Winthrop High School’s Greg Fay dives into third base as Mountain Valley’s Garrett Garbarini waits for the throw from the outfield during their game in Winthrop on Saturday.
WINTHROP — The advantage of playing at home in baseball is that the home team always gets a chance to answer.
When Winthrop wasted a pair of leads on Saturday, the Ramblers used that advantage to answer Mountain Valley rallies with go-ahead scores immediately.
That last go-ahead run stuck, and Winthrop held on for a 5-4 victory in an MVC matchup.
Bennett Brooks’ two-out single to right in the bottom of the fifth — after the Falcons (2-1) scored twice in the top half of the inning to tie the game 4-4 — brought home Maguire Anaszewski, and Greg Fay allowed just a harmless two-out single in the top of the seventh to keep Mountain Valley away for good.
“That’s always key. Somebody scores, come back with one, and we did,” Winthrop coach Marc Fortin said. “We had two outs when we scored that final run. Got a guy on, next thing you know we had a little something cooking and scored the run. It ends up being the winner.”
Brooks’ base hit to right field was the key hit that Fortin said the Ramblers (2-1) were looking for all day. Winthrop stranded 11 runners in the game, nine of which were in scoring position.
“That usually comes back to bite you,” Fortin said.
The Ramblers scored single runs in each of the first two innings. Jackson Ladd led off the bottom of the first by drawing a walk on a 3-2 pitch. Singles by Brooks and Jacob Hickey loaded the bases, but a double play allowed just Ladd to score before the Falcons got out of the inning.
A lead-off error that put Fay on base yielded another run — with another error bringing the run in — but Mountain Valley starter Jacob Beauchesne induced a fly out by Hickey to get out of a bases-loaded jam.
With the score 2-0 after two innings, the Falcons tied it up in the top of the third. Beauchesne doubled leading off, scored two batters later on John Pepin’s double, and Pepin tied it on John Adley’s RBI single.
The tie game was short-lived. Matt Ingram rounded the bases leading off, dropping a single into right before a pair of errors on the play allowed him to make it all the way home.
“Maybe that wasn’t the best call sending Matt on that home run, but they needed two good tosses and two good relays to make it, and I see him rounding third and the shortstop’s got the ball deep in the hole over there,” Fortin said.
The Falcons committed seven errors in the game, including three each in the second and third innings.
“Defensively we kicked the ball around a bit,” Falcons coach Steve LaPointe said. “We hurt ourselves on defense, and we’re usually a pretty sound defensive team.”
Mountain Valley committed another error to open the bottom of the fourth, and the Ramblers followed that up with a Hickey single, but reliever Hunter Ames got out of the jam by sandwiching a pair of strikeouts around a grounder.
Ames then led off the top of the fifth by walking on a full count, and Dylan Deroches followed by doing the same. A fielder’s choice bunt from Pepin loaded the bases before two more walks drove in a pair of runs to tie the game, and also knock out Ingram, who had come on in relief of Antonio Meucci.
Fay then shut the door on the Mountain Valley rally, inducing a pair of pop-ups before tossing a strikeout to end the threat.
“That situation, hate to lament, hate to look back, but that situation was huge,” LaPointe said. “I hate to say it, but bases loaded, nobody out, you got to get something. A ground ball scores a run. A fly ball to the outfield scores a run. Just making contact scores a run, and we just didn’t get it done.”
Fay struck out four batters in his three innings of work to earn the win.
“This was the first time we’ve thrown Greg all year. We hadn’t used Greg yet, we didn’t know what we were going to see,” Fortin said. “That was a fine outing for him. Pressure situation. Got a little help from their batters there at the end, but obviously was in the ball park.”
LaPointe was left lamenting his team’s first loss of the season, one that included too few key hits and too many errors. He said it wasn’t a pretty game.
“We did get ourselves in holes, and we had to fight back. We fought back a couple times really well,” LaPointe said. “We were one big hit away.”
Winthrop High School’s Antonio Meucci (16), Greg Fay (2) and Cameron Gagham (6) celebrate after the Ramblers defeated Mountain Valley 5-4 in Winthrop on Saturday.Winthrop pitcher Antonio Meucci delivers a pitch against Maountain Valley in Winthrop on Saturday.Mountain Valley pitcher Hunter Ames fires a pitch during a game against Winthrop in Winthrop on Saturday.Jackson Ladd of Winthrop High School laces a base hit during a game against Mountain Valley in Winthrop on Saturday.Mountain Valley shortstop Dylan Desroches, left, and second-basemanJohn Adley collide after Adley made a catch on an infield fly during their game against Winthrop in Winthrop on Saturday.Winthrop High School’s Antonio Meucci stands in the batter’s box as a high inside pitch buzzes past him during a game against Mountain Valley on Saturday.Winthrop High School’s Antonio Meucci hits a pop fly to right field in front of Mountain Valley catcher John Pepin during their game in Winthrop on Saturday.