The Dracut Dirt Dogs Baseball Team returned home after finishing fifth in the Massachusetts State Tournament and as runner-ups in the Londonderry Tourney.

With over 65 teams competing in the Cal Ripken Eastern Mass. Baseball League, Dracut did a fine job as they advanced to the Elite 8 of the playoffs. The Dirt Dogs’ fifth place finish against the best teams in the state was a great accomplishment.

In the opening game of the States against Riverside-Bradford, Kevin Carney increased his tournament shutout pitching streak to over 10 innings as he threw four innings of one-hit-no-run ball. Jeremy Gray banged out two hits and Matt Sideman doubled. Second baseman Peter Sawyer made several nice plays in the field in this 8-5 win.

Michael Patterson, Joey Petka and Allyn French collected singles in the next game against a tough and eventual State Champions New Bedford team. The Dirt Dogs actual led halfway through this contest before an avalanche of miscues did them in.

Next up for Dracut was the powerful Easton team, which up to this point had mercied every opponent with barrages of home runs and outstanding pitching. Once again, the Dirt Dogs had a lead early in the game as Cam McCullough hit his fifth home run of the year and Brad Keefe had a hard shot opposite-field single.

The Dirt Dogs then traveled back to the Londonderry, N.H.,. Tournament for the championship game against the Firebirds. Derek Ripa showed off his eagle eyes with three walks as Matt Robichaud and John Cormier hit singles. Kyle Hould hit a blast over the fence for Dracut as the Dirt Dogs grabbed a second-place finish.