TOWNSEND -- North Middlesex capped off its Montachusett Summer League season with a doubleheader against Leominster (4-7-1) Sunday afternoon at Ralph E. Schoppe Memorial Field at North Middlesex Regional High School.
North Middlesex coach Jim Canning said before the game that he was hopeful his team could at least pick up one game in the double-header, and it did.
North Middlesex fell in the opener, 9-3. Leominster drew first blood in the opening frame on an RBI fielder's choice to first base by Jordan Mays, which scored David Barry from third. Barry reached on a single in the inning.
North Middlesex starter Nick Barry picked up a pair of strikeouts in the inning to limit the Blue Devil damage to one run. Nick singled to center field and advanced to second on a throwing error to start the home half of the first. Sam Ineson reached with a one-out single to right center, but he and Nick Barry would be left stranded as Leo LeClair went down looking to end the inning.
Nick Barry retired the Blue Devil side in order in the second. Nick ended the inning with an off-speed strikeout to Leominster's Chris Kay. North Middlesex stranded Kevin Powell at third base, after he reached on a one-out single to left in the second inning.
Leominster blew the game wide open in the fourth inning with four runs on seven hits. Xavier Vierra and Chris Piper picked up RBIs in the inning. Leominster carried a 5-0 lead into the bottom half of the fourth.
North Middlesex's bats showed some life in the fourth. Andrew Jena and Sam Ineson (2-for-3, RBI) connected on back-to-back doubles. Jena scored on the double by Ineson. LeClair lined a hard ground-out to second for the first out of the inning, but the Pats' bats were not done.
North Middlesex catcher Chris Canning unloaded on an inside fastball and sent it soaring over the 320-feet marker in left field for a 2-run home run to bring the Patriots back within two runs at 5-3.
Leominster added three runs on three hits in the fifth inning to push its lead out to 9-3. North Middlesex had its chance to stage a comeback in the seventh inning with back-to-back hits from Kevin Costello and Dylan Ricker, but it was not meant to be, as Leominster shut the door.
North Middlesex defeated Leominster in game 2, 7-2, behind a complete game from its starting pitcher Ineson. Ineson at one point in the game struck out eight consecutive batters. Ineson also added two hits at the plate.
LeClair bombed two triples to right center field to pace the North Middlesex offense. Chris Canning had a solid second game at the plate with a double and he picked off a runner at second base. Dylan Ricker added two hits for North Middlesex.
The defending Montachusett Senior League champions finish the regular season at 6-7-1. The
Montachusett playoff pairings were to be announced at the time of publication.
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