TURNER — Big innings for Leavitt and missed opportunities by Lincoln Academy led the Hornets to take both games of Saturday’s KVAC doubleheader against the Eagles.

Leavitt won the first game 9-1 and the second game 5-1.

Hornets coach Chris Cifelli said when the players were patient at the plate, that’s when they were successful.

“When we started to work some counts, and see what their guys can do with runners on base, I think that opens it up and we are able to do more things from that perspective,” Cifelli said. “It’s showing the kids the mentality, it’s nice to score every inning, but you are trying to work a pitcher deeper into his pitch count and getting in situations where we get guys moving too.”

Lincoln Academy was playing in its first two regular season games.

“We’ve had two rainouts and two preseason games before April break,” coach Dusty Bouchard said.


In the first game, the Eagles (0-2) had a chance to get to Leavitt starting pitcher Will Keach in the top of the first with two outs. Cody Cleaveland and Gabe Hagar each had line-drive singles but were stranded as Aidan Sanborn grounded out.

“Leavitt did a good job playing defense against us too,” Bouchard said. “They got timely outs when they needed to. We got runners on base, which is a huge success for us; that’s how you want to start games. We had the bases loaded a couple of times.”

The first six batters for Leavitt (3-1) reached base and the Hornets took a 3-0 lead. Brandon Bilodeau grounded into a double play, but it scored a run. A Kade Knight fly out ended the inning.

Lincoln batters couldn’t get anything going in the second, third, and fourth innings. Lucas Houghton had an RBI single to cut the deficit to 4-1. The Eagles had the bases loaded, but Keach struck out Hagar to end the inning.

Leavitt answered in the bottom of the fifth inning. Noah Carpenter started with a ground-rule double down the left field line that rolled out of play. Luke Gladu reached base, and Connor DeCoster singled to drive in Carpenter and Gladu for a 6-1 lead. Knight had a sac fly to score a run and Keach singled in a run for an 8-1 advantage.

Colten Taylor capped Leavitt’s half of the fifth inning with a double to bring home Braxton Rowe and extend the lead to 9-1.


“I have been in a slump, so it felt very good to get some solid contact on the ball and produce some runs for the team,” Taylor said.

Keach stayed out of trouble in the top of the sixth on the mound. Lucas Houghton had an infield single in the top of the seventh for Lincoln and he later stole second. Cleaveland had a two-out single, but Leavitt got Houghton out with a throw to home plate to end the first game.

Keach went the distance, allowing five hits and two walks and striking out seven.

“I was just trying to throw strikes and let my defense behind me help me,” Keach said.

The second game saw the starting pitchers have success early on. Eagles starter Ivan Coffin ran into trouble in the top of the second — Leavitt was the away team in Game 2 — as he loaded the bases, but got Keach to ground out to end the inning with no harm done on the scoreboard.

Brandon Bilodeau of Leavitt only faced seven batters through the first two innings. Lincoln Academy got to him with two outs in the third when Houghton walked and stole second. A Tucker Stiles single brought Houghton across the plate, but Leavitt threw Stiles out at second to end the inning.


Leavitt bats responded in the top of the fourth. DeCoster led off with a single to center field and Aidan Lind also recorded a single. DeCoster reached third while Lind took second when Lincoln Academy tried to get DeCoster at third base. Bilodeau got on to load the bases. Knight had another sac fly, scoring DeCoster. Jake Mellon reloaded the bases with a walk.

Bouchard pulled Coffin with Keach — the leadoff hitter for Leavitt — up to bat. AJ Giberson came in and struck out Keach, but the catcher dropped the third strike, which allowed Lind to score, giving Leavitt a 2-1 lead.

Bouchard said with the lack of games so far this season, he didn’t want to stretch Coffin out too early.

“We adopted a strategy with him where we don’t want him to go through a lineup a third time,” Bouchard said. “For various reasons, we haven’t gotten him a lot of work and we wanted to limit him to the middle of the pitch range as far as the pitch count goes. It’s a long season, we have to think about our arm health.”

Taylor recorded his second double of the day to drive home two, and Leavitt took a 4-1 lead.

“We think it’s important to keep our heads up,” Taylor said. “If we get down, we get back up and battle back.”


Leavitt added one more run in the top of the fifth when Gladu singled up the middle and reached third on back-to-back wild pitches. He scored on a dropped third strike call as the Eagles got DeCoster out at first base.

Lincoln Academy got a couple of runners on in the bottom of the fifth, but Bilodeau worked himself out of a jam without giving up a run. After giving up a leadoff walk to start the bottom of the sixth, Bilodeau’s day was over on the mound. Carpenter got the next three batters out, including one strikeout.

“We stretched him out for the first time this year,” Cifelli said of Bilodeau. “All his appearances have been in relief and we gave him this start today. It’s exactly what you need in Game 2. Brandon battled and that’s what we needed. We knew if we could get it to Noah, we were in good shape.”

Carpenter struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh to end the game.

Comments are no longer available on this story