Nic Manuppelli (Youngstown St) conquered his Danbury demons on Friday the 13th, and Laconia’s seven-game losing streak came to an end in grand fashion in Vermont, as the Muskrats jumped ahead, stormed back, and held on for a wild 13-12 win.
In a 9-7 game in the eighth and the bases loaded for Laconia, Corey Stringer (Fort Scott CC) beat some serious odds. He launched a grand slam out of deep left field to put Laconia up 11-9. It was the Muskrats 52nd homerun of the summer, breaking the NECBL record.
Stringer couldn’t have picked a better time for his first homer and runs batted in of the summer. It also ended a 15-inning scoreless streak by NECBL Pitcher of the Week Alex Haines (Seaton Hill).
Laconia jumped out to a first inning lead for the fourth game in a row; though the team went on to lose each of the three previous. Facing Mountaineers closer Kyle Grana (Bellermine) in a spot start, leadoff man John Ziznewski (Rockland CC) drew a walk, stole second, and reached third on a Wil Leathers (Spartanburg Methodist) single.
Vince Conde (Vanderbilt) reached and took two bases on a throwing error by the second baseman Brett Johnson (TCU), the first of two for him in the game. It allowed Ziznewski to score and Leathers to take third. Danny Collins (Troy) would single in Leathers to make it 2-0.
Vermont got on the board in the bottom of the inning, but Laconia recovered to limit them to just one run with the bases loaded. The bags were filled on a single and two walks from Austin Sullivan (NW Florida St), and his third walk brought the run in. But a slick double play up the middle got the Muskrats out of the jam.
Sullivan would live dangerously all day, but pitch his way around it to last five strong innings. Despite walking six, he struck out five and limited the scoring to four runs.
Laconia has some business to attend to Saturday at Robbie Mills Field, as the fifth-place Mystic Schooners visit. Mystic is 3-2 against the Muskrats this summer. Game time is 6:30 PM