AYER -- The Panthers bats were as hot as the sweltering sun.
Ayer found itself in a rut with the tires spinning coming into Thursday's Bay State Tournament match-up with Winchester with a record of 1-6.
The Panthers strung together 14 hits to mercy Winchester by a score of 14-4. Ayer shortstop John Dupell whacked the cover off the ball, going a perfect 4-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Liam Scanlon also had a great day at the plate for the Panthers, going 2-for-3 with 4 RBI.
Winchester took the early lead in the top half of the first inning on an RBI double by Tommy Fair. Fair dropped a 1-2 offering from Ayer starter, Andrew Consalvo, into left center field for extra bases, as the ball continued to roll to the fence.
Fair's double brought around Liam Campbell to put the Sachems out in front 1-0. The Sachems' luck would soon fade as Dupell cleanly scooped a bouncer from Tommy Degnon, tagged out Fair, then stepped on the second base bag to retire Degnon to complete the unassisted inning-ending double play.
Dupell was on cloud nine after recording a gem of a put-out in the previous half inning, and he followed that up with a one out screamer through the left side. Then, first baseman Connor Brown tomahawked a slicing single down the right field line.
With one out and a runner in scoring position, Scanlon reached on a fielder's choice, but Dupell was tagged at third for the second out. Michael Woodland put runners at second and third with a base knock through the right side.
Consalvo wiped the bases clean on a double that rolled to the center field wall and brought in Brown and Scanlon to give the Panthers the 2-1 lead.
Winchester reclaimed the lead in the top of the second plating three runs on two hits. Campbell's 2 RBI singles to right field brought across Joe Lawler and Michael Tovilla, who had an RBI single earlier in the frame, with the go-ahead run plus a little insurance.
Consalvo pitched his way out of the jam by forcing Fair to ground out to second to end the inning.
Trailing 4-2 after two-and-a-half, the Panthers offense started to find its mojo. Dupell picked up where he left off in the first, this time with a little flare to right field that dropped in for a double.
Scanlon retied the game with a 2 RBI single to right center field which brought around Dupell and Brown with the tying run.
The Panthers offense batted around in the inning and scored six runs on six hits, including RBI singles from Alex Wilson and Dupell. Ayer carried a comfortable 8-4 advantage into the fourth inning.
Scanlon came on to pitch for the Panthers in the fourth inning, and he did not disappoint. Scanlon retired the heart of the Winchester lineup in succession in the fourth. Ayer brought two more runs across in the inning.
Consalvo kick-started the Panthers offense with a loud RBI double into the gap in right center field, which plated Woodland and Jake Fowler who walked earlier in the inning. Fowler was awarded home due to fielder's interference.
The Panthers strode into the top of the fifth, up 10-4, and Woodland came on in relief of Scanlon. Woodland allowed a one-out single to Fair, but that was it.
Lampert screamed a howling comebacker to the mound, but Woodland quickly flashed the leather and secured the ball for the second out. Woodland caught Degnon window shopping on a filthy fastball to end the inning.Ayer laid the hammer to the Sachems in the home half of the fifth, plating four runs to satisfy the 10-run mercy rule. Danny Abbott tapped a perfectly placed grounder to the right side to plate Woodland.