Danbury, Conn. - Starting pitcher Alex Haines (Greensboro, Pa./Seton Hill) went six innings giving up just one run on two hits while striking out nine as Vermont hit two homeruns to power their way past the Danbury Westerners 5-3 in New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) action on Monday night. The win brought the Mountaineers (4-4) back to .500 and gave them their third win in four games.
Haines was dominant from the start as he struck out the first six batters he faced and carried a perfect game into the fifth inning. For the eighth straight contest Vermont got on the board first when Austin Green doubled to begin the top of the second and scored on a ground ball double play off the bat of Brian O'Grady (Warminster, Pa./Rutgers) to put the Mountaineers ahead 1-0. They would add to their lead in the third with a two run homerun from Rob Kelly and a solo shot from Green (San Diego, Calif./San Diego), pushing the lead to 4-0 against Westerners starter Fred Breidenbach. Kelly (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Saint Anslem) picked up his team high 10th and 11th runs batted in on the blast with 10 of them coming against Danbury.
Breidenbach (0-1) went five innings giving up four runs on seven hits with four strikeouts in the loss. Danbury (3-5) used a combination of four pitchers in the game as they dropped their third contest in four tries.
With Haines(1-1) setting down batters almost at will, Andrew Garner put a stop to the dominance with solo shot of his own to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning. He would not surrender another run as he finished the day with six innings pitched, one run on two hits with nine strikeouts and a walk in the win. Walker Stadler came on in relief to begin the seventh inning and walked Tom Zengel to begin the frame before Garner roped an RBI triple down the right field line cutting Vermont's lead to 4-2. Stadler (Glenview, Ind./Indiana) retired the next two batters in order but a wild pitch brough Garner in to score trimming the lead down to one before getting a strikeout to end the inning.
The Mountaineers added an insurance run in the eight as Johnny Mishu (Nashville, Tenn./Princeton) worked a two out walk, stole second, and scored on O'Grady's single to give Vermont a 5-3 advantage. Kyle Grana (St. Louis, Mo./Bellarmine) took the mound in the bottom of the eighth and worked two scoreless innings for his second save of the season.
Vermont returns home for a double header with the North Adams SteepleCats on Tuesday, June 19, at Montpelier Recreation Field with game one beginning at 5:30 p.m. as they play two seven inning contests. All the action can be heard live on ESPN 1240, WSKI and online at www.thevermontmountaineers.com.
Game Notes: Rob Kelly's homerun ups his hit streak to four straight games as he has reached base safely in five consecutive...Ryan Karl (Towaco, N.J./Louisville) went 1-4 on the night improving his hit streak to six games...Every Mountaineer starter reached base for the second time this season.
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