Montpelier, Vt. - Alex Haines (Greensboro, Pa./Seton Hill) pitched six scoreless innings and struck out a season high 10 batters as Vermont defeated North Adams 2-0 in a weather shortened six in contest in New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) action on Tuesday. The game was called in the bottom of the sixth with one on and one out for the Mountaineers (14-16) after lighting and rain in the area forced the early final.
Haines was dominant from the start giving up a one out double to Shane Klemcke before stranding him at third. He would retired eight in a row at one point while striking out five through the first three innings. Vermont found timely offense in the second inning when Ryan Karl (Towaco, N.J./Louisville) hit a two out single through the right side of the infield to score Austin Green (San Diego, Calif./San Diego) to give the Mountaineers a 1-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the third, Chris Cook (Annapolis, Md./George Mason) led off with a double and advanced to third on a ground out from Aaron Barbosa. He would trot home as Rob Kelly (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Saint Anselm) drove in his league leading 35th RBI on a full count with two outs. That would prove to be all the offense needed in this one as Vermont won their second straight game.
The SteepleCats (18-14) did threaten in the top of the fourth as Klemcke and Jeff Roy hit back-to-back singles to lead off the frame but Haines then struck out the next three batters. In the top of the sixth Klemcke, who went 3-for-3, hit a one out single to right that bounced over the head of Green allowing him to advance to third. However, Haines would strike out the next two batters to end the inning as he upped his league leading strikeout total to 46.
Vermont would begin the sixth with a Barbosa (Dracut, Mass./Northeastern) single but lightning forced a delay and ultimatley led to the end of the contest. Haines (5-1) picked up the win scattering five hits without walking anyone and lowering his NECBL best earned run average to 0.51 on the season. North Adams starter Charlie Law (1-3) took the hard luck loss pitching five plus innings allowing two runs on five hits while striking out three.
Both teams meet again on Wednesday July 18th at Joe Wolfe Field as the Mountaineers make their final trip to North Adams in the regular season. All the game action can be heard live on ESPN 1240, WSKI and online at www.thevermontmountaineers.com