A year is a long time to wait for a chance to avenge a painful loss, especially when that loss prevented a return trip to the Cal Ripken Eastern Massachusetts State Tournament. As the Dracut Diamond Dogs entered district play, they knew sooner or later they would get to play the Westford Grey Ghosts again for a chance at the state tourney. It made victory all the sweeter when the Diamond Dogs won yet another hotly contested district championship series against the Grey Ghosts. The win moves the Diamond Dogs to the state tournament.
Dracut grabbed an exciting 4-2 victory over Westford behind the fine pitching of Cam McCullough and Matt Sidemen. Westford scored single runs in the second and third innings to jump out in front 2-0, but Dracut tied things up in the bottom of the 3rd as the Grey Ghosts made several errors. The Diamond Dogs seized the lead in the fifth after a two-out double by Michael Patterson and an insurance RBI single by Kevin Carney. Also collecting hits in the game were Allyn French and Jeremy Gray. Derek Ripa made a great backhanded flip to force an out at second base and Kyle Hould ended an inning with a huge line drive catch at 3rd base. Matt Robichaud, Peter Sawyer, John Cormier, Joey Petka and Brad Keefe played well defensively.
The Westford Grey Ghosts fought off elimination in the District Tournament with a 9-4 win over Dracut. The Diamond Dogs played an uncharacteristically sloppy game as they made 10 errors and managed only four hits against their arch rival. The disappointing loss sets up a winner take all third game, with the victor moving onto the state tourney.
For the third year in a row, the Massachusetts Cal Ripken District 2 championship game came down to the Diamond Dogs of Dracut against the Grey Ghosts of Westford. Westford jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead before Dracut rallied with three runs in the top of the second inning. Jeremy Grey singled and was knocked in by a Kevin Carney’s double. He scored with John Cormier after a single by Derek Ripa (three hits) and double by Cam McCullough. The Diamond Dogs took a 5-2 lead the next inning after singles by Allyn French and Matt Sidemen as Joey Petka picked up an RBI after a walk with the bases loaded and two outs. Dracut scored another run in the top of the sixth to move ahead 6-2 but Westford fought back with three runs before falling 6-5 to the Diamond Dogs in an exhilarating game. Contributions from Kyle Hould (single), Peter Sawyer (walk) and Brad Keefe (walk) helped with the offense as Michael Patterson reached on an error and Matt Robichaud played flawlessly in the field. Cam McCullough went the distance in a fine performance and struck out 10 while allowing only four hits.