Dillos topple Saints with two big innings

Aug. 21, 2008

Armadillo ace Bill Supple pitched seven shutout innings and left the game after eight innings with a 9-1 lead as the 10-3 Armadillos bettered the 9-5 Killington Saints by the score of 9-4 in Sunday’s Vermont Senior Baseball League game.

“Supple threw as well today as he has all year,” said Billy “Vegas” Daw. “The last batter he faced in the bottom of the eighth struck out on a ball in the dirt. That tells you how well his breaking ball was working.”

Reliever Greg Bolger pitched the ninth inning, giving up three unearned runs on two hits and one walk.

The Armadillos collected 14 hits and were led by catcher Bambino Fitzgerald (3-4, 2B 2 runs, RBI), outfielder Daw (2-4, 2 runs 2 RBIs), second baseman Darby Crum (2-4, 2B, run, RBI) and third baseman Pookie Martin (2-4, run).

Killington was limited to seven hits and one earned run.

The game was a scoreless pitchers’ duel through the first four innings, with just two Armadillos and three Saints reaching base. In the bottom of the fifth, Crum and the Bambino both singled to put men at first and second with one out. When left fielder Dan Van Der Vliett singled, Crum tried to score but was thrown out at home on a perfect throw from the Saints’ left fielder. Undaunted, first baseman Dennis Johnson (1-4, 2B, 1 run, 3 RBIs) followed with a line drive to the gap in right center, scoring both runners to break the scoring logjam. Daw followed with a single to score Johnson and Danis tripled to bring in Daw, giving the Dillos a 4-0 lead.

The Dillos scored five more runs in the sixth as they sent 11 men to the plate. After shortstop Greg Bolger (1-3, 2B, BB, run) walked and Martin singled, Crum doubled off the fence in left center, scoring Bolger. The Bambino and right fielder Roberto Seals (1-4, run, RBI) both singled, bringing home Martin and Crum. Johnson’s grounder to second brought in the Bambino and Daw singled in Seals, as he collected his second single and second RBI in as many innings.

The Saints got on the board in the bottom of the eighth on a walk and two singles. In the ninth, Bolger relieved Supple, but it quickly became evident that he had hurt his arm on a relay throw in the prior inning. After the leadoff hitter reached on Crum’s error at shortstop, the following two batters singled and walked, respectively, to load the bases. Manager Johnson tried to bring Supple back in, but Killington argued that the league rules required Supple to sit out one inning before he could return to the mound. Rather than risk an appeal, Bolger stayed in, and after a sacrifice fly and a single scored the three runners, Daw, who was then playing second, tracked down a grounder in the hole between second and first and dove to grab a hard grounder up the middle for the last two outs.

On Sunday, Aug. 24, the Dillos are at home against 4-8 Mad River Valley, the team which gave the Dillos their only loss last year. Game time is noon.

League standings and individual team statistics are online at www.scorebook.com (click “Search,” then “Vermont,” then “Vermont Senior Baseball League”).