TOWNSEND — The North MIddlesex Senior Babe Ruth team is off to a great start, but their 9-8 victory over Fitchburg may be the high point of the young season thus far. The Patriots rallied from a six run deficit to earn the win.
Fitchburg appeared to have taken control of the game in the fourth inning as they took advantage of shoddy North Middlesex defense to build an 8-2 lead. David Martinez stroked an RBI double in the inning for Fitchburg, while teammates Nick Croteau, Nick Primeau and Glen Barrett all added run-producing singles. Five North Middlesex rallies fueled the uprising.
The Patriots refused to quit, and chipped away, drawing to within 8-6 entering he bottom of the seventh when they put together their winning rally.
Corey Lewis got the decisive rally started by drawing a walk. He moved to second on a passed ball, to third on Matt Heisler’s single, and scored when that hit eluded a Fitchburg outfielder. Heisler moved around to third on a stolen base and an error. Mike Cronin hit a ground ball to shortstop and indecisiveness by the Fitchburg defense allowed Heisler to score and Cronin to reach first to tie the game at 8-8. Two batters later, Patrick Mercier lifted a sacrifice fly to score the winning run, allowing the Patriots to improve to 5-1-1 for the season.
“This was a great comeback,” said North Middlesex coach Brian Stanton. “We had the type of inning that you dig yourself a hole you can’t climb out of, but somehow we were able to tonight.