Unearned runs help Dillos win (7/2/09)

Team remains undefeated

July 2, 2009

Although the Williston Armadillos had been on a hitting tear over the last month, the team’s offensive machine downshifted a notch on Sunday. But while collecting just nine hits, Williston’s Vermont Senior Baseball League team eked out four unearned runs and pitching ace Bill Supple made them stand, allowing only one run while pitching a complete game, as Williston defeated the 3-6 Burlington Cardinals by the score of 4-1.

“You have to win the games when the team is off, in addition to those when everybody is on,” said second baseman Billy “Vegas” Daw (0-3, BB, 1 run). “It wasn’t real pretty, but in the end we got a ‘W.’”

The only two Dillos players to tally multiple hits were first baseman Jesse Stein (3-4, 2B) and third baseman Pat “Pookie” Martin (2-3, BB).

The game took a different turn early, when Williston left the base loaded and failed to score in the first inning for the first time this year.

In the fourth inning, however, things went the Dillos’ way, as they pushed across three unearned runs. Stein led off with a double. After Dann van der Vliet (0-4) struck out, center fielder Reid Crosby (1-2, 2 BB, 1 run) walked. Daw’s grounder to short turned into a force play at third for the second out. Darby Crum’s (0-4) grounder to short should have retired the side, but the Cardinals’ shortstop threw wide of first, allowing Crosby to score from second and the other two runners to advance an extra base. Right fielder Chris Hughes (1-3, 1 RBI) and outfielder Ray Danis (1-4, 1 RBI) then followed with singles, each knocking in a run.

More luck befell the Dillos in the next frame as they registered yet another unearned run, increasing the lead to 4-0. After shortstop Brent Tremblay (1-3, 2B, BB, 1 run) was hit by a pitch, Martin singled. When Stein grounded to short, the Cardinals’ second baseman missed the throw to second, allowing the ball to roll into right field and Tremblay to scamper home on the error.

Meanwhile, on the mound, Supple (0-4) was ahead consistently in the count on the Cardinals’ hitters. Over the nine innings, he allowed eight hits and walked none, while striking out six batters.

“Bill was sharp today. He was repeatedly hitting the target, and his curve was dropping off the table,” said catcher Crum.

“The key to success in this league is not giving out free passes. You can give up a lot of hits as long as they aren’t mixed in with walks and still hold down the other team,” he said, alluding to Supple’s failure to walk anyone.

The Cardinals’ sole run was scored in the sixth, on three consecutive singles. With the win, Supple improved his record to 6-0, the most wins in the league.

On July 5, Williston will play the first ever July Fourth weekend game in the league, as they square off against the 3-6 Vergennes Dodgers at Williston Central School at noon.

League standings and individual and team statistics are online at www.scorebook.com. Enter “Vermont Senior Baseball League” under league name search.