North Adams, Mass. - Three different Vermont Mountaineers hit homeruns as starter Richie Ochoa (Friday Harbour, Wash./Washington State) pitched five innings of one run ball to propel the Mountaineers (12-14) to a 6-4 win over North Adams in New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) action. The win snapped a brief two game losing streak for Vermont and was their first road win since an 8-0 shutout at Holyoke on July 3.
Ochoa had his longest outing this summer but had a rough start in the first as the SteepleCats (16-12) loaded the bases with nobody out. Brett Clements then hit into a double play scoring a run before Tyler Palmer grounded back to Ochoa to end the threat. He would settle in after that tossing four straight scoreless innings retiring the final seven batters he faced.
Meanwhile, the Vermont offense put on a power showcase as Greg Partyka (Bartlett, Ill./Bradley) led off the third with an opposite field homer to tie the game at 1-1 apiece. In the top of the fourth, the Mountaineers would take the lead as Rob Kelly (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Saint Anslem) belted his third home run of the season and was followed by singles from Austin Green and Brett Johnson (Little Elm, Texas/TCU). After a fielders choice from Brian O'Grady (Warminster, Pa./Rutgers) put runners at the corners with one out, Partyka picked up his second RBI of the night on a sacrifice fly making it 3-1 Mountaineers.
In the top of the fifth, Vermont added another run as Logan Pierce (Troy, Ala./Troy) and Kelly hit back-to-back doubles off starter Tyler Gebler to push it to a 4-1 advantage. Mountaineers pitching would continue to hold after Ochoa exited as Matt McAllister faced a minimum three batters in the sixth picking off Clements off of first to end the inning. They would tack on another in the top of the seventh on and RBI single from Pierce who was pinch run for by Cole Peragine.
After issuing back-to-back walks to begin the bottom of the seventh, McAllister (Warminster, Pa./West Chester) worked a double play ball from Adrian English before getting out of the inning on a brilliant diving catch by the shortstop Peragine (Belle Ewert, Ontario/Stony Brook). Green (San Diego, Calif./San Diego) then took the first pitch of the eighth inning over the right field fence off reliever Christian McDonald to make it a five run advantage.
McAllister would go into the ninth as he had pitched three hitless innings to that point. After striking out Charlie Law to begin the frame, Clements doubled and was followed by a Tyler Palmer home run that cut the lead down to 6-3 with one out. Shane O'Connell then tripled to right center and scored on a groundout from Adrian English to bring the SteepleCats within two. After McAllister walked Sheehan Planas-Arteaga to bring the tying run to the plate, he was relieved in favor of Matt Dearden who struck out Conor Biggio looking to end the game.
Ochoa (2-1) picked up the win going five innings of one run ball allowing only three hits while striking out two as Gebler (2-3) took the loss going six and two-thirds allowing five runs on eight hits walking two and striking out two. Dearden (Newburry,Fla./Indiana) got his first save of the summer striking out the only batter he faced.
Vermont returns home on Friday as they host the Laconia Muskrats for a 6:30 p.m. start. All the game action can be heard live on ESPN 1240, WSKI and online at www.thevermontmountaineers.com