CUMBERLAND – The Patriots kept pace with the Rangers through the first half of the teams’ prelims matchup on Wednesday, June 7, but fell behind in the bottom of the third, when some defensive wobbles – a trio of walks and some missed opportunities in the field – cost them. They never recovered, ultimately falling 6-2.
“Greely is a great opponent,” G-NG head coach Brad Smith said. “So we know them. And we felt pretty good. It’s just one of those things: You play out seven innings, somebody’s going to score more runs. I told [the guys] to walk out of here with their heads held high.”
G-NG looked strong to start the game, and went up 1-0 in the top of the first, a Zach Mann tally. The Rangers answered in their first at-bats, however, Dylan Fried evening the score at 1-1.
“We came up hitting,” Smith said. “That’s what I told them, ‘We have to be aggressive.’ We had three or four hits in a row and were off and running. Unfortunately we turned around and give it right back to them. But it set the tone.”
Greely’s three-run third began when Mann, on the mound for the Patriots, met with some uncharacteristic control issues, walking the bases loaded. A sac fly, a fielder’s choice and a single brought home Fried again, as well as Zach Brown and Jack Saffian, propelling Greely out front 4-1.
The Patriots ushered men onto base in four of the final five innings, but managed just one more run, when Nick Chandler squeeze-bunted and brought home Nick McCann, diving, in the sixth. Meanwhile, Luke Miller and Tate Porter both rounded the bases in the sixth for the Rangers, building to the final.
G-NG actually put up nine hits in the contest: Jake Winchester went 1-4, Mann 1-4, John Henry Villanueva 1-1, Will Shufelt 2-4, Eli Winchester 2-3, McCann 1-2 and Tanner Mann 1-3. They simply couldn’t get the timely hits, the ones they needed to wring more runs out of the diamond.
For their part, the Rangers hashed six hits. Fried was 1-3 on the afternoon, Brown 1-3, Miller 1-2, Porter 2-3 and AJ Eisenhart 1-2.
Mann threw three Ks for the Patriots, and Eli Winchester, who took Mann’s place on the mound temporarily in the third (after he gave up those three consecutive walks), threw one. Brown, who pitched a complete game for Greely, threw four.
G-NG, who snuck into the tournament ranked 12th, retires till next spring at 7-10. Greely fell to Cape Elizabeth in the quarterfinals a day later, 5-4. They return to the sidelines till 2018 at 11-7, having entered the bracketing ranked fifth.
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Greely shortstop Ryan Twitchell hurls a ball toward first.
Zach Brown led the Rangers past the Patriots.