Josh Guilmart and Litchfield upset Thomaston, 7-5 for second win of season.
LITCHFIELD: Funny, this game of baseball.
We saw another prime example of that on Tuesday afternoon when one very hot team ran into and ice cold team and the latter came away with the win.
The hot team, the Thomaston Golden Bears, came in hotter than any day we have had this spring, winners of eight in a row, many in convincing fashion.
On the opposite side of the field was a squad that just picked up their first win of the year when they got by rival Wamogo by a 7-2 final on May 5.
Ah, but the beauty of this game is that sometimes, you are as good or as bad as your next pitcher. It’s the great equalizer, a well-pitched game.
Enter junior Josh Guilmart, a reliever by trade but pushed into a start based on the chaotic schedule most teams are in the middle of thanks to the rainy week that just passed.
Well, the righty with a mighty hook pitched his team to a 7-1 lead, then watched as the Bears mounted a Bear-like comeback in their last time at the plate before falling a pair of runs short as the home team garnered their second win (2-12) of the year with a 7-5 final.
The Cowboys might have come in with the tough record but it wasn’t because they had been getting blown out all season.
“The first part of the season,” Weaver said. “We lost four games by one run and three games by two. We have been up in this situation twice, once to Thomaston, once to Terryville but we have not been able to close it out.”
As is their style, the Bears put pressure on their opponent and plated a run in the top of the first on only one hit.
Justin Taylor walked with two outs and moved to third on a single by starting pitcher Jared Kahn. With Noah Daigle at the dish, Kahn took off for second and on the throw through, Taylor broke for the plate and beat the tag for a 1-0 Bears lead.
Thomaston had simply been banging the stuffing out of the baseball during their streak but they ran into a pitcher that had a pretty nasty curve ball that he used to keep the Bears off balance and while he never had a clean inning, the visitors were kept of the board from the second through sixth innings while the home teams bats woke up.
Jared Guilmart got things started for the Cowboys in their half of the first by beating out an infield hit. He moved to second on a stolen base and came around to score on a single to left center by third basemen Ryan O’Bernier to knot things at a run apiece.
Litchfield would add three more runs in their half of the second, the final two driven in by Josh Guilmart who was thrown out trying to stretch his single into a double. Griffin McIntyre had driven in the first run of the frame with a long double to center.
O’Bernier stole a page out of the Bears playbook in the bottom of the third when he raced home from third on a throw to first after a strikeout.
Matt Schweter completed the scoring for the home team with a two-run double in the top of the fifth, runs that didn’t seem to mean much at the time but came in plenty handy late.
Litchfield manager Kyle Weaver spoke of the work he got out of his spot-starter on Tuesday.
“Josh is slated to be a reliever,” Weaver said. “But having four games this week we needed him to start. We knew he had a pretty good curve ball and as long as he could throw strikes he would be alright and he did that. We picked it up behind him as well but Josh is a gamer.”
Litchfield, for the most part, played a crisp game in the field until they threw the ball around in the Bears four-run top of the seventh.
“The first part of the year, it was a tale of two teams,” Weaver said. “We were not making those plays and giving teams four or five outs per inning and it hurt us. We gave them a couple extra outs in that last inning but we battled through it.”
Guilmart pitched into the seventh, got the first out of the inning but walked the next two batters and was relieved by McIntyre who made things interesting by giving up three straight hits that plated a total of four runs but got the final two outs for the save.
Mailing in a tough season like this is not beyond the realm of possibilities for any team sporting a one win season this late but give the Cowboys and their junior hurler credit for not doing just that.
“We have to come out every day with the same intensity,” Guilmart said. “We finally strung some hits together and got them early. Played great defense, Ryan (O’Bernier) made some great plays at third.”
For his part, Thomaston manager Bob McMahon understood what had just happened to his team.
“That kid pitcher a great game,” McMahon said. “We made it interesting in the end.”