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Fillion, Brickley lead Durand-Haley to their first win of the season

by Corey McKean
Sports reporter - The Littleton Courier

Owen Brickley got the start on the mound and pitched five scoreless innings for Plymouth. Corey McKean. (click for larger version)
June 26, 2017
PLYMOUTH — With the Plymouth Durand-Haley Rangers trailing Manchester Post 79 by a score of 7-6 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning on Thursday, June 22, Owen Brickley hit a single to left center field and was followed up by Brody Fillion, who crushed a two-run, walk off homerun to right center field, earning the Rangers their first win of the summer season, 8-7.

After two scoreless innings, the Plymouth offense came out in the bottom of the third to break the 0-0 tie, scoring two runs off a hit by pitch to Mike Hogan and two singles from Brickley and Cole Donovan to take a 2-0 lead heading into the fourth inning.

Brickley, who got the start on the mound for the Rangers, continued to throw strong as he recorded another scoreless inning in the fourth to keep the score at 2-0. The Plymouth offense tallied another run in the bottom of the fourth to extend their lead to 3-0 as Brickley reached first off a fielder's choice, was moved to second on an error off a hit by Fillion and came around to score on a single to center field by Donovan.

Brickley finished his solid day on the mound with yet another scoreless inning in the top of the fifth inning while the Plymouth offense was kept quiet in the bottom of the fifth as the game stayed at 3-0 going into the sixth inning.

A pitching change by the Rangers started the sixth inning and Manchester Post 79 would find their offense as they took advantage of four walks and started crushing the ball, recording six hits to score six runs and taking a 6-3 lead. The Manchester defense shut down the Plymouth offense once again, keeping the 6-3 lead heading into the seventh inning.

Hogan came in to pitch for Plymouth in the seventh and the defense behind Hogan would be great, picking up all three outs to bring up the Ranger offense in the bottom of the seventh. Plymouth battled back to score three runs off two walks, an error and two singles from Tony Velez and Garrett Demas to knot the score up at 6-6 going into the eighth.

An early error by Plymouth started the top of the eighth and it would prove costly for the moment as the baserunner came around to score off a double and Manchester Post 79 took a 7-6 lead. The 7-6 lead by Manchester held up until the bottom of the ninth inning where Fillion came up clutch.

With their last at bats in the bottom of the ninth and an early out to start the inning, Brickley came up for the Rangers and started the comeback rally with a single to left center field. Fillion then stepped up to the plate and blasted a homerun to right center field, walking Plymouth off with their first win of the season.

"I thought we played really tough all day. We weathered the storm in the sixth inning and hung on until Brody gave us the walk off win. Owen Brickley gave us a great start on the mound. We have to continue to get better and eliminate errors that extend innings," explained Plymouth coach Mike Boyle.

The Rangers were led by Fillion with a hit and three RBIs while Manchester was led by Keith Swetland with three hits and two RBIs.

Plymouth improves to a record of 1-2 on the season while Manchester Post 79 falls to a record of 1-3. The Rangers will play again on Saturday, July 1, as they host Keene for a doubleheader. Game times are posted for 12 and 3 p.m.

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