Bulldogs rebound; shutdown rival Patriots

MANCHESTER — Coming off its first loss of the season against Hartford, the Burr and Burton Academy baseball team came out on the diamond ready to go against rival Mount Anthony on Thursday afternoon. The Bulldogs jumped out on their rival and MAU's ace Ryan O'Neill, scoring seven runs in the first two innings and rolling to a 8-0 victory.

"That was our best offensive output of the season," said BBA baseball coach Ed Lewicki. "We faced one of the best pitchers in the state and did a good job hitting against him, especially with two strikes. It was a great team win for us."

Senior Griff Stalcup got the Bulldogs' offense going with a one-out walk in the first inning, which was followed by a Jay McCoy single and Tyler Kraehling working a walk against O'Neill to load the bases for Daniel Hatheway.

The sophomore came through for BBA in the big spot, beating out a groundball to third for an infield single to score Stalcup, giving the Bulldogs the early lead.

After O'Neill walked Chandler Pouk to force in Bulldogs' second run of the inning, freshman Joe McCoy came up with the bases loaded and two outs.

Like he has been doing all season, McCoy continued to get big hits for the Bulldogs, slashing a two-run single to right field to give BBA a 4-0 lead.

"I had two strikes on me and he had been giving me trouble with his curve ball in the at-bat, so I just kept my weight back and drove the ball to the opposite field," McCoy said. "It felt good to knock in those two runs and help the team get the win."

The Bulldogs ended up having all nine of their hitters come up to the plate in the first inning.

BBA continued to add to its lead in the second inning, as Kraehling ripped a single to left field to score Jame Reilly who led off the inning with a double for the Bulldogs, extending the lead to five.

Hatheway then again came through for BBA, slapping a fly to right for an RBI sac-fly to make it a 6-0 contest.

Kraehling extended the Bulldogs' lead to seven later on in the inning, scoring on an error by MAU's Noah Loomis trying to throw him out when he rounded third base off a single by Sam Cottrell.

The seven-run lead was plenty enough for Cottrell, who was excellent on the mound for BBA.

Cottrell pitched six scoreless innings for the Bulldogs, giving up only five hits and racking up six strikeouts.

"My changeup was really working for me today and I was able to get most of my strikeouts off that pitch," Cottrell said. "I had great help and support from my teammates in the field, which really helped me out in tough situations. It felt great to pitch well for my team."

MAU had a couple chances in the fifth and sixth innings to get back in the game with runners on first and second and no outs in both frames, but Cottrell did a great job working out of trouble to keep the Patriots off the board.

"We had a lot of opportunities to get on the board, but just couldn't get that big hit," said MAU baseball coach Walt Parmenter. "Our offense is struggling a bit right now and we need to get it straighten out quickly."

BBA extended its lead to eight in the sixth inning when Jay McCoy scored on an error by O'Neill trying to pick off the Bulldogs' runner at first base.

O'Neill had five strikeouts in his complete game performance on the mound for BBA.

Freshman Ethan Senecal pitched a perfect seventh inning to close the deal for BBA, which improves to 8-1 with the win.

"We didn't compete well in the Hartford game, so it was great to see the guys battle back today and put on a great performance," Lewicki said. "Everyone on our team competed today and that's what we need to do in every game we play."

With the loss, MAU drops to 3-5 on the season and Parmenter said the team needs to get a win to get back on track.

"We need a couple back-to-back wins to get things back on track and get the confidence level on the team up," Parmenter said. " I think our pitching and fielding has been steady all year. If we can get our offense going again, we have a chance to turn things around."

Both MAU and BBA will be back on the diamond today as the Bulldogs will host Mill River, while the Patriots will travel to play Mount Greylock.

Reach sports editor Steven Bassin at 802-447-7567 ext 112 or @SBassin_Banner


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