Season ends on a high note

After opening the baseball season with a dozen losses in a row, Milton baseball finished on a roll as Andrew Harvey ended up as the winning reliever in his own start, which ended in a 7-6 win in eight innings over Vergennes on Alex Line’s walkoff hit.

Harvey pitched the one inning the teams played May 22 before rain sent the Commodores sailing back down Route 7. Jacob Laware took the mound in the resumption of play Friday afternoon, and threw 4 1/3 innings. Harvey came back on in relief and tossed another 2 2/3, allowing just one run in each appearance.

Line went 3-for-4 for Milton with a double, driving in three runs. Kyle Rafter also had a 3-for-4 afternoon, with two runs batted in. Tyler Farrar (triple) added two hits, and the Yellowjackets got one each from Laware (double), Harvey (single, 2 RBI), Matt Brault, and Spencer Bidwell.

Milton, whose 2-13 record includes three 1-run defeats, were scheduled to open the state tournament on May 29 at No. 3 Otter Valley (12-4). The Yellowjackets didn’t win their first game until taking the second of two at Mt. Abraham on May 19, but then won two of three, losing only a 1-run battle with perennial power BFA-Fairfax.

On Thursday, BFA-Fairfax’s Trevor Gaudette made his varsity pitching debut a complete-game win, throwing a 5-hitter in a 3-2 victory over Milton. Gaudette struck out seven with four walks, giving up just one earned run on 114 pitches.

Gaudette also had two of the Bullets’ seven hits off Milton’s Matt Brault, who matched Gaudette’s outing with his own 114-pitch complete game, with eight strikeouts and five walks.

Cam Barnier (run, RBI), Brault (run), Carson Desranleau, Tyler Farrar, and Andrew Harvey had singles for Milton.

A 2-out rally put the Bullets in front in the top of the first inning. Minor and Orton walked, Gaudette singled to load the bases, and Biggie’s hit scored Minor but also ended the threat when a pinch-runner was thrown out at the plate.

Milton tied it in the bottom of the second on walks to Brault and Silas Bidwell, and an RBI single from Barnier. Gaudette ended the damage there with back-to-back strikeouts and a grounder to shortstop Ben Keogh.

BFA regained the lead in the top of the third on singles by Keogh and Roy, followed by a Milton error that allowed Keogh to score and sent Roy to second. Brault kept the damage at one run, though, getting two groundouts around a hit batter (Gaudette).

It remained 2-1 into the fifth, when the Bullets picked up another 2-out run. Brault opened the inning with two swinging strikeouts, but Minor walked, stole second, and scored on Orton’s RBI single. Another hit by Gaudette and an error loaded the bases, but Brault escaped with a fly out to center field.

Gaudette set the Yellowjackets down in order in the bottom of the fifth, a Milton pickoff helped negate a bunt single by Noah Brock in the top of the sixth, and an inning-ending double play got BFA out of the bottom of the sixth still up by two.

Another double play helped Milton in the next half-inning when first baseman Kyle Raftery snagged a wicked liner by Gaudette, catching the ball a step from the bag and quickly stepping on it before the runner could react.

The Yellowjackets battled back in the bottom of the seventh, starting with Barnier’s leadoff walk. A passed ball and a groundout moved Barnier to third, and he scored on Desranleau’s single into right field to make it 3-2.

Gaudette got a ground ball to second for the second out, and a fly to Minor in center field to end it.