TOWNSHEND -- For a while it looked like the baseball game Thursday afternoon at Leland & Gray was going to get rained out, which may have been good news for visiting Black River, who probably could’ve used another day to figure out how they were going to dismantle their hosts.
The weather never affected game play, but the contest was still decided in five innings, as the Rebels shut out the Presidents, 19-0.
"Everybody got a hit today," said Leland & Gray coach Eric Durocher, looking at his scoresheet. "We’re 6-1 now, and we’re feeling pretty good about that."
After stealing two bases, Zach Wilkins crossed the plate for L&G’s first run in the opening inning. The Rebels easily handled the bottom of the first as hurler Robbie Litchfield struck out two batters and the L&G infield was flawless. In fact, the green team had almost perfect defense for the remainder of the blowout.
Ryan Borgesson stole a base in the second after hitting an RBI single to send home Jeremy Bovat. Riley Kenney ripped a double to center, Drew Barnum blasted a two-RBI shot to right, and Leland & Gray had a six-run lead after two.
"Black River is a young team," noted Durocher. "It’s not like we came out here to embarass them; we just came to play some ball."
Six more Rebel runs would come in during the third.
Chris Wilson doubled, but took another base on a President bumble, Wilkins cracked a two-RBI single and dug it out to reach the bag, and Corey Nystrom brought in the Rebels’ 10th run as Black River’s catcher, Joey Noble, scurried for one overthrown toss after another.
With the bases loaded in the fourth, Wilson hit another double, this time to bring in two more runs and make it 15-0. Barnum’s line drive was so hot, Pres shortstop Ethan VanGuilder dropped it when it touched his mit. By now, Black River had sent their third pitcher to the mound as Noble fought hard to keep wild throws in front of him.
Litchfield’s two-RBI double to the middle gave the Rebels 18 runs, and Borgesson would be the last one home for the win. Litchfield pitched a complete game, striking out eight batters, including Black River’s last three at the top of the mercy inning.
Ben Veysey and Rye Greincder each had a hit for the Presidents.
The 6-1 Rebels will play at Twin Valley today at 4:30 p.m.
David Aquino can be reached at email@example.com, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 164.