Potent offense advances BBA to quarterfinal
MANCHESTER — Burr and Burton baseball coach Ed Lewicki has said that his team is best when guys are having solid at bats and keeping the line moving.
During Tuesday's playdown against No. 12 North Country, the No. 5 seed Bulldogs had only one extra base hit — but it was part of a 17-hit attack and a 13-2 win over the Falcons.
"Today we had a couple of quality hits and a couple seeing eye singles that found the opening," Lewicki said. "Once that happens, good things can happen. We talked about just putting the ball in play."
The two big innings were the third and fourth. In the third, BBA sent nine guys to the plate and three scored to give the Bulldogs a 5-1 lead. Cody Roberts started the inning with a hit and then singles from the eighth and ninth spot in the order — Jon Iris and Daniel Hatheway — turned the lineup over for James Reilly and Tyler Kraehling, the latter of which was hit by a pitch to drive in a painful run.
That was the final batter for Falcon starter Cody Chaput, who went 2 2/3 innings and allowed five runs.
The most damage came in the fourth, when BBA took a manageable game at 5-2 and turn it into a rout as 12 batters came up and seven scored.
Roberts started the inning with a base hit, followed by Jay McCoy's ground rule double to left center. After a strikeout, the bottom of the lineup came through with three base hits off North Country reliever Colin Myrick — RBI hits from Sam Cottrell and another from Iris, along with a hit from Hatheway to make it 8-2.
James Reilly kept the inning going by reaching on an error and Kraehling blasted a single for another run. Griff Stalcup added yet another base hit and Myrick's day was over, after 2/3 of an inning. Ben Sykes relieved and after allowing Roberts' second hit of the inning, this one an RBI single, he got out of the inning with strikeouts of McCoy and Mooney, but the damage was done and it was 12-2.
"Our 7-8-9 guys did the damage today, if they are hitting, we're doing all right," Lewicki said.
On the other side, Iris started for the Bulldogs and did a nice job of pitching out of trouble in the early innings. In the second, Andrew Gonyaw singled and Mitchell Gonyaw walked, but Iris retired the next three straight with a flyout and two groundouts.
In the third, the first four hitters singled, the last one by Myrick driving in a run, but with the bases loaded and no one out, Iris induced a foul out from Andrew Gonyaw and two strikeouts looking to end the frame.
"We watched [Andrew] hit massive homers in BP and a shot there could have changed the game," Lewicki said. "That was a difference maker, I'm proud of [Jon]."
In the fourth, Caleb Lanoue doubled and then scored on Sykes' base hit, but got a strikeout to end the threat.
Iris pitched four innings, scattered eight hits and allowed two runs.
BBA closed it out in the sixth with three straight singles, Roberts, McCoy and Mooney, the senior's driving in a run for the final 13-2 margin.
Roberts led the hit parade with four hits in five at-bats, while Hatheway added three hits from the No. 9 spot in the order.
"I was in a slump the last few games, and it's awesome to come out of it," Roberts said. "I wasn't swinging too hard, just trying to put the ball in play."
McCoy added three hits, including the only extra base hit of the day for the Bulldogs.
"We moved Jay to the No. 5 spot and Daniel to the No. 9 and I think he's hitting like .480 there," Lewicki said. "Turning the lineup over is huge."
BBA travels to face CVU in the quarterfinal on Saturday with some extra motivation as last year's season ended at the hands of the Redhawks.
"Last year we went up there and got crushed, so we want to have some payback," Roberts said.
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