MONTPELIER — Evan Giordano belted a three-run homer in the third inning and the Vermont Mountaineers kept the winning streak alive Monday night with an 8-4 win over the Valley Blue Sox.
In an exciting evening of NECBL baseball action, the Mountaineers took down the two-time defending champs and extended their winning streak to nine games.
“We’re on a hot-streak right here,” said Giordano. “And it seems like we could get hits in the big moments and everyone’s coming through at the right time.”
The first few innings went by without much commotion, save for a catch of Cam Climo's hit for Vermont at the warning track by the Blue Sox in the bottom of the second inning.
In the top of the third inning, Valley put a run on the board. With two outs on the board, and runners on first and second, Richard Constantine hit a lob to left field that, because of the glaring sun in his eyes, Mountaineers left fielder Connor Charping was unable to judge. The ball fell short of Charping, resulting in an RBI double for Constantine.
The Mountaineers responded in the bottom of the third, and in a big way. With Kevin Brenning and Straton Podaras on base after each hitting a single, Giordano smashed a fly ball over the left-center field fence for a three-run homer to give Vermont the lead.
The Blue Sox cut into the Mountaineers’ lead in the top of the fourth when Travis Holt hit an RBI double to right field that drove in Joe Lomuscio. Soon after, Matthew Richardson hit a sacrifice fly to right field, and after the catch Collin Mathews ran home to tie things up at three.
In the bottom of the inning, Brian Goulard singled to left field, and not long after advanced to second on a Matt McDermott putout. Valley’s Riley Sorenson balked, and Goulard got a pass to third base. Brenning hit a single that escaped the glove of the Blue Sox second baseman in an error, and Goulard was able to advance home to give the lead back to the Mountaineers.
In the top of the sixth, Vermont had gotten itself into a sticky situation; the Blue Sox had runners on second and third with no outs on the board. That wasn’t a problem for the Mountaineers’ defense, however. Holt hit a single to McDermott, and with smart thinking the second basemen threw the ball home. Caught in a pickle, Lomuscio was eventually tagged out. Then, Mathews got himself into a pickle as well, and after a few throws back and forth between Mountaineers infielders he was chased down and tagged out at third base. In a seemingly chaotic turn of events, the Mountaineers had managed to hang onto their one-run lead.
Vermont extended its lead when Goulard hit an RBI double to right-center field that drove in Charping to score, and after the run Valley pitcher Tommy Costello was relieved for Michael Pachmayer.
The seventh inning went by scoreless, and in the bottom of the eighth the Blue Sox switched out Pachmayer for Logan Bowen as pitcher. Curtis Robinson was hit by a pitch, and advanced to first. Not long after, Charping hit a single to third base. Cam Climo then hit a two-run triple to center field, and a minute later Goulard hit a single to right field that let Climo advance home. The Mountaineers walked into the bottom of the eighth up by two runs, and walked out up by five.
At the start of the ninth inning, the Mountaineers took Andrew Mundy off the mound and replaced him for Mitchell Sorenson. Travis Holt hit a double to left field, and made it to third on a pass ball soon after. With two outs on the board, Williams hit an RBI single to right field. The Mountaineers stymied any more efforts from the Blue Sox, and closed out the game with an 8-4 win.
What’s the team mentality that will help keep the streak going?
“I’d say just keep going up there with good at-bats,” Giordano said. “And we’re getting here, setting up before the game, guys are hitting, and it’s just competing in the box. I think our offense has really come along these last nine games.”
Mountaineers starting pitcher Christian Scafidi recorded three strikeouts, issued two walks, and gave up six hits over five innings. Sorenson recorded four strikeouts and gave up five hits over five innings.
Goulard led the Mountaineers in hits, going 3-for-4 on the night. Williams had a good evening at the plate for the Blue Sox, going 3-for-5.
The Mountaineers (12-7) will host the Keene Swampbats on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., the Blue Sox (8-9) will travel to play the North Adams Steeplecats at the same time.