LEOMINSTER — It has been a perfect spring for Dombrowski, Aveni and Bunnell Law in Leominster Babe Ruth Division 2 play as they rolled to 21 consecutive wins. But on the first day of summer that streak nearly ended as Construction Dynamics tested them in a big way before dropping a tough 9-8 decision.
DAB Law appeared on the verge of pulling away on a pair of occasions as it built leads of 5-0 and 8-4, but was unable to land the knockout punch. Construction Dynamics got a superb relief effort from Pat Newell (six innings, one earned run, five hits, three strikeouts, no walks). He kept his team in the game and allowed a rally that was nearly successful.
DAB Law took advantage of abysmal defense by Construction Dynamics in the first inning to score five runs on just one hit, taking advantage of six errors in the process. Josh Mihill had the lone safety in the inning, an RBI single, while Matt Heisler, Mihill, Mike Chase, Mark Canning and Doug Baird crossed the plate.
Construction Dynamics bounced back with four runs in the bottom of the inning, mixing RBI singles from Ben Whitney and Newell with an error, a walk and three hit by pitches.
DAB Law extended the lead to 8-4 with three runs in the top of the second. Nick Ravanis, Heisler and Matt Canning set the table by drawing consecutive walks with no outs. After Ravanis scored on a wild pitch, run-producing singles by Mihill and Chase made it 8-4.
Cam Gouldrup came on in relief in the bottom of the first for DAB Law and escaped further damage by inducing a pitcher to catcher to first double play, and he tossed a goose egg in the bottom of the second, aided by a nice catch by rightfielder Mihill.
DAB Law scored one run in the top of the third to make it 9-4, Zach Caraviello doubling and scoring on Ravanis’ sacrifice fly. But that would be their final run of the game as Newell shut the door over the next four innings.
Construction Dynamics clawed back into the game with three runs in the bottom of the third, keyed by Newell’s two-run triple. Matt Foley came on in relief for DAB Law and struck out the final hitter of the inning, but it was a 9-7 game after three innings.
The tone of the game changed as the pitchers took control. DAB threatened in the top of the fifth when Baird singled and Caraviello doubled, but the lead runner was erased at the plate on a fielder’s choice as the two-run lead stayed intact.
Foley (3 2/3 innings, no earned runs, five hits, four strikeouts) protected that lead with a strong effort in relief, but Construction Dynamics came alive in its final at bat. Whitney reached on a fielder’s choice and moved to third when Brian Weihn reached on an error. John Kittredge came through with an RBI single to plate Whitney to slice the lead to one. With runners on second and third, Kevin Quin was summoned in relief. Zack Elworthy laid down a perfect bunt, but Quin pounced off the mound and flipped the ball to catcher Matt Canning, who applied the tag to record the out on a bang-bang play. Quin then struck out the next hitter to earn the save and preserve the victory.
Mihill had half of DAB Law’s hits in the contest with four singles. He scored one run and drove in two. Caraviello added two doubles and a run scored. Rightfielder Mark Canning made a strong throw from right field to erase a runner at third in the fourth inning.
Newell led Construction Dynamics with a single, triple, a run scored and three runs-batted-in. Colby Peete (run scored), Matt Notaro and Kittredge (two runs scored, RBI) each chipped in with a pair of singles.