Quick start leads Manchester past Bennington

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BENNINGTON — After a 12-day layoff, the Manchester baseball team was ready to go right out of the gate.

A four-run first inning, highlighted by a homer from Chandler Pouk, propelled Manchester to a 9-1 win over Bennington on Tuesday in a game moved to the Bennington Baseball Park.

With four games postponed out of an abundance of caution regarding a number of positive antigen tests for the coronavirus in Manchester and Londonderry, the team had been off for nearly two weeks.

But Pouk got the offense going out of the No. 2 spot in the lineup with his solo shot. John Morgantini made it 2-0 with a run-scoring double and then Ethan Senecal drove in a pair with a hit, all off of Bennington starter Ryan Audet.

With a four-run cushion early on, Manchester pitcher Joey McCoy cruised. He took a no-hitter into the sixth, losing it on a Caleb Hay single. He lost the shutout when Logan Keyes blasted a homer to deep left-center with one out. McCoy struck out seven, walked one and hit a batter. He only threw 94 pitches in shutting down Bennington.

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"When we throw strikes, we can play with anyone," said Manchester coach Darrin Senecal.

Manchester added four more runs in the fifth, led from doubles by McCoy and John Morgantini and an RBI single from Coleman Reece. Senecal added his third RBI with a solo homer in the sixth.

Manchester improves to 3-5 on the year, but the road gets much more difficult — literally. Senecal made the choice after the postponements to play the rest of the team's games, nine in all, away from home. Six of those games will be played as three doubleheaders — two games Thursday against Lakes Region, two Friday against Brattleboro and two Saturday against Bellows Falls.

"We're going to throw as many pitchers as we can at it," Senecal said.

Bennington drops to 2-11 on the campaign with four regular season games remaining. They host Rutland on Thursday for a double-header, the first game starts at 3:30 p.m. with the second game right after.


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