WEST GROTON -- After a thrilling comeback victory in Game 3 of the Nashua River Valley Softball League Finals, the Devens Grille had all the momentum heading into Game 4 on Tuesday evening. The Burgers never let up, jumping out to an 11-0 lead after three innings of play and coasted to an easy 15-4 victory over Townsend to clinch their second consecutive title.
With one out in the top of the first inning, Anton Daley doubled before eventually coming around to score on a two-out single by Jason Welch. George Migrants followed that up with a long homerun to left centerfield to make it a 3-0 game. Jamie Pinard followed with a double, but Pats' starter Pete Debreceni escaped further damage by inducing an inning-ending pop out to keep the lead at three.
Devens Grille starter Joe Pellegrini made quick work of Townsend in the home half of the first and got more offensive support the following inning. With one out, Blake Buxton reached on an error and went to third following a Jason Labell double. A walk to Bob West loaded the bases and Daley brought home a run with a sacrifice fly. Derek Migrants then launched a two-run triple into the right centerfield gap as the Burgers doubled their lead to 6-0.
In the top of the third, Devens Grille blew the game open, posting five runs to take a double-digit advantage. George Migrants walked, Pinard reached on a fielder's choice and Steve Gerrior walked to load the bases. John Koukias drove in a run with a fielder's choice
It appeared the Burgers were going to add to their lead in the top of the fourth as George Migrants was hit by a pitch with one out. Pinard then lofted a fly ball to shallow right field that looked like it was going to drop. But Jon Hawthorne came out of nowhere to make a great diving catch. On the play, Hawthorne was lost for the remainder of the game with a separated shoulder as Townsend's night went from bad to worse.
Pellegrini finally ran into some trouble in the bottom of the fourth as the Pats pushed across their first runs of the night. Stefan Knight reached on an error and came around to score when Dan Rivetts (double, two runs scored) reached on a fielder's choice that was followed by two errant throws. Nate Doty then delivered an RBI single, but Pellegrini got three consecutive fly outs to limit the damage and keep it an 11-2 contest.
A dropped fly ball allowed Koukias to reach second to lead off the top of the fifth. Debreceni got a lineout and pop out, as it appeared he might be able to wiggle out of the jam, but West laced a shot into the left centerfield gap and raced around the bases for a two-run homer to push the edge back to 11 at 13-2.
Townsend mounted a small rally in the sixth, scoring a pair of runs thanks to an error and RBI single by Ryan Pickard, but Devens Grille responded with a West RBI single and Derek Migrants RBI double in the top of the seventh. Pellegrini finished out his solid night by working a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh, getting a groundout to close it out as the Burgers completed their back-to-back titles in impressive style.
Labell paced the Devens Grille offense with a double, two singles, three runs scored and two runs-batted-in. West finished with a homer, double, walk, three runs scored and three RBI. Derek Migrants added a triple, double and three RBI. Daley chipped in two doubles, a walk, run scored and three RBI while George Migrants homered, walked and was hit by two pitches, scored a run and drove in two.