Butler’s three-hitter knocks Patriots from unbeaten ranks


After the first inning, Butler took control on the mound and he faced only one batter over the minimum over the final six innings. North Middlesex had three baserunners over that span, a walk to Russell in the third, a Marciano single in the fourth, and a single by Logan Kuzmitch in the sixth, but two of the runners were thrown out attempting to steal third.

Nashoba took the lead for good in the bottom of the third. John Militano got things started by reaching first when he struck out and the third strike couldn’t be handled. He stole second, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on Ashline’s single. One out later, Butler drilled a single to plate Ashline and put the Chieftains on top 3-2. Cole prevented further damage by picking off a runner for the final out of the inning.

The game remained a one-run affair until the bottom of the fifth when the Chieftains scored a pair of runs. With one out, Militano singled, stole second and moved to third on Ashline’s single. After Ashline stole second, Josh Raymond lined a two-run single to right to make it 5-2.

The Chieftains added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth, all the damage coming after the first two hitters of the inning were retired. Tommy Moran and Adam Hastings singled and both scored on Trevor Wyand’s double.

The Patriots went down in order in the top of the seventh, the final out of the game being the defensive play of the game. Joe Smith hit a hard grounder up the middle that was stopped by a diving Wyand, who then made a strong and accurate throw from his knees to seal the deal.

Ashline (three runs scored, RBI, two stolen bases) and Butler paced the Nashoba offensive attack with two singles apiece.