Leavitt’s Ian Gadfrey slides back to third base successfully after trying to steal home during Wednesday night’s game at Leavitt High School. Gardiner’s Hunter Chasse was the third baseman.

TURNER — Leavitt coach Larry Angello had the hook ready for junior starting pitcher Tim Albert after the fifth inning of Wednesday’s KVAC Class B game with Gardiner.

“I was ready to take him out and bring in Brian Hewitt,” Angello said. “My other three coaches said he’s just getting better, so we decided as a group we were going to let him finish out, and he did.”

Indeed, Albert retired the last nine Gardiner hitters in a 100-pitch complete game as the Hornets picked up their fifth win in a row, 5-3, over the Tigers.

“I got into a rhythm. My whole field did an amazing job of backing me up. Knowing that they’ve got my back, I  just try to do my job,” Albert said.

Albert also drove in a key run with an RBI single in the Hornets’ four-run second inning after Leavitt batters waited out Gardiner starter Sam Jermyn, who issued eight walks in 1 2/3 innings.

All five of the runs the Hornets (9-5) scored reached base via the free pass. They drew 11 walks for the game.

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“My kids were really patient and waited for something they could hit,” Angello said.

“That makes it tough to stay in a positive direction, when you’re chasing a hole like that,” Gardiner coach Russell Beckwith said. “Their pitcher did a good job of keeping us off-balance.”

The Hornets let Jermyn off the hook by not capitalizing after he walked the bases loaded with two outs in the first. But that wouldn’t be the case in the second.

Three more walks sandwiched around a sacrifice bunt loaded the bases with one out. Drake Goupil drove the first run home with a sacrifice fly. Two more walks brought the second run home and ended Jermyn’s outing.

Anticipating that Chasse would try to establish the strike zone immediately when he took the mound, Albert jumped on his first pitch for an RBI single up the middle and a 3-0 lead.

“I’m just trying to be aggressive,” Albert said. “If I see a first-pitch fastball, I’m going for it.”

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David Herman followed with a single to right to make it 4-0.

Albert had some trouble of his own finding the strike zone early, allowing a pair of two-out walks in the first inning. Prior to that, the Hornets turned a 6-4-3 double play to erase a leadoff single by Isaiah Magee, so Albert escaped without any damage when he got Jermyn to pop out to first.

After Albert (four hits, five strikeouts, four walks, one earned run) settled in for a 1-2-3 second, Chasse’s two-out RBI single got the Tigers (11-4) on the board in the third. They added two unearned runs in the fourth on an errant pickoff throw by Albert and Alec Shorey’s two-out RBI single. But the Tigers stranded the tying run at second with a fly out to left.

Josh Chouinard drew a bases loaded walk in the fourth to give Albert an insurance run, which it turned out he didn’t need.

Gardiner would get just one more baserunner, which reached on an error by the third baseman to start the fifth. Albert allowed just two more balls out of the infield and retired three of the final nine hitters via strikeout.

“He dominated those last two innings,” Angello said. “His velocity got better those last two innings and his curve ball started to get more effective.”

Leavitt’s Ian Gadfrey attempts to tag out Gardiner’s Alec Shorey who had been trying to steal second base during Wednesday night’s baseball game at Leavitt High School.


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