LIVERMORE FALLS — After a pitcher’s duel in the opener, the bats came alive in the second game of Saturday’s baseball doubleheader between Oak Hill and Spruce Mountain at Griffin Field.

Oak Hill won both five-inning games. Kyle Delano’s 10 strikeouts highlighted the Raiders’ 2-0 victory in the opener, and Ethan Vattaso’s two-run homer helped them beat the Phoenix 9-8 and secure the doubleheader sweep.

“Being a baseball coach for a while now, I feel most second games of a doubleheader become high-scoring,” Oak Hill coach Chad Stowell said. “Hitters are in a groove after seeing pitching all day — the weather is nice. I am not surprised both teams scored runs. They had some pretty good swings against Kyle in the first game. I am not surprised they put the ball in play. We are expected to score some runs, and it’s nice to break open at the end.”

The two losses are the Phoenix’s (3-2) first of the season, while the Raiders (4-1) extend their winning streak to three games.

Game 2 was a back-and-forth contest.

Spruce Mountain took a 7-6  lead in the top of the fifth. Oak Hill’s Cooper Spencer led off the inning with a walk and Landen Dennis followed with a single that moved Spencer to third base. Spencer scored on a Zac Bean flyout to tie the game. After an Eli Gosselin flyout, Vattaso responded with a drive to left field that flew over the fence to give the Raiders a 9-7 advantage.


The homer was Vattaso’s second extra-base hit in two innings. He also doubled in Oak Hill’s two-run fourth.

“I have been in a slump recently, and Coach Drouin told me before the start of the second game I am hitting leadoff for a reason — I am here to help start us off,” Vattaso said, referring to Oak Hill assistant Chad Drouin. “He’s like, ‘You are going to get out of it. You are a senior, have fun.’

“So I went to bat after the double; I had a lot of confidence, my team was down. Off the bat, I thought it was caught, I didn’t think it was gone. When it went over the fence, I was in so much joy.”

Vattaso, who came to pitch in the bottom of the second, ran into trouble in the bottom of the fifth with one out. After a Nate Holland single, Vattaso tried to start a double play at second, but his throw went into center field. Holland reached third base and hitter Kolby Cotton reached second.

Cotton walked to start a five-run bottom of the second for Spruce Mountain, after which the Phoenix led 7-4.

Vattaso’s time on the mound ended when a Griffin Achorn single brought home Holland, but Oak Hill got Connor Foss — who was pinch running for Cotton — out in a run down between second and third. Delano, the Raiders’ starter in Saturday’s first game, took over for Vattaso and got Logan Knight to ground out to end the game.


Before he went down, Knight had a long battle with Delano. Spruce Mountain coach Jake Bessey said he was happy with his hitters’ mentality against Oak Hill’s pitchers.

“I liked the approaches they were taking,” Bessey said. “They were aggressive, hitting the fastballs, rather than trying to hit curveballs. … Everybody was hitting line drives rather than easy fly balls.”


Oak Hill was designated as the home team in the opener, which Delano opened by striking out the first two batters — setting the tone for the rest of the game.

“After the first batter, and then the second one, it really set in. I felt really good,” Delano said. “I had a good feeling about the rest of the game. It’s always up for grabs, but the feeling going right to the second inning, stepping on the mound, I was ready to go.”

Trent Drouin started the Raiders off in the bottom of the first with a single, then Delano and Landon Bangs walked to load the bases.


Bangs had a long at-bat that included several foul balls, including one the right fielder nearly caught that would have ended the inning.

“A couple of mental errors cost us a couple of runs in the first inning, but pretty much we stuck with them,” Bessey said. “They are a good team. I am happy with how things came out. It’s a learning experience, basically, for us. We will continue to get better.”

After Bangs walked, Spencer hit a two-run single that provided Oak Hill all the runs it needed.

“We say in baseball: We have ducks in the pond, we have to send them home,” Spencer said. “That was the goal when I stepped up, and it happened.”

The Raiders had an opportunity to add to their lead in the bottom of the second, but Zak Bean was caught stealing home and Drouin flew out to left to end the inning.

After recording one strikeout in the second, Delano struck out the side in the top of the third. His Spruce Mountain counterpart, Griffin Achorn, settled in on the mound after the first two innings and retired the Raiders in order in the third and fourth.


Delano fanned two in the top of the fourth and two more in the top of the fifth to lock down the complete-game shutout. He only allowed two hits, including one to Achorn in the top of the fifth, and didn’t walk any batters.

“Delano pitched a great game,” Bessey said.

Achorn allowed three hits, walked two, and struck out a pair.

“Griffin always pitches a great game,” Bessey said. “He pitches strikes and he really tests batters. He gets fly balls, ground balls. He’s our best pitcher and we stuck by him for the entire two games.”

Achorn went 1 and 2/3 innings in relief in the second game, coming in for starter Elie Timler.

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