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Simeone pitches Groton-Dunstable into Division 3 Central Mass semifinal

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GROTON — Groton-Dunstable (15-4) senior ace Joe Simeone toted a no-hitter through 5 1-3 innings of Sunday’s 3-0 Division 3 Central Mass quarterfinal victory in Groton.

Simeone fanned 14 Rams and allowed just two hits in a 104-pitch complete game effort.

Northbridge threatened with runners at the corners in the sixth inning with Zach Roberts on first and Tim Haverty on second after reaching with singles.

Northbridge skipper John Demagian was quick to praise the UConn-bound Groton-Dunstable ace.

“Their guy is fantastic,” said Demagian.

” He’s not going Division 1 for nothing. He was really in control. He had that one inning there where we had three and four (hitters) coming up with (runners) at first and third — he got out of that.”

Northbridge, just two weeks ago sat at 7-7 and the Rams won six of eight down the stretch to setup a Division 3 quarterfinal rematch with the Crusaders. In last season’s meeting, Groton-Dunstable won by a score of 6-1.

The Crusaders, who won the Division 3 Central Mass and state final last season with a 23-0 overall record, advance to the semifinal round at Fino Field in Milford, where it will meet Blackstone Valley Tech Wednesday at 7 p.m.

“I was throwing my fastball, curveball, slider and change up,” said Simeone. “All of my stuff felt good. They are a good team (Northbridge). We knew we were playing a good team and we were all ready to rise to it.”

Groton-Dunstable used a three run second inning, which it was aided three Northbridge errors to take the lead for good. Senior Jesse Dutile singled to right field to score classmate Ethan Cook from third.

“Dutile had a big RBI there in the nine-hole,” said LeBlanc.

“Good for Jesse — he’s been battling all year. He’s been kind of playing behind some players. But when he is given the opportunity, he makes the most of it.”

The Crusaders had an opportunity to put some insurance runs on the board in the third inning after third baseman Ben Strauss reached with a single to dead center field and advanced to third on a passed ball and a Joe Simeone single.

Shortstop Gavin Keough reached on a walk but was left stranded. Northbridge starting pitcher Jack Marzec buckled down to strike out the next three batters he faced to escape the bases loaded jam unscathed.

Marzec was just as impressive striking out 12 over 6 innings of work and allowed five hits.

“Our guy had one bad inning where we threw the ball around a little bit,” said Demagian. “They really didn’t hit him all that hard. Marzec had a good game and a good athlete — he’s going to Fitchburg State.”

Groton-Dunstable out hit Northbridge, 5-2.

Follow Ed Niser on Twitter: @EdNiser

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