Hurricanes Win a Thriller - Advance to Semi's
Win Nail Biter 3-2 over Brattleboro
By John Seaver
The Hurricanes have lost only three games this season with two of them to MVL rival Brattleboro. Saturday night the Hurricanes got some payback with a thrilling 3-2 win in front of a huge crowd at Maxfield Sports Complex. The win advances the Canes to the semifinals of the Division 1 Vermont State baseball playoffs for the second consecutive year.
Both teams top pitchers, Lief Bigelow for the Colonels and Jordy Allard for the Hurricanes were unavailable after pitching first round complete games Thursday. Hartford coach Jarrod Grassi handed the ball to junior Hunter Perkins while Brattleboro coach Chris Groeger gave the ball to sophomore Adam Newton who spent much of this season playing on the JV team.
Brattleboro got on the board first when Tanner Bell led off with a walk, reached second base on a balk, stole third and scored when Tyler Hamilton's throw sailed into left field.
Hartford struck back in the bottom half of the first with a single by Hamilton, a sac bunt by Dylan Spencer and a back to back singles by Hunter Perkins and Jordy Allard.
Brattleboro threatened in the second inning loading the bases with no one out but Perkins struck out two Colonels before retiring Bell on a fly ball to center field that Austin Gaudette easily corralled to end the threat.
The Colonels took a brief 2-1 lead in the top half of the fourth when Bell's single to right drove in Bridger Grout. But again, the Canes struck back quickly in the bottom half of the inning to take a 3-2 lead. Austin Gaudette reached on an error and was awarded second base when the umpires ruled first baseman Conor Hiner impeded Gaudette. (He more or less shoved him after they collided on the play). Kyle Hamilton followed with a sharp single to right scoring Gaudette and advanced to second on a wild throw to the plate. After Nate Robinson popped out to the catcher, Riley Packard got the game winning RBI with a liner up the middle to give the Canes the lead.
Dylan Spencer relieved Perkins to start the fifth inning and worked around a hit in the fifth and two more runners in the sixth to preserve the 3-2 lead. But the home team fans had plenty of nail biting left as the Colonels threatened again in the seventh.
Lief Bigelow led off the inning with high pop up in back of first base that Kyle Hamilton couldn't secure and the Colonels had the lead off man on second base. After a sacrifice bunt moved the tying run to third, Spencer bore down and struck out Conor Hiner looking with a terrific curve ball and then punched out Kam Pelkey with a high heater to end the game and give the Canes the 3-2 win.
Category 5 Hurricane Players of the Game: Dylan Spencer and Riley Packard. Spencer pitched three innings in relief and earned the save striking out 5 but none bigger than the final two Colonel hitters. Packard came through in the 4th inning with one of the biggest hits of the season, a two out single to drive in the game winning run.
Hartford will travel to Essex to play the top seeded Hornets Tuesday in the semifinals. The other D1 semi final pits Burlington vs Burr and Burton.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Brattleboro 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 4 2
Hartford 1 0 0 2 0 0 3 6 3
WP - Hunter Perkins
LP - Adam Newton
S - Dylan Spencer
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