Dillos trounce Killington in tourney opener (9/17/09)

Supple and Martin sharp in victory

Sept. 17, 2009

In mid-July, the Killington Saints ensured that the Williston Armadillos, then 10-0, would not see a perfect season by handing the Dillos their first loss of the season by the score of 7-6. On Sunday, the second-seeded Armadillos, who ended the regular season with a 13-3 record, exacted revenge on the seventh-seeded Saints with a 16-1 win.

With the victory, Williston moves into the semifinals of the single elimination Vermont Senior Baseball League state championship tournament. The Dillos will face Newport Columbia, which was 8-8 during the regular season but pulled off a 16-4 upset of third-seeded Colchester on Sunday.

In the first game of the season, the Dillos had to come from behind to defeat Newport 8-5.

“They’re a solid team, with good hitting. We had our hands full the first time we played them and I expect the same this time,” player manager Dennis Johnson said about the upcoming game.

The Dillos were on their offensive game on Sunday, collecting 21 hits and five walks, as all but one of the 13 players hit safely. The outcome of the game seemed determined early as the Dillos scored in each of the first four innings to take a 12-1 lead.

The offense was led by shortstop Greg Bolger (3-5, 2 runs), center fielder Ray Danis (2-2, 2B, RBI), Dann “DVDV” Van der Vliet (2-3, HBP, 2 RBIs), left fielder Reid Crosby (2-4, 2 runs), third baseman Pookie Martin (2-4, BB, 3 RBIs), second baseman Brent Tremblay (2-4, 2 RBIs), catcher Tom “Bambino” Fitzgerald (2-4, RBI) and Jess Stein (2-4, 2 runs).

As the Dillos’ pitching opponent said after the game, it “didn’t matter what we threw today. You guys even hit the bad pitches safely.”

On the mound, Armadillo ace Bill Supple threw the first six innings to get the win, giving up one run on eight hits, while walking none and striking out three. Martin pitched the last three innings, continuing to demonstrate his prowess in relief by giving up just one hit and two walks, while striking out three.

The Saints demonstrated jitters in the first two innings and the Dillos were quick to capitalize. Williston scored two in the first as Crosby walked, Supple reached on an error and each scored respectively on singles by Martin and Danis.

The Dillos racked up six more runs in the second. Right fielder Darby Crum (1-3, 2B, 2 runs) reached on another Saints error, Stein singled and Johnson (1-2, 3B, sac, BB, RBI) sacrifice bunted, advancing Crum to third. After Crum scored on DVDV’s single, Stein and Johnson scored on successive fielder’s choices. Bolger singled and Martin walked to load the bases and Tremblay plated the two lead runners with a single.

After the Saints scored a run in the third on a double and a single, two more Dillos scored in the bottom of that frame. Danis doubled and scored on the Bambino’s single. Although Crum hit into a double play, Stein singled and Johnson brought him home with triple.

Williston piled on two more runs in the fourth when Crosby and Bolger singled and Martin plated both with a double.

Meanwhile, Supple was showing clutch pitching on the mound. Following three straight singles to load the bases in the fifth, Supple buckled down. He induced the next batter to ground to Tremblay at third, who gunned the runner down at home. The following batter flied out to short right, and the last batter of the inning hit into a 6-4 fielder’s choice.

The lead grew to 15-1 in the sixth inning as left fielder Bill “Vegas” Daw (1-2, 2 BB, run) and Crosby singled and Supple brought both home with a double. Bolger then collected his third straight single to plate Supple.

The Dillos closed out the scoring in the seventh when Crum doubled and scored on DVDV’s single.

The semifinal game will be played at Williston Central School at noon on Sept. 20.

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