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August 1, 2013

Middleton's season ends with loss to Lowell in Legion playoffs

(Continued)

Lowell had beaten Middleton, 12-2, a day earlier, but Middleton came from behind to top Billerica in their second game Tuesday to stay alive in the playoffs.

Post 87 jumped ahead 1-0 on Callery’s sac fly in the first, but Woodworth didn’t allow another run until the fourth.

“I knew they’d come back here with momentum from their last win and it would be a completely different game,” said McLeod. “Their pitcher is a real competitor and he had to be coming back on short rest like that.”

Greg Dougherty knocked in Thayer in the second as Middleton tied it. They grabbed the lead in the third when Kyle Kowalski knocked one in on a fielder’s choice and another scored on a throwing error.

Lowell scored four times to take the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth, however. Riley, who was the starting pitcher, had a 2-run double as his team strung together four straight base hits two out to move ahead 5-3. The inning could’ve been more damaging if not for an excellent tag by Middleton third baseman Greg Jain to get an out on the basepaths.

Middleton continued to fight, getting one back in the fifth on Kowalski’s RBI to make it 5-4. Lowell added an insurance run in the bottom half, however, after Callery relieved Riley with the bases loaded and escaped unscathed.

Base hits by Jain, Dempsey and Mike Manni put Callery in trouble again in the sixth, but Schmerhorn made the timely, outstanding diving catch.

“I couldn’t breathe much in those last two innings, but Connor says that’s the way he pitches. He always makes things interesting,” said McLeod.

In the seventh, Middleton’s Chris Rich and Sam Hamburger had base hits and both moved up on a passed ball to put the tying run in scoring position with one down. Dempsey’s blast was then snared by Riley to end it.

Also for Middleton, Manni scored a pair of runs, Tommy Budrewicz scored once and Kyle Kowalski and Rich each had two hits.

“These guys battled right to the final out,” said John Kowalski. “There’s a lot to be proud of from this summer.”

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