HUDSON - Groton traveled to Hudson to face the 50/70 division's top-team in the Heat, and despite a valiant effort, the U12's came up short.
Thursday's four-run spread matched that of the two team's previous meeting back on June 23. Groton belted out 11 hits, including a home run from left fielder Will Doyle, but it was not enough, as Groton fell 11-7 to Hudson.
Hudson sent right-handed pitcher Sam Stout to the bump, and he tried his best to quiet the potent Groton lineup. Catcher Ben Rivet led off the game with a base-knock to center field. Rivet would have to lurk patiently on the paths, before Will Zinkann chopped a 2 RBI single to left-center.
Chris Watt, who walked out of the three-hole - also came across to score on the Zinkann single.
Groton left two stranded to end the inning, as Stout uncorked a slider that caught the outside corner to get Brian Scott for the final out.
Hudson touched up Groton starter Brendan Boyce (3-for-3 2B, 3 RBI) for five runs in the first-inning. Thomas DiBattista started the inning with a perfectly-timed single up the middle. DiBattista showed why he is the number-one batter in the Heat lineup, when he stole second.
Stout helped out his own cause with an RBI double through the left-side of the infield, which allowed DiBattista to scamper home with Hudson's first run.
The Heat kept the embers burning when Cam White sprayed an RBI single into right field to bring across Stout to tie the game at 2-2. Hudson tacked on three more runs in the inning on a 2 RBI single to left field by Tim Person and a fielder's choice to second from Noah Stuart.
Brendan Boyce bounced back and mesmerized Zack Burgess on a change-up for the final out of the inning. It was a one-two-three second for Groton, as the Heat clung to their 5-2 lead. Brendan Boyce shifted gears and went into cruise control in the second.
Brendan Boyce forced Gerry McManus to ground-out to short for the first out. Brendan Boyce, then helped out his own cause when he snared a come-backer and slung a laser to first baseman Chris Watt for the second out.
DiBattista drew a two-out walk and swiped a pair of bases to up his total to three for the day. DiBattista was left on the paths, as Watt slid feet-first in foul grounds, for the last out of the inning.
Groton pulled to within one-run as they manufactured a pair of runs on four hits in the top-of-the-third. Rivet picked up his second single of the day to center field.
Rivet came across to score on an RBI double by Brendan Boyle. Zinkann's single to left-center pushed across Watt, who reached on a wall-ball up the middle.
Groton still found itself trailing the Heat, 5-4 after two-and-a-half. Person's double to deep left-field allowed Michael Chaves to score to put Hudson up 6-4.
Groton Center fielder, Ethan Hillenberg, made a spectacular catch on a Scotty Giusti fly-out, and he then fired a one-hop dart to Rivet, who slapped the tag on White to complete the inning-ending 8-2 double-play.
Hudson swapped arms in the fourth and went to the righty, Noah Stuart, who started the game at third base. With one-out, Will Doyle dug into the batter's box and set his sights on a juicy fastball that Stout left over the plate.
As the old adage goes, 'if you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen' - well, apparently Doyle has never heard that saying. Doyle extended his arms and sent the Stout fastball soaring through the raw July air over the right center field wall for a home run. Doyle's homer put Groton back-in-business, as they whittled the Heat's lead to 6-5.
The Heat blew the game wide-open in the fourth. Hudson plated four runs on three hits and an error to extend its lead to 10-5. Groton battled valiantly in the fifth inning, and it was rewarded with a pair of runs. Watt drew a one-out walk, and Jeremy Keast pummeled a double down the first-base line, which set the stage for Boyle.
Boyle wore down Stuart, fouling off pitch-after-pitch. On the 12th pitch of the at-bat, Boyle laced a 2 RBI single into right center field to bring across both Keast and Watt, to bring Groton with three. Three runs would be as close as Groton would get, as Hudson hung an insurance run in the fifth.
Hudson out-hit Groton (0-6) 14-11 and remains undefeated in 50/70's Bay State Tournament play.