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“Michael was very efficient for us today,” said Ayer Shirley head coach Scott Callanan. “We are happy with the start to the season. We made enough plays to win today — it wasn’t perfect.”

Ayer Shirley touched up Nashoba Tech right-hander Angelo Eramo for three runs on six hits over seven innings. Eramo fanned six in the loss. Nashoba Tech dips to 1-3 on the season.

The Panther bats were singing in the top of the first inning following back-to-back two-out hits by Cahill and Noah Watson. Cahill clobbered an Eramo fastball to deep right as the ball narrowly cleared the hill near the back of the football stadium bleachers for a triple. Watson, then socked a hit into right center field to score Cahill and make it 1-0.

Eramo responded by getting second baseman Austin Schmalz to ground out to the mound for the final out of the inning.

Nine pitches is all it took Tonelli to dispose of the Vikings in the bottom of the first. The senior received two put outs from right fielder Christian Hoffman.

Nashoba Tech knotted the game at 1-1 as Angelo Eramo scored on the bunt single by Sabotino. Angelo Eramo was narrowly thrown out at the plate but he managed to just barely sneak under the tag of Cahill.

Cahill picked up an RBI in the third as he smoked a line drive to left to score center fielder Steven Lawton from second, who reached on a fielder’s choice to reclaim the lead.

From that point forward, Ayer Shirley appeared to be in control of the game. Tonelli recorded back-to-back strikeouts to begin the third. Nashoba Tech leadoff hitter Matt Mastroianni struck a well hit ball up the middle with two outs and advanced to second on an Ayer Shirley throwing error. Tonelli responded by notching a strikeout to end the frame.

Ayer Shirley padded its lead in the fourth as Austin Schmalz reached base safely on a single and swiped second and later came across with the Panthers’ final run. Devyn Sawyer was ruled out at the plate on a close play following the squeeze bunt attempt by Ben Hebert.

“We tried to push the issue offensively but we had a run cut off on the squeeze play in the fourth,” said Callanan. “We are going to have to find timely hits like the two-out triple and double by Elric (Cahill) and Noah (Watson). Being so early in the season, it is good experience for some of these younger guys.”

Vincent Eramo lofted a deep fly ball that looked to be an extra-base poke, but Lawton got on his horse and made the catch atop the hill in right center field for the first out.

Nashoba Tech threatened with a runner at first with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning. Angelo Eramo reached on a single to left but he would fall victim to a ground ball back to Tonelli that would result in an inning-ending double play.

Ayer Shirley returns to action Friday when it hosts North Middlesex at 10 a.m.

Follow Ed Niser on Twitter/Tout:@EdNiser

48- Ayer Shirley senior pitcher Michael Tonelli went the distance during Monday’s win over Nashoba Tech. Nashoba Valley Voice/Ed Niser

49- Ayer Shirley senior Austin Schmalz dives headfirst into second base as Nashoba Tech second baseman Nick Crawford leaps for a high throw. Nashoba Valley Voice/Ed Niser

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