Lessons learned for Aeros in strong win over Falcons

Vinny DeMattia stands in at the plate prior to ripping a single in the fifth inning.
Reminder Publications submitted photo
June 4, 2012

By Chris Maza


WILBRAHAM — There were learning experiences aplenty for the Hampden Aeros in their May 31 victory.

The Aeros got contributions on the mound in relief from two pitchers new to the position and had to overcome an opponents' rally as they beat the Wilbraham Falcons 14-8 in Tri-Town Baseball Koufax Division baseball action at Michael J. Farrell Field at the Spec Pond Recreational Complex.

"It's a lot of fun when you can have a close game like that," Hampden coach Rick Willis said. "It was a great game by both teams. It was a dogfight right up until the last inning."

After building up an 8-2 lead over the first three and a half innings, the Aeros saw their advantage slip away as the Falcons put up six runs in an impressive rally.

Wilbraham's Jarrod Parent got things started with an RBI single to drive in Eric Garette and Jess Kellner, Parent and Lian Meunier all scored on heads up base running plays on third when the ball got by the catcher to close in on the Aeros.

Wally Eaton capped off the rally with a timely hit and good baserunning. He hit an infield single that scored Justin McBrian from third to bring the score to 8-7, and then later scored from third on Nathan Woodward's fielders' choice to tie the game.

But the Aeros proved equal to the task as Fin Willis' smart baserunning paid off as he took off for home on a ball that got by the catcher, capturing the lead again for Hampden.

Hampden added five more runs in insurance to seal the victory.

For Rick Willis, the experience gained by his team in the victory should prove invaluable to his players.

"The adversity you find on the baseball field is the same as you find in real life, so the more you can experience that on the diamond, the more it will help you when you're out in the real world," he said.

Vinny DeMattia started the game on the hill for Hampden and struck out the side in the first inning. Austin Shea and Max Macero spelled him in relief, with Macero getting his first win.

"[DeMattia] is a very excellent pitcher. He was throwing from three quarters instead of over the top today, so there was something up with him. He said he was fine, but there was something wrong with his delivery that we picked up immediately and when we got his dad involved, he admitted he has a sore arm, so we pulled him," Rick Austin said. "It was [Austin's] second time pitching this year and he did a great job and for [Macero], it was his first time pitching, so I thought they both did great."

Sean Lee had a strong day at the plate for Hampden, hitting a single and a double while driving in four runs. Anthony Joseph also had a single and a double and scored twice, while Kyle Messier hit a third inning triple. DeMattia had two hits and two RBIs.

"Our team likes to hit and they had their hitting shoes on today," Willis said.

Woodward pitched a strong four innings for Wilbraham, striking out seven batters in four innings. Parent had two hits and two RBIs and Kellner also recorded two hits.

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