HUDSON -- Groton came into Tuesday night's Cal Ripken U12 District Finals with Hudson having already dropped one game in the double elimination tournament. Hudson used a six-run fourth inning to power past Groton 8-4, and clinch the Tournament title.
Hudson starting pitcher Aaron Cornwell, retired Ben Rivot and Brendan Boyce to start the game. Gavin Boyle reached on a two-out walk on four pitches. Tournament MVP Wiley Ordemann, stroked a single into the left center field gap, which bumped Gavin Boyle into scoring position.
Chris Watt attempted to swat a line drive down the third base line, but Hudson's Ben Chase had other plans. Chase fielded the grounder smoothly, and stepped on the third base bag for the final out of the inning.
Groton starter Brendan Boyce retired leadoff man Thomas DiBattista on a ground out to third. Sammy Stout got the ball rolling for Hudson with a single up the middle. Stout scampered across with the first run of the game, on a loud sac-fly to deep center field from Timmy Person. Brendan Boyce limited the damage to one run, as he fanned Nick Chaves on a change-up for the third out.
Cornwell retired the middle of the Groton lineup in order in the second to preserve Hudson's 1-0 advantage. The Hawks tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the inning, on a ground out to third by Chase. Chase plated Noah Stuart, who singled to start the inning, as Hudson stretched its lead to 2-0.
Brendan Boyce kept his composure and plowed through the bottom of the Hudson order, with a little help from his defense. The defensive highlight came on the first out of the sequence, when Ordemann stonewalled a potential base-hit, with a leaping grab.
Second baseman Nick Perry led off the third for Groton with a slicing single that dropped into left center field. Perry swiped second, and advanced to third on a wild pitch to John Purville.
Perry's single was the only hit Groton would get in the inning.
Brendan Boyce drew a two-out walk, but was left stranded, as Gavin Boyce bounced out to third for the final out.
Brendan Boyce appeared to be finding his grove in the bottom of the third inning. Brendan Boyce sent his adversary Cornwell, back to the pine with a mystifying curve ball, that nibbled the inside corner for strike three.
DiBatista plopped a bloop single into center field, but he was left stranded as Sammy Stout and Person were dismissed to end the inning.
Cornwell start to show some command issues in the fourth, as he issued a full-count walk to Ordemann to begin the frame.
Ordemann made Cornwell pay by stealing both second and third. Ordemann took off for home on a wild pitch from Cornwall to Chris Watt, and he slid in safely for Groton's first run of the game.
Connor Keegan worked a one-out free-pass, and would later score on a game-tying RBI single to right field by Scott Glencross, which made it 2-2.
Hudson reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the inning, when Chase clanged a one-out 2 RBI double off the center field fence to plate Chaves and Stuart, who both reached on singles. The Hawks were not done, as they added four additional runs to gallop out to a commanding 8-2 lead.
Neither team could get anything going offensively in the fifth. Groton put their rally caps on heading into the decisive sixth inning. Stuart came on to pitch for Hudson, and started his outing with a walk to Ordemann.
Ordemann swiped three bases in the inning, including home, to bring Groton within five. Watt tapped a slow-roller down the third base line, and he beat the throw from third for an infield single. Connor Keegan drilled a single down the third base line and would later score Groton's final run of the night, on a passed ball.
However, the road does not end for Groton; they advance to the State Tournament, which starts next weekend at a to be determined location.
Ordemann led Groton going 1-for-1 with two walks, two runs scored and five stolen bases. Brendan Boyce and Glencross each knocked in a run.
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