LUDLOW – How sweep it is.
Ludlow Teddy Bear Pools defeated Chicopee 9-2 Tuesday at Whitney Park to win its best-of-3 second round American Legion playoff series 2-0.
Ludlow will be off until Sunday when it begins play in the double-elimination Central-West Sectionals against an opponent to be determined.Ludlow is on a roll. It has beaten Palmer Sunday, and Chicopee in three playoff games by a combined 21-5. All three were complete games.
Sean Regnier scattered five hits. He had three strikeouts, and induced Chicopee to hit 15 ground ball outs.
“I just try to keep the ball low,” Regnier said. “I know our defense will do the job.”
Shortstop Jake Flynn was kept busy and he played outstanding defense.
“He usually averages 12-13 ground balls to him every game,” Regnier said.
The Bates boys, Henry and Steve, led a nine-hit attack by each going 2 for 4 with two RBIs. Marty Iwasinski and Brian Borowiec each smashed triples.
“We have great team chemistry and we’re playing with a lot of confidence,” Borowiec said.
But this was all about pitching, and Regnier followed what Curtis Orlik and Bob Foley did before him – shut the opposition’s offense down.
“He was on top of the hitters,” said Iwasinski, who is a take-charge catcher. “His fastball had good velocity, his curve was working and his change-up was good.”
Regnier was staked to a 5-0 lead following two innings and he let his arm and defense take care of the rest. He wanted to close out the series.
“It was very important to finish the job today,” he said. “The last two innings (both scoreless) were the most important.”
Now the task gets tougher, and Ludlow is no stranger to Sectional play. Two years ago, it lost to Framingham, and after not qualifying for the playoffs last season, the team is hungry.
“This group has been together for the past 10 years,” Regnier said. “We went through a little slump at the end of the season, but we know it’s a whole new game in the playoffs and we wanted to come through.”
Iwasinski has been a four-year member of the Legion team after standing out for Marty Fanning’s high school team.
“We’re like a Band of Brothers,” he said. “Everybody always pulls for each other and it’s like one big family.”
Super-sub Connor Olejarz came of the bench and went 2 for 2 for Chicopee, which drew a first-round bye.