Coyne's RBI single sends MAU past Rutland

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BENNINGTON — The timely hit has alluded the Mount Anthony baseball team throughout most of the season.

With multiple one-run losses on its schedule, MAU has struggled in those ever-important situations, while its opponents have flourished.

The Patriots were once again in a close battle Monday afternoon against Rutland. With two outs and the game tied at 3-3, Nate Coyne delivered the eventual game-winning hit off of Rutland's Ben Simpson as the Patriots scored a 4-3 win over the Raiders.

The senior then finished his own gem on the mound, retiring Rutland in order in the seventh to end it.

"I was pretty excited. It really boosted the team up," said Coyne of the game-winning hit. "Throughout the whole game, we were all working together and helping each other."

After being on the losing end of some of these close games in the past, the win felt especially good for the Patriots.

"It's good that we can finally get a big hit because we've given the big hits up in a few games and couldn't pull the wins out," said MAU coach Walt Parmenter. "Nate got that big hit when we needed it. Some of the kids kept battling hard and kept plugging away. We had some base runners when we needed and got some key hits. I hope this will carry over for the rest of the season with us."

On the mound, Coyne had a strong outing allowing just five hits. Coyne continues to be a strong presence at the top of the Patriots rotation and he'll be a major piece moving in the late season stretch.

"Nate did a good job pitching. He kept battling and battling," said Parmenter of his senior's effort.

MAU made a pair of errors on defense, but neither seemed to hurt them in a big way, Around those few miscues was some great defense to keep Rutland runners off base.

The biggest defensive play of the day came when Will Fischer sprinted down a sure-fire extra base hit in center field in the third inning.

With a walk and a single following that play, there's a good chance the Raiders score without Fischer's catch.

"Even though we'd make a bad play, we would get two or three good ones in a row to get us out of the inning," Parmenter said. "Will ran that ball down, which was awesome. He's got some great speed. That was a big play."

"(The MAU defense) made a bunch of big plays and it was great," said Coyne of the defensive effort behind him. "They were a wicked help and I couldn't have done it without them."

Mount Anthony had a strong effort from the top of its lineup. In the No. 3 hole, Coyne led the team with a 3-for-4 day at the plate. including the RBI single in the sixth and an RBI double in second inning. Fischer went 2-for-4 from the lead-off spot and was a catalyst with his speed on the base paths with a pair of steals. Owen Wilcox had two hits, while Noah Loomis, Cole Wilcox and Will Buck each had one. Loomis' lone hit was a double in the second inning that scored Fischer.

Though Rutland, like MAU, has been floating near the .500 mark throughout the season, a win against the Raiders is huge for the Patriots, especially as the Division I playoff seedings aren't too far down the line.

"It's a big confidence boost. It really helps us get ready for the rest of the season and helps us finish out strong," Coyne said.

MAU improves to 4-6 on the season and plays Mill River at home Wednesday afternoon. A rematch with rival Burr and Burton looms Friday on the road.

Adam Aucoin can be reached at aaucoin@benningtonbanner.com and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.


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