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Division 3 baseball: Travis Padgett leads Granby in shutout of Turners Falls

TURNERS FALLS — It was only fitting that a pitchers’ duel was decided by a pitcher.

Granby starter Travis Padgett hit a two-out, RBI single up the middle in the top of the sixth inning to plate the only run of the game and help the 11th-seeded Rams to a 1-0 decision over sixth-seeded Turners Falls in the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Tournament at the Bourdeau Fields Complex on Thursday.

Granby (15-6) will face a second Hampshire League opponent when it travels to South Deerfield to take on third-seeded Frontier Regional (15-6) on Monday at 4 p.m. Frontier beat Putnam 4-2.

Thursday’s game had the makings of a 1-0 outcome from the onset. Turners Falls starter Brandon Lenois did not allow a baserunner through the first three innings. Granby broke up the perfect-game bid with two outs in the fourth when Brett Sullivan blooped a single to right.

Lenois allowed only six baserunners all game, giving up four hits and two walks, while striking out one.

Padgett continually worked around jams to keep the Indians (14-7) off the board. Turners got the lead runner aboard in each of the first six innings, but Padgett worked around the runners and stranded eight on the day, including three at third base. Padgett also got stronger as the game wore on. The hurler allowed three walks and one hit through the first two innings, but settled down and walked just two more the rest of the way. He allowed just five hits and struck out five.

“He’s only started three times for us this year,” Granby coach Jim Woods said. “He usually starts off slow, so I give him a little leeway, but he got out of the first inning and got into a groove. He’s a heady guy, he can pick guys off, knows the game well, knows when to step off the mound. He does a lot of the little things well.”

Padgett helped himself out in the sixth inning. Leadoff hitter Jake Whitacre singled to start the inning and stole second with No. 2 hitter Noah Parent at the plate. Parent then drove a fly ball to center field that was deep enough for Whitacre to tag up and move to third with one out. Lenois looked like he might get out of the jam when he induced Brett Sullivan to pop out to second for the second out, but Padgett rescued the team when he lined a 2-2 pitch up the middle to plate Whitacre.

“He’s our (cleanup hitter), he’s our best hitter, he understands a good approach to hitting,” Woods said. “He did a nice job that time, he kept his hands back with two strikes, reached out and drove the ball up the middle.”

The Indians had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth inning when Kramer Patenaude worked a leadoff walk and got to third with two outs. Padgett came back to get Dan McCormack to fly out to left and end the threat.

In the seventh, Padgett got the first two outs before leadoff hitter Marcel Ortiz (3-for-4) lined a double to left. That brought up Brody Markol, who got a hold of a pitch down the middle of the plate and roped a screamer back up the middle. The hit though was right at Padgett, who snared the ball for the final out of the game.

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