Montpelier, Vt. - Vermont's offense scored double digit wins for the third straight night en route to a 10-4 victory at home over Holyoke in New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) action on Saturday night. The win was the fifth straight for the Mountaineers (17-16) who moved above .500 for the first time since a July 3 victory over the Blue Sox (14-21).
The offense got the ball rolling in the bottom of the first when Brian O'Grady was hit by a pitch to begin the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch. He would score on Logan Pierce's RBI single to begin the scoring and came home on an Austin Green (San Diego, Calif./San Diego) RBI double to give the Mountaineers a 2-0 lead.
Holyoke would cut into it in the top of the second as Connor McKay singled with one out before advancing on a two out walk. Then, Jordan Keur hit a rocket up the middle off starter Brad Schnelle that scored McKay to cut the lead in half. Vermont would not allow the game to get much closer as they would go on to at least one run in each of the first six innings.
In the bottom of the second, Brett Johnson (Little Elm, Texas/TCU) singled and scored on an O'Grady (Warminster, Pa./Rutgers) single to give Vermont a 3-1 lead. They would tack on two more in the third on a Johnny Mishu single before he stole home to make it 5-1 Mountaineers after three. Vermont then scored again in the fourth when Pierce (Troy, Ala./Troy) doubled home Casey Brighton (Hyde Park, Vt./SUNY-Plattsburgh) to make it a five run advantage.
Schnelle (Moon Township, Pa./Seton Hill) seemed to struggle with his command in the game as he pitched four innings giving up one run on eight hits while walking two. He would be relieved in the fifth by Walker Stadler (Glenview, Ill./Indiana). The reliever loaded the bases with nobody out on a hit batter, a walk, and a single to begin the inning. After a strikeout of McKay, Adam Norton hit a sacrifice fly bringing in a run to cut the lead to 6-2. Stadler would again load the bases with a walk but forced a week pop-out to second to end the threat.
Leading by four heading into the fifth, Greg Partyka (Bartlett, Ill./Bradley) worked a walk to begin the inning. With runners on first and third and one out, Cole Peragine (Belle Ewert, Ontario/Stony Brook) stole second but the throw from catcher Mike Fischer went into center field allowing Partyka to score. Vermont scored three more times in the sixth inning on a Rob Kelly (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Saint Anselm) RBI soubled, a wild pitch and a Mishu (Nashville, Tenn./Princeton) RBI single to take a 10-2 lead after six.
In the top of the eighth inning, Tyler Rogers gave up a lead off single to Norton before walking Fischer to put runners on first and second with nobody out. A wild pitch advanced the runners and an RBI ground out from Keur made the game 10-3 Vermont. Rogers (Littleton, Colo./Austin Peay) tossed another wild pitch allowing another run to score before being replaced by Steve Ostapeck (Sacremento, Calif./Villanova) who finished off the inning. Kyle Grana (St. Louis, Mo./Bellarmine) pitched a scoreless ninth walking one batter but striking out Norton on three pitches to finish the game.
The win went to Matt McAllister (2-0) who pitched two perfect innings in relief while Holyoke starter Christopher O'Hare (0-3) lost his third straight start giving up six runs on ten hits in three and two thirds innings.
The league takes a break from action on Sunday and Monday as the NECBL All-Star Game converges on Montpelier Recreation Field. Festivities begin at 1:30 p.m. with a skills competition and home run derby before first pitch at 6:30. The Mountaineers will resume play on Tuesday July 24 when they host Newport.
Game Notes: The Mountaineers as a team stole four bases this evening giving them 101 on the season and are now 17 shy of the NECBL single season record of 118 set last year...Johnny Mishu stole home giving him 13 this year, and 33 for his Vermont career. He is now five shy of Robbie Minor's all-time record of 38 set from 2004-06.