Montpelier, Vt. - After a dramatic game one victory, the Vermont Mountaineers (5-5) failed to hold a two-run lead in the top of the seventh of game two, as North Adams mounted a late inning rally en route to a 7-4 victory in New England Collegiate Baseball Leage (NECBL) action and salvage a double header split at Montpelier Recreation Field on Tuesday night.
Vermont walked off with a 7-6 win in the first game, and rallied to take a late lead in the nightcap, but the SteepleCats (7-4) stormed back in the top of the seventh with five runs off reliever Tyler Rogers to earn the late victory. North Adams jumped on the board first, marking the first time this year the Mountaineers failed to score first this season, as Sheen Planas-Artiaga worked a one out walk and scored on a wild pitch in the top of the first.
The Mountaineers would quickly counter in the bottom of the frame. Aaron Barbosa (Dracut, Mass./Northeastern) hit a sharp single up the middle and scored on Brian O'Grady's one-out triple to tie the ballgame. It would remain knotted at 1-1 until the sixth inning when SteepleCat left fielder Conor Biggio hit a one out single off reliever Matt McAllister, and broke the deadlock on Planas-Artiaga's RBI fielder's choice.
North Adams starter Tyler Bodamo failed to hold the lead however, as Vermont mounted a comeback. Ryan Karl (Towaco, N.J./Louisville) and Michael White (East Orange, N.J./Louisville) connected on back-to-back triples to lead off the bottom of the sixth, again pulling the score even at 2-2. White's triple chased Bodamo from the game and brought in Matt Longfield, who gave up the winning in game one of the double header. Longfield was greeted by Chris Cook's RBI double to push Vermont ahead 3-2, giving them their first lead. Cook (Annapolis, Md./George Mason) stole third and crossed the plate on Austin Green's sacrifice fly with one out, giving the Mountaineers a two-run advantage.
Headed into the top of the seventh, Rogers (Littleton, Colo./Austin Peay) began his first full inning of work after striking out Charlie Law to end the sixth in relief of McAllister. He loaded the bases on a hit batsman and consecutive walks. A wild pitch allowed one run to score before Will Klausing's pinch-hit, two RBI single gave North Adams a 5-4 lead. The SteepleCats would add another run on Jeff Roy's sacrifice fly and Law's RBI single to lead 7-4. Jacob Kremers (Broken Arrow, Okla./Harvard) replaced Rogers and was able to retire the side.
Vermont attempted to pull even again, but Brian Hunter shut the door allowing a hit by pitch as the only baserunner for his first save of the season. Longfield (1-0) got the win with one inning of relief giving up one run on one hit and striking out two. Mountaineers starter Corey MacDonald pitched three innings giving up one run on two hits and walking six, earning a no-decision. McAllister (Warminster, Pa./West Chester) pitched two and one-third innings in relief giving up just one run while Rogers (0-2) takes the loss giving up five runs on one hit with two walks.
The Mountaineers return to action on Wednesday June 20, when they travel to Holyoke, Mass. to take on the Blue Sox. All the live game action can be heard on ESPN 1240, WSKI and online at www.thevermontmountaineers.com
at 6:30 p.m.
Game Notes: In the combined double header the Mountaineers stole seven bases giving them a league high 32 as a team...Johnny Mishu (Nashville, Tenn./Princeton) stole two in game one giving him a team high seven this year and pushing him to 27 in his two seasons in Montpelier...Ryan Karl has gotten hit in each of the seven games he has played this season...Rob Kelly (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Saint Anslem) pinch hit in the seventh and was hit by a pitch extened his streak of consecutive games reaching base safely to seven while his five game hit streak game to an end.