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Bolton Brewers bludgeon Ivy Rangers and Lisle Astros, remain undefeated

May 30, 2024   ·   0 Comments

By Jim Stewart

Ben Sterritt’s fourth inning Grand Slam capped a 5-RBI performance and Matteo Strothers threw four innings of masterful no-hit pitching to lead the Bolton Brewers to a 17-1 win over the Ivy Rangers at North Hill Park on Thursday night.

The emphatic victory improved the Brewers’ NDBL Senior Division record to 3-0 and fell hot on the heels of a 14-4 drubbing they laid on the Lisle Astros last week.

Brewers’ shortstop Brett Chater led the 18-hit onslaught versus the Astros with three hits, including two home runs. Sterritt also contributed three hits to the Brewers’ potent offence and starter Nick Fiorucci took care of business on the bump. Fiorucci provided Bolton with a quality start—rolling through five innings of work, yielding no earned runs, and striking out nine Astros.

On Thursday night versus the Ivy Rangers, the Brewers came out swinging and plated four runs in a bat-around first inning, stapled on two runs in both the second and third innings, and exploded for nine runs in the fourth inning highlighted by Sterritt’s blast over the right field fence and into the reeds.

The tape measure tater caught the eye of Brewers’ Head Coach Mike Wallace.

“We don’t see shots like that too often. It landed in the marsh. Ben’s an amazing player and a great addition to the team.”

Coach Wallace also commented on his improved hitting lineup.

“We’ve really lengthened our lineup and our two-strike approach tonight was excellent. We want to be productive up and down our lineup so there are none of the dead spots that hurt us in playoff games versus Lowell last year.”

Evidence of the Brewers’ lengthened lineup was seen in the team’s RBI distribution.

After Sterritt’s quintet of RBIs, Bolton received a pair of RBIs each from Chater, Steve Warden, Marco Diroma, and Dalton Cooke.

Wallace, Josh Hickey, Carson Burns, and Mario Accardo drove in one each. In addition to his team’s raw power, Wallace also deployed his team’s speed on the bases.

“We’re happy to be more aggressive by starting runners and driving balls into the gaps.  We know their starter Jamie Gillespie is really good so we had to cash in early on the few chances that he gives you.”

The Brewers cashed in on their chances versus Gillespie—one of the best pitchers in the loop—and showed their situational hitting savvy by delivering sacrifice flies, perfectly-executed hit and runs, and line drive opposite field hitting with two strikes to score runners on third base. Add three ringing doubles into the gap by Hickey, Chris Fafalios, and Diroma and Sterritt’s Grand Slam to the mix and it turned out to be a short yet long night for the Rangers’ pitching staff.

Further aggravating the normally-very competitive Rangers was the pitching performance of Matteo Strothers, especially in the fourth inning when the Brewers’ starter wriggled out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam by inducing an infield fly pop up to short and a 4-3 groundout to retain his 8-0 lead and no-hit performance.

Coach Wallace was impressed with his hurler’s work, despite a wee bit of wildness that resulted in five walks.

“Matteo lost a bit of control in the fourth and needed a reset, but he pulled through it with a big pop up and a ground ball. I thought he worked his way around the walks really well tonight.” 

The Rangers got on the scoreboard when Riley Davies opened the top of the fifth with a triple off reliever Braydon Grech to break up the Brewers’ combined no-hit bid. He scored on Ryan Barr’s sacrifice fly to cut into Bolton’s lead, but the game ended when Grech induced a crisp 4-6-3 double play that put a bow on the Brewers’ third dominant win of the young NDBL season.



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