Mountaineers: 7-8 after last night’s 6-3 loss to Manchester. The Silkworms were able to run on Chad Durakis who only threw out two of seven baserunners. Manager John Russo said after the game that part of the problem with Durakis was the fact that A.J. Balsinde has a high leg kick which gives catchers less time to get the ball down to second or third. Durakis also has some problems with footwork that is being worked on, and he has had problems “slipping on the plate” when he tries to throw out runners who try to steal.
The Mountaineers should have been able to hit off of Manchester pitcher Tim Stringer who came in with an ERA of 12.96, but they were able to only produce seven hits off him. Manager Russo blames the lack of offensive production on himself saying that it was one of the worst games he had ever managed. He said after the game last night that he needed to be more aggressive on the bases and failed to do so. Part of the problem right now for the Mountaineers is the fact they have played 15 games in the last 16 nights and are flat out tired. The pitching staff has been stretched thin, and with Cary Pillagian unavailable due to tendonitis in his throwing shoulder, that is one less arm the Mountaineers have in the bullpen. With a much needed day off coming tomorrow, the pitching staff will be able to rest up a bit.
Other notes: Kyle Massie is expected to start tonight. He is hitting only .111 (2/18) but with the team as banged up as they are, Massie will get some time tonight. Massie is also taking summer classes at UVM, and with his schedule and the team’s, it has been difficult to get him at bats.
Pitcher: Matt Gaggioli, Established himself as the ace of the team. 1-2, 0.95 ERA, 15 H, 2ER, 16 K in 19 innings; opposing hitters batting only .224 against him. Went the distance in Wednesday’s rain shortened 4-0 victory over Holyoke. First time all season Gaggioli had any run support.
Torrington: 10-3, first place in the Southern Division. How good is Torrington? They defeated Team USA 4-3 last night. Lead by Garrett Green who leads the team in hitting, RBI and total bases. Hitting .365 with no homers and nine RBI; 23 total bases and four doubles. Hit .324 with one homer and 35 RBI at San Diego State this season, also stole six bases in six attempts. As a team, the Twisters are hitting .245, but their pitching is strong with a team ERA of 2.23; opponents are hitting only .223 against them. 19 players on their roster come from Division One programs, so the team is loaded and has strong experience. Two players have been drafted by Major League teams; Bryce Lefebvre by San Diego and Ryan Cisterna by Washington (47th round).
Pitcher: Kurt Houck: 6’6, 210, rh, James Madison. 2-0, 0.90, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 9K, 10 IP. With James Madison: 4-8, 8.30 ERA, 108 H, 67 ER, 40K, 32 BB in 72 innings. Opponents hit .353 against him.
Two UVM products return to the area tonight in Joe Serafin and Eric Thompson. Serafin pitched in just one game tossing six innings, allowing eight hits, one run, struck out one and walked three. For the Twisters, Serafin is 1-0 with one save in four appearances, striking out six and not walking a batter in six and a third innings. Thompson was 3-6 in 14 appearances with an ERA of 7.44 striking out 40 and walking 26 in 52 innings; opposing hitters hit .327 against him. For Torrington, Thompson is 0-1 in two starts with an ERA of 7.43, striking out 13 and walking eight in n13 and a third innings. He has allowed 16 hits and 11 earned runs; opponents are hitting .286 against him.
The game will be live on ESPN 1240 in Montpelier starting with the pre-game at 6:20; Kyle Doreau and I will have the call starting at 6:30.