Rangers pick up two big wins over Alton

Cole Donovan throws a curveball for a strikeout, recording nine strikeouts against Alton. Corey McKean. (click for larger version)
July 27, 2015
LITTLETON — The Plymouth Durand-Haley Rangers Junior Legion baseball team hosted Alton Claude R. Batchelder Post 72 on Saturday, July 18, at Remich Park in a doubleheader matchup in which game one came down to just one inning, when Plymouth outscored Alton 2-1 in the fifth inning to earn the victory. In game two, the Rangers put up 11 hits to score eight runs while keeping Alton to just four runs, earning an 8-4 victory and two much-needed wins.

"Getting these two wins today was huge," explained Plymouth coach AJ Bray. "It really helps us in the standings. We now are in third and hold the tiebreaker with all four teams below us in the standings. The top four qualify for the state tournament at the end of the month so today's wins really helped our cause.

In game one, it was all Cole Donovan, as he has been solid on the hill all summer long for Durand-Haley. Donovan went the distance, recording nine strikeouts while allowing just four hits.

"He pitched another complete game, his fourth in five starts this year," said Bray. "He has been outstanding for us on the mound all year and at the plate too. He went two for three and scored the eventual game-winning run."

After four scoreless innings of impressive baseball, Alton struck first in the fifth inning, scoring a run off two walks, a single and an error to go up 1-0. Plymouth battled back however, putting up two runs in the fifth off an Andrew Coulombe walk and back-to-back singles by Donovan and Brody Fillion. Adam Martineese would chip in with an RBI single, scoring Donovan and bringing the score to 2-1 Plymouth.

Donovan would strike out two of four batters in the sixth inning and another in the seventh to hold Alton scoreless and give Plymouth game one.

In game two, Plymouth and Alton were all knotted up after two innings of play at a score of 3-3 but a two-run fourth inning and three-run fifth inning lifted Plymouth to an 8-4 victory. Alton tacked on a run late in the sixth inning but it wasn't enough to get them the win.

"It was a great effort top to bottom in game two," explained Bray. "Braxton Brown went the distance for us on the mound to get the win. It was an impressive performance, especially for a 14-year-old.

"Offensively it was nice to see the bottom of the order step up and deliver," Bray continued. "Quinton Ross had a stellar day going two for two with a walk, single, double and an RBI. Lucas Bray recorded a hit and scored two runs, Austin Woodward was one for two with two RBI's and Cam Hoyt was one for one with two RBI's. Those four guys hit 7,8,9 in our order and they produced five of our eight runs. When you get that type of production from the bottom of the order you know it's going to be a good day," added Bray.

Plymouth improves to a record of 9-5 on the season while Alton falls to a record of 8-7. Plymouth has now ended its regular season and looks to make a run in the state tournament, which will take place at Gill Stadium in Manchester from July 31 to Aug. 4.

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