Armadillos topple Vergennes (7/9/09)

Bolger quells late rally to preserve win

July 9, 2009

The Williston Armadillos capitalized on five errors in Sunday’s game, leading to five unearned runs, and combined their good fortune with key hitting en route to a 9-3 victory over the 3-7 Vergennes Dodgers. The win preserved the Armadillos’ 10-0 record and increased their lead over three 7-2 teams tied for second place in the Vermont Senior Baseball League.

The Dillos rapped out 16 hits, led by left fielder Dann “DVDV” Van der Vliet (3-4, 1 run, 2 RBIs), utility player Darby Crum (2-4, 1 run, 1 RBI), right fielder Brian Donahue (2-4, 2 runs), center fielder Ray Danis (2-4, 2B, BB) and first baseman Dennis Johnson (2-4, 1 RBI).

On the mound, Bill Supple pitched the first six innings for the victory, giving up 10 hits and one walk while striking out seven, improving his league leading record to 7-0.

Greg Bolger provided pitching relief heroics, entering the game in the seventh with the score 6-2, the bases loaded with no outs and the tying Dodger at the plate. When the first batter Bolger faced tapped a soft grounder toward second, Bolger dove to cut off what may have been an infield hit and certainly would have been a run scorer, and threw home from his knees for a force play. The next batter grounded to third baseman Jesse Stein (1-5, 1 run, 1 RBI), who threw home to again cut down the lead runner. When catcher Tom “Bambino” Fitzgerald threw back to third, however, Stein misplayed the ball, which allowed the runner to score. Bolger struck out the next batter to end the threat and went on to pitch perfect eighth and ninth innings.

Bolger’s numbers were impeccable: three innings, no hits, no walks and three strikeouts, as he picked up his first save to go along with three victories. Bolger’s league leading ERA is 0.63, with 28 innings pitched.

The Dodgers went up 1-0 in the second inning on three consecutive singles. The Bambino (1-3, 3B, BB, 1 run) kick started the Dillos’ offense in the bottom of the frame, launching a triple over the right fielder’s head. The Bambino scored on Reid Crosby’s (1-2, 2 SAC, 1 run, 1 RBI) sacrifice fly to left center.

The Dillos increased the lead to 3-1 in the third. Second baseman Vegas Daw (1-4, 1 RBI) and Donahue singled. After the Dodgers’ left fielder dropped Supple’s (0-4, 1 run) fly ball, which should have been the last out of the inning, Bolger (1-4, 1 RBI) capitalized on the error, singling home Daw. The Dodger’s shortstop then misplayed Stein’s grounder, allowing the second unearned run of the inning to score.

The lead grew to 4-1 in the fifth, as Donahue, Danis and Stein singled, the latter scoring Donahue. The score climbed to 6-1 in the sixth, as DVDV and Crosby singled, moved ahead a base on Johnson’s ground out and successively scored on Daw’s ground out and Crum’s single.

Although the Dodgers cut the lead to 6-3 in the seventh, the Dillos answered with three runs in the bottom of the frame. Supple and Stein reached on errors, and the Bambino walked to load the bases. DVDV singled to left to score two and Johnson followed with a single to center to score the Bambino.

On Sunday, Williston will square off against the second place Killington Saints (7-2) at Williston Central School at noon.

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