Leadoff single followed by no-hit stuff for Gallagher
By Shaun Moriarty
Citizen Chronicle Writer
LEOMINSTER — Pat Gallagher had near perfect stuff on the mound Friday afternoon, leading the Blue Devils to a 16-0 victory over the Shepherd Hill Rams at Doyle Field.
Gallagher threw a one-hit shutout against the visiting Rams over a five inning stint shortened by the mercy rule. The right-hander struck out seven and issued one walk, facing just one batter more than the bare minimum. Shepherd Hill got into the hit column right away as leadoff hitter Chris LaFortune lined Gallagher’s fifth pitch of the game for a base hit. LaFortune would be doubled up on a hard line drive off the bat of Mick Sullivan just three pitches later, emptying the bases for what seemed to be the entire day.
Hunter Lavigne was the only other Ram to reach base, drawing a six-pitch walk to open up the third inning. Gallagher responded by striking out Nate Carty and Hayden Wildes before getting LaFortune to groundout to shortstop to end the frame. Gallagher sent down the final nine batters in a row, striking out four of them.
While Gallagher hardly needed much support from his offense, the Blue Devils provided plenty against the Shepherd Hill pitching staff. Leominster scored four runs in the first inning, and knocked Rams starter Chris Kustigian out with a couple more in the second inning. There was just one run tallied on the scoreboard in the third inning, and the game came to a close with a nine-run fourth inning.
Leominster thirdbaseman James Powers belted a three-run home run in the fourth inning, en route to a two-hit game with three runs scored and three RBI. Shortstop Matt Dupuis, secondbaseman Lowell Pare, and leftfielder Mason Nickoloff collected three hits each, with Dupuis driving in three runs and Nickoloff and Pare each scoring twice. Among their hits was a double for Dupuis and a triple for Pare.
Kustigian was hit the loss, charged with six runs on seven hits and two walks while retiring just three batters before getting the hook. Errors helped inflate the damage done while John Calcagni toed the rubber for the Rams, giving up nine runs, only three of which were earned, on eight hits and a walk over 2 2/3 innings. Matt Waterhouse was called upon to get the final out of the game, yielding one run on two hits and a walk.