Foster Lifts Nashoba to Central Division I Baseball Title
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
It was probably the best game that fans on both sides could have hoped for, with Nashoba's Drew Foster going the distance for the Chieftains on the mound, while Leominster's Vinh Dohn nearly matched him, pitching into the seventh inning for the Blue Devils, allowing just one run. Foster had been Nashoba's ace all year, compiling a 4-1 record with a 0.97 earned run average.
Leominster struck first in the top of the fourth, when senior Nick Bergeron brought Neil O'Connor home from third on a suicide squeeze, giving the Blue Devils a 1-0 lead.
However, the Chieftains answered right back in the bottom half of the inning, on an RBI single by junior Matt Sabourin, tying the game 1-1.
Both starting pitchers were able to hold the opposing team off the scoreboard during the middle innings. The first real threat came in the seventh inning, when Leominster brought in O'Connor on two days rest out of the bullpen to get out of a jam. After walking Nashoba's first hitter to load the bases, O'Connor was able to get the next hitter to chase a high pitch, keeping the score at 1-1.
Leominster had a good opportunity to take the lead in the top of the ninth, but Foster was able to get out of the jam unscathed as well, stranding two Leominster runners on base.
Foster comes through
That set the stage for Foster to be the hero. After a lead off single by Sabourin, O'Connor threw a wild pitch and then a passed ball squeaked by the Leominster catcher, advancing Sabourin to third. After walking the next hitter, O'Connor then intentionally walked the following hitter to set up a force at any base. That brought up Foster, who hit a fly ball deep enough into the outfield to get Sabourin in from third on a sacrifice fly, giving the Chieftains a 2-1 walk off win.
It was almost a sure thing that this game would be a nail-biter, as Leominster handed the Chieftains one of its three losses on the season, with a 1-0 Blue Devil win earlier in the season. Nashoba will now advance to the Division I baseball state tournament.