The Danbury Westerners bounced back from a disappointing one-run loss to the last place Old Orchard Beach (ME) Raging Tide on Thursday to hand a decisive, 11-3, pounding to the North Adams (MA) SteepleCats on Friday.
The win keeps the Westerners hot in the race for first place in the Western Division of the New England Collegiate Baseball League.
Danbury held a 3-0 lead after the first two innings. Chad Morgan drove in a run in the first with a ground out, and in the second, Kyle Richardson clubbed a two-run homer.
North Adams evened things up with two runs in the fourth and another in the fifth. Mike LeBel and Jacob Daniel hit back-to-back solo shots in the fourth to get their team on the board. Cameron Griffin drew a lead-off walk in the fifth, and scored on one of the Westerners’ two errors.
While that would be it for the ‘Cats, Danbury was just getting started. The Westerners earned the margin of victory with two runs in the seventh, highlighted by Tanner Krietemeier’s RBI double. In the eighth, Danbury parlayed five hits and an error into six runs, to put the game out of reach. The error was particularly costly, as it scored both Andrew Garner, who reached on a fielder’s choice, and Richardson, who walked. Chris Waylock also walked, and scored on a wild pitch, while Morgan, Tyler Horan and Chase Butler all collected RBI singles.
Mike Augliera started, giving up three runs on five hits over six innings, walking two and striking out five. Michael Zaccardo got the win in relief, throwing 1.2 innings of no-run, two-hit ball, while Jimmy Reed and Jay Lynch also held North Adams scoreless.
The win moved Danbury into second place in the Western Division of the NECBL, one game behind the Holyoke (MA) Blue Sox.
The Westerners have one home game remaining, taking on the Keene (NH) Swamp Bats at 6:30 p.m. on the final day of July. The regular season ends on August 1 with a crucial match-up with the Blue Sox.
Three hits for West’s Westerners
Though the Western Division lost to the Eastern Division, 3-1, at the NECBL All-Star Game on July 27, Westerners players were responsible for three of the West’s five hits in the contest.
Pitcher Jimmy Reed did double duty, looking good both at the plate and on the mound. Reed singled and stole a base, while also pitching an inning of no-run, no-hit ball, striking out one. Tyler Horan and Dane Opel also singled.