October 2, 2014

S.D. Ireland Legion team needs hot streak for tourney bid

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By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

July 11, 2013

After dropping its last four contests for a 3-10 season mark, the S. D. Ireland American Legion baseball team was in Saratoga. N.Y. on Tuesday for an annual tournament and four games in three days.

Coach Jim Neidlinger’s crew returns to the home neighborhood Saturday for a nine-inning test at South Burlington, starting at noon. The Shamrocks go to Burlington Monday for a 5:30 p.m. contest and then entertain the Orleans-Essex County Kings at Champlain Valley Union High’s diamond Tuesday, starting at 5:30 p.m.

With just seven contests remaining on the regular season slate, the Irelands need a hot, hot steak and some help to qualify for the state tournament at Castleton State College starting July 25.

It was a rough weekend for the Green Guys as they lost four games in the three days, including three in a row at the home ball yard.

The Colchester Cannons were the primary antagonists as they rapped out 16 hits in rolling to a 16-10 triumph late Sunday after the Irelands had bowed 6-4 to Addison in the morning half of a twin bill.

Colchester returned Monday afternoon for a regularly scheduled seven-inning fray and left with a 5-2 victory in tow, but the Irelands did not go easily.

This time, Ireland pitchers Kyle Stanley and Will Hesslink held the Cannons to seven hits, with Hesslink hurling a closing three hitless, scoreless frames while facing a minimum nine batters.

Stanley got touched up for all five Colchester runs on seven hits and six walks.

Ireland center fielder Will Conroy stroked three hits in three official trips—his second straight three-hit game—and tripled home one of the Greenies’ tallies. Stanley unloaded a double and single in three trips, while Ryan Fleming singled home a run.

Lefty Ryan Connor was the starter and winner for Colchester, with relief help from righties Brett McAllister and Zach Tandy.

On Sunday afternoon, the Irelands were in an 8-8 deadlock with the Cannons after four innings, but the visitors’ metal bats then pinged and ponged for eight runs over the final three stanzas

Righthander Cody Sharrow got the victory in relief for the Cannons.

Addison’s Sunday morning triumph was keyed by Devin Hayes’ bases-empty homer.

Deagan Poland and Hayden Smith each bagged two hits for Ireland.

On Saturday, a road trip to Montpelier resulted in a narrow 5-4 defeat.

A scheduled game at Burlington Friday was rained out and was made up Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., after the Observer’s press deadline.

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