GM boys baseball stings Woodstock Wasps 13-3

By Evan Chadwick
© 2022 Telegraph Publishing LLC

If there is one thing that Coach Matt McCarthy is above all else in leading his GM boys baseball team, its being practical with his expectations. He has long focused on his boys doing the little things, which when added together, equate to success on the diamond.

Otto Lichtensteiger rounds third

Although McCarthy expected that he would need a lot of the “little things” to pull off a win over the Woodstock Wasps on Tuesday afternoon, it was ultimately the big bats that took his team over the hump, as the Chieftains poured on the offense late on their way to a six inning 13-3 victory over the Wasps.

“It was just one of those games where we had well hit balls but they were right at the defense,” said McCarthy. “Once we got going, the ball found the gaps and fortunately we had some base runners on that allowed us to put some runs up on the board.”

McCarthy once again looked to Kagan Hance, as he gave the senior the ball for another big matchup, the last being a tough-luck 3-2 loss to White River Valley where Hance threw six solid innings.

From the start, Hance looked strong again, mowing down the Wasps’ lineup in top of the first.

GM’s first inning did not take long, with just 8 pitches from Wasps starter Jackson Martin. But those outs were of the loud variety, as both Reid Hryckiewicz and  lead-off man Tanner Swisher drove balls to deep center field showing that the Chieftain timing was on early.

Andrei Solzhenitsyn takes a lead

Hance was able to work through a lead-off double in the top of the second off the bat of Martin, by striking out Holden Larmie to strand  Martin.

Green Mountain was again the victim of hard luck in the second. The Wasps outfield pulled in two spectacular catches, one off the bat of Jack Hinkley, that appeared destined to sail over the head of right fielder Ben Rustein. But it instead landed at the end of his glove after he timed his jump perfectly that kept the game knotted at zero.

The Wasps eventually drew first blood in the third, scoring one run off an RBI single from Memphis Begin.

The Chieftain bats then found the answer Coach McCarthy had hoped would have come a little earlier.

After a lead-off ground out to short by James Birmingham, Otto Lichtensteiger reached on an error and promptly stole second base. Tate Pellerin followed with a walk and then Tanner Swisher launched a double into the left center field gap that easily scored Lichtensteiger. Pellerin attempted to come home on the play but thought better of it as the Wasp throw was accurate. In the ensuing run-down Pellerin was  able to sneak under the tag at home giving the Chieftains their first lead of the contest.

“I’ll take the blame for the rundown,” said McCarthy, who was coaching third base during the play. “I thought the throw was going to go over the catcher’s head. Luckily, Pellerin did his job, and made a great hustle play.”

Chase Swisher belts a ‘wall ball’

GM added one more in the inning off an RBI delivery from Hryckiewicz  giving them a two run lead heading into the fourth.

Woodstock tied the contest in the top of the fourth, as Hance walked the bases full and gave up a two-run double to center fielder, Vincent Patrone. Hance avoided any further damage by painting a fast ball at the knees to get Jacob Stone looking to end the threat.

The tie was short lived, as the Chieftains jumped all over the Wasps bullpen after Martin suffered a shoulder injury. Green Mountain added 10 runs in three innings off of four hits, one being a wall ball blast to deep center field from Chase Swisher that scored two.

Although the ball was flying off the Chieftain bats, the clincher was of the small-ball variety, when Liam O’Brien hit a ball deep to third with one out, that scored the Chieftains 13th run of the contest and that gave them the 10-run mercy rule, earning the Chieftains their sixth win on the season.

“Overall I thought we played well, ” said McCarthy, who will look for win No. 7 when the Chieftains host Otter Valley on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. “We just have to find a way to get that late inning energy from the start.”

Chase Swisher, who came in to relieve Hance in the fifth inning, threw two innings of one-run ball and took the win for the Chieftains. Swisher also added two RBIs, while his younger brother, Tanner, went 1-2 with two walks and an RBI.

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Filed Under: BaseballEducation NewsFeaturedSports News

About the Author: Originally from Rochester, Vermont, Evan Chadwick is a practicing attorney who lives in Brattleboro with his family. He is a 2007 graduate of Keene State College and currently coaches the boys' varsity basketball team at Bellows Falls Union High School.

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