SOUTH BURLINGTON — The Clinton County Junior Mariners didn’t have many hits Wednesday, but Andy Kneussle and the defense proved that the ones they did get were enough.
Kneussle struck out nine in a complete game pitching performance in the Junior Mariners 4-1 victory over the Vermont Outlaws.
“Andy Kneussle, in the last 13 innings, has only allowed on fly ball,” Clinton County coach Gary Duquette said. “He does an excellent job at keeping the ball down in the zone and inducing ground balls. He is off to a heck of a start.”
Quenton Barber belted an RBI single to open scoring in the third inning for Clinton County (9-1). Nate Stanton added a sacrifice fly that scored the game-winning run.
Caleb Keysor finished with a single and an RBI on a squeeze bunt in the sixth inning to provide an insurance run. Blake Altizer, Shawn Courson and Dan Hartman all finished with a single.
The Junior Mariners had a strong game defensively, particularly from Ryan Whalen. Whalen turned a triple play in the second inning.
After the Outlaws had runners on first and second from a single and a hit-by-pitch, Whalen dove to catch a line drive, tagged second and threw the ball to first for the triple play.
“Ryan Whalen played great defense (Wednesday),” Duquette said. “He had two putouts and had four other assists at second base.
“We didn’t swing the bats that well, but we did get a number of walks and stole eight bases. Our team speed kept pressure on their defense the whole day.”
Will Potter suffered the loss on the mound for Vermont.
The Junior Mariners are back on the diamond Saturday for a doubleheader against the Saratoga Stampede starting at 1 p.m. at Lefty Wilson.
Junior Mariners 4, Vermont Outlaws 1
Jr. Mariners 002 002 0 — 4 5 2
Vt. Outlaws 000 100 0 — 1 4 2
Kneussle and Altizer. Potter, LeVan (4), Mikell (5), Smith (7) and Pooduck. WP- Kneussle. LP- Potter.