‘Neers down Sanford, advance to NECBL Finals

Vermont wins decisive Game Three, 8-4
Vermont wins decisive Game Three, 8-4
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 12:31 AM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - The Vermont Mountaineers are moving on to the NECBL Championship Series after downing Sanford 8-4 in a decisive Game 3 Thursday night at the Rec Field. It’s Vermont’s first trip to the finals since winning the club’s third title back in 2015.

The ‘Neers would jump in front early on an RBI triple by Nic Notarangelo in the bottom of the first...but things got crazy in the second.

With two outs and nobody on in the top half of the second, Sanford called for a substance check on Vermont starting pitcher Branden Mcfall. After a long discussion, the umpires ruled that Mcfall had a foreign substance on his glove, tossing the Mountaineers’ starter from the game. Devan Bade would tie the game for Sanford one batter later on a towering solo bomb.

The two teams would trade runs, with the vistors taking their only lead of the game at 3-2 after three and a half innings.

But Vermont had the answer in the fourth, thanks to a little bit of luck. With two on and nobody out, Notarangelo hit a tailor-made double play ball to short...but the throw to first would slip away, allowing Shane Lussier to score. Notarangelo would later score the go-ahead run on another error off the bat of Matt Venuto.

This game remained tight until the eight, where Tom Ruscitti delivered the biggest blow of the season so far. A two-out grand slam would blow the game open and allow the ‘Neers to hang on for the 8-4 win and 2-1 series victory.

The best-of-three NECBL Championship Series begins Friday night at the Rec Field, with Vermont hosting Martha’s Vineyard. First pitch is set for 6:30.

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