The Dracut Dirt Dogs baseball team started their travel season off with a bang as they went 3-1 and advanced to the championship game of the Londonderry, N.H., Tournament.
This tourney for 12-year-old travel and AAU baseball teams features some of the most talented squads from New Hampshire and the Merrimack Valley. The outstanding competition served the Dirt Dogs well as they have qualified for the upcoming Cal Ripken League Massachusetts State Baseball Championship.
Game 1 Dracut 12, Milford 0
Dracut pounded Milford, N.H., 12-0 in the opening game of the Londonderry Tournament. Jeremy Gray's two-run blast over the center field fence sparked Dracut to their first win of the season. Aggressive base running with four steals by Brad Keefe allowed Dracut to control this contest early.
Game 2, Hudson 9 Dracut 5
The Dirt Dogs dropped a tough 9-5 decision to a good Hudson squad in their second game. Starter Kevin Carney allowed no hits and no runs in his three innings of work. A great sacrifice bunt by Peter Sawyer helped Dracut take back a 4-3 lead after Kyle Hould's single. Alas, some untimely errors with sloppy fielding from the Dirt Dogs and two three-run shots by Hudson's hurler led to the loss.
Game 3, Dracut 9, Londonderry 6
The Dirt Dogs advanced to the semi-finals with an exciting 9-6 win over Londonderry. Dracut fell behind early 4-0 but stormed back to take the lead as Joey Petka, Michael Patterson, John Cormier and Matt Robichaud scored runs in the top of the second inning.
Game 4 Semi-Finals Dracut 8 Litchfield 4
Good pitching performances by Matt Sideman and the Dracut staff limited an undefeated Litchfield team to five hits as the Dirt Dogs advanced to the championship game with an 8-4 victory. Cam McCullough launched his third home run of the tournament and Derek Ripa came through with an RBI single. Allyn French came up with two sparkling run saving plays at shortstop as the Dirt Dogs will face the New Hampshire Firebirds for the championship.