitchers going at it … Choate has pitched great against us twice. I got to tip my cap to them.”
The only problem for Milford is that Choate never blinked.
Choate has pitched 12 no-hit innings against Milford this season and on Wednesday, he completed a no-hitter in a 1-0 victory for Northboro in a Worcester County Baseball League elimination game.
— Ethan Winter (@EWints)August 6, 2020
“I can’t ask for anything better than a kid like Jack Choate,” Northboro manager Ken McDonald said. “I’m so happy that he was able to finish that no-hitter tonight.”
Just over a week ago on July 28, Choate pitched five no-hit innings against Milford at Fino Field, but a bout of wildness to the tune of six walks drove his pitch count up to 105 pitches forcing him to depart after just five innings pitched.
He was a little more efficient on Wednesday as he struck out 11 batters with just three walks on 93 pitches.
“It was pretty much all that I was thinking about out there,” Choate said after throwing his first career no-hitter. “It’s a pretty good feeling. I’m confident out there, throw strikes, make tough pitches and it’s all good.”
Consigli was nearly just as impressive for Milford as he pitched a complete game, giving up just two hits and no earned runs in six innings pitched.
“My use of my curveball and switching it up,” Consigli said on how he was able to keep Northboro hitters off-balance. “My teammates behind me obviously had my back all the way. I can’t thank them enough for that.”
Consigli – who is a rising senior at Northbridge High School – didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning when his pitching counterpart – Choate – led off the inning with a double. Consigli would then strikeout three of the next four batters however to get out of the inning unscathed, ending the threat.
He would not be so lucky the next inning however in the fifth when Northboro shortstop Patrick Solomon reached second base thanks to a throwing error that allowed Brendan McCafferty to score the game’s lone run.
— Ethan Winter (@EWints)August 5, 2020
McCafferty began the fifth with a lead-off pinch-hit single to left – just the second hit allowed in the game – and was sacrificed over to second on a Jack Connor sacrifice bunt.
“I was just looking for a pitch to drive,” said Solomon who will be continuing his baseball career at Tufts University next spring. “It was right there in the strike zone, got something good to hit and I was able to put it in play and got the run in. So it was a great feeling to put us ahead like that.”
Now Northboro will get set to take on Shrewsbury at 5 p.m. at Shrewsbury High in another elimination game in what amounts to the Worcester County Baseball League quarterfinals in the double-elimination tournament.
But while Milford’s season comes to an end, DiVitto is proud of the opportunity that he and other coaches in the Worcester County Baseball League were able to provide and put together this summer for high school and college players who missed out on their season this past spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If you told us in April that we would be out here playing in a playoff game, playing in our 17th game of the summer, I think a lot of people would think that you were crazy,” DiVitto said. “I’m just really happy that we were able to pull it off and allow these kids to have some sense of normalcy and it’s just great to play the game that we all love and see these kids, really busting their hump everytime they come out onto the field.”
Ethan Winter is a senior multimedia sports journalist at the Daily News. He can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @EWints.
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