Cats Have Won Thirteen of Last Fourteen; Including Three Against Stony Brook

Jared Slater came within one out of a no-hitter in the nightcap and Barry Chamberland homered in both games as Vermont swept a pair from Siena, 11-1 and 4-0, in collegiate baseball at Centennial Field last Tuesday. It was first two games of the season at Centennial Field for the Catamounts (15-4)who extended their winning streak to ten games. Vermont pitching allowed just one unearned run in the sweep to lower their team ERA to 2.41. The Cats’ bats also came alive on the warm afternoon as they belted four homers in the two games. Slater, in just his second start of the season, allowed just a first pitch line single to left field by Tony Cipolla with two outs in the seventh inning. In six and two-third innings he struck out seven, walked just three and retired 11 straight in one stretch. He also induced seven ground ball outs in improving to 2-1 this year. Brett Dobens came on with two on and recorded the last out for his second save of the season. “It could have very easily been a four-hitter but my defense really helped me out,” commented Slater on the shutout, Vermont’s third of the year. Chamberland gave him all the offense he needed with a two-out homer to right field in the first. The Cats also scored three in the fourth with Bobby Tewksbary driving in one and Jeff Barry and Chamberland executing a double-steal to set up the other two. Also, Jason Carey went 3-for-3 in the nightcap. In the opener, Vermont’s 1-2-3 hitters, Barry (2-for-3), Tewksbary (3-for-4) and Chamberland (3-for-3, 4 RBI), combined to go 8-for-10 with nine runs scored and five RBI. Tewksbary had a pair of doubles and Chamberland hit a mammoth homer into the soccer bleachers in the sixth. Leif Ekelund and Kyle Brault also went deep for Vermont and Jay Iannoni drove in two runs. For Ekelund, it was his first career HR while Brault, in his first collegiate game at Centennial Field, hit his team-high fifth, a two-run shot in the fifth inning. On the mound, Jeff Dixon scattered six hits, walked just one and struck out four in six innings to improve to 5-0 and lower his ERA to 0.79. Chris Blazek came on in the seventh and stuck out the side. Kevin Roberts had two of the six hits including a double for the Saints, who fall to 7-24 with the two losses. In the two games, Chamberland went 5-for-5 with 5 RBI to lift his average to .414. Iannoni went 3-for-5 in his Centennial debut and now he is hitting .413. The Cats open America East play hosting Stony Brook with a pair of twin bills on Friday and Saturday as a pair of 11-game winning streaks were stopped in the same doubleheader as the teams split a pair. Behind strong pitching by Jamie Merchant, Vermont won the opener, 6-2, while the Seawolves pounded out six extra-base hits in taking game two, 6-4. Vermont came into the twin bill riding a 10-game winning streak while Stony Brook had won 11 in a row. It was the first conference action of the season for the Catamounts (16-5, 1-1 America East) who, in game one, handed Stony Brook (19-9, 9-1) their first loss in league play. After allowing a pair of hits in the first, Merchant dominated through the middle innings retiring 17 of the next 19 Seawolves in cruising to his fourth win of the year with no defeats. He allowed six hits, walked just one and struck out seven while giving up the only two runs with two outs in the seventh. Vermont broke out of the gate with two runs in the first inning of game two. Tewksbary and Chamberland walked with one scoring on Jay Iannoni’s single and the other on a fielder’s choice by Carey. After that, Seawolves freshman lefty David Wood set down 13 straight Catamounts while his team took the lead with four in the fourth. Trailing 6-3 in the sixth, Iannoni reached on an error and Kyle Brault walked to start the frame. With two outs, Ekelund doubled home Iannoni before reliever Matt Restivo (3rd save) came in to retire Derek Root to end the threat. The Catamounts and Stony Brook then played another twin bill on Saturday. Derek Miller hurled a three-hitter in the opener and Barry Chamberland homered for the fourth time in six games as Vermont swept Stony Brook, 2-0 and 6-3, in America East baseball at Centennial Field on Saturday afternoon. Winners of 13 of their last 14, Vermont, in their first conference action, won three of four from Seawolves (19-11, 9-3 America East) who came into the weekend unbeaten in league play. The Catamounts, at 18-5, are off to their best start in coach Bill Currier’s 16 seasons at the helm. Vermont next plays at Marist on Tuesday and hosts Plattsburgh State on Thursday in non-conference action. They return to America East play next weekend as Albany comes to Centennial Field for a four-game series. -SportsInfo