MONTPELIER — The Mountaineers toppled the red-hot Mystic Schooners in the final inning on Sunday, 6-5, at Montpelier Recreation Field in New England Collegiate Baseball League play.
A back-and-forth affair all night with a 5-5 deadlock heading into the final inning, a last-minute opportunity for the Mountaineers proved to be the difference, completing the upset over the NECBL Southern Division leaders and snapping their five-game winning streak.
The Schooners wasted no time getting things started as Steven Barmakian hit one just past first to get on base, before stealing second to get into scoring position. Jerome Huntzinger drove him home, sending one to left field that just stayed inside the foul line and allowed Barmakian to score. Vermont responded as Connor Charping and Corey DiLoreto advanced to the corners on two outs. Cam Climo sealed the deal, drilling one to left field that Shane Kelly was unable to quickly scoop up, pushing both Mountaineers home to take the 2-1 lead.
Climo picked up another RBI in the third after a sacrifice fly allowed Charping to earn his second run of the night. Mystic reclaimed the lead in the following frame, quickly loading the bases before Josh Maguire drove Vincent Martin in. David Beam followed up with a single of his own, giving Isaiah Byars and Shane Kelly the opportunity to take the 4-3 lead.
The lead was short-lived as Climo continued his stellar night, smashing one over the left field fence to tie the score. A costly error in the seventh inning gave the Mystics the lead back, however, an errant throw to home, meant to catch a streaking Beam, soared past Sean Flaherty’s reach and gave Beam time to break the tie.
Curtis Robison answered the Schooner run with a single in the bottom of the eighth, pushing Brian Goulard home and forcing the game into a 5-5 deadlock. Neither team could amass much offense, as the Schooners did not score in the ninth and were able to force two outs on the Mountaineers in the bottom of the inning. Austin Gauthier, subbing in for DiLoreto at first, was able to make his way to third on a stolen base and a balk. Evan Giordano finished the job, driving one through the left field gap that paved the way for Gauthier and the Mountaineers to claim the victory.
Beau Keathley earned the win, coming in during the final frame and preventing the Schooners from picking up any tie-breaking runs. Will Levine took the loss, giving up five hits and two runs in a little over an inning of play.
The win pushes the Mountaineers to 13-11, and the team will continue its stretch of home games with a 6:30 p.m. rematch against the Winnipesaukee Muskrats on Monday. The Mountaineers will look to avenge a 9-6 loss to the Muskrats from last Saturday.