BENNINGTON >> For the past few games, the Mount Anthony baseball team has dug itself an early hole, making it that much tougher for the Patriots to put wins in the ledger.
That happened on Wednesday against Rutland as the Raiders scored five runs in the first two innings.
Rutland didn't score again after the second, but Mount Anthony couldn't find the timely hit in a 5-3 loss.
"I thought we played better except in the second inning," said MAU coach Walt Parmenter. "[Rutland] didn't have a hit in the inning, some walks, passed balls and we're down."
Bryce Bush started on the mound for Mount Anthony and retired the first two hitters, but allowed two hits sandwiched around a walk to get into a jam. Andy Kenosh scored the first run, coming home on a passed ball and Jacob Clark-Trapana added the second after his free pass.
Mount Anthony cut the lead in half in the bottom of the first when Pat Powers singled, took second on a passed ball and scored on Noah Normyle's RBI hit.
But in the next half inning, Rutland scored three runs without the benefit of a hit to pull away to a 5-1 advantage.
Jared Moore walked to lead off and after a flyout, Matt Hadeka walked as well. Dalton Hotchkiss became the third walk of the frame and MAU coach Walt Parmenter relieved Bush with Austin Condo.
Condo walked his first batter in Jacob Godfrey to force in a run and then a wild pitch pushed home Hadeka. The fifth run came on a sacrifice fly from Clark-Trapana.
In the third, Mount Anthony scored a pair to pull within two at 5-3, scoring both with two outs. Brian Grace knocked a single out of the No. 9 spot in the order and after Carter Bentley and Powers were set down, Normyle blasted a double the other way to put runners at second and third.
From the cleanup spot, Brody Farnum kept the line moving with a base hit to drive in a pair. Nilu Chirchirillo walked, but a strikeout ended the inning.
From there, Condo and Kenosh were on point, each pitcher coming up in big spots to keep the opponent off the board. In the fourth, Grace walked and Bentley singled, but a flyout stranded them both. In the top of the sixth, Tommy Kenosh started the inning with a two-base hit and moved to third on a Hotchkiss hit, but Condo fought back, inducing a grounder back to himself to hold the runners and a fly to left.
Condo pitched 5 2-3 innings, allowing no runs and striking out eight. Kenosh went the first six, allowing eight hits and three runs while fanning eight and walking two.
"Austin pitched a good game and after his first inning, really settled in, they couldn't touch his curve," Parmenter said. "We came back, we hit the ball at certain times, but right at people. We're not getting base hits every inning like we did before, we're missing that a little bit."
In the seventh, Rutland closer Brayden Shannon came in and retired the Patriots in order for the save to drop Mount Anthony to 7-8 and improve themselves to 11-3.
"That was a great senior effort from Andy," said Rutland coach Matt Bloomer. "He continued to throw strikes and put pressure on hitters, to make them hit the ball. We have a good defense, we rely on the defense to make the plays behind [him]. Pitching and defense are two of our biggest strengths."
Mount Anthony will wait to hear where they will be seeded in the Division I state tournament, right now they are 13th in index points.
"We still have life, no one is quitting," Parmenter said. "We have to have that feeling that no one can beat us, we have nothing to lose now."