SAXTONS RIVER -- The Brattleboro River Rats won their second game in a row Sunday, inching out a 2-1 victory over the Saxtons River Pirates in an amateur hardball game.
Brattleboro's Greg Elbaum earned the win and Marty Vallender got the save. The Pirates' David Lockerby pitched very well, but took the tough loss.
Saxtons River led early by one run, but the game was decided on an unearned two-run single by Abe Klein with two outs in the fifth inning.
The Pirates turned things around in their next game of the day with an 8-5 win over the Walpole Wild Blue. Joey Parrott got the W with a complete effort. Despite some problems that resulted in 10 walks, the right-hander pitched himself out of some jams and struck out 11. He also helped his own cause with three hits.
Other Saxtons River offensive standouts were Josh Underwood, Alex Drost, and David Lockerby who had two hits each. Blake Gowen (double, two RBIs), Gary Dennis (double, RBI), and Adam Kobeski (RBI) had two hits apiece for Walpole.
Keene 10, Ludlow 5
LUDLOW -- The Keene Black Dawgs went to a tie with Claremont at the top of the league standings Saturday night with a victory over the Ludlow Athletics.
Keene's scheduled starting pitcher, Tim Santaw, was unavoidably late to the game so a trio of position players were pressed into service in the first inning. The unfortunate result was that Ludlow's first four batters crossed the plate. Fortunately,
Once Santaw arrived, the Dawgs responded in kind in the top of the second, immediately erasing Ludlow's 4-1 lead by scoring four of their own. The rally was ignited by Santaw's (1-for-2, RBI, two walks, two runs) RBI single.
Ludlow, led by Justin Lewis (2-for-4, double, two runs), threatened to erupt over the next three innings, but outstanding defense by second basemen Matt Mucha kept the scoring to just one more run for the Athletics.
Mucha's diving play to end the fourth was huge, and Santaw retired the last 16 batters he faced. Mat Gilbert (2-for-5, run, two RBIs) and Brandon Oldham (2-for-3, double, two RBIs) led the Keene offense.
Claremont 16, Chester 2
CHESTER -- A battle between top ranked teams turned into a lopsided affair on Sunday as the Claremont Cardinals rapped out 18 hits en route to a defeat of the Chester Crush.
Josh Duford, Fred Girard and Paul Felix each contributed two hits for the Cardinals. Nate Duford and Andrew "Sully" Sullivan showed off their warning track power by knocking out two monster doubles each and together tallying four runs, four RBIs and five hits. The biggest offensive output, however, came from "Big Daddy" John Grainger who celebrated his first Father's Day as a new dad with a 3-for-3 performance that included two runs scored, a double and three RBIs.
Scott Christian broke yet another bat to extend his league lead to seven on the season. A hat will be passed at the next home game.
Chester starter Jamie Spence kept the game close through five innings, allowing only five runs and working out of a number of jams. Spence and Ricky Bernard scored Chester's only runs and each had a hit.
Cardinal pitchers Bob Myers and Scott Christian combined to limit the Crush offensively to only three hits and two unearned runs. Chester is off next weekend while Claremont hosts Brattleboro at 11 a.m. on Sunday at Barnes Park.
Newport 8, Putney 7
NEWPORT, N.H. -- Mike Saindan's single up the middle in the bottom of the ninth inning drove in a run and gave the Newport Polar Bears a walk-off win over the Putney Fossils.
Newport jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the second inning, but Putney fought back with single runs in the third and fourth, then tied it at 6-6 with three in the top of the fifth. Newport took the lead 7-6 in the bottom of the same inning and held it until the eigth.
Putney catcher Steve "Stanley Steamer" Stanley tied the game with one swing of the bat, a deep blast far over the right field fence. Stanley was the offensive machine of the game going 4-for-4 with a double, home run, stolen base, three runs, and two RBIs.
Consecutive singles by Polar Bears Eric Lemay and Adam Kimball, followed by a hit batsman with one out set the stage for Saindan's (2-for-3, walk, hit-by-pitch, RBI) dramatic game-ender. Sean Lantas and Kimball had two hits each for Newport and Bob Bates went the distance on the mound for the win. Putney's O'Brien brothers, Bruce and Sean, had two hits each for the Fossils.
Ludlow and Saxtons River will play a double-header this Saturday at Black River High School in Ludlow beginning at 2:30 p.m. On Sunday, Putney hosts Walpole at 10 a.m., Keene is in Newport for an 11 a.m. start at Bates Memorial Field and, as mentioned above, Brattleboro is at Claremont at 11 a.m.