HARVARD — The old adage in baseball is that a walk is as good as a hit. This was proven by the Ayer baseball team on Wednesday afternoon. On the day, the Panthers were issued 19 walks, leading to 11 runs, which keyed to an easy 15-4 victory over Mid-Wach D foe Bromfield.
“This was not a pretty game, but you can’t be picky, especially when the end result is a win,” said Ayer coach Jim Welch. “We are still not playing as well as we can, but we are getting there. The kids did a nice job of being patient at the plate and we took advantage of some wildness today.”
In the top of the first, the Panthers struck for three runs. With one out, Kenny Rollins, Jon Minnich and Brian Babcock walked to load the bases. J.J. Thomas brought home the first run with a sacrifice fly and Jason Lopez followed with a two-run single to make it a 3-0 game.
After a scoreless home half of the first, Ayer added to their lead in the top of the second. Ryan Carroll drew a one-out walk and scored on Rollins’ triple. An error brought home the second run before Minnich scored on a sacrifice fly by Babcock that extended the lead to 6-0.
The Trojans responded with a four spot in the bottom of the second. A pair of errors with two outs scored Adam Boynton and Lindsey Burke before a two-run single by Ben Landry brought home Hunter Granville and Nick Kimball to cut the lead to 6-4.
A single run in the third was followed by three runs in the top of the fourth as the Panthers started to pull away. Rollins picked up an RBI single in the third before delivering again with a two-run single in the fourth to make it 10-4.
Thomas, who came on relief for starter Mike Fontair, helped his own cause in the top of the fifth. The lefty stroked an RBI double to right center, scoring Babcock and increasing the advantage to 11-4.
Ayer put the game on ice with four more runs in the top of the seven. Jake Seeley (bases-loaded walk) and Carroll (sacrifice fly) provided the runs as the Panthers took advantage of four walks and a hit batsman during the frame. Trevor Elkins worked a quick bottom of the seventh to close out the contest and improve his team to 6-3 on the season.
“We had one bad inning defensively, but we bounced back from it nicely,” said Welch. “I thought we did some nice things today, but we are still not at the level we need to be at quite yet.”
Rollins paced Ayer with a triple, double, single, walk, two runs scored and four runs-batted-in. Minnich finished with two singles, a walk and three runs scored. Babcock added four walks, three runs scored and an RBI while Tim Riker walked three times, was hit by a pitch and scored two runs.
Landry (two RBI) and Burke (run scored) led Bromfield with two singles each. Jake Lurvey had a pair of doubles while Kimball added a walk, double and run scored.