Marlborough’s Hintz outduels Carty at Shepherd Hill
DUDLEY — Nate Carty was pretty good toeing the rubber on Wednesday afternoon but Jonah Hintz was just a little bit better.
The Marlborough Panthers put together a 3-1 road victory against the Shepherd Hill Rams, led by a seven strikeout performance by Hintz. The Marlborough hurler held the Rams to one run on four hits and five walks over seven innings, working out of a few jams to keep Shepherd Hill off the scoreboard until the sixth inning.
Hintz worked around a pair of first inning walks, and expertly maneuvered around Shepherd Hill’s attempts to manufacture a run in third inning. After a leadoff walk to leftfielder Chris Kustigian, the Rams called on DH Hayden Wildes to drop down a sacrifice bunt, pushing Kustigian into scoring position. Mick Sullivan grounded out to first base, moving Kustigian to third base with two outs before Hintz got Chris LaFortune to groundout on a 2-1 pitch.
After working around a single and a walk in the fourth inning, Hintz was again backed into a corner in the fifth inning. Kustigian led off the frame with a single and advanced to third base on a one-out double by Sullivan. The Rams were in a position to not only get on the scoreboard but possibly tie the game if Sullivan could be knocked in behind Kustigian. Hintz ensured no such scenario would unfold as he got LaFortune to pop out on one pitch before fanning Evan Kokocinski on three pitches.
Rams thirdbaseman Jacob Murphy picked up the lone run of the game for his club, making his way around the bases after a one-out single in the sixth inning, scoring when Alex Jankowski hit into a fielder’s choice at second base. Hintz sent the top of the Shepherd Hill lineup down in order on just six pitches in the seventh inning to earn the complete game victory.
Marlborough had first taken the lead in the third inning, taking advantage on Shepherd Hill errors. Panthers secondbaseman Kyle Carrol reached on an error by Sullivan at shortstop, stealing second base, and later scoring on an error by Murphy at third base. The Panthers tacked on a run in the fifth inning as well. Steve Breitenfeld led off the inning with a base hit up the middle and soon stole second base before being moved along by Robbie Short and knocked in by Mike Whitman. An insurance run was added in the sixth inning when Jake Gale hit a one-out single and stole second and third bases before scoring on a Mike Ryan sacrifice fly.
Carty took the loss for Shepherd Hill, limiting Marlborough to three runs, two earned, on six hits over seven innings. Carty issued no walks and struck out seven in the outing.