Mountaineers Win Fourth Straight, 11-5, at Holyoke
Holyoke, Mass. - For the second straight night the Vermont Mountaineers belted out 11 runs as they defeated the Holyoke Blue Sox 11-5 in New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) action on Thursday night. The win was the fourth straight for Vermont (16-16) and helped them clinch a tiebreaker over the Blue Sox (12-20) for any playoff position.
The Mountaineers struggled out of the gates as Holyoke starter Scott Squier tossed three shutout inning to start the game. In the top of the fourth, Squier hit Rob Kelly (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Saint Anselm) to begin the inning before Austin Green launched an RBI double to open the scoring. Green (San Diego, Calif./San Diego) would come home as Cole Peragine hit a two RBI double to right center, also plating Michael White, before scoring on a groundout from PJ Jones.
Richie Ochoa (Friday Harbour, Wash./Washington State) matched Squier inning for inning, but bettered him in the fourth. After allowing the first two batters to reach, he forced a weak pop-up and RBI groundout to put runners at the corners with one out, cutting the Mountaineer lead to 4-1. Matt Dearden would replace Ochoa with two on and two out and retire the final batter of the inning. He would also set down the side in order in the fifth.
Vermont would add another run in the top of the fourth when Brian O'Grady (Warminster, Pa./Rutgers) hit a solo shot to lead off the inning. They would tack on another two runs in the sixth on and RBI single from Jones (Vancouver, Wash./Washington State) and an error from shortstop Evan Potter who dropped a pop-up, crediting O'Grady with his second RBI of the night.
Leading 7-1 going into the bottom of the inning, Dearden (Newburry, Fla./Indiana) gave up a lead off walk to Paul McConkey before striking out Max Pentecost and getting a fielders choice to put a runner at first with two outs. After Connor McKay stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, Rocco Gondek picked up his second RBI of the game on a sharp single but would be stranded at first as Dearden struck out the next batter, leaving it a 7-2 Mountaineers advantage through six.
The Mountaineers got back that run and more in the seventh when the first two batters reached on consecutive singles before Michael White doubled home a run putting runners at second and third with nobody out. A bloop single to left off the bat of Cole Peragine (Belle Ewert, Ontario/Stony Brook) scored Greg Partyka but White (East Orange, N.J./Louisville) was thrown out at the plate for the first out pushing the lead to 9-2.
In the bottom of the eighth after pitching a shutout seventh, Tyler Rogers loaded the bases with nobody out after hitting the lead off man and delivering back-to-back walks. Rogers (Littleton, Colo./Austin Peay) the forced a ground ball up the middle that hit off the glove of second baseman Chris Cook and bounced into left field allowing two runs to score. Rogers would be removed from the game in favor of Corey MacDonald who promptly got the first out of the inning with a lazy fly ball to left. However, after a hard single up the middle plated another run and a walk loaded the bases, MacDonald (Davis, Calif./Hawaii) was also taken out of the game.
With the bases loaded in a 9-5 game, Kyle Grana entered for Vermont and retired the next two batters in order leaving the bases juiced for Holyoke and the tying run at the plate. The Mountaineers added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth on an RBI single from Partyka (Bartlett, Ill./Bradley) and sacrifice fly from Cook (Annapolis, Md./George Mason) before Grana set down the side in order int he ninth to preserve the win.
Dearden (1-2) picked up the win going two and a third innings allowing only one run on two hits while striking out three. Squier (1-3) took the loss for Holyoke giving up five runs on six hits in four plus innings. Kyle Grana (St. Louis, Mo./Bellarmine) got his fifth save of the summer as he entered the game with the tying run at the plate and retired all five batters he faced, striking out one.
The Mountaineers will have Friday off before returning home to host Holyoke at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday July 21 at Montplier Recreation Field. All game action can be heard live on ESPN 1240, WSKI and online at www.thevermontmountaineers.com.
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