CLINTON -- The Townsend Astros eclipsed the .500 mark with a 3-1 win over Charlton Sunday morning at historic Fuller Field. Townsend starting pitch Leo LeClair struck out four batters over five innings and scattered three hits.
Charlton three-hole hitter Greer Wallace walloped a two-out triple down the line in deep left field that got down and rolled into the corner. Townsend left fielder James Arthur fired the ball into third as Wallace was in with a stand-up triple. LeClair recovered nicely jamming Hugh Cornwell on an inside off-speed pitch that resulted in a lazy fly ball to left to retire the side.
Townsend leadoff hitter Ray O'Brien slapped a 1-2 fastball through the center of the infield for a single. Next, LeClair reached on a handcuffing fly ball to right field that resulted in an error, putting runners at second and third with nobody out. However, the next two Astros were retired in succession before Arthur worked a four pitch walk to load the bases. The Astros left the bases packed as Joe Manago struck out to end the inning.
Charlton picked up one run on one hit in the top of the second. Clean-up hitter Ted George reached on a line drive single to left field and later scored from third as Tommy McIntyre was hosed down by Astros' catcher Dave Pelletier for the second out. Townsend kept the damage at 1-0 heading into the bottom of the second inning. The bottom third of the Townsend lineup fell dormant in the second as it trailed by one run after two. The Astros bats found new life in the third inning. LeClair and Dave Pelletier reached safely in the inning to put runners at the corners with one gone. LeClair and Dave Pelletier were left on the paths as Ron Pelletier was unable to beat out a well-struck grounder to third.
LeClair kept the Indians' bats in check in the fourth inning retiring the top-half of the order 1-2-1, while adding a strikeout of Wallace to end the frame.
Townsend left fielder James Arthur blasted a deep shot that skipped over the fence in left field for a ground rule double to start the inning. Manago also hit a double to the center field fence to put runners at second and third with no outs.
Centerfielder Julio Maldonado drew a walk to load the bases to set the scene for Jim MacDonald. MacDonald executed a precise squeeze bunt down the first base line to allow both Arthur and Manago to scurry across the dish to make it 2-1.
Townsend added one more run in the fifth inning on an RBI shot to left field by LeClair that scored O'Brien, who reached on a single to start the inning. MacArthur came on in relief of LeClair and tossed two innings of shutout baseball, striking out two, allowing just one hit and one hit batter.The Astros improve to 4-3 on the season and they return to action Sunday morning at Leominster's Doyle Field against the Aubuchon A's (1-4) . First pitch is scheduled for 10 a.m.