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Westford Over 30 (Week Four)
Talk about a close call. The Nashoba Valley Veterinarian Mustangs (7-0) remain the only undefeated team in the league, but their epic encounter against Burtons Grill on Friday—a game that lasted 12 innings and had a man thrown out at the plate and several potential game-winning rallies squelched—was a win that almost wasn’t. Floral Arts (6-1) won twice this week, including a victory against Drew Farms (6-2), and moved into second place. Drew Farms is now in third place.
Drew Farms 12 – Burtons Grill 8
On Tuesday night, Burtons jumped out to an early 7-4 lead before giving up eight runs to Drews in the fifth. Jason Lenicheck led Burtons with three RBI and a pair of hits; Pete Morano drove in two runs, and Dave Batchelder and Greg Fitzgerald both crossed the plate twice. Pat Pawlak earned the win on the mound.
Floral Arts 21 – Gutcheck 4
Gutcheck struggled to pitch a strike for two innings and Floral Arts took advantage of the free passes by scoring nearly a dozen runs in one inning. Simon Tripp and Rob Beaudette homered for Floral Arts. Gutcheck’s Matt Sepe went 2-for-2 with a two-run homer. Mark Lupien, in his first game of the year, went 1-for-1 with a 2-run home run. Lupien also made three impressive plays in the outfield, catching one over his shoulder and two other basket-catches.
Nashoba Valley Veterinarian Mustangs 11 – Willis Tent 4
On Wednesday, Don Cusano blasted two home runs (4 RBI) to lead the Mustang offense. Bill Knute added three hits and 2 RBI while Paul Selfrige (HR) and Mark Cusano chipped in with two hits apiece. Mustang outfielder Jim Ward made the play of the night, gunning down a Willis runner at the plate. Dave Harrington and Keith Wauters each went 3-for-3 for Willis Tent.
Shortcut Landscaping 19 – Healy Oil 15
Shortcuts scored 11 runs in the first inning on the strength of homers by Brent Oakleaf and Chris Clar. Healy scored in every inning and closed within one run, but Shortcuts’ six runs in the seventh earned them the win.
Floral Arts 9 – Drew Farms 5
On Friday night, Floral Arts handed Drew Farms its second loss of the season. Simon Tripp and Jim Peloquin hit back-to-back homers in the second inning. Floral Arts continued to add a run here and it was 9-2 in the seventh when Drews rallied, scoring three runs. There were two men on when Floral Arts’ pitcher Larry Mardany induced a deep fly ball to left that Roger Whittlesey caught in foul territory to end the game. Dave Janowsky was 2-for-2 with two RBI and Tom Semeter hit two screaming line-drive singles for the winners.
Nashoba Valley Veterinarian Mustangs 20 – Burtons Grill 17
Burtons Grill, in a bid to replicate last year’s feat of ending the Mustangs’ undefeated season, fell just short in the twelve-inning game. Burtons rallied from eight runs down in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game when Mustang left-fielder Bill Knute threw out the potential winning run at the plate, forcing extra innings. Two innings later, Mustangs third baseman Mike Kennedy extinguished another potential game-winning rally, making a diving stop and throwing to second for the force out. Kennedy blasted a three-run homer in the top of the twelfth to give the Mustangs a three-run lead they would not relinquish. Bill Knute (3-for-6, 2 HR, 6 RBI), Don Cusano (4-for-4, 2 BB, HR, 4 R, 5 RBI), Paul Selfrige (4-for-6, 4R), Jack Erickson (4-5, HR, 2 RBI), and Mark Cusano (4H) were the offensive stars for the winners.Pitcher Paul Ligouri earned the win and added three hits and a walk to the offense. Pitcher Jerod and a stellar Burtons defense combined to earn five consecutive shutout innings. John Geary (3-run homer) and a Raghu Mantena (clutch 2-run double) contributed key hits for Burtons. Colley and Dave Batchelder hit back-to-back home runs.
Shortcut Landscaping 24 – Pro Sports Therapy 11
After the Burton-Mustang 12-inning marathon game, Shortcuts and Pro Sports Therapy played a game into the midnight hour. Therelentless SCL offense pounded out hit after hit to overwhelm PST in five innings. Bill Doherty and Brett Hammond each had four hits for SCL, and Dave Sullivan homered. PST played some impressive defense in the loss, inducing two double plays, and left-fielder Ben Armstrong made a spectacular sliding catch after a long run.