BENNINGTON -- For the past few games, the Bennington Post 13 American Legion baseball team has struggled to score runs and get timely hits.
That problem continued to nag at Post 13 in Game 1 of its Saturday doubleheader against the Vermont Outlaws.
The Outlaws scored two runs on a throwing error in the top of the seventh inning to beat Post 13, 2-1, in the opener of the twinbill.
"Hard to say why the team is struggling to hit," said Post 13 coach Walt Parmenter. "We have lots of baserunners. We’ve got good hitters, they’ve hit good all year."
With Bennington up 1-0 in the top of the seventh, Hayden Smith started the inning being hit by a pitch.
Matt Baechle reached on a bunt and Henry Cunningham came up to the plate and a Wade Green wild pitch moved the runners to second and third. Then Cunningham hit a grounder to first and the throw home was wild, eluding the catcher and allowing both runs to score.
"Hayden reached and Matt had a nice bunt hit to set the table which was a huge break for us," said Outlaws coach Tim Albertson. "[Throwing home was] the right choice, there was just a miscue at first."
In the bottom half, Baechle set down Post 13 in order to earn the win. He allowed one run, none earned and three hits in his seven innings of work, striking out three and walking three over 106 pitches.
Green took the loss despite pitching well, allowing only two runs and five hits. He pitched to contact, striking out three and walking nobody.
"He was throwing well, kept hitters off guard, especially the middle of the order," Albertson said. "He kept mixing it up and got lots of ground ball [outs]."
Erik Bergkvist was the only multiple hitter in Game 1 for the Outlaws, going 2-for-3 from the leadoff spot.
"Wade threw strikes, got ahead, but just had a little lapse at the end," Parmenter said. "We couldn’t make the big play when we needed it."
Post 13 scored its run in the bottom of the third, taking advantage of two Outlaws errors in the inning. With one out, Nick Solari reached after the shortshop botched Solari’s grounder. Solari scored two batters later as Tanner Williams, reached on a throwing error over the first baseman’s head.
Bennington had a couple of chances to put up more runs, but in one instance, a runner was doubled off first after misreading a flyball.
In the fifth, the first two hitters reached, eventually getting to second and third with one out, but a popout and fly to right killed the momentum.
In Game 2, the Post 13 offense finally came out of hiding, scoring five runs each in the fifth and sixth inning in a 14-2 blowout to split the doubleheader with the Outlaws.
Zach Bahan, the designated hitter in Game 2, had two home runs and drove in four runs to lead Post 13 to the win.
Along with Bahan, Tanner Williams delivered a 3-for-4 performance and Tyler Kunzmann and Cameron Bow each had a pair of hits.
Post 13 took a 4-0 lead in the top of the first after Bahan’s first homer, a high drive into the net at Spinelli Field. In the sixth, up by 10, Bahan crushed his second homer, this one over the net onto County Street.
Bennington’s record improves to 9-3, still in first place in the Southern Division ahead of Rutland Post 31.