Skip to content

GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. CLICK HERE TO TURN ON NOTIFICATIONS.

X

Crusaders prove ‘invinceable’ in battle of unbeatens

PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

GROTON — Even though it wasn’t against a league opponent, Tuesday morning’s match-up with Narragansett was an important barometer game for the Groton-Dunstable baseball team. The Crusaders came through, passing with flying colors in a battle of unbeatens with an impressive 8-0 win. Groton-Dunstable improved to 4-0 for the season, while Narragansett is now 5-1.

Vince Lehman dominated the game with a scintillating effort on the mound to key the win, allowing just one hit while striking out 14 and walking three. The senior righthander was in total control, using both his fastball and a sharp-breaking overhand curve as out pitches.

While Lehman led the way, the Crusaders continued to do all the little things right, playing errorless defense, and picking up eight timely hits, four of them in the bottom of the fourth when a five run burst broke open a 1-0 game.

”Vince was the key today,” said Groton-Dunstable coach Matt LeBlanc. “He is throwing the ball great, and he mixed his pitches well. He was in total command throughout. The team came into this game against a 5-0 team with a lot of energy, and they didn’t back down. Jim Moniz hit the ball hard and is stepping it up, and we just played good, sound baseball.”

Lehman retired six of the first seven hitters he faced, and Narragansett starting pitcher Tim Hamel set down the side in order in the bottom of the first, before the Crusaders drew first blood in the bottom of the second.

Steve Carroll ripped a single to right center and stole second. Hamel appeared to have picked Carroll off, but he beat the throw to third for another stolen base. He then scored when Frank DiMaria’s ground ball to shorstop was misplayed.

Lehman struck out the side in the third and tossed another goose egg in the fourth, aided by a solid defensive play by DiMaria at third base, who knocked down Brian Ciaramitaro’s hot shot, stayed with it and fired to first for the final out with a runner on second base.

Groton-Dunstable nearly added an insurance run in the third, but was turned away by the Narragansett defense. Jeff Starbird doubled with one out, and one out later, Lehman ripped a sinking line drive to left that was caught by a diving Joey Martin.

The Crusaders took control of the game in the bottom of the fourth. Carroll drew a walk and Moniz ripped a single to left to set the table. DiMaria advanced the runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, which paid off when Carroll scored and Moniz moved to third on a wild pitch. Hamel’s stint on the mound ended when he hit Ricky Fotino and Ian Roundtree to load the bases, and Moniz caught the Narragansett defense napping and stole home easily to make it 3-0. Relief pitcher Dave Bennett was greeted rudely, walking the first hitter he faced before Starbird delivered an RBI single and Chris Chenelle followed with a two-run double to make it 6-0.

Lehman carried a no-hitter into the top of the fifth and struck out the first two hitters of the inning, before Scott Tourigny lined a clean single to right center for the Warriors only hit of the day.

The Crusaders tacked on another run in the fifth when Moniz tripled and scored on an error, before capping the scoring in the sixth when Starbird singled and scored when Lehman grounded out.

The closest Narragansett came to scoring was in the top of the sixth when Frank Yavorosky walked, stole second, and moved to third on a wild pitch, but Lehman picked up a strikeout and groundout in the middle of the Warriors’ lineup. He finished things off with a perfect seventh, striking out two.

Starbird paced the Groton-Dunstable offense with a pair of singles, a double, two runs scored and an RBI. Moniz added a single, triple and two runs scored while Carroll singled, walked and scored twice.

Hamel allowed three earned runs and three hits over 3 2/3 innings in taking the loss. Bennett gave up two earned runs and five hits over 2 1/3 innings.

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.