WESTMINSTER — Jack Cravinho’s cap often fell to the ground as he released his pitches on Thursday afternoon at Hadley Field.
Still, the home crowd may have wanted him to remove it one more time.
A curtain call seemed appropriate after the senior went the distance on the hill and also scored the winning run for the Bellows Falls varsity baseball team, which nipped visiting Rutland 6-5.
“I could have thrown another 120,” Cravinho told BF coach Bob Lockerby when learning he had thrown 123 pitches in the contest.
With the score deadlocked at 5-5, the reigning Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters and Brattleboro Reformer Athlete of the Week belted a leadoff double to deep left to begin the bottom of the seventh. After Jeb Monier was intentionally walked and Cole Moore bunted both players over, a well-placed squeeze by Eli Allbee easily scored Cravinho to end it.
“I had originally told Allbee to do what he had been doing all day, which was putting the bat on the ball well,” explained Lockerby. “After I saw him swing late, I just wanted him to put the ball in play with a bunt.”
It was a rare time that a sign worked for the veteran skipper, who had seen a runner get picked off, another thrown out when attempting to steal, a third caught in a rundown, and a fourth tagged out on an unsuccessful squeeze earlier in the contest.
“We’ve got to clean that stuff up,” Lockerby noted.
A bases-loaded triple by Chaska Stannard gave the Ravens a 3-1 lead in the third. The Terriers would pull even in the fourth, thanks to Allbee’s run-scoring double and an RBI groundout from Peter Kamel.
Jeb Monier put the Terriers in front with a single to center in the fifth, before Allbee walked and went home on a wild pitch to make it 5-3 in the sixth. A couple of errors and a sacrifice fly allowed the visitors to tie it in the top of the seventh, setting the stage for the game-winning squeeze.
Cravinho — often seen picking up his cap or readjusting it after a delivery — went seven innings for the win, striking out 10, walking three and giving up seven hits. Catcher Jake Moore made the defensive play of the day, throwing out a potential base thief in the third.
Allbee had two hits and drove in two runs to lead BF’s attack. Jamison Nystrom, Moore, Cravinho and Monier each had a knock for the 8-3 Terriers, who are ranked third in Division 3.
Rutland’s batting order: Tyler Weatherhogg P, Cameron Rider CF, Chase deCastro 2B, Chris Maguire 3B, Chaska Stannard 1B, Stefano Falco C, Liam Navin LF, Boston Patorti RF, Samuel Arnold SS
Bellows Falls’ batting order: Jamison Nystrom SS, Jack Cravinho P, Jeb Monier CF, Cole Moore 3B, Eli Allbee 1B, Peter Kamel DH (for Caden Haskell 2B), Patrick Barbour LF, Jake Moore C, Kevin Patterson RF