Holyoke, Mass. - Alex Haines pitched five shutout innings while the Mountaineers offense put up seven runs against Holyoke in a 8-0 victory at MacKenzie Stadium in New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) action on Tuesday night. It was the fourth win in five games for Vermont (10-9) and brought them back ahead .500 on the season.
The Mountaineers scored early as Brett Johnson would lead off the game with a double to right before scoring when Rob Kelly hit a sacrifice fly to plate the first run of the game. Although it woul prove to be the only run needed, they would add four more in the fourth off Blue Sox starter David Speer.
Kelly (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Saint Anslem) began the frame with a double and was followed by singles from Logan Pierce and Ryan Karl to make the advantage 2-0 Vermont. After Brian O'Grady struck out swinging Cole Peragine hit an RBI single to score Pierce (Troy Ala./Troy) and put runners at the corners. Vermont would then operate a perfect dealyed double steal as Peragine (Vernon Hills, Ill./Stony Brook) with Karl (Towaco, N.J./Louisville) coming home. Peragine would advance to third on a wild pitch and score on Chris Cook's RBI groundout to make it a 4-0 Mountaineers lead.
Haines (Greensboro, Pa./Seton Hill) was impressive in his fourth start of the summer facing the minimum six batters through the first two inning. In the bottom of the third he allowed a single and walk to the first two hitters before setting down the next three in order including two strikeouts. From that point on, he retired six in a row getting the last nine he faced in order.
Vermont tacked on two more runs in the eighth on O'Grady's (Warminster, Pa./Rutgers) RBI triple and a throwing error by the shortstop Evan Potter as well as one in the top of the ninth on Kelly's second sacrifice fly to make it 8-0 going into the bottom of the ninth.
With Kyle Grana (St. Louis, Mo./Bellarmine) on in relief he gave up a one out double and two out walk before finishing the inning, and game, without allowing a run to score. It was the thrid shutout thrown by Mountaineers pitching this season as Kellen Urbon (San Diego, Calif./Cornell) tossed three scoreless allowing just one hit after Haines exited the game.
Haines (3-1) went five strong giving up just two hits and allowing one walk while striking out six. The southpaw lowered his NECBL best Earned Run Average from 0.48 to 0.38 on the day. David Speer (2-2) tossed six innings giving up five runs on five hits with four strikeouts and one walk. Brandon Thomas pitched two giving up two runs, one earned in relief while Nathan Harsh threw the ninth for the Blue Sox (8-12).
The Mountaineers return to action tomorrow night when they host Great Britain in an exhibition match at Montpelier Recreation Field. All the game action can be heard on ESPN 1240, WSKI and online at www.thevermontmountaineers.com
Game Notes: Every Mountaineer reached base safely for the fifth time this season...As a team Vermont stole three more stolen bases giving them a league high 73 on the year.