Miscues overwhelm Hurricanes baseball in Tuesday night contest

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Solly Flores

Solly Flores gene soboleski—BigZig Photography

By BEN HOOKE

Valley News Correspondent

Published: 05-15-2024 4:31 PM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — If the Hartford Hurricanes want to make a deep run in the upcoming VPA Division II baseball playoffs, they can scarcely afford more performances like Tuesday night’s.

The Hurricanes battled well at the plate against Brattleboro hurler Jayke Glidden but completely unraveled on the defensive end and with their own pitching to fall, 14-4, to the D-I Bears at Maxfield Sports Complex.

Hartford hung tough for most of the night, staying in range for five full innings before the wheels came off in the top of the sixth inning. With starter Solly Flores pulled, a bevy of Hartford relievers combined to give up nine runs despite only allowing two hits for the whole inning.

The Hurricanes walked seven batters and committed two run-scoring errors as Brattleboro stretched the lead to an unassailable 13-3 margin.

“We just didn’t throw strikes,” Harford coach Bill Vielleux said of his team’s night at the mound. “We have players at every position in the field who can field. So throw the ball over the plate and let them hit it.”

In total, Hartford put 23 players on base without the ball entering play on the night. The damage as a whole could have been worse if not for some errors in the basepaths by the Bears. Brattleboro had several runners who got caught stealing or in rundowns, allowing Hartford to escape innings with smaller margins than expected from the number of runners who reached base.

If there was a bright spot for the Hurricanes, it was at the plate. Despite Glidden’s strong outing, Hartford worked well to attack his pitches and notched an impressive-enough hitting performance.

Sean Dunton and Christian Hathorn had the two highlights of the night when they each drove balls deep into center field for stand-up triples, and Hartford as a whole out-hit the Bears 7-3 despite the loss.

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With five games left in the the season, the Hurricanes have some work to do to pull away from a tight pack in D-II. Current rankings have the Hurricanes fifth, but with four teams between third and sixth sitting within an index point of each other, the race for a top-four seed is far from over.

Hartford can work to gain ground next when it travels to Bellows Falls on Tuesday.

“The good thing is it’s just one game,” said Vielleux. “I’m excited for the playoffs. I’d expect for us to go pretty far in it.”