BURLINGTON >> Terryville’s baseball team held off a late comeback by Lewis Mills for a 7-5 win that shows how competitive this year’s Berkshire League is.
The Kangaroos (2-1), who graduated just one player from last year’s state tournament qualifiers, pounded out 11 hits for a seemingly insurmountable 7-2 lead at Mills after five-and-a-half innings.
The Spartans (0-4) came up with four hits in the final two innings for three runs.
Left-hander Derek Thibodeau was on the mound for the Roos in the bottom of the seventh, leading 7-4.
He got one out on a fielder’s choice by Will Coughlin after Mills’ Brian Nedley led off with a single. The second out came on a fly to right.
Mills pinch hitter Billy Willett walked in a full-count battle.
Jon Gorski slammed a rope down the third base line for a double.
Coughlin was home, 7-5.
Gorski and Willett perched on second and third.
Christian Birkenberger came up as a pinch hitter representing the winning run.
“I knew if I relied on my mechanics, we would get the out,” said Thibodeau.
The mechanics built a 1-2 count. Birkenberger ripped the next pitch on the ground just right of second base.
Terryville second baseman Connor Levins darted right, stabbed it with a backhand and threw out the final out at first.
“We may be the best 0-4 team in the state,” said Lewis Mills coach Jesse Darcy.
“Our defense has to improve (4 errors), but our pitching was fine today and so was our hitting.”
For Terryville Coach Peter Veleas, that same kind of defensive improvement was a key to the win.
“We’re getting better,” he said. “Today, we swung the bats. Making just one error is a step in the right direction.”
Both teams swung the bats early. Terryville’s Shawn Fulton began a 3-for-4 day with his first of three runs on a one-out single and a double by John Grimes.
The Spartans came back for two in the bottom of the second on hits by Andrew Madden (2-for-3, 2 doubles), Gorski (2-for-4, RBI) and Lucas Lanning (3-for-4, 3 RBI).
Terryville tied it in the third on Fulton’s second hit, a pair of wild pitches and a sacrifice fly by Ian Schmidt (2-for-3, 4 RBI).
Three more Kangaroo hits in the fifth, by Zach Harnish, Levins (2-for-5, RBI) and Schmidt combined with a pair of Spartan errors for two runs and a 4-2 lead.
Another error and three hits in the sixth, by Levins, Fulton and Schmidt poured in three more runs and the “insurmountable lead.”
Terryville, with just a one-run loss to the NVL’s St. Paul (7-6), knows it’s better this year.
Lewis Mills is working on it.
“Everything seems to get magnified when you lose,” said Darcy. “We know we’re a better team than this. 0-4 can be daunting, but we could end up 16-4.”
Terryville 7, Lewis Mills 5
At Lewis Mills High School
Terryville 101 023 0 – 7 11 1
Lewis Mills 020 002 1 – 5 9 4
WP: Doug Thorne. LP: Will Coughlin. 2B: T – Connor Levins; John Grimes. LM – Mike Ciccarelli; Andrew Madden 2; Jon Gorski.
Records: Terryville 2-1; Lewis Mills 0-4.