Dartmouth picks up win over Fall River in Legion baseball

By Douglas McCulloch | Jun 29, 2017
Photo by: Douglas McCulloch Jayden Soares pitches for the first time in a year.

It’s been a long week for Dartmouth Post 307, and it isn’t ending anytime soon. The team picked up its fourth win of the season in the middle of a seven-day lineup of American Legion baseball games on June 29.

In the matchup against Fall River, Dartmouth picked up an 11-3 win in a non-stop schedule that began on June 26. For Coach Kurt Dreher, it’s a sign that his team is getting right where he wants it to be after a rocky start marred by six canceled games.

“We played good defense, and we hit the ball well,” Dreher said of the win against Fall River. “We didn’t strike out that much today, and that’s the biggest thing.”

The back-to-back matchups were necessitated because of Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical High School’s involvement in the state championship — which it won. Legion baseball couldn’t start until the tournament ended. Five Dartmouth players were on the GNBVT team.

The schedule is both a blessing and a curse, Dreher said. Throughout the week, he’s been filling his roster as players become available. For June 29’s Fall River match, he had 10 players on the roster, up from nine at the beginning of the week.

“It’s tough making sure everyone gets here every night, but it’s a good thing too because we play every night so everyone stays in a groove,” Dreher said.

The tough schedule has taken a toll on his pitching lineup, however. Although, Dreher noted, the issue is division-wide.

“Even a team that has five pitchers gets to the point where someone has to come back on short rest, or someone may have to throw in relief,” Dreher explained.

For June 29’s game, Dreher asked Jayden Soares, new to the team this year and normally a second baseman, to step in as pitcher. It was his first time at the pitcher’s mound in over a year. Soares previously played for Voc Tech before graduating in June. Despite being new, he’s already bonding with his teammates.

“We always seem so loose and so open all the time,” Soares said. “I don’t feel like I’m stressed during games at all.”

Others who have been on the team for years can see improvement. Jonathan Farina, who pulled off three hits against Fall River, credited the growing roster and nonstop baseball action as two factors that led to the win.

Dartmouth beat Freetown (5-2), South Attleboro (5-3), and Easton (5-0) on June 30, July 1, and July 3, but lost to Norton (2-1) on July 2.

Ben Plourde at bat. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Nick Vallone is safe. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Mitchell Holmes recovers after sliding into second base. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Nick Vallone takes a swing. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
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