By Kevin McElhinney–CRVBL
The Claremont Cardinals, Chester Crush, Walpole Wild Blue and the Newport Polar Bears all notched wins as the Connecticut River Valley Baseball League opened its 12th season of play last weekend.
Claremont began its defense of the 2012 CRVBL title with a 16 – 6 win over the Putney Fossils at Barnes Park in Claremont. The first six Cardinal batters reached base and Gerry Thompson knocked in two runs with a bases loaded single. Claremont’s Nate Duford hit a homer, a triple and drove in three runs while teammate Bob Myers had three hits and scored four runs. Colby-Sawyer College alum Jon Nicholas picked up his first win for Claremont. Richard Bissell took the loss for Putney but on offense had a base hit and scored a run.
In Walpole, the Wild Blue came back from a three run first inning deficit to defeat the Brattleboro River Rats 12 to 4. Veteran pitcher Frank Brown was the star of the game for Walpole, pitching six innings of shutout relief for the win and helping his cause by driving in four runs. Blake Gowen had a pair of doubles for the Wild Blue. Brattleboro catcher Sunny Lucas had two hits, scored a run and stole a base. Chester traveled to Marlborough Field in New Hampshire and beat the Keene Black Dawgs, 3-1. Scott Renfro went the distance on the mound for the Crush, scattering six hits and striking out seven. On offense he had a pair of hits and three stolen bases. Jamie Spence of Chester had two hits, including a double and drove in two of his team’s three runs.
At Bates Memorial Field in Sunapee, the Newport Polar Bears exploded for six runs in the sixth inning to defeat the newest CRVBL team, the Sunapee Old Lakers, 8-2. Sunapee shortstop Jake Stout drove in both of his team’s runs in a losing effort, going three for five with two doubles and a single.
CRVBL play resumes on Saturday, April 27 with Walpole hosting Chester at 1:00 p.m. Three games will be played on Sunday April 28: Brattleboro hosts Claremont at Dummerston Field at 10:00 a.m., followed by Putney hosting Newport on the same field at 1:00 p.m., and Keene will travel to Sunapee for a 1:00 p.m. game. Admission for all CRVBL games is free. To learn more about the league, please visit the CRVBL website at www.crvbl.org .
Claremont 1 0
Walpole 1 0
Chester 1 0
Newport 1 0
Brattleboro 0 1
Putney 0 1
Keene 0 1
Sunapee 0 1