Bulldogs double up Mount Anthony

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BENNINGTON — In a stretch of three games over a five-day period, Burr and Burton baseball coach Ed Lewicki handed the ball to his No. 2 starter, John Rodriguez, looking for an efficient and lengthy start.

The junior did exactly that, going five innings and earning his first varsity win in a 6-3 triumph over rival Mount Anthony on Friday.

"No matter the records, it's always tough against Mount Anthony," Lewicki said. "These are valuable index points and we're excited to get them."

Rodriguez allowed a base hit in the first and two in the second, but settled down from there. With some of the best defense they've played this season, Rodriguez set down 11 Patriots in a row — more than half on fly balls.

"I felt good today, I'm proud of this and my team," Rodriguez said.

Cruising through five, he ran into trouble in the sixth with the Bulldogs. Leading off the inning, Will Fischer got a base hit to right, to that point, the only hits for MAU came from Fischer. After a walk to Noah Loomis, Nate Coyne added a base hit to load the bases with no one out.

"John had a one-hit shutout before the sixth," Lewicki said. "They were putting the ball in play, but luckily for us they hit to our fielders."

Cole Wilcox drove in a run with a single to right to get MAU on the board, and his brother Owen drove in a run as well with a hit, pulling MAU within 6-2 with the bases still loaded.

So Lewicki went to Ethan Senecal to limit the damage and the sophomore delivered, inducing Blake Carey into a 6-4-3 double play that scored Coyne but gave BBA the outs they were looking for. After a walk to Thomas Pietrzak, Will Buck flew out and Senecal escaped the jam.

"It was such a tough spot for Ethan, who has a couple of wins under his belt already," Lewicki said. "He comes in and immediately induces the double play, you can't write it up any better."

After being taken out of the game, Rodriguez was the loudest guy cheering for Senecal when he induced the double play.

"I got a little tired at the end, I appreciate that Ethan did a good job," Rodriguez said.

In the top of the seventh, Mount Anthony's Cam Turner retired the Bulldogs in order to give MAU a chance at a comeback. Tanner King led off with a hit and Cole Bushee came in to pinch-run. Fischer hit a line shot to Jay McCoy at short and Bushee was doubled off, pushing MAU to its last out.

"Cole is one of three fastest guys and we tell them, when you go into [pinch-run], watch the line drive in front of you before you make a move," said MAU coach Walt Parmenter. "That killed us because it took it from one on and no out to two outs and no one on. We have a lot of positive things going on, but we haven't had a whole positive game yet."

One of those positive things was the pitching of Noah Loomis. The senior allowed six runs on 10 hits, walking only two and striking out one. Most of Loomis' six runs were unearned and he also stranded the bases loaded in the third and fourth inning to keep his team in the game.

"Noah pitched well, he got a lot of fly balls and ground balls, but we weren't making the plays behind him. The first couple innings hurt when we made some errors."

After scoring a run in the first, BBA took advantage of some sloppy play to score three more times. Matt Mayne singled and Colby Leary struck out but reached on a wild pitch. Joey McCoy drove in a run in the leadoff spot in the lineup, and Daniel Hatheway and Jay McCoy each reached on errors to make it 4-0 after 1 1/2 innings. Single runs in the fourth and sixth innings — sac flies by Chandler Pouk and Owen King — gave BBA a 6-0 lead to the bottom of the sixth.

"That's the stuff we talk about that we hadn't done early on, but we did a better job of it today," Lewicki said. "Our mentality is if we have a runner on third with less than two out, we want to drive it in the air."

Burr and Burton wins its fifth straight and improves to 7-2, while Mount Anthony drops their fourth in a row and is 3-6.


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