The Mad River attack featured Chase Reagan, who hit his way on base in each of five at-bats, scoring two runs and hitting in two. His biggest hit went all the way to the outfield fence, and featured a perfect defensive play by Northfield to tag him out at the plate as he slid in a cloud of dust. Nate Pierce had two hits, including a double and three runs scored. Charlie Zschau, who continues to put the ball in play every at-bat, had two RBIs and two runs scored. Matthew Nussbaum had a hit and scored two; Tony Pierce worked four walks and scored once; Hazel MacMillan had two hits, a run scored and an RBI; North Hodgson had a hit, a run scored and an RBI; and Sam Hayer had hit and a run scored. The only Brave that did not score was also the only Brave not to make an out. Little Brendan Magill had no official at-bats with three walks and a hit-by-pitch. He made it to third base twice but never crossed the plate.
Defensively the Braves looked sharp. Starting on the mound in his pitching debut was Reagan, who struck out the first batter he faced and then fielded a popup from the second batter. A line drive that barely got by a diving MacMillan at shortstop was the only Northfield batter to reach base in the inning, but he was stranded at second base when the next batter hit a grounder to first baseman Magill for the third out. Reagan got out of a jam in the second inning almost single-handedly by snaring a line drive up the middle, a key strikeout and then inducing a comebacker that he perfectly fielded and threw to first to end the inning after allowing only three runs.
In the third, Mad River handed the ball to Magill, who gave up hits to the first two batters he faced, before settling in. Those two runners scored but he got out of trouble with a ground ball to first baseman N. Pierce and a couple of strikeouts. Magill came back in the fourth and shut Northfield down with a strikeout, a comebacker ground out and a grounder to Reagan at shortstop.
The fifth inning featured Tony Pierce (vying with Magill for the title of "Littlest Brave") taking the mound. He threw strikes and was helped out with some nifty defense by MacMillan at second, Zschau at short and Nate Pierce at first. After nearly getting a "MacMillan to Zschau to Pierce" double play on one batter, the next batter lined out to Zschau at short who fired a strike to N. Pierce at first for the double play. In the sixth inning, Zschau showed the leather again to get the first two outs before T. Pierce ended the game with a strikeout to seal the win for Mad River.
Braves 10, Cardinals 5
On June 1, two Mad River Little League teams squared off for their second meeting of the year at Couples Field on Saturday morning. The Cardinals took opening meeting on May 4, 9-5, so the Braves were out for Cardinal scalps.
The Cards came out of the box swinging in the top of the first when Bobby Kelly knocked a ball off the left field fence, missing a home run by about a foot. Kelly took a stand-up double and then stole third and home to put the Cards up 1-0. Braves lead-off hitter Sam Hayer reached on a walk, then stole second and third but was caught trying to steal the plate.
In the top of the third, Card Asher Martley singled to center. Kelly reached on a Braves’ error and Aidan Melville followed with a walk. Cameron Joslin followed with a sharp hit ball driving in Martley, Kelly and Melville. Cards led 4-0 at the end of the frame.
The picnic ended for the Cards in the bottom of the fourth when Brendan Magill started the rally with an infield hit. Charlie Zschau followed with a sharp single through the infield. Chase Reagan lined a one-bagger to center scoring Magill and Zschau. Tony Pierce followed with a base-on-balls, setting the table for a hard liner off the bat of Matthew Nussbaum that rolled to the fence for a double, driving in Reagan and Pierce. Hayer was hit by a pitch. Hazel MacMillan then drove a shot to right center scoring Nussbaum and Hayer. MacMillan went on to steal third and home. Magill came to the plate for second swipes and again reached on an infield hit. The battered Cards couldn’t handle a couple of balls hit by Zschau, North Hodgson and Magill and Zschau scored. At the end of the frame the Braves were up 9-4.
In the top of the fifth Martley notched his second single of the game and Moto’d around stealing second, third and home. Nussbaum led off the fifth for the Braves with his third hit of the game, but this time in the infield. He stole second and scored when MacMillan blasted her second double of the game, a line shot down the right field line. Final score, Braves 10, Cardinals 5.
Earlier in the week the Cardinals split a home/away pair with Northfield, losing at home 9-6 on May 29 and winning away on May 3, 7-5. On June 3, the Cards scored 20 to Montpelier’s 1 at Montpelier.
The Cards take on Berlin at home on June 10 at 6 p.m. and play the rubber game of the match against their Mad River rival Braves on June 12.