By David F. P.
Following the heartbreaking loss in game 1 of the doubleheader Saturday, the Hawks were now in a position of having to win the second game to keep open a chance to make it to the America East Championships. Vermont would pick up the win 3-1 in the game as well but not before Hartford put in some good performances of their own and the box score was not the best indication of how this game went in some respects.
Vermont starter Justin Albert pitched a great game, giving up 1 run and four hits in a complete 7 inning game. Hartford’s Zack Tarner was responsible for all 3 of UVM’s runs after he gave up five hits in the two innings he appeared in. UVM’s Mark Micowski lead off with a single to left, and was sacrifice bunted to 2nd by Kyle Massie. After being up 2-0, Justin Milo smashed a home run to left field to put the Catamounts up 2-0. Ethan Paquette came up next and knocked a ball to the left side of the field, but Hartford Shortstop Ben Sobocinski dived to save it and fired a ball over to first. Paquette slid for first, but was still called out in a very close play. Matt Duffy knocked a single to left, and Miguel Magrass picked up a walk, but Kyle Henry grounded to second to end the inning. This would be all the runs UVM would need.
Hartford’s Bill Perry picked up a single in the bottom of the first, but that was all UHA could get in that inning, and Albert picked up the first of many strikeouts of the day.
In the top of the second, Vermont’s Jeff Nolet knocked a ball behind the center fielder to the wall and picked up a double. Brad Currier hit a single to left, but the Nolet could only make it to third. Coach Calcaterra took to the mound and pulled Tarner, bringing in Kyle Perry in relief. Mark Micowski then flied out to the outfield, but Nolet scored to bring it to 3-0 UVM. Massie flew out to the outfield, but Currier remained on second, and Perry got Milo to fly out to left field as well to end the inning.
Andy Drexel opened the bottom of the second with a single for the Hawks, but Albert picked up his second strikeout of the game getting Matt Walker swinging. Adam Bowser stepped up and knocked a ball down the third base line. Massie, the third baseman, dived and came up with the ball, shooting it over to first for the out in a great play. Adam Grap came up next and got Albert to use nine pitches on him, bringing the count to 3-2 with five different foul balls before grounding to short.
In the top of the third, Perry took down Paquette swinging for the K, but walked Duffy. Pitching to Magrass, Perry was up 0-2 before a wild pitch advanced Duffy to second. He eventually struck Magrass out as well, but walked Kyle Henry and Nolet. Coach Calcaterra headed to the mound and pulled Perry, bringing in C.J. Browne with the bases loaded and 2 outs. Brad Currier stepped in, and got ahead 2-0, before Browne pitched a pair of strikes to make it 2-2. On the next pitch he flew out to left, and the danger had passed.
Simon Kudernatsch singled to center to open the bottom of the third, though Brady Stouffer and Ben Sobocinski would both fly out after that. Bill Perry stepped in, and following a 1-1 wild pitch Kudernatsch reached second, but Albert would bring it to 1-2, then 2-2. Perry fouled off the next three pitches, but Albert struck him out swinging to end the inning. Despite the persistence of the Hawks at keeping alive, Albert was proving to be a very dangerous foe.
The good news for the Hawks was that Browne was very formidable, after Micowski lined out, Massie got on with as single, and Milo walked, but following a mound conference Browne struck out Paquette swinging, and Duffy grounded out.
In the bottom the fourth, it was three up three down with Albert picking up yet another strike out when he got Walker swinging, but Browne responded in the top of the fifth getting a 1-2-3 of his own including Henry striking out swinging. The hit Browne gave up in the fourth would be the last UVM would get. In the bottom of the fifth, Bowser, and Grap hit pop fouls, but Kudernatsch lined a homer to right to put the Hawks on the board. 3-1. Albert did not stop that from striking Stouffer out swinging though and this would prove to be Hartford’s only run.
In the top of the sixth, Browne made short work of the Catamounts as well, and picked up at least another strike out. Albert struck out Sobocinski and Perry swinging and got Mike Amendola to pop a foul out.
The final inning of the game began and Browne got Milo swinging. Paquette grounded to short, and Duffy flied out to right. A very good day of work for the senior Browne even in the losing effort. Albert however struck out Drexel and Walker swinging, and Bowser hit a shot to the outfield, that was unfortunately caught to end the game.
This closed the door on the Hawks playoff chances, but was a close one, the fans were treated to seeing two especially good pitching performances that day as well in Albert and Browne.