Photo: Cole “Stone” Bartels
You knew that senior pitching sensation Cole Bartels can win a game with his right arm. Yesterday, Monday, April 11, the senior captain showed that he could win a few with his bat.
In Belmont High’s season opener (move over, Red Sox) at Grant Field, the Division 1 commit showed mid-season form as he mowed down the Concord-Carlisle Regional nine, striking out 13 over five innings – five of final six victims caught looking – while going 4-4 at the plate including a first-inning homer as Bartels led the Marauders to an 11-2 drubbing of the Patriots.
“I’ll take a Cole Bartels the way he was pitching today,” said Belmont’s long-time head coach James Brown, who is looking to improve from finishing the past three seasons with a 11-9 record.
After punching out two of the first three batters to start the game, Bartels came to the plate with center fielder Bryan Goodwin (who reached base on an error) on second when he took a non-breaking ball over the fence in left to give Belmont a quick 2-0 lead. DH Ryan Noone brought home catcher Cal Christofori (single) and first bagger Dennis Crowley (double) on an sharp hit ball that was kicked around by the third baseman to give the Marauders a big four run lead.
The early advantage – a rare occasion last year – gave Bartels the upperhand over the Patriots, which went to the Division 2 North semifinals last season, and he took advantage by mixing up his fast and breaking balls which left the batters guessing what was coming next.
Bartels helped his own cause in the second as he drove home left fielder Trevor Kelly (who singled and took second on a wild pitch) on a single to center.
While he did experience some wildness in the third – going to full counts on four of the five batters and allowing a walk and an unearned run – Bartels was in control for his five innings on the mound, registering the six final outs by strikeout while giving up two walks and a hit over that stretch.
Second base Noah Riley nearly joined Bartels with an opening day dinger as his fourth inning blast hit the bottom of the fence in dead center for a double. He came home (Riley reached third on an error) in a cloud of dust as he slid/flopped on home plate beating the throw on Kelly’s fielder’s choice.
Other Marauders doing things in the box was David Bailey who went 2-2 with a run after coming in in the fifth.
Belmont is on the road Tuesday, April 12 against the Big Red Machine of Melrose which went 13-7 last season.