RHSMAUbase5.14

Mount Anthony’s Nat Greenlset (12) swings at a pitch from Rutland’s Chase de Castro during Saturday’s game at Giorgetti Park.

When a team gets to mid-May, it wants to be hitting its stride, producing a level of play that carries into the playoff season.

The Mount Anthony baseball team is enjoying the best stretch of its 2022 season and it continued on Saturday, beating rival Rutland 10-5 at Giorgetti Park.

The win was the Patriots’ fifth in their last six games. Their lone loss in that stretch was a one-run defeat at the hands of Division I powerhouse Burr and Burton Academy this past Tuesday.

MAU’s big inning on Saturday came in the fifth where they posted four runs.

Rutland had just cut a three-run Patriots lead to one. Stefano Falco got on the hard way being hit with a pitch, before Liam Navin reached on an error. Anders Lowkes had a great sacrifice bunt and Aaron LaFrancois’ first varsity hit drove in one of the two runs.

The Patriots were in a similar situation when the teams meet in Bennington earlier in the year. In that game, MAU led before Rutland made a furious comeback late. The Patriots responded and won that game with a walk-off homer.

Saturday’s response had to come earlier, but MAU came through again. Nat Greenslet and Connor Hannan led off the game-changing inning both with walks, before Aaron Whitman singled to score Greenslet.

After a fly out, center fielder Finn McCrae came up and cranked a double to score two. He eventually came around to score himself on a passed ball.

“It was 100 percent important right away to get those back,” said MAU coach Trevor Coyne. “If you don’t, as long as you have good pitching and defense, it’s okay, but it was great to bounce back after they scored those two runs.

“The last time they played played us they scored six to tie the game, so it’s in all of our heads.”

Lightning wasn’t going to strike twice in Saturday’s game as Rutland never got the score all that tight the rest of the way.

The Raiders got a run on sacrifice fly into the shallow outfield that forced the shortstop to make the play in the bottom of the fifth, but MAU responded with an RBI triple from Whitman.

A final run for Rutland in the bottom of the sixth driven in on a Boston Patorti ground out wasn’t going to change the complexion of the game, as the Raiders couldn’t push anything else across.

“We showed a little bit of fight, but we didn’t have it today,” said Rutland coach Geoff Bloomer.

Health has been a bit of an issue in recent games for the Raiders and they had some more bad luck in that regard on Saturday. The hard-throwing Chase de Castro had to come out with an injury after pitching just two innings, where he allowed four runs.

Versatility is something Bloomer stresses with his teams. It has been a necessity with three starters out of action.

“This is why we put them in different positions at practice,” Bloomer said. “I think everybody on the team has had 10 at-bats and they’ve played in different positions. Today, a lot of people were not in their usual positions. Hopefully, we’ll be healthy by playoffs and be where we want to be.”

Tyler Weatherhogg was one of those guys playing a different position. For most of the season, he’s played in center field, but on Saturday, he was at third base and shortstop.

No matter where his glove hands, his bat travels. He was lone Raider with two hits, including a hustle double to open the bottom of the first.

MAU got production up and down its lineup, which was great to see for Coyne. No. 7 hitter McCrae had the two-RBI double in the fifth and No. 9 hitter Josh Worthington crushed a two-run hit of his own that helped build an early Patriots lead.

“We had a couple of guys who were struggling so it’s good for them to get some hits,” Coyne said. “We were kind of weak from five down, but today it didn’t look that way. The bottom of the order did well.”

It doesn’t get easier for Rutland (3-9). The Raiders host BBA on Tuesday and Brattleboro on Thursday. MAU (8-4) plays the Colonels twice and the Bulldogs once during the week as well.

adam.aucoin

@rutlandherald.com

Follow on Twitter: @AAucoin_RH

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