Drury Falls to Burr & Burton
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- One big inning Thursday was enough to send the Burr & Burton baseball team to a 5-2 win over Drury … and send the Blue Devils back to the drawing board as it makes a late-season push to go to the Western Massachusetts tournament.
The defending Vermont Division 1 state champions from Manchester, Vt, scored three times on four hits in the top of the fifth to break a 1-1 tie, and Joseph McCoy struck out nine to earn the complete game victory on the hill.
For the Blue Devils (6-8), Jacob Brayman and Payton Barnes combined to strike out six, but the Drury offense managed just four hits as it lost its second straight following a four-game winning streak.
“You schedule the defending Division 1 state champions, you’re going to get good baseball,” Drury coach Patrick Boulger said. “That’s what you want. The problem is we still need four wins to get to our tournament.
“You play good ball -- we had a few moments there where we threw the ball around a little bit and made some mental lapses -- but I thought Brayman and Payton did a nice job today keeping us in the game.”
The Blue Devils, who have scored just five runs in their last three games, struggled offensively.
“We didn’t make adjustments at the plate, we didn’t make adjustments to the zone,” Boulger. “We have to make a better effort of that. We can’t get caught up with where the strike zone is. If we don’t like the strike zone, if we do like the strike zone -- that’s not going to help us.
“We’ve got to make better adjustments at the plate in that situation. We’ve been doing that better, but, unfortunately, today we took a step back.”
The Bulldogs started strong, using a leadoff double from McCoy and an RBI single from Daniel Hathaway to score their first run before making their first out.
Brayman (five innings, eight hits, four runs) settled down from there, stranding four runners while not allowing another run through four innings.
Drury tied the game in the bottom of the third when Corbin Rumbolt led off with a double, moved up on Ryan Dubie’s groundout and scored on a Conor Clark double to make it 1-1.
In the fifth, Burr & Burton scored three times. The biggest blow was a two-run single to right by Blake Greene to make it 4-1.
The visitors extended their lead to 5-1 in the top of the seventh, but Drury rallied, getting the tying run to the plate with two out in the bottom of the frame.
Dylan Toomey got things started with a leadoff walk and moved up on an error that allowed Chad Lawrence to reach base.
After a pair of strikeouts, Rumbolt drove in Toomey and moved Lawrence into scoring position.
But McCoy got the final out on a ground ball to short to leave the Blue Devils four wins short of the tournament with six games left on the schedule.
“This all comes down to, ultimately, a little more mental toughness on our part,” Boulger said. “I know we’re capable of it. But it’s a matter of those guys stepping up and saying, ‘OK, we’re going to take this by the horns.’
“I know they can do it.”
Drury goes to Wahconah on Friday.