Armadillos avenge last years playoff loss (6/25/09)

Strong offense, pitching defeats Hogs

June 25, 2009

In the first round of the upper division playoffs last fall, the Waterbury Warthogs defeated heavily favored Williston, putting a quick end to any thoughts of back-to-back championships for the 2007 Vermont Senior Baseball League champion Armadillos.

“We lost that game because we misplayed two bunts,” Williston’s Dann “DVDV” van der Vliet said. “We went into this week’s game looking to extract revenge.”

Williston rose to the occasion. Once again this season, the Armadillos combined superb pitching and clutch hitting to defeat the Warthogs 12-2, raising their record to 8-0 and securing a two-game lead over the closest competitor. The team scored in five of nine frames, steadily building a commanding lead as the game progressed. The Dillos rapped out 15 hits and collected eight walks to help their cause, with three of them coming with the bases loaded.

Individual performances of note were recorded by shortstop/pitcher Greg Bolger (3-4, BB, 2 runs, 1 RBI), pitcher Bill Supple (3-5, BB, 4 runs), center fielder Ray Danis (3-5, BB, 3 runs), first baseman Jesse Stein (2-3, 2 BB, 1 RBI) and right fielder Brian Donahue (2-5, 2 runs).

On the mound, Supple pitched the first six innings, allowing one unearned run on six hits, while striking out six and walking none. With the win, Supple improved his record to 5-0. He was relieved by Bolger, who pitched the final three innings, allowing one unearned run on two hits while striking out two and also walking none.

“My teammates are tough on me. By the time I come in in relief, we’re usually too far ahead for me to get a save,” Bolger lightheartedly complained.

As has been true in every game this year, Williston scored in the first inning, this time picking up two runs. Danis and Supple singled and Bolger beat out a bunt to load the bases. Second baseman Pete Picard (1-3, 2 SAC, 3 RBIs) and DVDV followed with successive sacrifice flies to score the two lead runners.

After surrendering an unearned run to the Hogs in the bottom of the frame on a double and an error, the lead grew to 5-1 in the third, as three more Dillos crossed home. Danis and Supple singled and Picard pushed both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. DVDV doubled home both runners and scored on catcher Tom “Bambino” Fitzgerald’s (1-5, 1 RBI) single.

Two more Armadillos scored in the fourth inning. Donahue and Supple singled, moved ahead on Bolger’s walk and scored on Picard’s single. The lead swelled to 8-1 in the seventh when Bolger singled, DVDV walked, Stein was hit by a pitch and Reid Crosby (0-3, 2 BB, 2 RBIs) walked to force in a run.

In the eighth the lead climbed to 12-1 as four more runs scored. Donahue and Danis singled, Supple walked and Bolger brought home the first two runners with a single. DVDV, Stein and Crosby all drew walks, with the last two forcing runs home. Although the Hogs scored one more run in the bottom of the eighth on a single and two errors, it was too little, too late, as Bolger retired the last five batters to secure the victory.

On June 28, Williston opens a five game home stand, taking on the 3-4 Burlington Cardinals. Game time is noon.

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