LAROCHE’S HOME RUN PROPELS HORNETS INTO EXTRA INNINGS, OVER THETFORD

Caleb Laroche (14) makes his way to home plate to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh inning Sunday as the Hornets ousted Thetford for a place in the semifinals, scheduled to play on Wednesday at 4:30pm.      Rachel N. Lamoureux photo

ENOSBURG: A seventh-inning home run saved the day for the top-seeded Hornets as they worked to oust the Panthers of Thetford on Sunday.

Jumping to an early 1-0 lead, Enosburg struggled through a closely called game by the Umps, clipping to a 2-1 deficit by the end of the second inning.

That wasn’t all that Thetford had up their sleeve, though. The Panthers put up five additional runs, four in the top of the fourth and one in the top of the fifth.

Enosburg’s answer — keep switching up pitchers until they could find the remedy for Thetford’s small ball.

Brayden Howrigan, Nick Sabrowski, and Adam Rogers all threw for the Hornets before relief pitcher Evan Doe came up with the cure in the fifth inning.

Pitching for the next four innings, Doe did not give up a run, allowing just three hits, picking up the save for the Hornets.

With sluggish bats and an inconsistent strike zone, Enosburg began their comeback in the fourth, clawing their way back from a 7-4 deficit.

With little hope left, and Thetford feeling a comfortable lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, Evan Doe picked up a run on a solid triple by Nick Swainbank.

Moments later Caleb Laroche rocketed a two-run homer over the left field fence to tie the game.

It would take two more innings but with a runner on first and third, Thetford intentionally walked Enosburg’s Alec Burns, leaving Brayden Howrigan with a bases-loaded, no out situation. A mid-range poke between short and third, scoring Nick Swainbank, pushing the Hornets to the quarterfinal 8-7 victory, they worked more than three hours to earn.

The now 14-3, top-seeded Hornets are scheduled to play host to the fifth-seeded Peoples Academy on Wednesday at 4:30 pm.

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