Wasps Remain Unbowed

Springfield, Vt. — Little things mean a lot and in Monday’s 8-3 Woodstock win over Springfield, the little things were the difference.

The Wasps, undefeated with an unusual roster of seven seniors and seven freshmen, turned the little things into big things. The defense was errorless, and complete-game Woodstock pitcher Matt Poljacik walked just one.

“We’ve been doing this a lot,” said Woodstock coach Jason Tarleton, who — in his 14th season — has never had a team that started 8-0. “We’ve got freshmen in the corner outfield spots, but we’ve been a team all year that has done the little things to keep this season on a roll. However, next year I won’t have anybody on the team that can drive.”

Poljacik needed just 90 pitches for his complete-game victory, holding the Cosmos to six hits. His off-speed curveball rescued him from a nasty spot or two before a hiccup in the seventh inning resulted in two late Springfield runs.

While a lot of the things the Wasps did were impressive, nothing was more impressive than the left side of the infield, made up of third baseman Zach Cole and shorstop Doug Avellino. Both players had four assists. Cole was not only sure-handed at third, but his throws across the diamond were straight and chest-high. Avellino was all over the place and particularly adept at reaching and converting slow rollers into outs.

“And he’s going into the hole better then I have ever seen him,” said Tarleton.

Avellino is in the midst of one of those seasons that players dream about. He came into yesterday’s game with 15 hits in 20 at-bats. He also has been walked 11 times and hit once with a pitch, which is a lot better than last year when he was plunked 12 times. The Cosmos kept Avellino to a 1-for-3 game on Monday, but the senior had a sacrifice fly and a two-run single.

It was just a 2-1 game until the sixth, when Springfield came apart defensively with four errors in a six-run Woodstock inning.

Springfield coach Archie Farmer has been patient with his Cosmos (2-7) and continues to see that the light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming train.

“We hit the ball pretty well, but we continue to fail at the little things,” Farmer said. “And when you fail at the little things, bad things happen.”

Woodstock sent 10 batters to the plate in the sixth, and all six runs the Wasps scored were all unearned.

“We continue to show our youth,” said Farmer.

Springfield used two pitchers, with Cam Blais going the first three frames allowing just one run on two hits. Brighton Fontaine followed and gave up just two runs over the next two innings, but his defense deserted him in the sixth and the runs came in bunches.

The Wasps took a 1-0 lead in the second on a wild pitch and added another in the fourth on Avellino’s sacrifice fly.

Springfield scored its first run in the second on Ed Shambo’s long double. Poljacik allowed just two baserunners over the next four innings, but in the seventh the Cosmos got a two-run single from Zach Tubbs.