AYER — On a cold and blustery Monday afternoon, the Ayer and Parker baseball teams got their seasons underway. Keyed by an outstanding all-around effort by Mike Fontair, Ayer earned a 9-4 win.
Fontair picked up the victory with a route-going effort on the mound, allowing four earned runs and eight hits over seven innings, while striking out eight and walking three. He helped his own cause offensively with a pair of doubles, two runs scored and an RBI.
Joey Danleo took the loss for Parker, surrendering six hits and six earned runs over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked six. Matt Ashe finished up, retiring the only two hitters he faced.
Ayer jumped out to a 2-0 lead with single runs in the first and second innings.
In the first, Tim Riker drew a one-out walk, stole second and scored on Jon Minnich’s single up the middle.
In the second, Fontair walked, stole second and came around to score from second when a third strike was in the dirt and a throw was made to first.
Fontair breezed through the first three innings and kept the lead intact, allowing only two baserunners, a single and double by Matt Ashe.
Ayer built the lead to 6-0 with two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.
In the fourth, Fontair doubled and Jake Seeley walked and both runners scored on a throwing error.
In the fifth, Riker singled, stole second and scored on Jason Lopez’s groundout. J.J. Thomas walked and scored on Fontair’s double.
Parker finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth. Mike White led off with a single and came around to score on a throwing error. Ashe reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and scored on Tom Barstow’s single, before Danleo ripped an RBI double to make it 6-3.
Parker mounted a threat in the bottom of the sixth when Chris Drew walked and White was hit by a pitch to open the inning, but Ayer catcher Jake Seeley diffused the rally by gunning down a basestealer at third base.
Ayer put the game out of reach in the top of the seventh when Riker and Minnich walked, and came around to score on Lopez’s single. Lopez later scored on an error to make it 9-3.
Parker didn’t quit and scored a run in the bottom of the seventh when Barstow singled, stole second and third and scored on a wild pitch. Fontair bore down and wrapped up his complete-game with a strikeout.
Riker enjoyed an strong day for Ayer with two walks, two singles and three runs scored. Lopez added a single and three runs-batted-in. Shortstop Ryan Carroll played a strong defensive game, showcasing a strong and accurate arm.
Ashe paced Parker with a single and double while Barstow added two singles, two runs scored and an RBI.