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Mascenic knocks off defending champs

Vikings score go-ahead run in the 6th to down Hopkinton 3-2 behind complete game from Rines

The last time the Mascenic baseball team squared off with Hopkinton, the Hawks were putting an end to the Vikings’ 2012 season on their way to the Division III title.

On Monday, Mascenic got a little pay back with a 3-2 road victory to improve to 4-2 entering Wednesday’s home contest with Kearsarge.

“It’s always a battle when we play them,” said coach Kevin Rines. “And whenever you can beat Hopkinton it’s a good thing.”

But it could have been an even easier win for the Vikings. Numerous base running blunders allowed for the score to stay close, until Mascenic finally took the lead in the sixth. One of the base running errors came with one out in the top of the sixth, but it did not matter in the end as the Vikings took the advantage of junior Matt Cyr’s two-out RBI double. Cyr had three hits, drove in two runs and scored the other Macenic run.

“We had to score one more run than them and that’s all we needed to do,” said Rines.

In the last of the sixth with two on and two outs and Mascenic clinging to a 3-2 lead, sophomore Shane Rautiola made a diving catch in right-center that saved two runs and helped the Vikings pick up their second win in a row.

Right out of the gate, Mascenic took the early lead in the first. Cyr singled, moved to third on an error and came home on the Hawks’ second miscue of the inning. The advantage was short lived, as Hopkinton came back with two in the last of the frame. Mascenic senior Jalen Rines had a tough start on the mound, hitting the first batter of the game, walking two and allowing a single in the first.

“He struggled with his control to start,” said Rines. “But after that he settled down.”

The senior righthander, who started five of the first six games, allowed just three hits over his seven innings and only one after the second. Two of his three walks came in the first and he did not surrender a run after the first.

“He wasn’t sharp to start, but then he started throwing strikes,” said Rines.

Rines struck out the side in the third and set the Hawks down in order in the fourth and seventh. Rines also picked off three runners, including one with two outs and runners on the corners in the second, giving the Vikings seven in two games.

“When you pick someone off it’s like taking a hit away,” said Rines.

Mascenic tied the game at two in top of the second on a Cyr RBI single and it stayed that way until the sixth. But the Vikings had other chances. They were thrown out at home in the fourth, at third in the sixth and a failed suicide squeeze in the fifth caught Rines in a run down between home and third.

“It could have been an 8-2 game,” said Rines. “We had so many squandered opportunities.”

After losing to rival Conant 11-1 on April 22, Rines changed his defensive lineup and prior to Wednesday, Mascenic had allowed just three runs in the previous two games.

The Vikings travel to Pelham on Friday.

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