NEWPORT–The Falcon baseball team had a rough go of it on Saturday morning against Lyndon Institute. After falling behind early, rallying back to take the lead through the middle innings, a tough seven run top of the sixth sealed the boys fate as they lost 14-8 to the Vikings.
"This was a game that wasn't played well," said Coach Brian Bonvechio. "Both teams played like very inexperienced teams and the game was very sloppy as a result."
The Vikings came out ready to play, touching Jon Boyer for three runs in the first inning off of two hits, two walks and an error.
Ready is the operative word here as Bonvechio was clearly unimpressed with his team's preparedness for the game.
"It started with batting practice, and just about everyone was late. I told everyone no later than nine o'clock. When I started BP there were only four people here.
"So it has been an ugly day from the start."
The Falcons woke up in bottom of the first. Nick Sicard walked, and after Dan Decelles grounded out, Nate Stewart singled in Sicard.
Stewart stole second, and came around to score on Wyatt Prue's single.
In the third, with the score still 3-2 Vikings, North Country made their move.
Hatin kicked off the inning with his second hit of the game, stole second and third, and came home on a Prue single.
Tyler Sanville was up next, reaching base with another NCU single. After Chase Lacourse walked to load the bases, Sicard, Decelles and Stewart did the same, in turn Prue, Sanville, Lacourse and Sicard all trotted home and it was 7-3 Falcons.
The Vikings held on, scoring a pair of runs in the fourth.
In the fifth Jacob Barry came in and pitched a scoreless inning, one of the few highlights on the day for the Falcons.
Said the coach, "He threw a very good inning. It was his first varsity experience, and he threw a nice 17 pitch scoreless fifth."
That would be about the last time North Country had something to smile about, as Lyndon came up in the sixth and when the top half of the inning was over, the landscape of the game had changed dramatically.
Eleven batters came to plate in inning number six, scoring seven runs on two doubles, two errors and four walks. Prue, who had come in to relieve Barry, was forced to throw 41 pitches in the frame, and it just wasn't his day.
"It was a struggle, and this is the first time I have seen that from him. He is a good, strong young fellow who throws the ball pretty well, but he just did not have it today," Bonvechio replied when asked about the sixth.
North Country added one more run, the Vikings two, and after the final out, it was a happy Lyndon Team that boarded the bus back to the Institute.
"I'm real proud of our kids today," said Lyndon coach Justin Smith. "For how young we are and how much we have learned in just one game, how we used it... We kept our heads up and I'm pleased with our kid’s fight today."
In the home dugout, an unhappy group set about to clean up the field.
"We started slow, then picked it up, and it was pretty ugly in the end. We failed to prepare, thus we prepared to fail,"Stewart said dryly after the game.
Prue took the loss for the Falcons and the Vikings out hit North Country 11-9.
0-2 North Country has a lot of time to prepare for their next game, as they don't play again until this Thursday on the road at Burlington. Game time is 4:30.