Bats come alive in MAU victory
BENNINGTON -- Struggling to consistently find timely hits this season, the Mount Anthony Union High School baseball team found a bunch on Tuesday afternoon.
The Patriots batted around in a five-run fifth inning to back a strong pitching performance from Matt Upright in a 6-1 win.
"We finally got runners on base and timely hitting," said MAU coach Walt Parmenter. "We made things happen and looked solid for seven innings. We were much more aggressive hitting, not taking a lot of pitches and guys hit the ball hard."
With Upright and Hartford starter Steve Cerrone going pitch-for-pitch, Mount Anthony finally broke through in the fifth inning.
Pat Powers, who went 2-for-4 on the day from the No. 2 spot in the order, singled to left to start the frame. He advanced to second on a wild pitch then to third on an Ellis Baker bunt single to put two on with no one out.
Upright then helped his own cause, blasting a two-run double to center to give MAU a 3-1 lead.
Carson Cushman reached on an error and after Austin Metcalfe fanned for the first out, Devin Babson blooped a single to right to add another for a 4-1 advantage.
"It's a great builder for our team, coming up in a pressure situation," Upright said. "I think everyone came up strong. We haven't bunched the hits like that in a while."
The inning wasn't over, either, as No. 9 man Brody Farnum blasted a double that the center fielder just missed on a dive attempt to bring home two more runs.
"A lot of the younger guys stepped up, Brody, Pat," said the senior Upright. "I think it was great to see the younger guys start hitting. We haven't hit a lot this year, but if we keep it going, we'll win more games."
On the mound, Upright took advantage of the outburst, just allowing a seventh-inning single.
"Matt was on today, his curveball looked good and his pitch count was pretty low," Parmenter said. "He settled in after the first inning, showed his senior maturity."
Upright allowed four hits and an unearned run while striking out eight.
"I think everything was working today, I tried to mix as much as I could," Upright said. "[Hartford is] a good team, so I couldn't use just fastball, curve. Obviously I was doing something right."
All four hits from the Hurricanes were singles.
"[Upright] threw the ball well and he kept us off balance," said Hartford coach Jarrod Grassi. "We couldn't find a pitch to drive and get a big hit. They were able to extend innings and that's the ball game."
On the other side, Cerrone allowed 11 hits and six runs in six innings, only three runs earned. He walked two and struck out four.
"He wasn't getting in good pitchers counts, so then he throws fastballs and they put big swings on them," Grassi said. "Cerrone's one of our top guys, but this is the longest he's gone this year, [there] could have been some fatigue in that inning."
Hartford scored an unearned run in the top of the first inning after Upright got the first two hitters on grounders. Cody Smith reached on an error and two batters later, Brandon Gaudet singled to score Smith.
Upright bore down, allowing three hits and no walks after the first.
"At first it's frustrating but you can't think about it," Upright said, talking about errors. "You have to look forward and think about the next hitter, just forget about it."
MAU tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the second after Cushman doubled and Ezra Caron singled for an RBI.
Mount Anthony improves to 3-4 and faces Monument Mountain today.
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