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Legion rally comes up short, 7-5
DIXFIELD -- Coach Ryan Palmer believes playing American Legion baseball creates new challenges to overcome and the Swasey-Torrey players certainly proved it has potential.
Still, a late surge fell short in the season opener.
Arik Fenstermacher and Brady Fergola each scored in the bottom of the seventh inning, and the winning run was at bat, but S-T came up shy in a 7-5 loss against Brunswick at sunny Harlow Park.
Post 100 entered the seventh trailing 7-3 as Brunswick pitcher Ryan Salerno had things in control. Tyler Chaisson beat out an infield hit and Fenstermacher singled. Derek Volkernick singled in a run and Fergola raced home from second base on Eric Bolduc’s batted ball.
Connor Blais singled, but the dream ended when Brunswick third baseman Chris Bruno snared a grounder and forced a runner.
“That was pretty good to still have an opportunity in the end," said Palmer. “After all that had gone on, it was good to have the kids fight back."
Brunswick was easily out front and extended its cushion to 7-2 when Stephen Carter (3-for-4) smashed a three-run homer onto Nash Street in the fourth inning. ST pitcher Blais was rocked by the aggressive Brunswick batters.
Blais certainly wasn’t dismayed as he had a productive showing offensively with three hits, one short of the cycle, three RBI and scored twice. Bolduc walked, stole second and Blais hit a towering home run to right-center field in the second.
“We started out slow offensively,” said Palmer. “A majority of my guys haven’t played this spring and I think it slowed the first couple times through the batting order, but they adjusted.”
S-T scored one run in the fifth as Blais hit a long triple and was smartly held up. With no outs, pinch-hitter Dylan MaWhinney added an RBI ground out. There were limited chances and a dose of bad luck prevailed Spencer Ross hit a leadoff single in the first and on a hit-and-run play, Chaisson lined into a double play.
The defense had committed three infield errors, however, they also came up big. Cliff Turner threw a runner out from right field, Fergola snagged a foul ball off the tower, Bolduc gunned down a runner and Chaisson backhanded two ground balls.
Fenstermacher had two singles.