Post 13 turning around after slow start
BENNINGTON >> It's not the start that Post 13 coach Jamie Carey envisioned.
His team lost its first six games, but after a win in their most recent contest against a good Rutland Post 31 squad, the offense has started to rev up and the pitching has tightened up.
"Baseball can be a frustrating game, if you fail 7-of-10 times, you're [still] an all-star," said Carey as the team took batting practice on Thursday night. "The boys are hitting the ball and some of them started to fall in our favor against Rutland. The only thing we can do at this point is just keep playing the best we possibly can."
Post 13 won on Saturday, 2-1, behind a great pitching performance from Devin Babson, where he pitched five innings, allowing one run, walking six and striking out nine.
"We were pumped up [after the win] and there's nothing but moving forward from here," Carey said. "Against Rutland we made the big plays and got the hit when we needed it."
Now, starting Saturday, Post 13 plays seven of the next nine at home at Mount Anthony and conditions are ripe for the team to get on a run as the calendar turns to July.
"The first six games were not an accurate representation of our team," said leading hitter Brody Farnum. "I feel like we are finally coming along. We have our teammates here and we're getting them into the right spots."
Pat Powers, after not playing in the team's first three games, has started the 2016 campaign hitting .417 (5-for-12), with four of the hits going for extra bases. The most consistent hitter has been Farnum, leading the team in hits with six, at-bats with 17 and RBI.
"I'm not really thinking about it, I'm just trying to do the best I can," Farnum said.
Others have made their mark early in the campaign.
Nilu Chirchirillo is hitting .313 with five hits in 16 at-bats, while Jon Iris is 4-for-16 in the early going.
James Reilly is 2-for-14 on the young campaign, but he's leading the team in walks with four, so he's getting on base at both the top and bottom of the lineup.
"My approach the first few games is seeing who can hit, who can I put where, especially the Manchester guys because I didn't really see them [during the high school season]," Carey said.
Pitching-wise, Farnum leads the team in ERA, allowing six runs in 13 innings. Devin Babson, Iris and Brian Grace have also been on the mound.
The young guys have provided a boost too. From Cole Bushee and Noah Loomis and the rest, have contributed at the plate, in the field or both.
"A lot of the guys have stepped up, they have good experience and they are the future of the high school program," Farnum said. "It's a good time to get their feet wet and see the pitching at the next level."
Carey cited Damian Hessler specifically. The rising sophomore at Mount Anthony was moved into the No. 2 spot in the order against Post 31 and the move paid dividends immediately as he sacrificed to get the first run home.
"His approach is really good, he swings at good pitches," Carey said. "He's young, he makes young player mistakes, but he's very coachable and an important part of the lineup."
Over the past few days, Wyatt Whitman stepped away from the team, while Bryce Bush joined on. The Mount Anthony lefty will be a nice bat in the lineup and can pitch as well.
"The team voted to let him on," Carey said. "He's a good teammate and adds a lot to our team."
With a pair of games Saturday against Rutland and two more Sunday against White River Junction, Carey continues to tweak to find the right setup.
"We're trying to find that winning formula," Carey said.
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