BRATTLEBORO >> With Independence Day just around the corner, coach Evan Parro sent a group of kids onto the field that resembled the Patriot army.
Fearless, confident, and united.
The DMI Babe Ruth baseball team racked up 13 hits and played flawless defense to win the battle against Pepsi, 14-3, on Wednesday at Fort Dummer.
"We came out swinging," said Parro, whose DMI club improved to 5-4-1 overall. "This was the best game that we've played all season."
Parro's team took a 3-0 lead in the first frame, with the highlight being clean-up hitter David Erunski's RBI triple to center. Garrett Littlefield, Lucas Messing, Chris Parro, Erunski, Shane Cyr and Andrew Peloso all singled as the visitors tacked on five more runs in the second.
That was plenty of support for southpaw Joey Rafus, who pitched all five innings for the victory. He fanned seven, walked six and gave up just two hits on the evening.
"Joe pitched great and our defense was solid all night," stated coach Parro.
DMI would send eight batters to the plate in the top of the third and put up four more runs to make it 12-0. The big blows during that rally were an RBI single to left from Rafus and Chris Parro's two-run double to right-center.
With reliever Tanner Root on the hill, Pepsi got out of that inning via a twin killing. Second baseman Anthony Polomba flipped the ball to shortstop Adam Newton, who fired over to first baseman Hunter Beebe in time.
Pepsi took advantage of five walks in the bottom of the third to tally twice. Tyler Millerick started the home half of the fourth with a double to left-center and Polomba later came through with a base knock to get the hosts within 12-3.
And then DMI would get a couple of runs in the top of the fifth to cap the scoring. Jack Price started it with an inside-the-park homer and Alex Kendall finished it with an RBI single.
Rafus would hold Pepsi scoreless in the bottom of five to give DMI a victory via the 10-run rule.
"They just beat us," Pepsi coach Chris Millerick said. "They hit the ball very, very well. Their pitcher threw strikes and they made the plays."
Pepsi finished the season with a 7-3 record.
"These kids played hard. They are a great group of kids. I had a blast coaching them. The kids were great and there were no arguments all season," coach Millerick stated.
Peloso went 4 for 4 to lead DMI offensively. Parro and Erunski had two hits each, while Rafus, Price, Cyr, Littlefield and Messing all hit safely.
"I saw improvements every day," said coach Parro when asked to sum up his team's season. "The kids all wanted to be here."
DMI lineup — Jack Price, Joe Rafus, Chris Parro, David Erunski, Logan Morton, Shane Cyr, Andrew Peloso, Alex Kendall, Garrett Littlefield, Lucas Messing, Lucas Dlubac, Anthony Franschetti.
Pepsi lineup — Adam Newton, Tyler Millerick, Hunter Beebe, Brett Worden, Anthony Polomba, Evan Finnel, Dillon Cudworth, Shea Buckley, Greg Fitzgerald, Jacob Gouger, Nick Bingham, Tyler Higley, Tanner Root.