Baseball checks in with a win

Twin Valley’s Eric Bolognani, 11, cracks a single during last Thursday’s game with Green Mountain.                                                                                                                   
Photo by Randy CapitaniJoey Rafus delivers a pitch during the Green Mountain game.
Photo by Randy CapitaniIzaak Park takes a cut against Green Mountain.
Photo by Randy Capitani

By Randy Capitani
WILMINGTON- It was a busy week for the Twin Valley varsity baseball team. The Wildcats played four games in seven days and came away with their first win of the season.
On Thursday, May 3, Twin Valley hosted Green Mountain. The Chiefs rolled into Baker Field unbeaten, and continued rolling through the host Wildcats for a 15-4 win.  Green Mountain jumped out to a 2-0 lead off Wildcat starter Joey Rafus and never looked back.
Hayden Reed and Eric Bolognani each went 1-3 in the game. Despite the loss, Twin Valley coach Brian Monroe was optimistic after the game.
“We improved from yesterday’s game (a loss at Mount Everett) and will look to keep improving,” he said. “Our effort was better today. We are starting to make the right calls and be in the right positions. It will come with time and being more comfortable in our positions.”
Arlington 22, TV 21
ARLINGTON- Twin Valley was certainly comfortable at the plate in Saturday afternoon’s game against the Arlington Eagles, pounding the ball hard and racking up 21 runs against the hosts. Unfortunately for them, pitching was in short supply as the Eagles plated 22 runners to come away with the win.
“We hit the ball hard and really well,” said Twin Valley coach Brian Monroe. “Our effort improved, but still isn’t where we need it to be.”
Twin Valley scored nine runs in the first inning, two in the second, three in the third, two in the fourth, and two in the sixth. Arlington kept pace with Twin Valley, scoring six in the first, one in the second, three in the third, three in the fifth, and six in the sixth.
Darkness was falling as Twin Valley came up to bat in the top of the seventh, trailing 19-18. James McGovern led off with an inside-the-park home run to tie the score. Izaak Park flew out for the first out. But Dylan Dupuis doubled to keep the rally alive, and he scored on a ball hit by Dylan Howe. Howe reached base and eventually scored on a passed ball. That gave the Wildcats a 21-19 lead.
Monroe, playing for the win, had the next two batters take intentional outs so Arlington could bat for the final time before darkness suspended the game.  Unfortunately, that strategy backfired as Arlington scored three runs for the walk-off win.
For the Wildcats, Dupuis went 3-4 and scored twice. Hayden Reed went 4-5 with two runs scored and Joey Rafus was 4-5 with two triples and three scores.
But despite the offensive fireworks, pitching left the Wildcats short of their first win of the season.
“We are going to work very hard this week with our pitchers to find their mechanics,” said Monroe. “We are struggling to throw strikes consistently and our pitch counts have not allowed our pitchers to go deep into the game.”
TV 8, Woodstock 6
WILMINGTON- Twin Valley notched its first win of the season Monday afternoon, topping Woodstock 9-6 at Baker Field. It was pitching that carried the day for the hosts.
“Our pitchers, Joey Rafus and James McGovern, did a great job today,” said Twin Valley coach Brian Monroe. “They did a really good job of making the other team put the ball in play.”
Rafus pitched four innings and allowed four runs. and McGovern gave up only two runs in three innings of  work.
Twin Valley’s Connor Dupuis went 2-4 with two runs batted in. He also scored a run. Dylan Dupuis went 2-3 and scored twice. Dylan Howe also went 2-3, scoring once.
“We put a lot together in today’s game,” said Monroe. “Our effort was much better, our communication was great, our pitchers battled, and just overall did a great job.”
Woodstock 16, TV 5
WOODSTOCK- After beating Woodstock on Monday at home, Twin Valley traveled to Woodstock for the back end of a home-and-home series.  
Once again, the host team came away with the win as the Wasps used a big fifth inning to take a mercy-rule shortened game, 16-5.
After falling behind, Twin Valley scored a pair of runs in the top of the fifth to get within three runs, down 8-5. But Woodstock was able to score eight runs in the bottom of the fifth to salt away the win.
“Our pitchers did a great job battling and making them put the ball in play,” said Twin Valley coach Brian Monroe. “Woodstock did their job and put the ball in play.”
According to Monroe, pitcher Allen Cole had his best showing of the year, throwing three quality innings. Hayden Reed also pitched for the Wildcats. At the plate, Joey Rafus went 2-3 with a run scored and Izaak Park went 1-3 and scored.
“Our effort today was spotty, as well as our communication,” said Monroe. “The wheels came off in the fifth for us.”
Twin Valley is 1-5 on the season. They will host Leland & Gray Friday at Baker Field in Wilmington. First pitch is at 4:30. On Saturday, they travel to Proctor for an 11 am game and Monday they hit the road again, heading to Poultney for a 4:30 pm game.

The Deerfield Valley News

797 VT Route 100 North
Wilmington, VT 05363

Phone: 802-464-3388
Fax: 802-464-7255

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