LUNENBURG — Townsend Astros’ left-handed pitcher Chris Dube (2 for 4, run scored) went the distance in the team’s 4-2 win over the defending Central Mass Over 40 league champion Whalom Grays Sunday morning at Marshall Park in Lunenburg.
Dube allowed three earned runs on seven hits, despite saturated sludge-like red clay on the pitcher’s mound.
Townsend left fielder Julio Maldonado provided the spark the Astros needed going 3 for 3 with an RBI.
The first five Astros’ batters reached in the opening frame.
Dube led off with a single to the gap in right center, which was followed by a shot up the middle by shortstop Leo LeClair.
Pat Meile walked on four-straight pitches with the bases loaded to push across Dube.
LeClair later scored on a wild pitch to put the Astros up 2-0.
Whalom leadoff man Scott Fuller wrapped a first-pitch fastball up-and-in from Dube deep to the gap in left center field for a triple.
Fuller later scored on a fielder’s choice groundout to short to bring the Grays within one at the end of the first inning.
Townsend left two runners on base in the second inning as starting pitcher Mike Sorio settled down after issuing a pair of walks and a single to Maldonado to get Joe Manago on a deep fly out to right field.
Dube adjusted to the less-than-ideal mound conditions and allowed only one batter to reach via a walk in the second. Mike Sciffidi wrapped a single down the third base line that just snuck into left field past the outstretched glove of Townsend third baseman Ron Pelletier.
Dube received some help from his defense to escape the inning unscathed.
Six-hole hitter Eric Johnson lashed a two-out RBI single up the middle to score Pelletier from second to make it 3-1 Townsend after 2 1/2 complete. The Grays threatened in the home half of the third with runners at second and third after a single by Jay Carroll and a walk.
Dube retired both Jimmy Gaffney and Sorio via groundouts to preserve the Astros’ 3-1 lead after three.
Dube scorched a single into right field, but the Astros failed to capitalize as the next three batters were sent down in order. Dube and the Astros defense sent the Grays down 1-2-3 in the fourth to preserve their two-run lead.
Townsend added its final run in the top of the fourth inning on a clutch single up the middle by Maldonado that brought across courtesy runner Ron Pelletier. He was running for Sean Gaurin, who singled to right to start the inning.
The Grays loaded the bases in the home half of the inning, but Dube allowed only one run to cross on an RBI single to right field by Peter McNally. Grays catcher Johnny Costello came across to score. Costello went 2-for-3 with a run scored for Whalom.
Pat Meile owned the only extra-base hit for the Astros who improve to 8-6 with the win, while the Grays drop to 10-3 on the season.
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