By Ed Niser
GROTON — Groton needed a bit of help from Lou Tompkins U16 league-mate Sudbury to keep its playoff hopes alive, but first it needed to take care of business Tuesday afternoon at the Groton Town Field against Wellesley.
Groton blanked the Raiders, 4-0 to remain in the playoff hunt as Sudbury fell 9-4 to Natick. The Crusaders finish the regular season at 9-9, but still need Sudbury to fall in its final game Thursday against Marlboro.
The Groton pitching staff, led by starter Thomas MacGregor, two-hit the Wellesley line-up and allowed just three Raiders to reach all game.Groton was led at the plate by Kasey Griffiths, who had a single and a double.
The Crusaders took the lead in the first on a single to left by Griffiths, which was deep enough to score Brendan Cronin (2 for 2, run scored) from second, who reached on a single. Griffiths later scored on a passed ball that scooted to the backstop to make it 2-0.
Jesse Dutile (2 for 2, fielder’s choice) perfectly timed a curve ball and sprayed it up the middle for a base hit. Dutile, however, would be left stranded at second as the Wellesley pitcher struck out the next two Crusaders he faced to end the inning.
MacGregor and the Crusader defense made quick work of the Wellesley bats in the second.
Groton sent Wellesley down in order to preserve its two-run lead.
Groton designated hitter Grant Willsie worked a walk, but he was left at second after he advanced on a wild pitch.
Wellesley took care of business with three straight outs following Willsie’s free pass. After allowing the leadoff hitter to reach on a two-out single to left, MacGregor induced a ground out to Willsie, who fired over to first from his third base position for the final out of the inning.
The Crusaders tacked on some insurance in the bottom of the third with two runs on two hits and an error.
Groton’s first run of the inning came on a one-run double to the left-center field gap by Griffiths, which knocked in Cronin, who singled and advanced to second on a throwing error.
Dutile reached on a fielder’s choice, but the Wellesley second baseman came up firing and gunned down Wiley Ordemann (fielder’s choice) at the dish.
Griffith scampered home on a passed ball to make it 4-0.
The Groton bullpen held the Wellesley bats in check for the remainder of the game.
Groton out-hit Wellesley, 5-2.