Kelly's Record Breaking Night Leads Mountaineers to Win
Laconia, N.H. - First baseman Rob Kelly (Santa Margarita, Calif./Saint Anselm) launched two homeruns and racked up six RBI, setting Vermont's single season and career RBI records, as the Mountaineers (13-16) defeated the Laconia Muskrats 14-12 in New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) action on Sunday night. The win snapped a brief two game losing streak for Vermont and ended a two game win streak for Laconia.
Vermont jumped out to an impressive beginning in the top of the first as Muskrats starter John Healy did not record an out allowing the first seven batters to reach in the frame. Kelly blasted a three run shot to dead center that put the Mountaineers up 3-0 and tied him for Chris Joachim's (2005-06) career record of 48 RBI. Austin Green (San Diego, Calif./San Diego) followed with a solo shot of his own before a Johnny Mishu two-run homer made it 6-0 Vermont. Cole Peragine then singled to chase Healy bringing in England Smith who forced a fielders choice and a strikeout to put a runner on second with two outs. Brian O'Grady then hit a two run shot of his own in his second at-bat of the inning as Vermont sent 12 batters to the plate taking an 8-0 lead after the first frame.
After facing the minimum three batters in the first inning, Mountaineers starter Walker Stadler found trouble in the second. A throwing error from Peragine (Belle Ewert, Ontario/Stony Brook) led off the inning followed by back-to-back singles to load the bases with nobody out. Kyle Convissar then hit a deep fly ball to centerfield that hit off the glove of Mishu and over the fence for a grand slam cutting the Vermont lead in half. He would give up three more runs as Laconia sent a total of 12 hitters themselves getting the deficit to just one. They would add three more in the bottom of the third to take a 10-9 lead thanks to a solo shot from Joe Torres and a two RBI double from Vincente Conde chasing Stadler (Glenview, Ill./Indiana).
The Mountaineers tied the game in the fourth as Kelly doubled, advanced to third on a ground ball and scored on a wild pitch to knot things up at 10-10. Laconia however would take the lead back on a solo homer from Convissar off Brad Schnelle (Moon Township, Pa./Seton Hill) in the bottom of the fourth. Schnelle then worked valiantly through the next three innings holding the Muskrats off the board.
Vermont would tie the game up in the top of the sixth inning with two outs as Smith set down the first two in order but then gave up a single and walk before Mishut hit an RBI double scoring Green. That hit would chase Smith and bring in Nick Kevlin who finished the inning unscathed.
In the top of the seventh, Kevlin recorded the first out but then walked O'Grady (Warminster, Pa./Rutgers) on four pitches before being pulled in favor of Tom Kriss. After hitting Logan Pierce (Troy, Ala./Troy) to put runners on first and second with one out, Kelly blasted his second three run shot of the game to the opposite field breaking the tie as well as the Mountaineers single season RBI record of 33 held by Chris Joachim in 2005.
Schnelle would continue to pick up his staff in a big way as he left the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth after giving up one run to cut the Mountaineers lead to 14-12. Laconia (11-20) would threaten in the bottom of the ninth with a bloop single to lead things off before a pop up to second and Conde being called out on batters intereference for the second out in the inning. After Danny Collins was intentionally walked for the second time, Schnelle got a groundout from Donny Duschinsky to finish the game.
Schnelle (2-3) got the win going six and one third innings in relief giving up just two runs striking out four while Nick Kevlin (0-1) took the hard luck loss giving up one run in relief.
Vermont will take Monday off before hosting North Adams on Tuesday July 17th at Montpelier Recreation Field. All game action can be heard on ESPN 1240, WSKI and online on www.thevermontmountaineers.com.
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