BY GENE DELORENZO
PROCTOR — Rivendell High School made the long trip to Proctor pay off on Saturday afternoon, April 30 with a hard-earned 14-13 win over a feisty Proctor Phantom squad who came within a whisker of winning this in the bottom of the ninth.
Rivendell’s Harrison Molesworth was the star of the day, hitting a run-scoring double in the top of the ninth and then saving the day with a splendid reaching catch of a long drive by Bode Richardson with two on in the bottom of the ninth that surely saved the game for the visitors. For the day, Molesworth would go 3 for 5 with 3 runs batted in.
Proctor pitcher Aaron Brock did a superb job for the Phantoms, throwing 5 innings of 3 hit, 2 run ball in relief of starter Jacob Patch.
Proctor trailed throughout most of the game and had to mount a three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game at 13-13 before Molesworth’s heroics in the top of the ninth.
In the three-run uprising to tie the game in the seventh, Dylan Aiker knocked in one run with a groundout and after a walk to Cameron Canucci (who had homered in the first inning for the Phantoms), a strikeout by Jacob Patch on a good high fastball and a walk to Lucas Merrill, relief pitcher/first baseman Aaron Brock rocketed a two-run single down the leftfield line tying the game at 13-13.
Brock had a sterling day at the plate going 2 for 4 with 4 RBIs. His future looks very bright at Proctor for Phantom fans.
After the only 1-2-3 inning of the entire game in the top of the eighth, Proctor had another superb opportunity to take the lead as they would load the bases in the bottom of the inning. But it wasn’t to be as another key strikeout by Rivendell would keep the game tied going into the ninth.
In the top of the ninth, a walk to Wyatt Underhill and a groundout brought up Molesworth, who rocketed a double to deep right centerfield over the reach of Bode Richardson and Rivendell had the lead back, 14-13.
But Proctor was not going to go quietly as they quickly got runners to first and second with but one out with Richardson coming to the plate. He had had a tough day at the plate to that point, but he promptly hit a scalding line drive to deep right center – easily the game winner unless a miraculous catch occurred. And that it did, as Molesworth showed great speed and athletic ability in sprinting into the gap and reaching over his shoulder to snare the ball before it hit the ground.
After another walk loaded the bases, the final Phantom went down swinging and the three and a half hour game came to an end.
For Proctor, along with Brock, Cannucci had two hits and two RBI, Jacob Patch went 2 for 6 and threw the ball well in the early innings of the game. A bit of wildness and a few shaky plays in the field did not help his cause, but he looked good throwing the ball.
All in all, the team showed great spirit and enthusiasm and will only be getting better as the season progresses. They are very young, with no seniors and several eighth graders playing varsity baseball for the first time. Coach Patch does a great job infusing the team with energy and baseball knowledge and they will be a team to watch and enjoy as the season unfolds.
This Thursday, May 5, is a red-letter day for Proctor and West Rutland fans as the Westsiders will travel to Proctor for a day game starting at 4:30 p.m.