Slaters top MUHS baseball; Tigers still seeking first victory

TIGER SENIOR THIRD baseman Tim Whitney lunges unsuccessfully to try to catch a Fair Haven baserunner off the bag during Tuesday’s MUHS baseball home game. Independent photo/Steve James

MIDDLEBURY — Visiting Fair Haven used two big innings and a complete-game effort from sophomore pitcher Mason Gutel to get past the Middlebury Union High School baseball team on Tuesday, 9-3.

The Slaters celebrated their second win of the spring, while frustration continued for the Division II Tigers, who dropped to 0-7 against a difficult schedule that’s included four D-I teams.

Coach Tim Paquette said the Tigers have to start playing with more consistency — and quickly.

“We play good defense, and the bats aren’t alive. And then the bats are alive, and we get bad defense,” he said. “It’s a matter of putting it all together on the same day.”

The game started out crisply enough. Gutel faced the minimum of six hitters through two innings, walking one in the second, but inducing a double-play ball to erase the runner.

Tiger freshman starter Tucker Wright matched him in the scorebook. He walked one in the first, but shortstop Carter Paquette turned a 6-3 double play to end the inning. An infield error allowed the Slater leadoff runner to reach second base in the second, but Wright fanned the next two batters and retired the third on a routine fly ball. 

TIGER SENIOR TUCKER Morter makes contact during Tuesday’s MUHS baseball home game vs. Fair Haven.
Independent photo/Steve James

But things went awry for MUHS in the third inning. Wright walked the first two hitters, and Trey Lee loaded the bases with a bunt single. An error on a ball hit by Sam Kyhill allowed two runs to score, and another walk reloaded the bases. Tiger first baseman Ethan Sweet threw out a runner at the plate on a ground ball, but Tim Kendall capped the rally with a two-run single to make it 4-0.

The Tigers threatened in the bottom of the inning. Freshman Ryan Brouillard, who started behind the plate, singled, and with two out, Gutel hit consecutive batters to load the bases for Tiger No. 3 hitter Carter Paquette. But Gutel caught him looking at strike three on the outside corner to end the uprising. 

Wright also had trouble finding the plate to open the fourth, walking the first batter and hitting the second. Coach Paquette summoned Brouillard to the mound, and he hit the first batter he faced. The second, Kyhill, laced a double deep down the left-field line, clearing the bases and making it 7-0. 

MUHS FRESHMAN SHORTSTOP Gabe Velez slaps the tag on Slater Joe Buxton during Tuesday’s Tiger baseball home game vs. Fair Haven.
Independent photo/Steve James

An error on a ball hit by Joe Buxton then put runners on second and third. The Tigers managed to turn a 3-6-5 double play on a ground ball hit to Sweet, catching Buxton off second, but not before Kyhill scored to make it 8-0. 

In the fifth inning, the Slaters made it 9-0 off Brouillard on singles by Luke Senecal-Lamothe and Max Kyhill, followed by walks to Lee and Sam Kyhill. Brouillard limited the damage with a bases-loaded strikeout to end the rally. Brouillard allowed two earned runs on three hits and two walks in four innings while whiffing five batters.

“Ryan came in and did a fine job of holding them down,” said Coach Paquette.

MUHS FRESHMAN RYAN Brouillard gets his fingertips on first base under the tag of Slater Caleb Long during Tuesday’s Tiger baseball home game vs. Fair Haven.
Independent photo/Steve James

The Tigers broke through for their three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Dylan Stowe walked, and Gabe Velez reached on an error. A Cole Warren fielder’s choice grounder erased Velez and left runners on first and third. An Alex Sperry fielder’s choice grounder erased Warren, and a walk to Paquette loaded the bases. Tim Whitney lined a single over shortstop to score Stowe and Sperry, and Paquette came in when the Slaters misplayed a ball hit by Aidan LaDuke.

The only Tiger who reached base during the final two innings off Gutel was Velez, who singled with two outs in the sixth. Gutel allowed three hits, walked three, struck out four, and the Tiger runs were unearned.

TIGER FRESHMAN RYAN Brouillard pitched well in relief for the MUHS baseball team in its home game vs. Fair Haven on Tuesday.
Independent photo/Steve James

Coach Paquette said the Tigers, a team that includes eight seniors, had higher hopes entering the season, but time is running short to right the ship. 

“There’s a lot of hard work to do, and maybe we can turn it around,” he said.

Share this story:

More News

Tigers, Commodores run well at meet

Winning performances by Tiger junior sprinter Jazmyn Hurley and one Tiger and two Vergenne … (read more)


MAV lacrosse cruises past MUHS

In what was the first-ever regular-season meeting between Addison County’s two high school … (read more)


Tiger boys’ lacrosse topples CVU

The Middlebury Union High School boys’ lacrosse team rode strong defense and goaltending a … (read more)

Share this story: