Baseball: Otters, Eagles win; St. J outlasts Tigers

ADDISON COUNTY — In local high school baseball action all on Tuesday, Middlebury played well against a top Division I team before losing, Mount Abraham stunned a D-I foe, Otter Valley picked up a win, and Vergennes took a close loss.
The Tigers (3-7) played a solid game in a 6-0 loss to visiting St. Johnsbury on Tuesday. Pitcher Jordan Stearns, making just his second start of the spring, held the Hilltoppers to two runs, one earned, through the first five innings before running into trouble in the sixth.
In that inning, Stearns walked two batters (the first free passes he issued in the game), and with two on base tossed a wild pitch to move them into scoring position. Isaac Nurko then laced a line single to right center to score both runners and end Stearns’ day. Stearns went 5.2 innings, allowing four earned runs on five hits and the two walks, striking out two. Matt Graciano greeted reliever Austin Friend with an RBI double to make it 5-0.
The Hilltoppers made it 6-0 on four singles off Friend in the seventh, with Jake Choiniere picking up an RBI hit, but Friend picked a runner off second to end the threat. Jacob Johnson hit a two-run single off Stearns in the fourth to put St. J on top; one of those runners had reached on an error.
Hilltopper pitcher Eamon McCabe tossed a two-hitter at the Tigers, striking out five and walking just one. Wyatt Cameron andSimon Fischer singled for the Tigers.
Coach Charlie Messenger was pleased with the Tigers’ effort vs. the fourth-place team in D-I.
“When we get off to a good start, we tend to have a good game. And when you get good starting pitching, you’re in it. And the kids played well today,” Messenger said. “It got away from us at the end a little bit, but that was a good club. I was pleased with their effort, their hustle, that they were in the game the whole time. And we can build on that the last two weeks and hopefully pick up some Ws.”
The Eagles earned arguably their biggest win of the season, rallying for a 5-4 win over vising D-I foe Champlain Valley (9-3). Mount Abe scored four times in the fourth inning to erase a 3-0 Redhawk lead, and then got a two-out solo homer from Zach Hines in the bottom of the sixth for the winning run.  
George Bailey threw a complete game to earn the pitching win and also poked three hits, while Hines added two hits as Mount Abe improved to 3-9.
The Otters defeated visiting Springfield, 5-3, as winning pitcher Tyler Allen also picked up a save. Allen threw the first six innings and then came back to get the final out; in all he allowed six hits and one earned run and struck out six.
Allen, Greg Whitney,Daniel Allen andPayson Williams each had two hits, with Daniel Allen’s two-run double in the fifth-inning pushing OV’s lead to 5-2. OV improved to 2-8.
Visiting Missisquoi edged the Commodores, 5-2, as T-Bird hurler Richard Walker tossed a four-hitter and fanned 17.
Devon Kimball doubled twice and scored both Commodore runs. Losing pitcher Hunter O’Conner struck out 12 and allowed five hits in taking the complete-game loss for the 1-10 Commodores.

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