Vineyarders bounce Barnstable in 10 innings

MV rallies to clip Red Hawks on Cranston walk-off single.

Vineyard starter Leo Neville at work against Barnstable Wednesday afternoon at Vineyard Baseball Park. -Ralph Stewart

Nick Cranston hit a walk-off single to score Finn Lewis in the bottom of the 10th inning, lifting Martha’s Vineyard to a thrilling 4-3 comeback win over Barnstable Wednesday afternoon at Vineyard Baseball Park.

The Vineyarders trailed, 3-1, with two outs in the bottom of the eighth and rallied to tie the game. Isaac Richards reached base on an error, Hardy Eville drew a walk, Atlas Zack came on as a pinch runner, Richards advanced to third and scored on a passed ball, and Cranston got a clutch hit, scoring Zack to tie the game at 3-3.

Sophomore Cam Napior came on in relief of starter Leo Neville (seven innings, four strikeouts, one walk, seven hits) and shut down Barnstable in the ninth and 10th innings. The key defensive play came in the ninth when center-fielder Keaton Aliberti fielded a double at the fence and fired a laser to shortstop Silas Abrams, who relayed in time to get the runner trying to stretch the hit into a triple.

In the Vineyard 10th, Finn Lewis hit a hard grounder to first and advanced to second on an error. Napior singled to left, Aliberti drew an intentional walk and Cranston came up clutch again with a single up the middle.

The win was sweet redemption for the Vineyarders, who suffered an 8-1 loss at Barnstable in the first meeting on May 21.

“This was an incredible win for this team,” Vineyard Coach Kyle Crossland said. “This team does not quit. One of our goals this year was to be competitive and demand respect from these bigger Cape League schools, and with this win, this group certainly did that. This one was especially satisfying since Barnstable beat us at their place earlier in the year in a very rude, cocky and hostile environment. It felt like beating the bully.”

MV plays at Sandwich on Friday afternoon and hosts Nantucket on Senior Day, Tuesday at 1 pm.