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Mountaineers second baseman Matt McDermott, left, retreats toward first base during New England Collegiate Baseball League action Tuesday.

SANFORD, Maine — An exceptional pitching night from the Vermont Mountaineers helped secure an 8-1 victory over the Sanford Mainers on Wednesday at Goodall Park in New England Collegiate Baseball League action.

The Mountaineers sat a game back of the Upper Valley Nighthawks for the final playoff spot in the NECBL Northern Division entering the game. Vermont's victory over the Mainers was crucial in the post-season race, giving the Mountaineers their second straight win.

The Mountaineers scored three runs in the opening three frames, kicked off by an Austin Gauthier run courtesy of an Evan Giordano single. Matt McDermott hammered a pitch to center field to drive in Brian Goulard from second base. Goulard recorded an RBI in the third inning after a hit to right field drove in Curtis Robison.

Stellar defensive play by Vermont, along with solid pitching from Ryan Murphy, prevented Sanford from scoring in the first half of the game. The Mountaineers capitalized, adding three runs in the fifth frame. Connor Charping got the ball rolling with Robison and Corey DiLoreto on base, driving one to bring DiLoreto home. During the next at-bat, Goulard drilled a double to give both Robison and Charping the opportunity to score.

The Mainers broke through in the sixth inning, thanks to an Elliott Curtis sacrifice fly that gave Drew DeMartino the chance to sprint home. The home team could not find any more luck the rest of the night, as the stifling Mountaineer defense clamped down and thwarted any further threats. Vermont added two insurance runs in the final inning, first on a Robison sacrifice fly that brought Cam Climo home. Straton Podaras drove in the final run of the night with a single that allowed Charping to score.

Murphy earned the win, allowing five hits and one run while striking out eight Mainers in six innings. Rhett Gay took the loss, giving up two hits and two runs during the opening two innings of play.

Vermont (15-12) will travel to play the Holyoke Blue Sox at 6:35 p.m. Thursday.

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