Pepperell-1 celebrates at the mound after upsetting top-seeded Ayer-Shirley in the second round of the Mac League Babe Ruth Playoffs.
Pepperell-1 celebrates at the mound after upsetting top-seeded Ayer-Shirley in the second round of the Mac League Babe Ruth Playoffs. (Nashoba Publishing/Ed Niser)

SHIRLEY --- Pepperell-1 (9-9) (started the day with a 13-0 opening round mercy-shortened victory over Westminster-Ashburnham and then traveled to Shirley for the second half of a twin-bill with the undefeated Ayer-Shirley Titans(15-1).

The Titans took an early 4-0 lead at the end of one, but Pepperell circled the wagons, and toppled the No. 1 seed Titans 7-6 on Saturday afternoon.

Nick May led Pepperell with a 2-for-3 1 RBI performance at the dish. May came on in relief of Pepperell starter Brenden Sullivan and surrendered one hit and while striking out four. The Ayer-Shirley defense baked itself into a corner to start the afternoon.

Nick Twomey and Hannah Gouldrup reached to start the first inning. Gouldrup whacked the first hit of the ballgame up the middle for a single, which put Twomey in scoring position at second.

Sullivan hit a come-backer to Ayer-Shirley pitcher Christian Hoffman. Hoffman turned and hosed down Twomey at third for the first out of the inning. The Titans turned a double-play to get out of the inning unscathed, gunning down Gouldrup and Sullivan at home.

Sullivan silenced Ayer-Shirley leadoff hitter Kyle Clapper in the home half of the first, as he pulled the string on a curveball for strike-three. Austin Schmalz picked up a four-pitch walk to give Ayer-Shirley its first base-runner of the afternoon.

Eliric Cahill slapped a single into left center field to advance Schmalz to third. Schmalz came around to score as Camden LeBreton reached on a dropped third strike. The Titans brought across three more unearned runs in the first on just one hit, to take a 4-0 lead into the second.

Matt DeVito picked up Pppperell's lone hit of the second with a single to center field, but he was toast at the plate on a Colby Rosado groundout to Christian Hoffman, who fired home for the inning's second out.

The Titans went down in order CJ Carter picked up the Titans only hit in the second inning with a one-out blast to left field. Carter would eventually be thrown out at plate after attempting to advance on an overthrow, to keep the game at 5-0.

Pepperell provided a little two-out magic in the third inning, after Twomey and Gouldrup were sent packing. Sullivan walloped a single to right field, and eventually came across to score, when Corey reached on a hot-shot to third.

Boudreau followed that up with a n RBI single into the wind in right field to bring around Corey from second to cut the deficit to 4-3

. DeVito walked and would later come around to score on an RBI single to right by Michael Farrea. Pepperell managed to take the 5-4 after two-and-a-half innings. Hoffman came across to score on a sacrifice-fly by Michael Tonelli to tie the game at 5-5 in the Titans' third.

Pepperell picked up one run in the fourth inning, when a balk was issued to Hoffman, which allowed Brendan Lister to trot home from third, to give Pepperell a slim 6-5 lead. Ayer-Shirley continued to scrape back from behind, and they were rewarded when Kyle Clapper dumped an RBI single in the right field gap to score Carter from third to knot the game at 6-6. Pepperell's calling-card all afternoon was

timely two-out hitting and the same was true in the fifth, when they seized the lead for good. May thumped a double to deep right field to plate the eventual game-winning run in Boudreau, who walked earlier in the frame.

Pepperell advances to the next round of the Macintosh Babe Ruth playoffs with its opponent still yet to be determined. Sullivan pitched five innings, struck out four, while scattering just three hits. Cahill powered the Titans offense going 2-for-2 with a run scored and a walk.