Auburn High’s bid for the 2016 state baseball title came to an end in the District Championship round Sunday afternoon at Hanover Insurance Park at the College of the Holy Cross.
Auburn came into the game at 19-3, while their opponent, perennial power Groton-Dunstable High School came in at 20-0. The game lived up to the expectations.
In a classic pitchers’ duel, both AHS starter Conor Scully and GDHS starter Justin Watt were terrific. Scully scattered 8 hits while striking out 8 over the seven innings, while Watt gave up just four hits.
The only run of the game came in the bottom of the third inning, when GD manufactured a run after a leadoff single and a sacrifice. A sharp ground ball past the diving Avery Lemansky was enough to score the runner, and decide the game.
Auburn had chances, twice stranding runners on third base. The second of these chances was in the top of the seventh and final inning. With Josh Tower on third base, and two down, Avery Lemansky pounded a deep fly ball to right field. The GD outfielder made a terrific running catch, battling the swirling, gusty winds that persisted all afternoon at HIP.
While this was not the ending AHS was looking for, they turned in another terrific season culminating with a game that could not have been any closer or better matched. Congratulations to the boys, and best wishes to the graduating (well, graduated, actually) seniors.