CASTLETON -- After striking out 18 times in the first round against Montpelier, Bennington Post 13 coach Walt Parmenter wanted his team to be patient at the plate in its second round matchup against Essex.
They did just that, taking full advantage of a wild Steve Jurkiewicz. Post 13 scored five runs, including three on bases-loaded walks, in the first inning en route to a 6-3 win at Castleton State College on Friday.
"It's huge to get a lead early, we never do," Parmenter said. "Then we batted around. [Jurkiewicz] didn't throw strikes and we took advantage of it."
Tanner Williams led off the bottom of the first with a double and Matt Parmenter reached on a bunt when Essex failed to cover first. After an out, Zach Bahan singled to right-center to drive in the first run, but Post 13 was just getting started in the inning. Wade Green walked to load the bases, then Cameron Bow walked for an RBI. Noah Carroll walked, as did Russell Krebs to make it 5-0.
"When you come out behind [in the count] and walk three runs in against this team, things aren't going to go well," said Essex coach Todd Herrington.
Krebs started on the mound for Post 13, staked to the big lead and calmly mowed down Post 91
"I stuck with my curveball right off the bat, it was definitely my number one pitch today," Krebs said. "Going from the first with a 5-0 lead makes the rest of the game kind of easy on yourselves as a pitcher."
Krebs threw 127 pitches in the complete game, allowing three runs and nine hits, walking three and striking out two.
"Russ was on from the get go, he got a little tired at the end, but his curve was good," Parmenter said. "He was hitting the spots pretty well early on and had decent velocity."
After Jurkiewicz's disastrous first inning, he allowed one more hit before being relieved in the fourth by Zac Roy.
Jurkiewicz, who took the loss, allowed five runs on four hits, walking four and striking out two.
Down 5-1 going into the eighth, Essex made it a ballgame. Krebs allowed two hits to open the frame. The next hitter, Luke Salerno, grounded to short and Post 13 tried to turn a double play, but the umpire ruled that the second baseman wasn't on the bag and everyone was safe.
With the tying run at the plate, Krebs bore down and got three straight outs, two popouts to short and a sacrifice fly to center.
"On the double play, [the umpire said] Matt's foot was off the base, about a foot away," Walt Parmenter said. "But Russell is a kid that doesn't fold, he keeps gutting it out and doesn't panic or give up."
Herrington, whose team will face Lakes Region on Saturday in an elimination game, said his team just couldn't scratch out a timely hit with two outs.
"Two-out hits are big, early in the year we were getting them, but not lately," Herrington said. "We had a chance at the end to get back into it."
Bennington got an insurance run in the eighth as Weston Lozier scored on a wild pitch, but ran themselves out of the inning as a second runner tried to score and was out by 10 feet.
"We took ourselves out of the inning, we could have scored a couple more," Parmenter said. "Mental baserunning mistakes can take you out of the game at times."
Bennington will face rival Colchester on Saturday at 4 p.m. for a berth into the semifinals.
"It's definitely a rivalry game, knocking them out tomorrow would be nice," Krebs said.