GROTON -- The Groton-Dunstable Montachusett Senior Baseball League had trouble getting their bats in working order Tuesday afternoon at the Groton Town Field against visiting Lunenburg. Blue Knights lefty ace Tim Sargent fanned 13 Crusaders en route to a 9-0 victory.
With the loss, the Crusaders dip below .500 on the season with an overall record of 4-5. The Blue Knights pick up a little ground in the standings and improve to 4-3.
Groton-Dunstable, due to the often busy Fourth of July travel week, was forced to play with no reserves and weary legs took their toll on Groton-Dunstable.
Groton-Dunstable starting pitcher Jack Rivet forced the first Lunenburg batter to pop out on a lazy ball to the shortstop. Sargent singled to centerfield and would later come across to score on a sacrifice fly by third baseman Jeff Kerr.
Rivet settled in and retired the final batter of the inning on a routine groundout to second. Rivet tried to help his own cause with a single that leaked through the right side, but back-to-back strikeouts by Sargent left Rivet stranded at third after picking up a pair of stolen bases.
The Groton-Dunstable defense held its ground in the second inning allowing just one hit and erasing Ben Tocci and Joe Basile (strikeout) to end the inning. It was smooth sailing for the dart throwing south paw in the bottom of the third. Sargent mowed down the Crusaders in order with three strikeouts on 12 pitches. The Blue Knights added one run on one hit and an error in the third. Jim Basile whacked a ground-rule double into the thick brush in right field to score Sargent, who reached on an error, from third.
Groton-Dunstable's bats went dormant in the fourth inning,as Sargent fanned two in the inning, keeping the Blue Knights' 2-0 lead intact after four innings.
Lunenburg added two runs in the fourth and fifth and three more in the third inning to extend its lead to 9-0.
Lunenburg centerfielder David Bruden made a diving catch on what appeared to be a surefire gap-shot by Matt Naughton. Bruden came in from his deep position in center field to make the sensational grab. Groton-Dunstable had just one hit in the final three innings of the game.
The Crusaders are back in action on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., when they travel to North Middlesex.
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