MONTPELIER — The Vermont Mountaineers opened their 2019 NECBL baseball season on Friday night against the Upper Valley Nighthawks, and walked away with a strong 7-1 win.
While the first inning went by without any runs scored, the second inning proved different.
The top of the second was a one-two-three inning for Mountaineers starting pitcher Christian Scafidi, and the bottom of the inning put numbers on the board for Vermont. Podaras was walked to first to lead things off, and a minute later Matt McDermott hit a bunt down the third base line for a single. Brian
Goulard was walked soon after, and with one out the Mountaineers had the bases loaded. Nighthawks starting pitcher Cal Carver then walked Austin Gauthier, forcing Podaras to advance home to score. A wild pitch by Carver let McDermott head home, extending Vermont’s lead to two runs. Kevin Brenning was walked, and again the bases were loaded for the Mountaineers. DiLoreto flied out to end the inning, but Vermont was up 2-0.
The top of the third was another quick one for the Mountaineers’ defense, and Podaras started off the bottom of the inning with a double to deep left field. A wild pitch by Carver let Podaras then advance to third, creating another scoring chance for the Mountaineers. Evan Giordano was walked, and when Carver tried to catch him leading at first he overthrew the ball. Podaras advanced home to score, and Giordano made it to third. McDermott hit a bouncer that got him thrown out at first, but Giordano was able to advance home to add to Vermont’s tally. After walking Goulard, Carver was relieved from the mound by Henry Gladson.
In the top of the fourth, The Nighthawks had a big chance to put some runs on the board. With the bases loaded and two outs, Dan Bolt hit a pop up to left field. After the catch Hardison, who was on third base, attempted to advance home. However, Vermont’s Diloreto threw from the outfield with pinpoint accuracy right to Podaras at the plate, letting Podaras tag Hardison out for the third out of the inning.
Charping and Podaras were both walked to lead off the bottom of the fifth, and soon after a wild pitch by Gladson let them advance to third and second. Giordano was walked, and the Mountaineers had runners on all bases with no outs. Not a minute had gone by before McDermott was hit by a pitch, sending in Charping to score. Gladson was then relieved by Davis Mikell. On a fielder’s choice, Goulard advanced to first and Podaras was thrown out at home. A wild pitch by Mikell let Giordano advance home, extending Vermont’s lead to six runs. McDermott then tried to advance home after a pitch, but Upper Valley catcher John Hosmer tagged him out. Austin Gauthier then hit an RBI single to right field, driving in Goulard.
The rest of the game went by without a lot of commotion until the top of the 9th. Nighthawk’s David Marcano was walked, and not too long after Bolt hit a single to center field that let Marcano advance to third base. A wild pitch by Mountaineers’ Beau Keathley allowed Marcano slide across home plate, and the Nighthawks put a run on the board for the first time in the evening. Their spurt of energy was short-lasted though, and the Mountaineers closed out the game.
The Nighthawks (1-1) will host the Danbury Westerners on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. The Mountaineers (1-0) will host the Westerners on Sunday at 6:30.
Coach Barbieri is excited about being in Central Vermont for the summer, and says the community has been quite welcoming to the players and coaches. Barbieri says the players are “a good group of guys”, but that the biggest challenge will be to bring them together fast to form a working team. The college world series has had a small impact on the Mountaineers; Cam Chic and Nicholas DeGennaro are arriving soon, and Enzo Stefanoni and Eric Santiago arrived on Thursday.
Mountaineers starting pitcher Scafidi recorded 4 strikeouts, issued 2 walks, and gave up 2 hits over 5 innings. Upper Valley starting pitcher Carver recorded 4 strikeouts, issued 6 walks and gave up 3 hits over 2.2 innings.