GROTON — The Groton-Dunstable baseball team improved to 2-2 for the season with a clinical 10-0 win over Bromfield. The Crusaders turned in a strong all-around effort as three pitchers combined for the shutout, backed by solid defense and an 11-hit offensive attack.
“This was our best all-around effort of the season,” said Groton-Dunstable coach Matt LeBlanc. “We have gotten good pitching every game and our defense is coming around, but today we hit the ball. Our pitchers threw strikes and it was nice being able to get everyone into the game. These kids all work hard every day and today our nonstarters contributed.”
Senior Brandon Wilkinson got the start on the mound for the Crusaders and set the side down in order in the top of the first, and the Crusaders jumped on top in the bottom of the inning.
Dan Ierardi led off with a walk. John Denomme hit a hard ground ball between third and shortstop that Bromfield third baseman got a glove on and deflected to shortstop. The throw to first was wild as Ierardi came all the way around to score, evading a tag at the plate, with Denomme hustling to third. Ryan Vultaggio ripped a triple to deep right and scored when Marco diGrazia grounded out to make it 3-0.
The Trojans mounted a threat in the top of the second. Jake Lurvey singled and Clayton Galeski walked to open the inning. After a flyout and strikeout, Mitch Williams singled to load the bases, but Wilkinson notched an inning-ending strikeout to escape unscathed.
Bromfield starting pitcher Stephen Castro settled down and tossed goose eggs in the second and third inning, backed by a sensational defensive play by centerfielder Hunter Granville, who ranged into right center and made a diving catch to take an extra base hit away from Denomme.
Wilkinson wrapped up his mound stint (three innings, no runs, one hit, two strikeouts, one walk) with a 1-2-3 top of the third and the game remained 3-0 after three innings.
Doug Smith came on in relief for Groton-Dunstable in the fourth and kept the lead intact by pitching around Castro’s two-out single.
In the bottom of the inning the Crusaders doubled the lead, keyed by contributions from the bottom of the lineup. Mike Fotino walked and moved to third on Kyle Dzwonek’s long double. Run-producing singles by Paul Calderan and Travis Shaw, and a Ierardi’s RBI groundout made it 6-0.
The Trojans once again loaded the bases in the fifth, but once again couldn’t break through. After a groundout to open the inning, Miles Jarvis walked, Derek Silver singled and Granville reached on an error, but Smith induced a pop-up and notched a strikeout to keep the shutout intact.
Galeski and Granville each pitched an inning for the Trojans, and Groton-Dunstable capped the scoring in the contest with four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Vultaggio reached on an error and scored on Zach Hurst’s single. After John Flanagan singled, Steve Fotino boomed a two-run triple, and later came around to score on Shaw’s single.
Chris Lowney finished up on the mound for the Crusaders with two solid innings, allowing no hits and one walk, while striking out three.
Calderan (run scored, RBI) and Shaw (two runs-batted-in) each had two singles to lead Groton-Dunstable. Shaw played a strong defensive game at shortstop.
Granville was outstanding defensively for Bromfield in center field.