Friday, August 16, 2013

Windham eliminated from New England regionals - By David Field

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -The weary Windham Merchants couldn’t get any traction against Middletown, Conn. and Colchester, VT and were eliminated from the New England Regional Tournament last weekend.

In Thursday’s game, Windham faced off against the host team, Middletown, CT. Windham was held scoreless through four innings. Middletown scored in the first and starting pitcher, Nate Boyle found his groove to keep Middletown off the board for a couple of innings. However, in the fourth, Middletown unleashed on a tiring Boyle who gave up two walks and three hits. Tanner Laberge took the hill in relief of 

Boyle and finished the inning. Middletown took a commanding 6-0 lead. Windham answered in the fifth when Joey Francoeur drove in Jack Herzig. Middletown again took advantage of the weary Merchants in the sixth inning and drove Tanner Laberge from the mound. Laberge walked two and hit two batters to put runners on for Middletown. Spencer Hodge took the mound and minimized the damage as best he could. However, four runs were generated to give Middletown a 10-1 lead. Windham added two runs in the top of the seventh. Dennis Meehan was hit by a pitch and Jack Herzig reached on a single. Calvin Field drove in Meehan and Joey Franceour drove a deep sacrifice fly ball to drive in Herzig. Windham dropped the opening game 13-4.

With Friday’s games rained out, the Merchants did their best to be rested. Saturday, Windham faced off against Colchester, VT in an elimination game. Colchester’s leadoff batter and shortstop Cody Sharrow did a lot of damage to Windham as they went on to win 5-3. Cody Dube took the hill for Windham and gave up one run in the first inning. Sharrow hit a single and scored on a sacrifice fly to give Colchester the 1-0. 

Sharrow struck again in the third inning as he crushed a solo home run to add to their score. Dube made it into the sixth inning before being pulled. Dube allowed a hit, had a pop out to center struck out the next batter. However, Dube hit the next two batters to load the bases. Dennis Meehan came on in relief of Dube, but it became clear, he wasn’t completely ready. Meehan walked three to give Colchester the 5-0 lead. 

Meehan settled down in the seventh inning to give the Merchants hope. In the bottom of the seventh, the “comeback kids” made their best attempt. With one out, Dennis Meehan and Jack Herzig both hit singles. Calvin Field hit a sacrifice fly to drive Meehan in. Spencer Hodge and Joey Francoeur each drew walks to get on base. Cody Dube hit a single to drive in Jack Herzig and Spencer Hodge. Unfortunately, the comeback would be short lived. In the bottom of the ninth, Jack Herzig and Calvin Field each hit singles. Spencer Hodge advanced them on a sacrifice bunt. Joey Francoeur lined out to first. Cody Dube then hit what seemed to be a single in the shortstop gap but Cody Sharrow made a spectacular leap to send Windham back to Maine.

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