MONTPELIER — A never-say-die mentality gave Montpelier baseball the strength to pull out an improbable victory Tuesday.
A balanced offensive effort by MHS combined with double-digit walks by Randolph’s pitchers allowed the Solons to erase a seven-run deficit during a 10-9 win.
“We got consecutive hits and we went up 9-2 in the third inning,” Randolph coach Matt Fordham said. “But our pitchers couldn’t get the strikes today and walked 14 of their guys overall, so that hurt.”
Joey Ferris had a double in the first inning for Randolph. Teammate Riley Lyford hit a triple in the second frame before Howard Stockwell’s double sparked a seven-run third inning.
That’s when the MHS players put on their rally caps and stormed back in a hurry. The Solons closed the gap to 9-4 in the third inning before pulling ahead with a six-run fourth inning.
“Their pitchers were having a hard time finding the zone and we capitalized with some hits and were able to score some runs,” MHS coach Logan Cooke said. “It was a rough first few innings for us. Andrew Tringe was doing a great job on the mound and he was inducing soft contact. But our defense didn’t do enough to support him. We had five or six errors in an inning. And we told the guys, ‘Dwelling on that inning isn’t going to help us get back in the game.’ There were two options: Work hard, one batter at a time, and try to get back in it. Or we could pack up shop and call it a day. And they stuck with it.”
Tringe started on the mound and went 3-for-5 at the plate. He scored one run and had two RBIs. Teammate Cabot Hart recorded one hit and one stolen base, while winning pitcher Marshall Donahue also contributed a hit.
Montpelier’s Nate Groff reached base on five walks and scored two runs. Keegan Smith reached base on four walks and scored four runs in the victory.
“It takes a lot of perseverance to come back like that, and it’s better to have that here in the early season,” Cooke said. “And sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. It wasn’t a game that was super well-played on either end. And Randolph had a few great defensive plays today, but we were able to come up big in the end.”
Tringe gave up four hits, issued one walk and recorded three strikeouts during the first three-plus innings. He did not allow any earned runs.
“Andrew is just a sophomore and he has been an absolute leader for us,” Cooke said. “He brings a ton of energy, he plays good defense and he’s been the positive surprise of the year pitching for us.”
Donahue threw three-plus inning of hitless relief. He issued one walk and struck out eight batters.
“Marshall looked as sharp as he has all year,” Cooke said. “He was able to stop the bleeding and give our offense a chance to jump back into the game. When Marshall is on, it can be deflating for other teams. When he has his stuff, it’s hard for the other team to keep their energy up.”
Wyatt Messier was the starting pitcher for Randolph before teammates Joey Ferris and Rex Hauser finished up on the mound.
“Hauser pitched really well,” Cooke said. “He came in during a tough situation and held us down and got out of some big jams. Early on, it was a messy game. And then our final pitchers came in and played really well and kept it a close game for the remainder. They took care of business and it really could have gone ether way.”
Montpelier (4-2) will host Peoples Academy at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. The Solons previously earned a 20-5 victory over Danville, a 10-3 win vs. Hazen and a 13-5 victory over Oxbow. Montpelier suffered a 3-2 loss at Thetford before falling to U-32, 14-3.
Randolph (2-3) will travel to play Thetford at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. The Ghosts showed their potential by securing a 13-6 victory over Williamstown and a 9-4 victory over U-32. They struggled defensively during a 13-7 loss to Oxbow and a 13-3 defeat at North Country.
“We have a really young team with only one senior, Wyatt Messier, and we actually have two eighth-graders on the team,” Randolph coach Matt Fordham said. “So we’re looking to grow this year, build our skill set and just compete as a baseball team. We have inconsistency on our bats, so that’s what we’re really trying to work on this year. Our fielding is pretty decent, so we can go deep against teams. We just have to stay strong with our relief pitchers and make sure our bats are active. Because if we can’t put two or three hits together, we’ll be suffering a little bit there.”
U-32 13, Northfield 0
EAST MONTPELIER — A 15-strikeout no-hitter by Owen Kellington gave the Raiders a huge lift Tuesday.
“Owen was pounding the strike zone and he was overpowering,” U-32 coach Geoff Green said. “He relied on his fastball and breaking pitch, and he was able to throw them for strikes.”
Kellington issued two walks for U-32, which scored three runs in the first inning and one in the second. Following a three-run third inning, U-32 slammed the door by plating six runs in the fourth.
“This is another step toward our ultimate goal of a state championship,” Green said. “We were able to reduce our walks and cut down on strikeouts compared to (Saturday’s) game against Montpelier. We only struck out five times today, and that’s moving in the right direction of hopefully striking out zero times. Our hitters put the ball in play and they were able to make hard contact. And when you do that, good things are going to happen.”
Kellington belted a three-run homer in the fourth inning. He finished 2-for-3 and scored three runs. Kevin Dowling went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBIs. Jas Zendik was 2-for-3 with a triple, four RBIs and two runs scored. Carter Hoffman went 2-for-2 with two RBIs.
U-32 (2-1) will travel to play Lake Region at 3 p.m. Saturday. The Raiders opened the season with a 9-4 loss at Randolph before bouncing back to beat MHS, 14-3.
“With baseball, anybody can go out and beat anybody if the other team isn’t ready to play,” Green said. “That’s what got to us against Randolph. We lost focus for an extended period midway through that game. Ultimately, that’s what hurt us. But we’re building confidence as a team. Whoever pitches for us, we feel like we can go toe to toe against everybody.”
Northfield (0-2) will travel to play Hazen at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Spaulidng 8, Missisquoi 7
BARRE — A one-run triple by Kieran McNamara during Tuesday’s sixth inning propelled the Crimson Tide past the Thunderbirds.
McNamara made contact with the first pitch of the at-bat to help Spaulding improve to 5-1. Teammate Dylan Bachand went 2-for-3 at the plate.
Missisquoi (2-4) scored four runs in the first inning, forcing the hosts to play catch-up for the majority of the game. Zack Wilson earned the victory on the mound for Spaulding. He gave up one hit and recorded three strikeouts during three-plus innings. Bachand threw two-thirds of an inning in relief for the Tide. He recorded the final two outs to earn the save. Tide starting pitcher Grady Chase allowed five hits and piled up five strikeouts during two-plus innings.
Spaulding will travel to play Williamstown at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Harwood 5, Lamoille 2
DUXBURY — Highlanders pitcher Nic Moran stuck out eight of the nine batters he faced Tuesday during three hitless innings. Lamoille falls to 0-3, while Harwood improves to 2-0. The Highlanders will travel to play Lyndon at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
Spaulding 15, Rice 3
BARRE — The Crimson Tide plated seven runs in the fifth inning Tuesday after taking advantage of a handful of walks.
The Green Knights opened up an early 2-0 advantage and extended their lead when Evi Reid hit a home run in the third inning. Spaulding answered with three runs in the third before pulling ahead for good with a five-run fourth inning.
“It was definitely a confidence-booster,” Spaulding coach Tara Simpson said. “The girls were positive and they were cheering well and supporting each other. And it’s something we’ve been working on because we’d just come off a few losses. It was our first home game and it was great to have some spectators showing up for us. The girls were really feeling good after the game.”
Bria Dill (three hits) paced the Tide offense, with teammate Allison Everett adding two hits. Deanna Wild and Mariah Hoar delivered one hit apiece in the victory. Junior Cydney Ferrer earned the complete-game victory. She recorded three strikeouts and allowed three hits.
“(Ferrer) has been powering through,” Simpson said. “It’s been rough with the wet weather and the cold temperatures. But every time I check in with her, she tells me, ‘Coach, I’m good.’ She’s very composed and she’s doing awesome.”
Sierra Martin and Amy Hester recorded singles for Rice (0-3). Reid took the loss on the mound after pitching the first four innings
“Rice got three really decent hits,” Simpson said. “But the rest of it we did well defensively to shut them down.”
Spaulding (2-3) will travel to play Mount Abraham at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
Blue Mountain 14, Williamstown 0
WELLS RIVER — Starting pitcher Maggie Emerson silenced the Blue Devils for the first four innings to fuel Tuesday’s shutout victory.
Emerson struck out eight batters, issued two walks and allowed zero hits. Felicity Sulham finished up on the mound for BMU, giving up one hit and issuing one walk.
Offensively, Lauren Joy went 2-for-3 with a double and scored three runs in the victory. Teammate Jessica Holmes also went 2-for-3 with a double, while Karli Blood belted a triple and scored twice. Paige Dwinell recorded the lone hit for Williamstown.
Brianna McLaughlin started on the mound for the Blue Devils and gave up six hits over three-plus innings. She recorded three strikeouts and issued 10 walks. Relief pitcher Hailey Brickey gave up one hit and issued one walk.
The Blue Devils (0-3) will host Richford at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Spaulding 16, U-32 6
BARRE — Aiden Blouin (seven goals, two assists) single-handedly outscored the Raiders during Tuesday’s double-digit romp.
Owen Kresco filled in for teammate Chris Howarth by playing in goal for the Tide. He made 13 saves, frustrating U-32 from start to finish.
“Owen stepped up two years ago for JV and played goalie in a few games,” Spaulding coach Ian Thomas said. “This year he’s said he’ll be the backup if we need it, and today we needed him. It’s not his ideal position: He’d much rather be playing in the field. But we needed a goalie and he stepped up huge for us.”
Colby Berard (three goals, one assist) and Jamison Mast (two goals, one assist) also haunted U-32’s defense. Jon Malnatti, Aidan Kresco and Alex Irwin all finished with one goal and one assist in the victory. Teammates Cam Kearney (one assist) and Ryan Glassford also scored. Glassford won 19 of 23 face-off attempts.
Brendan Tedeschi (three goals) led U-32’s offense. Dylan Hood, Nolan Lyford and Jacob Leighty added single goals for the Raiders and teammate Callum Davis made 17 saves in front of the cage.
Spaulding led 4-2 after one quarter and 9-3 after two. The Tide entered the final quarter with a 12-4 cushion.
“U-32 is a good team,” Thomas said. “They’re young and they have a lot of sophomores that didn’t have experience last year at the high school level. But they’re putting it together. They’re getting used to the high school game and it’s going to take some time to get accustomed to it. But they have a lot of kids who work hard. We were able to pull away today based on our discipline and running our systems. The game was called tight by the officials and there were a lot of penalties on both sides. When that happens, it’s the team that can stay mentally focussed that usually wins. We had to focus on the next play and not get distracted by that last call if we didn’t agree with it. And our guys did a great job of that.”
U-32 (0-2) will travel to play Montpelier at 7 p.m. Friday. Spaulding (4-1) will travel to play Hartford the same day at 6:30 p.m.
U-32 13, Harwood 10
EAST MONTPELIER — The Raiders overcame fatigue and a resilient Highlanders side while locking up Tuesday’s hard-earned victory.
“It was a game of runs and both teams had a spurt here and a spurt there,” U-32 coach Emilie Connor said. “They made it 10-8 with about 10 minutes left. And then we got two cards and they scored with nine minutes left to make it 10-9. And then we regained control and scored two quick ones.”
U-32’s Melanie Winters and Caitlyn Fielder scored late goals to help seal the final outcome. Fielder finished with four goals and also won six draws. Winters and Cece Curtin both registered three goals and one assist. Sasha Kennedy scored twice for the Raiders and teammate Tegan O’Donnell added one goal.
“Tegan played awesome on defense,” Connor said. “She stepped up and won a lot of ground balls for us. And Melanie and Caitlyn were both solid on ground balls too. Willa Long played middie for us today and she played awesome. She’s great going in both directions and she’s doing a good job of feeding other players and setting up assisted goals.”
Emily Fuller made six saves in front of the cage for the Raiders, who played for the third time in four days. The Raiders suffered a 16-5 loss to Vergennes on Saturday before bouncing back with Monday’s 16-5 victory over Stowe.
“A lot of players were nursing injuries and slowing down a little today,” Connor said. “We tried to sub as much as we could and move people around a lot. And we were finally starting to win the draw control battle, which was good because we were struggling with that lately.”
Harwood’s Maggie Aiken and Charlotte Cook tallied three goals apiece. Anna Kudriavetz, Ava Thurston, Amy Cook and Aliza Jernigan also scored for HU. Goalie Kaylee Cameron made 13 saves for the Highlanders, who trailed 7-4 entering halftime.
U-32 (2-2) will travel to play Lamoille at 4:30 p.m. Friday. Harwood (0-2) will host Stowe at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Montpelier 12, Colchester 11
COLCHESTER — Noah Samuelson assisted Gabe Hall for the game-winning point in overtime Tuesday.
“It was a very exciting game,” Montpelier coach Anne Watson said. “Noah Samuelson and Wyatt Smith caught most of the team’s goals. …(Colchester) forced us to step up our playing, and it showed. In general, we played better as the game went on. Both teams threw zone defenses, which caused a lot of turnovers.”
Montpelier (3-2) will host Burr & Burton at 11 a.m. Saturday. Colchester falls to 1-3.
Mt. Mansfield 4, U-32 3
JERICHO — A few gutsy victories by the Raiders weren’t enough Tuesday as the Cougars used their depth to prevail.
Lucy Krokenberger, Tovah Williams and Caitlin Dodge-Prescott earned points in singles action for U-32. Krokenberger rolled to a 6-4, 6-1 win over Erin Rusnok at the No. 1 position. Williams held on to secure a 7-5, 6-7(5), 11-9 victory over Kiely Vita at the No. 2 spot. Dodge-Prescott rallied to a 3-6, 7-5, 10-2 victory over Kristina Day at No. 4 singles.
“It is very unfortunate that rain has interfered with our practices,” U-32 coach Carol Krokenberger said. “However, our team’s attitude has remained very positive. Caitlin Dodge-Prescott showed determination by coming back to win her match in a third-set tiebreaker. She took total control in the tiebreaker to close out her match. Tovah depended on her fitness and steady ground strokes to come back in the tiebreaker from 4-8 to win 11-9.”
Mount Mansfield improves to 3-0. U-32 (1-2) will travel to play Spaulding at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
Lucy Krokenberger (U) def. Erin Rusnok 6-4, 6-1 Tovah Williams (U) def. Kiely Vita 7-5, 6-7(5), 11-9 Lilia Fitzpatrick (M) def. Jasmine Toro 6-3, 6-1 Caitlin Dodge-Prescott (U) def. Kristina Day 3-6, 7-5, 10-2 Hannah Erb (M) def. Samantha Martzke 6-1, 6-0
Ella Agran and Hannah Agran (M) def. Kallista Parton and Jin Clayton 6-3, 6-2 Avela Kniffin-Krull and Zoe Rosen (M) def. Annora Sylvester and Aeva Pope-Howe 6-1, 6-3
Stowe 7, Essex 0
ESSEX — The Hornets struggled to get much going against the Raiders on Tuesday.
Skyler Graves, Natalie Doehla, Charlotte Stevens, Gabby Doehla and Kate Tilgner coasted to straight-set victories in singles action. Abbie Rice and Annabel Stevens won at No. 1 doubles, while Olivia Carey and Alaena Hunt won the closest match of the day by prevailing 6-2, 7-5 at No. 2 doubles. Stowe (2-0) will host South Burlington at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
Skyler Graves def. Scarlett Wagner 6-2, 6-2 Natalie Doehla def. Fiona Legg 6-3, 6-1 Charlotte Stevens def. Tully Krishna 6-2, 6-3 Gabby Doehla def. Anna Ganguly 6-0, 6-0 Kate Tilgner def. Elizabeth Garrity 6-1, 6-1