Josh Beayon is one of the last pitchers you want to face when your offense is struggling. He was not good news for Rutland High School in a 7-2 Otter Valley victory in Marble Valley League play at Giorgetti Park on Saturday.

OV’s ace lefty gave up two hits in his 6.2 innings. He pounded the strike zone throughout and struck out 13 batters, fanning two or more five times. Only when he began to walk or hit batters did the Raiders, who have scored more than four runs only once this spring, have a good opportunity to cut into the lead.

“He pitched well,” said Rutland coach Matt Bloomer. “He’s got a couple of good pitches.”

OV coach Mike Howe was asked if his senior pitcher/first baseman is a better pitcher this year than last.

“He’s smarter,” Howe said. “But I’m not going to give him all the credit. (Catcher) Alex Polli, as a sophomore, calls a great game.”

Polli also chipped in two of the Otters’ seven hits and one of their five stolen bases.

{span}At one point, Beayon logged six straight outs on punchouts, two of them looking. He walked four and hit two, all of them after the fourth. Kollin Bissette recorded the final out on a pop-up.{/span}

The Otters are the state’s top-ranked Division II team at 7-0. D-I Rutland slipped to 2-5.

Beayon pitched to just one batter over the minimum in the first four innings while OV took a 2-0 lead on sacrifice flies by Patrick McKeighan and Jack Adams. The runs came against Cayden Marchinkowski, who did not pitch poorly for Rutland. Reilly Shannon, who had singled, and Bissette, who had doubled, scored those runs.

OV tacked on three runs in the fifth for a 5-0 lead with the help of walks and a hit batsman. Marcus McCullough plated one with a sac-fly and McKeighan raced home from third with another on the same play while the Raiders were throwing down to second on an ill-fated attempt to get Beayon, who tagged up when he saw the throw going to home plate from the outfield.

That’s the kind of pressure the Raiders are struggling to put on opponents.

Rutland broke through in the sixth to make it 5-2 when Sean Olson singled sharply to left to chase in two runs. Beayon retired the last two batters to strand two Raiders on the basepaths.

“One more hit and it would have been a 5-4 game,” said Bloomer. “We need to get a little better in all facets of the game.”

The Raiders committed three errors to OV’s one. Shannon, who had two hits, scored one of OV’s two runs in the seventh against reliever Zach Bates, one coming home on an error and the other on McKeighan’s fielder’s choice grounder.

Willie Goulette singled for Rutland’s other hit. He also had the game’s top defensive play, throwing a runner out at home from right field in the second inning.

A road win against a D-I team means big quality points for postseason rankings for OV. The Otters host Springfield on Monday while the Raiders visit Brattleboro.

NOTES: The game, originally set for Friday, had its site moved to Brandon for Saturday and then back to Giorgetti early Saturday morning. … The game was played in a tidy 2:07 .… Olson is a baseball lover and gets his share of Cape League ball when his family visits Chatham, Massachusetts, in the summer. He and his mom help run the A’s concession stand.


Follow Bob on Twitter: @Bob_Fredette

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