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Big Seventh Lifts Schooners to Game One Victory

August 9, 2015 - New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) - Mystic Schooners News Release

GROTON - An eight run seventh inning secured the game one victory for the Schooners in the 2015 NECBL Championship Series.

The Vermont Mountaineers did strike first and it looked like they had command in the game.

Kevin Stypulkowski led off the second inning by hitting a sharp grounder to third that was overthrown to first. Then a base hit and a walk given up by Willie Rios loaded the bases for the rest of the Mountaineers. Back-to-back walks brought across the first two runs of the game. And a base hit from Jack Parenty made it 3-0 and kept the bases loaded with no outs.

One out later Rios walked one more to bring in the fourth Vermont run of the game and that would end his night. Sean Keenan was brought in with the bases loaded to end the damage. Keenan walked in two more runs before finally ending the six run inning.

In the bottom of the third the Schooners started the long trek back. Derek Jenkins and CJ Moore had back-to back base hits and both moved into scoring position. Two outs later Rich Slenker slapped one to third that got through to bring in the first run of the game for the Schooners.

A lead off base hit and an error from the pitcher put Lou Ionatti on third and Aaron Hill in second in the fourth. Then Jesse Berardi walked to load the bases for Derek Jenkins. He grounded into what would be a routine double play but the speed of Jenkins made him safe at first to bring in a run. CJ Moore cut the lead in half with a fielder's choice that brought in Hill.

The Schooners continued to chip away at the lead in the sixth. Aaron Hill led off the inning with a single. The next man up, Jesse Berardi lined one into right field and Hill went sprinting toward third base. The throw to the infield went out of play and Hill scored from first while Berardi took second. Derek Jenkins walked and Nick Mascelli ripped one to left center to bring around Berardi and make the score 6-5.

In the same inning, Ben Ruta walked to load the bases for Rich Slenker who popped into left field. Derek Jenkins turned on the jets and slid in safely to complete the comeback and tie the game at six.

The Schooners took their first lead of the game in the seventh and never looked back. Eight runs came around thanks to five singles, two doubles, a walk and a runner that reached by getting hit by a pitch. The Schooners scored 14 unanswered runs after trailing by six earlier in the game.

The Schooners would close it out and take game one 14-6 over the Mountaineers. The Schooners will travel to Vermont tomorrow to try to sweep the playoffs and win their first ever NECBL Championship.

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