Armadillos falter, but recover to top Connecticut Valley

Mal Boright
Observer Correspondent
August 7, 2008

On Sunday, the Armadillos carried an 8-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning, but watched it evaporate as the Connecticut Valley Orioles took advantage of several defensive “misgives” to tie the game and send it into extra innings.  In the end, however, the Armadillos plated three runs in the top of the eleventh and Armadillo hurler Greg Bolger, who went the distance for the Dillos, made the lead stand. The Dillos were missing five of their regular players, including their other pitcher, Bill Supple. “We all knew Bolger had to go the distance if we were going to win.” said player/manager, Dennis Johnson. “Bolger threw at least 150 pitches today, and maybe 180. He threw 30 or 40 in the ninth inning alone.” said catcher Darby Crum. “Even so, he was still cranking at the end,”  he added. The Armadillos' offense was led by centerfielder Ray Danis (4-7, 2B, 3B, 2 Runs, 1 RBI); shortstop Brent Tremblay (2-6, 2 2B, 3 RBI); RF/3B Roberto Seals (2-6, 2 2B, 2 RBI) and new second baseman Chris Gade (2-5, BB). 

After the Orioles went up 1-0 after two were out in the second inning on a walk and a dropped fly ball, the Dillos came back with four runs in the third.  Gade reached on an infield single, went to third on Danis' double, but was thrown out at home on Bolger's grounder to short.  After Crum (0-4, 2 BB, 1 Run) walked to load the bases, Tremblay cleared them with a double to right center.  Seals followed with a double to bring home Tremblay.  The lead was cut to 4-2 in the fourth as the Orioles capitalized on a double and a single.  In the seventh, the Dillos' lead grew to 6-2 as they scored two more runs.  Danis tripled and scored on Bolger's single.  After Crum walked, both runners advanced on Tremblay's fly to deep center.  Bolger then scored when Seals grounded out to short.  Another Dillo scored in the eighth as Johnson (1-6, BB, 2 RBI) walked and Gade and rightfielder Bob Brookens (1-3, BB, Sac) both reached on bunts.  Johnson scored when Bolger grounded to short and, following a force out at second, beat the throw to first to avoid a double play.

After the Orioles scored one in the bottom of the eighth on three singles and a walk, the Dillos answered by scoring a run in the top of the ninth to make the lead to 8-3. Tremblay doubled, moved to third on a ground out, and scored on leftfielder Dann Van Der Vliet's (0-2, 3 BB, Sac, 1 RBI) sacrifice fly.  The bottom fell out, however, in the bottom of the inning as the Orioles sent 10 men to the plate,  scored five to tie the game and had the winning run at third before Bolger collected a strike out to end the inning. The Dillos went ahead to stay in the eleventh. Tremblay reached on an error, Seals doubled and Van Der Vliet walked to load the bases. Johnson followed with a tie breaking single to right, scoring Tremblay and Seals. Danis then singled to score Van Der Vliet, giving the Dillos an 11-8 lead. 

Next week, the 8-3 Dillos are at home against the 9-2 Waterbury Warthogs. 

League standings and individual team statistics may be found at www.scorebook.com .  (Click Search, then Vermont under State, then Vermont Senior Men's Baseball.)