SUDBURY, Mass. -– Jake Robbins isn’t known for being the "hype-man" for Westford Academy, and he doesn’t need to be -— leading by example has had all the effect that Coach Cory Roman could have asked for.
Robbins came up big once again for the Grey Ghosts on Wednesday afternoon, giving Westford one of its biggest wins of the year, an 8-2 victory over Dual County League rival Lincoln-Sudbury (10-6). The right-handed starting pitcher gave up two earned runs, throwing a complete game to help Westford move to 11-6 overall.
"He’s a leader on this team," Roman said. "He doesn’t speak a lot, but he goes out there and is a hard worker. The guys notice that and play behind him."
L-S got to Robbins early on, scoring both of their runs in the bottom of the fourth. Following a terrific bunt down the third base line by Lawrence Salvucci, Warriors’ starting pitcher Owen Bautze ripped a line drive up the middle to bring Salvucci around to score. In the next at bat, first baseman Sid Warrenbrand hit a double to center field that came up just short of the fence -— Bautze scored, and Westford answered in the top of the sixth, coming from behind once again to pick up a win.
After two straight base hits to start off the sixth inning, clean-up hitter Ryan Pocock (2-for 4, 3 RBI) ripped a liner down the third baseline, driving in two runs for the Grey Ghosts to tie the game at 2. After an RBI single by Luke Morse, Cam MacDonald hit a double to center field to double up L-S after six innings, 4-2.
"This team, we’ve been behind a lot this year, and they’re comfortable with it -- which is unusual that a team doesn’t press when they get behind," Roman said. "Obviously when you get behind to a good team like that you get a little concerned."
Westford added on four more runs to Lincoln-Sudbury’s bullpen in the final inning to get some insurance, carrying an 8-2 lead going into the bottom of the seventh. Robbins took care of the rest, leading his team to a win that will give them the opportunity to capture the Dual County League championship on Thursday against Acton-Boxborough.
"I just tried to hit my spots and let the fielders do the work, hoping the bats got going—and they did. Coach kept telling us to have good at bats, do our job, and we’ll come out on top," Robbins said. "When we were all screaming and yelling, we knew we had it. That’s huge, we win [on Thursday against Acton-Boxboro] we win the DCL—that’s the biggest game of the year."
Roman said the win, especially coming from behind against a team who beat them 12-3 earlier in the year, is a huge confidence boost for his group -— a team with plenty of potential to make a deep run come tournament time.
"It was these guys, they’re coming together as a team, they like playing together as a team," he said. "We’ve kind of been building that momentum throughout the year…especially in close games."