Wasps Ace Stops Chieftains

Chester, Vt. — Zach Cole pitched a one-hitter as Woodstock High coasted to a 10-0 win over Green Mountain yesterday in a Marble Valley League game at Adams Field.

Cole, a junior right-hander, took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, but Jake Cavacas ended that bid with a crisp, leadoff single. Cole walked the next batter, his only free pass of the afternoon. He threw 78 pitches, 53 for strike and fanned five batters.

Nine Wasps had hits in an 11-hit attack. The visitors committed two harmless errors and improved to 3-3. While Woodstock was never in danger of losing the lead, the Wasps stranded 10 runners and didn’t put the game away until scoring six times in the last two innings.

Green Mountain (2-5) has struggled lately, particularly on offense. Chieftains coach Eric Anderson said one of the reasons for the lack of punch is the absence of an American Legion program in the summer.

“You can’t expect these kids to go almost a whole year without getting at-bats and think they are going to step up in the spring and start hitting,’’ he said. “We have no identity,” he said. “We let the other team dictate the type of game it’s going to be. That’s not the way it should be.”

Green Mountain starter Brady Stewart had a strong start, giving up only an unearned run in the first three innings. The wheels started to come off with a two-run Woodstock fourth and when the Wasps plated a run in during the fifth inning and the bases became loaded, Ryan Williams was summoned.

The first batter he faced was Jack Fitzpatrick, who lofted a short fly to left, where Stewart was now playing. Stewart made the catch on the run and caught Conor Joyce off the bag at second for a double play.

One of the rule changes this year is that batters no longer have to try to get out of the way of a pitched ball. Players cannot try to get hit, but they can just stand there and absorb a pitch, as Doug Avellino did in the third inning with no score. Two pitches later, he stole second and the throw not only eluded the second baseman, but got past the center fielder as well. Avellino scooted all the way home

Woodstock’s Matt Poljacik singled in the fifth, was sacrificed to second by Levi Vigh and scored on Avellino’s single to left-center. Brad Lewis, Sam Cole and Joyce each had two hits for Woodstock.

The teams each play at home tomorrow, with Otter Valley coming to Woodstock and Green Mountain hosting Springfield.