Aug. 27, 2009
With just two games remaining in the 16 game schedule, the 11-3 Williston Armadillos knew they needed a win on Sunday against 9-5 Caledonia to remain in contention for the league championship.
Williston’s record placed them alongside the Charlotte Bison atop the Vermont Senior Baseball League, but technically the Dillos resided in second due because Charlotte defeated Williston two weeks ago.
On Sunday, the Armadillos rose to the occasion, defeating Caledonia 7-3.
Starting pitcher Greg Bolger, who picked up the victory to improve his record to 5-2, threw the first seven extremely humid innings. Bolger surrendered two runs, only one of which was earned, on six hits and five walks. He struck out six. Pat “Pookie” Martin gained a save by throwing the last two innings, yielding one run on no hits, two walks and two strikeouts. Williston’s offense, which rapped out 11 hits, was led by Bolger (3-4, 2 runs), left fielder Bill Supple (2-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) and second baseman Brent Tremblay (2-4, 3B, run, 2 RBIs).
After Caledonia scored a run in the first inning on a walk and two singles, the Dillos bounced back with three runs in the fourth. Following Supple and Bolger’s singles, Tremblay blasted a triple over the head of the right fielder to score both. Although Caledonia’s left fielder made a sliding catch of catcher Darby Crum’s (0-3) line drive to hold Tremblay at third, he scored when Caledonia’s shortstop misplayed right fielder Billy Daw’s (0-4) grounder on what should have been the final out of the inning.
Williston plated two more in the fifth frame with the help of three bunt singles. Leadoff hitter Reid Crosby (1-2, BB, run) reached safely on a perfect drag bunt down first. First baseman Dennis Johnson (1-2, run) and center fielder Ray Danis beat out bunts down third to load the bases. Supple then grounded to short, scoring Crosby, and when the second baseman had difficulty tagging Danis at second, Johnson rounded third and swiped home.
Caledonia cut the lead to 5-2 in the sixth by scoring a run on a throwing error by shortstop Tremblay, a walk and single. Caledonia further cut the margin to two in the eighth by scoring another run on two walks, a fielder’s choice and a sacrifice fly, but the Dillos got those two runs back in the bottom of the eighth. Supple and Bolger singled again, and Martin brought both home with a two base drive in the left center gap.
The victory was not without cost however, as leadoff hitter Danis was forced to leave the game after the play at second, as he injured his ankle. That injury, combined with left fielder Dann Van der Vliet’s shoulder injury, which has left him unable to throw, has left the Dillos’ lineup headed into the playoffs in jeopardy.
On Sunday, the Dillos are at home against the 9-5 Jericho Indians.
“We need to defeat Jericho and have Colchester defeat Charlotte for us to win the regular season title,” Martin said. “As it is, though, we can finish no lower than third, based on the standings and our won-loss record against those at the top.”
League standings and individual and team statistics are online at www.scorebook.com. Enter “Vermont Senior Baseball League” under league name search.