PEPPERELL — Pepperell second baseman Tyler MacDonald cracked a pair of triples and had two RBI in the Patriots’ 7-3 come-from-behind win over Westminster Tuesday afternoon at NIssitissit Middle School in Pepperell.
Pepperell used a four run sixth inning to hold off the Westminster squad, who were playing with just one reserve.
Pepperell finishes the regular season at 7-3, but it still has a pair of rainouts,that potentially will be completed prior to the start of the Montacusett Senior League playoffs, which start on Tuesday.
Ayer Shirley, as of Wednesday, is far-and-wide the No. 1 seed, but Pepperell might have an outside shot if the rain out games are rescheduled over the weekend.
The hard-throwing right-hander Chris Powell came on in relief in the third inning and silenced the Westminster bats.
Powell, a Nashoba Tech product, baffled the Westminster lineup with his snappy fastball.
“Chris was just on today,” Pepperell manager Jason Twomey said. “He is always ready to go when we call on him. He did a great job working the strike zone and locating his pitches. He has been very consistent for us in all of his starts and relief appearances.”
Westminster drew first blood in the opening frame on a single that plated a run to make it, 1-0.
Pepperell had an opportunity to tie the game, but left Brandon Twomey and Jay Cobleigh, who doubled, at second and third as Brendan Sullivan fell victim to a called strike three.
Westminster added a pair of runs in the second on two RBI singles to make it 3-1.
Twomey made the call for his go-to right-hander Powell, in the third and it paid dividends.
Powell motored through the third unscathed, allowing just one hit in the frame.
Pepperell ended its scoring drought in the bottom of the third with three runs on two hits.
Cobleigh socked an RBI single to right field, which plated MacDonald from third. MacDonald led off the inning with a triple that sailed over the left fielder’s head.
MacDonald looked like he had time to beat the throw to the plate, but was held up at third.
Pepperell went into the fourth down, 3-2, and Powell was determined to keep it that way.
Even if it meant standing in harm’s way of a line drive.
Powell issued a 3-1 walk to the second batter of the inning, but it was what unfolded next that would be talked about.
On the second pitch of the next at-bat, Powell reacted swiftly to a comebacker and snared it. Powell then fired to first to double up the runner for a 1-3 double play to end the inning.
“If Chris didn’t have such good mechanics, he would’ve been in trouble on that line drive.” Twomey said.
Pepperell took a one run lead in the bottom of the fourth on MacDonald’s second triple to the gap in left-centerfield, which scored Nick White, who drew a walk earlier in the inning.
Powell put up another goose egg in the fifth, as Pepperell started to find its groove.
Sam Ineson scored an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth with an aggressive dash for the plate.
Ineson, who legged out a triple to start the inning, bounded for home on a passed ball and slipped in safely as the catcher was unable to corral the ball in time.
Pepperell added four more runs in the sixth to hold off Westminster.