September 30, 2014

Two home games loom for Legion baseball nine

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By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

Tuesday’s washout of its home game with Addison left the
S. D. Ireland American Legion baseball team with a 2-4 record and undefeated Essex coming to call Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at S. D. Ireland’s ball yard at Champlain Valley Union High.

At the Observer’s press deadline Wednesday, the makeup with Addison was being rescheduled.

“It will be either Friday at 5:30 p.m. or Saturday morning at 11 a.m.,” said Ireland coach Jim Neidlinger.

The Gold and Green did get in its Monday contest with 5-0 Essex and gave the visitors some serious quivers and quakes with a four-run rally in the top of the seventh before being nipped 6-5.

It was a home game for Essex, which is having its field repaired.

After the Junction Men pushed over three runs for a 6-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth without the benefit of a hard hit, the Irelands struck back in the top of the seventh and final frame, a two-run single by Larry Halvorson a key stroke.

Neidlinger praised the work of starting pitcher Dylan Ireland. “He pitched very well,” said the skipper.

The locals grabbed their second victory of the season Sunday, a 7-5 triumph over visiting Montpelier.

Catcher Hayden Smith cranked the big clutch hit—a two-out, bases-loaded hard single to right that drove in two runs to break a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the seventh.

Earlier, Will Conroy’s two-run single and Deagan Poland’s RBI single in the sixth had given the Ireland’s a short-lived 5-3 advantage.

Relief pitcher Luke Russell got the final two outs in the top of the ninth for the save after taking over for Erik Bergkvist, who got the win after relieving starter Davis Mikell in the top of the seventh. Mikell worked six frames and allowed but four hits while whiffing 10 batters and walking three.

Mikell slugged a pair of hits, as did Smith. Russell smacked the Ireland’s lone extra base blow, a two-bagger.

The Irelands got their first win early last week, when Conroy hurled a 4-2 victory at Addison.

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