MILLBURY, Mass. - The Grafton High Indians Baseball team exploded for 5 runs in the 6th inning to come from a 4-0 deficit to beat Millbury High 5-4 on Friday afternoon.
The Indians had threatened often in the game but Millbury pitcher Luke Bernard had been able to pitch out of trouble. All that changed in the sixth, a lead-off walk was followed by three straight hits narrowing the lead to 4-2.
Zach Levy then layed down a perfect bunt to move the runners to second and third with one out. Sean Pratt followed with a bullet single to center to make it 4-3. Bernard then struck out Grafton hurler David Chance and it seemed he may escape further damage. But Ray Bell struck the big blow, smoking a hanging curve into the gap in left center driving in two RBIs and giving Grafton its first lead at 5-4.
Chance struggled at times himself on the mound for Grafton, but hung tough when he needed to and was able to carry his team into the seventh when he finally ran out of gas after giving up a lead-off single. That brought on reliever Nick Hitchings who was able to slam the door for the victory.
Mike Valastro had an RBI single in the first for the Woolies, Matt Jachimczyk and Anthony DiSteffano had sacrifice fly RBIs for Millbury in the fifth.
Bernard is arguably Millbury's most consistent pitcher, but today his curveball didn't have the usual snap to it. Even so, he was able to pitch out of trouble time after time. Between the 4th and 5th innings, Millbury Coach Ron Silvestri, saw the handwriting on the wall, with his team nursing a 2-0 lead he said, "we're going to need some more runs, they're getting some great at-bats and hitting the ball hard."
After Millbury took a 4-0 lead into the sixth, it seemed Silvestri's team had their cushion, but Grafton's bats exploded on Millbury and they had no answer until it was too late. Bernard was able to finish the sixth and gave way to reliever Zach Richard for the seventh inning.
The Woolies lost a game they really needed but get right back to it tomorrow, with a game against BVT in Upton at 10 a.m.
The Indians are off until Monday afternoon when the host the always tough Northbridge Rams, first pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.