NORTH CLARENDON, Vt. — Both starting pitchers threw very well in Thursday’s baseball game at Mill River. The difference in Springfield’s 9-3 victory was that Springfield’s Greg Otis was backed by some solid defensive play and the defense behind MR’s Tor Majorell was shaky in nearly every inning.
Otis pitched 5.2 innings and earned the victory. He tired in the sixth and was relieved by Sam Presch.
Otis walked only two hitters and none over the first four innings. He pitched to contact, striking out just one.
“That is what I try to do. I’ve got a good defense behind me. I have a lot of confidence in my teammates,” Otis said.
Majorell, an eighth grader, was impressive. He scattered eight hits over his six innings, struck out four and walked one. There were five costly errors committed behind him.
Mill River coach Brandson LaFerriere is excited about the future in store for Majorell.
“Ht threw strikes with both of his pitches and when you throw strikes with two pitches...” LaFerriere said.
That repertoire consists of a 4-seam fastball and knuckle curve.
“He loves that knuckle curve. He is excited about the way it is breaking,” LaFerriere said.
Majorell gave way to big left-hander Will Farwell to start the seventh inning.
The Cosmos staked Otis to two runs in the first inning. Dylan Merrow and Brady Clark had hits in the inning and both scored, an infield error aiding their cause.
The Cosmos stretched the lead to 3-0 in the third when Clark reached on an an error, stole second and third and scored on an infield hit by Otis.
The Cosmos built the lead to 5-0 with a run in the fourth and another in the fifth. Jacob Stepler singled home Cam Hamond in the fourth. Kaleb Chambers’ base hit plated Clark in the fifth. Again, an error factored into each inning.
Things got interesting in the sixth when the Minutemen scored three runs, slicing the lead to 5-3. The Minutemen had three hits in the frame and Otis issued his first two walks.
Ryan Flanders ignited the rally by leading off the inning with a hard-earned walk. Flanders walked Otis for the walk with a long at-bat, fouling off four pitches. Majorell, Tyler Weatherhogg and Daniel Graves had the hits in the inning, Weatherhogg and Graves picking up RBIs.
Presch came in with two outs and the bases loaded and induced a pop foul to the catcher to end the inning.
The Cosmos padded the lead with a four-run seventh. Clark, Adam Stokarski and Harriman had hits in the inning and Spencer Ahearn came into pitch to get the final out.
Clark was the catalyst for Springfield’s offense. He stroked two base hits, reached all four times, scored four runs and knocked in another. Hammond added two hits and an RBI. Otis had two RBIs with a hit and a sacrifice fly.
Graves and Flanders had two hits apiece to lead the Minutemen.
The Cosmos and Minutemen are scheduled to play again Friday in Springfield, a game that was moved up from Saturday. Springfield coach Justin Devoid will send Stokarski to the mound and LaFerriere will counter with Graves.
“It’s our Senior Day and I am hoping we can represent ourselves well,” Devoid said.
Devoid was happy with the way the Cosmos represented themselves Thursday.
“Throwing strikes and fielding is going to win you games,” he said. “Even when we did make an error we didn’t let it bite us.”
The Cosmos improved to 3-9 and the Minutemen’s record dropped to 1-11.
But LaFerriere is seeing signs of improvement.
“The kids are learning the strike zone,” he said, noting the better discipline his hitters have shown since the early season.
“It doesn’t show on the scoreboard but there are signs of progress.”
Otis thinks this victory might serve the Cosmos well down the stretch.
“I think this game is going to set the tone for the rest of the season,” Otis said.