Wildcats Down Lamoille to End Streak

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EAST MONTPELIER – After hard-fought losses to U-32, Oxbow and BFA-Fairfax last week, the Hazen Union baseball team put the breaks on an eight-game losing streak with an impressive road win over Division II Lamoille.

It all came together on Saturday, as Allen’s Wildcats ended their eight-game skid with a 16-7 thrashing of Lamoille on the road. Senior leader Andrew Menard returned from illness to earn the win, striking out seven in six-plus innings of work. Dan des Groseilliers smashed a pair of triples, driving in three on a three for four effort at the plate. Skorstad went two for four with a double, Menard helped his own cause with a pair of hits and two RBI, Justin Montgomery was two for four with an RBI double, and Meyer drove in two with a pair of singles.

“The guys’ bats continued to wake up and it was nice to jump out to an early 10 run lead before pumping the brakes. It was great to get Andrew back on the mound after battling a stomach bug all week. If our pitchers can continue to work on limiting free passes and our defense can support them with routine plays, we can hit the ball and this young team is real close to being the team we know it can be,” said Allen.

Earlier, Kaden Salvador pitched three innings of one-hit ball to help U-32 blank the Wildcats at home last Tuesday 14-0. Owen Dyer powered the Raider offense with three hits, two runs batted in, and a pair of stolen bases. Aiden Boyd and Daniel Yeager combined for five more hits as U-32 improved to 7-4 on the season. Senior Fenton Meyer had a hit for Hazen and Craftsbury Academy sophomore Grayson McNaughten took the loss on the mound.

Hazen’s offense woke up from a four-game slumber on Thursday, clawing back from nine runs down to scare Oxbow in a 12-9 home loss. Senior Dan des Groseilliers had a pair of hits, including three run double, McNaughten belted a double of his own, and Owen Skorstad added a pair of hits and scored twice. Reece Illsley earned the win for the Olympians, striking out 10. Chase Fischer and Owen Taylor combined for six hits and five runs batted in to earn their second win of the season.

BFA-Fairfax kept Hazen down with a 4-2 home win on Friday, but the Wildcats started to show signs of snapping out of their funk with better fundamental defense. Ryan Sheehan struck out eight to earn the win and Bryant Matton drove in three runs as the Bullets improved to 6-4. McNaughten was solid on the mound for Hazen in the loss, giving up six hits and four runs in a complete-game effort. Jake Hayden led the Wildcat offense, driving in both runs on a pair of hits.

“We had solid pitching performances from Jake Davison and Grayson McNaughten throughout the week. They did what they were supposed to do, pitch to contact and mix in some strikeouts. Errors have unfortunately plagued us all year and they did against a good U-32 team and early on against Oxbow. It looked pretty grim again against Oxbow, but the offense woke up and the boys had a lot of fun with an eight-run inning that made it a new ball game. That one inning was really exciting and showed this team what it’s like when you can hit the ball and hopefully these kids can remember how much fun this game can be. BFA was another tough loss, but again we were showing signs of playing some better fundamental baseball against a quality team, we just needed to cut down on the strikeouts at the plate,” said head coach Shaun Allen.

The Wildcats tackle another busy week after hosting Randolph on Tuesday, they have a home game scheduled with Lyndon Institute on Thursday before traveling to North Country on Saturday. They will honor their seniors at home next Tuesday against Harwood.

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