Rooney and Wildcats No-Hit Williamstown

by Ken Brown

WILLIAMSTOWN – Lyle Rooney and Jadon Baker combined for five no-hit innings to lead the Hazen Union baseball team to a dominant win over Williamstown last week, improving to 2-0 on the year.

Senior Tyson Davison broke out for three hits, including a home run to lead off the game and Rooney struck out six Blue Devils over four innings to lead the Wildcats to a 12-1 road win over Williamstown last Friday. Davison added two singles to his lead-off blast on the day and sophomore Dan desGroseilliers added two hits and drove in a team-high four runs. Rooney faced the minimum 12 batters over his four innings of work, walking three. Jadon Baker finished off the gem a little wild, walking three and allowing an earned run in the bottom of the fifth, but finished off the combined no-no with a strikeout as the ten run mercy rule kicked in.

“Lyle was a little sharper in his second start of the season and he probably had a little more left in the tank to finish it off, but with the field and mound conditions, it wasn’t worth pushing it and risking injury this early in the season,” said head coach Spencer Howard. “Tyson set the tone for the whole game and it was great to see him break out like that at the plate and have good solid at-bats all day. Dan is taking advantage of his opportunities and has been busting his butt everyday to get better. He’s made some nice adjustments and it was great to see all of his hard work pay off. Williamstown was coming off of a nice win over Richford, so it was nice to get back on the field after two weeks, play well offensively and defensively, and come out of here with a nice win,” added Howard.

Hazen scored three in the first, third, fourth, and fifth innings with Tyler Rivard driving in a pair with a double, sophomore Jake Davison tacking on a pair of singles on the day, and Rooney adding to his stellar day by belting a double of his own. It was the second no-hitter in as many seasons for Howard’s surging club as Rooney broke onto the scene in 2021 with a no-hitter against Danville and a one-hit gem against reigning division III champion Peoples Academy. Gabe Dexter took the loss for the Blue Devils as they fell to 1-1 on the season.

“It has been tough to get into any kind of a rhythm with the weather and postponements, but I was really pleased with how cleanly we defended, threw strikes, and battled at the plate. Andrew Menard threw out a base runner trying to steal second from his knees, Lyle picked off a runner at first, and we turned a clean 6-4-3 double play. All of those things happen when guys are focused, are into the game battling from start to finish, and executing. The guys have put a lot of work in the gym the last few weeks and it was great to see the fundamentals come through in live action. We have a challenging week coming up and we’ll need our full roster and depth to be successful. The guys are really looking forward to seeing where they are at against some tougher pitching and hopefully the weather cooperates for us,” said Howard.

The Wildcats welcomed Lamoille to Hudson Fields for their season opener on Monday before preparing for a showdown with Peoples Academy at home on Wednesday. Co-Mountain League Players of the Year Ben Alekson and Rooney are scheduled to square off against each other on the hill on Wednesday afternoon. Hazen Union will wrap up the week with a road trip to Northfield on Saturday and will host Montpelier in their second match-up of the season next Tuesday.