WINTHROP — A Mountain Valley Conference rivalry game featuring two lefty aces hoping to settle things before thunderstorms could put a halt to the proceedings seemed ripe for a crisply-played baseball game. And that’s what Winthrop and Monmouth delivered Thursday.

Ben Caprara smacked a one-out single up the middle to score Mario Meucci with what proved to be the winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning of a 4-2 Winthrop win.

“I was due for one. I’ve been in a little slump lately and trying to come out of it,” he said. “I think it was a little fastball or slight curve maybe. Just hang back and rip on it.”

Caprara, whose .400-plus batting average is tops on the Ramblers (13-2), had a big day, reaching on an infield hit to drive in the second run in Winthrop’s two-run first inning. He also made a nice sliding catch in right to help starter Ben Allen start his only 1-2-3 inning of the game in the fifth.

“He’s been our top hitter, (but) he looks uncomfortable as heck,” Winthrop coach Marc Fortin said.

Allen (seven innings, six hits, two strikeouts, two walks) battled out of some uncomfortable situations on the mound, allowing leadoff hitters to reach in three of the first four innings. The biggest escapes came when he stranded Nick Dovinsky at third after Dovinsky tripled to start the game and when he left the tying runs on base as the rain started in the seventh.

“(Stranding Dovinsky at third) was big,” Monmouth coach Eric Palleschi said. “That kind of set the tone there. It was going to be one of those days where it was going to be hard to get some runs.”

Nick Sanborn allowed just four hits, two walks (one intentional), hit a batter and struck out six for Monmouth (8-7).

“I thought he threw very well and defensively, we played pretty well,” Palleschi said. “We just didn’t get hits when we needed hits. We had situations and we just couldn’t seem to come through.”

The hit batter, Matt Sekerak, scored the game’s first run on a passed ball. With two out, Caprara beat out an infield hit to plate Dakota Carter with the second run.

“I just put my head to it and ran as fast as I could. I wanted it real bad,” he said.

Monmouth tied it in the fourth when Sanborn beat out an infield hit of his own to score Jeriah Caissie. Mat Foulke followed with a suicide squeeze to score Travis Hartford.

Sekerak got the winning rally started with a leadoff walk. He was erased at second on a fielder’s choice by Meucci, who stole second. That prompted the Mustangs to intentionally walk Carter. Caprara followed by hitting a 2-2 pitch back through the box and into center field.

Carter scored the insurance run on Matt Ingram’s ground out.

Monmouth put the tying runs on with two out in the seventh on an Avery Pomerleau walk and Dovinsky single. But Allen got Tom Small on a check swing strike three to end it.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

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