TV 12 Black River 8
LUDLOW- Wildcats pitcher Dal Nesbitt threw four shutout innings Saturday afternoon while striking out eight Black River batters to lead the Twin Valley Wildcats to victory.
Last week, the Wildcats easily took down the smaller, overmatched Presidents in a 15-4 rout, and while the score became a little too close for comfort in the final frame, the Wildcats pitchers faced only 26 batters in the first six innings. Nesbitt faced 16 batters in four innings for the win, giving up only three hits, while Twin Valley’s batters worked on building a lead. Sam Molner led the Wildcats from the batter’s box, knocking in a season-high five RBIs, including two in the first inning, scoring Chris Robinson and Nesbitt, who would combine for six runs on the day.
The Wildcats held a 4-0 lead through Nesbitt’s four innings on the mound, and expanded their lead to 10-0 in the top of the fifth. Kyle Murdock switched from first to the mound in relief of Nesbitt in the fifth, faced seven batters, and collected two strikeouts, but also gave up three runs. Twin Valley’s lead would prove insurmountable, however, and as the Wildcat coaches put in their reserves, their lead continued to increase. In the top of the seventh, Twin Valley would expand the lead to 12-3, but the Presidents wouldn’t roll over to the visitors. Instead, they added five runs before running out of outs. After a three-up, three-down sixth inning, reliever Cade Nesbitt found no easy path to get out of the seventh, pitching through 10 batters, and giving up seven singles and five runs before throwing a much-needed game-ending strikeout.
Molner ended the game 2 for 4 with five RBIs, while Dal Nesbitt went 4 for 5 with three runs, and Robinson went 2 for 4 with three runs.
Ben Veysey took the loss for the Presidents, yielding only four runs to the visitors, while relief pitchers Earl Brown and John Shoenberg combined for eight runs over the final nine outs. Veysey and Joey Noble led the Presidents in batting and combined for four runs.
TV 8 Proctor 1
WILMINGTON- Nearly three weeks ago, the Wildcats suffered a frustrating 6-5 loss at Proctor, walking in the game-winning run on the final out, after a three-run rally had tied the game. But on Monday night, Twin Valley kept a steady scoring pace early, and Dylan Johnson hit three doubles on the day, providing four RBIs and two runs to lead the Wildcats to their first winning record of the season.
While Johnson provided the power at the plate, Sam Molner was money on the mound. Over five innings, Molner allowed only one run and struck out four to improve his record to 3-0. Twin Valley committed only two errors on the day as well, a statistic that has continued to drop as the season reaches its halfway point. Tag plays at second and third were consistent all afternoon, as Baylee Crawford and Justin Hicks kept the Phantoms from finding scoring positions. Manager Jim Burke said his coaching staff has been pleased with the increased quality of play from their fielders.
“A good side of our game is how we’ve settled in the field,” said Burke. “Win or lose, we’ve been in it, our errors are decreasing, and us coaches are starting to see a solid ball team. They’re getting tighter and tighter, scooping some dirt in their gloves on those grounders, and it’s something they’ve been working on and it’s showing.”
Burke said he and the team’s other coaches are seeing the fielding fundamentals begin to click, the base running becoming smarter, and the batting becoming more confident and less questioning. This aggressive style is important with games against West Rutland, Mount St. Joseph, and two against Green Mountain on the schedule’s second half.
Kyle Murdock pitched the sixth inning for the Wildcats, collecting three strikeouts, while Cade Nesbitt finished the game without yielding a run in the seventh. Cody Lyndon pitched six innings for the Phantoms and took the loss. Andre Greb led the Phantoms, going 3 for 3 on the day.
“We have mature guys who know how to win,” said Burke. “We’re over .500 right now and that’s where we want to be starting the second half of the season. We have to keep up the way we’re playing and we’ll have a good end to the season.”
The Wildcats host West Rutland today at 4 pm.