Box Score | Brett Clements postgame VIDEO comments
NORTH ADAMS, Mass.
– Brett Clements pounded a one-out single through the right side of the infield and Shane Klemcke (UT-Pan American) managed to score from second, as North Adams walked off with a victory for the second night in a row, downing Vermont, 5-4, in dramatic fashion on Thursday night at Joe Wolfe Field.
One night after needing 11 innings before dispatching Sanford in walk-off style on July Fourth, the SteepleCats (14-8) clinched the victory on Clements’ late-game heroics on Thursday, as the designated hitter smoked a base hit through the infield allowing Klemcke to score without a throw, as the Mountaineers (10-10) could not hang on to a two-run advantage in the late stages of the game.
Despite falling behind by two runs midway through the game, the North Adams bats came alive in the later frames, as the home side tied the match with two in the bottom of the seventh before plating the game-winner in the ninth.
The Mountaineers wasted a solid start by Casey Delgado, who finished allowing one earned runs over five innings and five hits, striking out six and walking one. North Adams starter Tyler Gebler (Rutgers) also took a no decision, allowing four runs (three earned) on 12 hits over six innings with a strikeout and two walks.
For the fourth time since Charlie Law (Rutgers) last got a win as a starting pitcher on June 24, a SteepleCats relief pitcher earned the victory, as Matt Longfield (Villanova) added to his team-leading win count (4-1) among the pitching ranks, tossing a perfect ninth with one strikeout. Assisting Longfield in scoreless relief was Christian MacDonald (UNC-Wilmington), as the lefty pitched two scoreless frames, allowing only one hit with one strikeout.
Klemcke, Clements and Julian Santos (Miami) finished with two hits apiece, accounting for nine total hits for the SteepleCats opposed to 13 for the Mountaineers, who were led by two-hit nights by Rob Kelly, Logan Pierce, Code Peragine and Chris Cook.
The SteepleCats managed to take an early lead with a run in the bottom of the first. Klemcke reached on a one-out single before coming in to score on an error.
But the Mountaineers managed to tie the game with a run in the top of the second before going ahead with a two-spot in the top of the third. Kelly led off the third with a double and put the Mountaineers ahead by a run when he scored off the RBI single by Aaron Barbosa. After stealing second and moving to third on a single, Barbosa eventually scored on a wild pitch to put the visitors ahead, 3-1, after three innings.
The SteepleCats pulled to within a run after loading the bases with nobody out on back-to-back hit by pitches and a single in the bottom of the fourth, but could only get a run out of the opportunity as Shane O’Connell (URI) drove home one on a 4-6-3 double play before Delgado shut the door with a strikeout to escape further damage.
After Vermont chipped in another run in the top of the sixth to go ahead 4-2, the SteepleCats responded with a two-spot in the bottom of the seventh, as Will Klausing (UT-Pan American) singled in Law to make it a one-run game before Clements came in to score on a wild pitch against Tyler Rogers to tie the game.
That set the stage for the late-game dramatics in the bottom of the ninth, as Klemcke singled up the middle to lead off the inning before Law bunted him over to third. Clements came to the plate and wasted no time on drilling the first pitch he saw to right for the game-winning base hit.
The SteepleCats hit the road for the first time in a week tomorrow (July 6), when they make the cross-division trek to northeastern New Hampshire for a bout against Laconia. First pitch from Robbie Mills Park is set for 6:30 p.m.