BETHEL— James McLamb did double duty on the mound and in the batter’s box, and Livermore Falls certainly benefited in a Mountain Valley Conference baseball game Friday.
McLamb drove in the eventual winning run in the sixth inning and also earned the pitching heroics as the Andies held on for a 3-2 triumph against pesky Telstar.
Livermore Falls scored single runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings to lead 3-0, including McLamb’s solid single that plated Derek Castonguay with two outs in the sixth. McLamb (2-0), a southpaw, baffled the Rebel batters, holding Telstar to three hits, striking out three batters and giving up three walks in five-plus innings. Castonguay pitch 1 and 2/3 innings to earn the save.
“A fast ball was my best pitch today,”McLamb said. “The wind (gusts) hurt my curve ball, so I needed to establish my fast ball and was able to rely on our defense to make the plays.”
Telstar (0-1) definitely didn’t go away as big right hander Ben Field pitched five-plus innings and also received strong support defensively. The Rebels finally put things together by loading the bases and scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Mike Fitzmorris singled and scored when the fielders throw pulled freshman catcher Brandon Hodges (two hits) off the plate. Dan Whitney scored on a Tyler Brown RBI-ground out.
‘’The team has matured because we made plays that we didn’t make last year,’’ said Telstar coach Bob Remington, referring to the all-underclassman lineup. ‘’Still, we made some serious errors by missing signals on the base paths. I told the kids that’s why I get on them during practices because mistakes in a close game will cost us and they agreed.’’
Telstar had two runners tagged out at home plate on an attempted suicide squeeze and when a base runner committed too early for home. In the fifth, the Rebels had runners in scoring position, but McLamb leaped off the mound to catch a ball one foot off the ground and threw to first baseman Tom Ventrella for a double play.
“That double lay was key,”Livermore Falls coach Brian Dube said. “James pitched really well and had a low pitch count. The strategy entering was made easier going in to the game because we knew both pitchers were available.”
Livermore Falls scored on a Chandler White RBI-single and a Shawn Whiting RBI-ground out.
“You need to score runs to win,”McLamb said. “This team does not have a lot of power, so we have to manufacture runs. Our defense is good and the pitchers job is to hold them from scoring.”