Bulldogs rally late; defeat Rutland to stay perfect on the season

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MANCHESTER — Heading into the bottom of the fifth inning in Wednesday's game against Rutland, the Burr and Burton Academy baseball team had its backs against the wall, trailing 2-0 and still in search of its first hit of the ball game.

The Bulldogs, though, battled back to tie the game in the sixth inning, setting up Chandler Pouk's game-winning two-run single later in the inning, propelling BBA to a 4-2 win over Rutland.

"It was outstanding to see our team battle back to win the game," said BBA baseball coach Ed Lewicki. " Our leadoff hitters did a good job getting on to start the inning and Chandler Pouk got a big hit for us to win the game. Things worked out for us at the end of the day."

Things did not appear to be working for the Bulldogs in the early innings of the contest, as BBA surprisingly had a tough time in the field.

Normally a very good defensive ball club, BBA had issues fielding the ball, beginning with second baseman Daniel Hatheway committing a throwing error in the third inning that set up Recce de Castro to hit an RBI double to give Rutland a 1-0 lead.

Two BBA errors in the field resulted in Rutland's second run as Hatheway this time saw a ball go under his glove into right field, followed up by a throwing error by Cooper Weir trying to throw out the Rutland runner at home plate, to make it a 2-0 ball game.

"There is always a lot of emotions going into a game against Rutland and I think those emotions got the best of us early on," Lewicki said. "Sometimes you're going to have tough days in the field."

BBA had a total of five errors in the game.

Besides fielding, hitting was also a struggle for the Bulldogs early on as Rutland starter Ben Simpson was dealing on the mound and had a perfect game going into the fifth inning.

The Bulldogs finally got a runner on base to start the fifth inning when Jay McCoy blasted a single up the middle to break up Simpson's perfect game attempt.

Later on in the inning with a runner on second and two out, the Bulldogs got on the board with Pouk punching an RBI single down the right field line to make it a one-run game.

Still down by a run in the sixth, BBA continued its rally by taking advantage of a pitching change by Rutland, with Hatheway getting the inning started with a leadoff single.

Next up stood first baseman Jame Reilly, who turned a sac-bunt into a single when he was plunked in the back by Rutland's new pitcher Braydon Shannon's throw to first, allowing Hatheway to scamper to third.

After an intentional walk to Griff Stalcup, the Bulldogs had bases loaded and with one out in the inning. Sam Cottrell tied the game for BBA will an RBI single to center.

Cottrell had a run scored as well in the game for BBA.

Shannon got Joe McCoy to pop up to first next to get two outs in the inning, but couldn't put away Pouk, who smashed a single to right center to score two runs to give BBA its first lead of the day.

"It felt amazing to be able to get a clutch hit like that to help the team win," Pouk said. "It was something special to be able to come through in a big moment like that."

Pouk was 2-for-3 at the plate with a game-high three RBI.

The two-runs proved plenty enough for Stalcup to close out his complete game performance in the seventh, getting de Castro to strike out looking to end the game.

Stalcup had seven strikeouts and gave up only five hits in the win for BBA.

"I had a tough start to the game, but I was able to get into groove as the game went on and just continued to pitch," Stalcup said. "Our team made the plans we had to make at the end of the game to get the win."

With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 6-0 on the season.

BBA will next gear up to play a tough Brattleboro club on Friday.

"Our team has some serious potential to be a very good team," Lewicki said. "We haven't put it all together yet for a full game, but when we do, it will be something fun to watch."

Reach sports editor Steven Bassin at 802-447-7567 ext 112 or @SBassin_Banner


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