EAST MONTPELIER - The challenges of a four-game week finally caught up with the U-32 baseball team during Saturday’s 17-10 loss against Lamoille.
U-32’s Carter Pelzel connected for two doubles and one single. Owen Kellington (three hits) and Owen Guthrie (two hits, one RBI) also had successful days at the plate for the Raiders.
The teams entered the final day of the regular season in a tight battle for the No. 5 seed in the upcoming Division II playoffs. The Lancers didn’t have the best game defensively, but they compensated with an offensive explosion. Lamoille improves to 8-5, while U-32 falls to 8-6. Both teams could face difficult first-round matchups against either Mount Abraham (6-10) or Lake Region (5-8).
Harwood 10, Montpelier 0
DUXBURY – The Highlanders shut out the Solons in six innings Saturday, celebrating Senior Day in front of their home fans.
Charlie Zschau, normally a relief pitcher, got the start in his final regular-season game as a Highlander. The senior recorded five strikeouts, issued two walks and gave up three hits during five innings.
“(Zschau) kept us off-balance all day and we misplayed several fly balls in the outfield,” MHS coach J.B. McCarthy said. “We’re not peaking at the right time, but our pitching was pretty good. Avery Paull pitched the first four innings and he threw well. And Marshall Donahue did a good job the last two innings. But they didn’t get much support behind them.”
Freshman Skylar Platt, typically a starting pitcher, threw the final inning for Harwood and induced three pop-ups to seal the deal. Platt went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and three runs scored. Teammate Bobby Kelly went 2-for-2 and also scored three times. Zschau went 2-for-2 at the plate, scoring twice.
Paul took the loss for the Solons (7-8). A five-run third inning broke the game open for Harwood.
“We played very clean ball with no errors,” Harwood coach Mitch Casey said. “It was fun to watch the kids play and play well.”
Harwood closes out the regular season at 8-3 and is likely to be the No. 4 seed entering Division II playoffs. The Highlanders could face a playdown against 5-10 Milton, which boasts victories over Middlebury, Mount Abraham, Vergennes and BFA-Fairfax. Last fall Zschau and Platt were starters for the state championship soccer team that beat Milton in overtime during the quarterfinals.
“We feel pretty good,” Casey said. “It’s a little disconcerting that we only got 11 games in. There are five more games that would make you a better ball team that we didn’t play. You know, win or lose, it still makes you a better ball team. So we didn’t see a real wide variety of other teams, and we didn’t play too many people twice. But it’s a pleasant surprise to see the kids playing as well as they are, with limited practice with all the rain. One Lamoille game we had to reschedule twice, and we still never played it.”
The loss was costly for Montpelier, which falls to 7-8. The Capital City players were attempting to secure an elusive home playoff game, but they’ll likely hit the road after suffering their fourth straight loss. The bad news is that MHS may have to travel to Missisquoi, but the Solons could have fared worse after finishing barely in front of Mount Abraham (6-10) and Lake Region (5-8).
“This could have dropped us down out of a home game, but our pitching has been good all year-long,” McCarthy said. “Our pitching was good against U-32, but we’re still waiting for our bats to come around. We’ve been taking a lot of batting practice – it’s just different in games. We flew out a lot today and we grounded out – we didn’t hit too many things squarely.”
Williamstown 12, Hazen 2
HARDWICK – The Blue Devils scored all of their runs in a flash during Saturday’s victory over the Wildcats.
Winning pitcher Carson Corriveau allowed one hit, issued zero walks and struck out five batters over three innings. Nolan Bean pitched the fourth inning for the Blue Devils and gave up one hit. Dalton Cody finished up on the mound for Williamstown and struck out three batters.
Williamstown scored five runs in the second inning and seven in the third. Cody was 2-for-4 with a bases-loaded triple in the second inning and a two-run single in the third inning. Corriveau belted a one-run double in the second inning. Colby Gingras contributed a pair of one-run singles in the victory.
“Today was a great way to end our regular season and we got contributions from a number of guys,” Williamstown coach Troy Busconi said. “Carson, Nolan and Dalton all pitched very well and I was proud of the way we played defense behind them today.”
Williamstown (10-4) will carry a four-game winning streak into the Division III playoffs.
Randolph 19, Lake Region 4
ORLEANS – The Galloping Ghosts hit the ground running after a long bus ride Saturday.
“We got there late and we didn’t have time to do much pre-game,” Randolph coach Gary Curley said. “We just got warmed up and batted 11 hitters in the first inning, scored seven runs and kept going from there.”
Zach Whitmore was the winning pitcher after four innings of work. He gave up no runs and two hits, string out the side in the third and fourth innings to pile up seven total strikeouts.
“I wasn’t going to pitch him more than 60 or 70 pitches to get him ready for the playoffs,” Curley said.
The Rangers threatened in the third inning, but Whitmore pitched his way out of trouble. Whitmore doubled at the plate, while teammates Adam Norton, Fritz Hauser and Kurt Engel had two hits apiece. The Galloping Ghosts played well defensively despite some challenging conditions.
“The outfield was really wet there,” Curley said. “When you hit the ball in the outfield it pretty much just stopped, so there was no way you could hit it in the gaps or anything. But Whitmore had that double.”
The Ghosts (6-10) will have a few days to rest before Division III playoffs kick off. And they’re still recovering from a recent busy stretch when they played a quarter of their regular-season schedule without a single practice.
“We are pretty young and there is a lot of stuff to work on,” Curley said. “But you can’t just say, ‘Hey next game let’s do this.’ I think today was really an indication that we had three good days of practice, and we seemed fresh and ready to play. We just got off the bus and boom. I think we can be competitive in playoffs, if we play like we played today. We have some decent pitching and we’ve been hitting the ball fairly well all year-long. So I’m excited. I think we could surprise some people.”
Lyndon 5, Spaulding 2
BARRE – Winning pitcher Connor McClure had two hits at the plate to lead the Vikings on Saturday. Evan Parent had one hit for Spaulding (8-7) and Jalen Lewis took the loss on the mound. Sheldon Sanborn recorded a double for Lyndon (10-5).