GROTON – The Groton U12 team had its work cut out for them, when Lexington came to Cow Pond Field. At the end of the evening, Groton found itself still searching for its first win of the Bay State Tournament, as they fell to second-place Lexington 9-3 Monday at Cow Pond Field.
Lexington starting pitcher, Alex Perry, threw a gem, striking out five Groton batters over five innings of work, while allowing just four hits.
Groton was lead at the plate by starting catcher, Ben Rivet, who finished 2-for-2 with a run scored.
Lexington drew first blood in the top of the first inning, when Joey Caccicatore sprinted home on a passed ball from Groton starting pitcher Wiley Ordemann.
Blake Brookes stroked a two-out double to the wall in left field. Brookes swiped third base, but he was left stranded, as Ordemann blew a fastball by Perry to end the inning.
However, the damage was already done. Lexington carried a 1-0 lead into the bottom half of the inning. Perry was wheeling and dealing in the first inning, as he retired the top third of the Groton lineup in order.
Lexington started its second inning off with a bang.
Six-hole hitter, Luke Butler, got under a hanging curveball and drilled it well over the left center field fence for a solo home run.
Max Stevens, followed Butler’s home run, with a looping single to left field. With two-outs, Riley Walsh hit a rocket towards third, that squirted into left field to score Stevens.
Leadoff man Essex Gall peppered an RBI single into right center field to plate Walsh from second. Tony Bianchi capped off the Lexington scoring in the second with an RBI double to deep left field that brought home Cacciatore. Ordemann shrugged off the five-run Lexington outburst and struck out Brookes looking to bring the second inning to a close.
Trailing 6-0 heading into the home half of the second, Groton’s knew its bats needed to come to life quickly – and they did. After Ordemann was sent back to the bench with the first out of the inning, Groton picked up a pair of runs. Rivet reached safely on a screaming infield single to the third base side.
Next, Will Doyle stepped in and chopped a curveball to third, and he was able to beat the throw at first by half-a-step.
With one-out and two on, Brian Scott smoked a well-hit ball directly at Bianchi at first, but it was enough to bring Rivet across with Groton’s first run of the night. Doyle scored Groton’s second run on a passed ball to bring the game back within striking distance at 6-2.
Doyle came on to pitch in relief of Ordemann in the third inning.
Doyle was on his A-game, as he caught Perry looking on a filthy curveball for the first out of the inning.
Doyle walked Butler, but a beautiful throw from catcher Ethan Hillenburg during the next at-bat, hosed down Butler in no-man’s land for the second out. Butler then induced a groundball to short by Stevens, and Ordemann made an outstanding throw from short to first for the final out of the inning.
Lexington left a pair stranded in scoring position in the fourth, after Walsh and Kevin Zhou reached safely in the inning. Doyle settled in and his off-speed pitches were working to perfection. Gall had a hard time checking his swing on a curveball for the second out.
Doyle, made it back-to-back strikeouts, when his curveball caught Cacciatore letter-high for the final out.
Groton picked up what would be its final run of the game in the fourth inning on pop-fly by Doyle to the first base side that Bianchi lost in the lights. The Lexington fielding blunder, allowed Ordemann to score from third.
Doyle held the Lexington bats at bay until the fifth inning, when Bianchi left the yard with a line-drive home run to right field. Bianchi extended his hands and sent the hanging curveball sailing into the night sky. Lexington plated two more runs in the inning on an RBI single from Butler and a balk.
Groton took its last licks in the sixth, but it was not enough, as they drop to 0-4 in the Bay State Tournament. Doyle had a solid game at the plate, going 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored.
Groton returns to Cow Pond Field, Wednesday, when they host Arlington at 7:30 p.m.