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The Commons
Photo 1

Randolph T. Holhut/The Commons

Brattleboro's Sam Hall hit a pair of home runs as his team beat Barre, 10-0, in the elimination round of the Vermont Little League 12-year-old tournament.


Post 5 knocked out of Legion tourney

With additional reporting from Commons correspondent Christian Avard.

Originally published in The Commons issue #418 (Wednesday, July 26, 2017). This story appeared on page C1.

The Vermont American Legion baseball tournament began over the weekend at the Maxfield Sports Complex in Hartford. By the end of the weekend, both finalists from last year’s tourney, Brattleboro Post 5 and Rutland Post 31, were knocked out, while Bellows Falls Post 37 was still alive.

• It was a particularly frustrating ending for Post 5, the defending state champions. As the third seed from the South, Post 5 did not score a run in either of their games, and made an early exit from the eight-team, double-elimination tournament.

On July 22, Post 5 faced the OEC Kings, and were shut out, 8-0. Brattleboro’s ace pitcher Leif Bigelow got roughed up for six runs in the first inning and never recovered. OEC Kings starter Patrick Greenan threw five shutout innings to earn the win.

The next morning, Brattleboro was eliminated by S.D. Ireland, 3-0. Adam Newton, Post 5’s starting pitcher, went the distance in the loss. S.D. Ireland got a run in the second inning, when Collin Vincent hit a leadoff double and scored on a Hunter Anderson single. They picked up the other two runs in the third inning on a pair of errors.

Despite giving up eight hits over six innings, Liam Reiner got the win for S.D. Ireland. Ian Parent earned a save. Newton and Bigelow each had two hits for Post 5.

• Bellows Falls, the No. 4 team from the South, got crushed on July 22 by the top team in the tourney, the Colchester Cannons, 11-1, in a six-inning game cut short by the mercy rule.

Post 37 scored the first run of the game, as Joe Corey, Alex Groenwold, and Brady Illingworth hit successive, one-out singles to grab a 1-0 lead. It was all Colchester after that. The 2015 state champs scored four runs in the first inning, three more in the second, and four runs in the sixth.

Kendall Heath was the losing pitcher for Post 37, but he exited the game in the second inning. Joe Wood, Illingworth, and Spencer Clark finished up. Illingworth was the top hitter with a 2-for-3 day.

Post 37 kept its hopes alive by beating Rutland, 8-2, in an elimination bracket game on July 23. Seth Balch was the winning pitcher for Bellows Falls, he struggled at the start as Post 31 took a 2-0 lead after two innings, but then settled down. He held Rutland to just two hits, with five walks, five strikeouts, and one hit batsman.

Rutland pitcher Reece de Castro had a shutout after four innings before Bellows Falls rallied in the late innings. Post 37 tied the game in the fifth on an RBI double by Corey and an RBI single by Illingworth. Liam Hackett drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the sixth, and Heath hit a three-run double in the seventh to finish off Rutland.

Groenwold had three hits, while Corey and Zach Streeter added two apiece. At press time, Bellows Falls was scheduled to face White River Junction in an elimination game on July 25.

Brattleboro 12s still alive in state tourney

• The Brattleboro Little League 12-year-old All Stars are still alive in the state tournament after the first weekend of play in Essex Junction.

On July 22, Brattleboro lost to Williston, 8-7. Tristan Evans had a rough outing on the mound as Williston scored a run in the first inning, then hit two home runs off Evans and scored three more in the second.

Williston pounded the ball, scoring four runs in the bottom of the third. Forrester Avard replaced Evans on the mound and he stopped the Williston barrage. Avard struck out several batters in the third, fourth and fifth innings and then the Williston bats went silent for the rest of the game.

Brattleboro rallied back in the fifth. Sam Henry reached first base on an error. Hall drove in Henry, and Avard’s home run cut the deficit to 8-4, Williston. The rally continued with their last at-bats in the sixth. Devin Speno knocked in Evans to make it 8-5 and Cam Frost hit a two-run homer to left-center to make it 8-7. Hall grounded to second base to end the game and the rally.

On July 23, Brattleboro rebounded by knocking Barre out of the tournament with a 10-0 win in a four-inning game cut short by the mercy rule. Avard pitched a dominant two-hit shutout, striking out seven.

Brattleboro got on the board in the second inning when Alex Palumba hit a double, scoring Evans for the first run of the game. Palumba went 2-for-3 with two RBIs in the game. Frost then flied out to right, allowing Tucker Sargent to score from third for a 2-0 lead.

They added three more runs in the top of the third. Avard and Sam Hall hit back-to-back solo home runs to left centerfield. The two sluggers lead the tournament in home runs with two apiece. Palumba scored Evans for the fifth run.

Brattleboro put the game out of reach with five more runs in the top of the fourth. Frost hit a triple, scoring Palumba and Patrick Gagliardi. Frost hit 2-for-3 with three RBIs in the game. Hall hit another solo shot to centerfield and Brock Longe hit a towering shot to right field with his first home run of the tourney. Longe was 1-for-1 with two RBIs.

Brattleboro is scheduled to replay Williston on July 28, at 6 p.m. Williston lost to Essex Junction, 10-0, so the winner of the Brattleboro-Williston game will face Essex Junction for the championship on July 29.

Brattleboro 11s fall short in state tourney

• Brattleboro was the host team for the Vermont 11-year-old Little League tournament. Although the Brattleboro All-Stars didn’t make it to the championship round, they still provided some thrills for the hometown fans at the South Main Street Field.

In the first game of the double elimination tournament on July 15, shortstop Karson Elliott hit a two-out, two-run double in the sixth inning to lead Brattleboro to a 10-7 over Barre. Catcher Nick Gerard went 3-for-3, Alex McClelland smacked an RBI double in the third inning, and center fielder Will Hill and second baseman Jett Emery each scored a pair of runs.

Willem Thurber was the starting pitcher for Brattleboro. He lasted until the fourth inning. Jackson Emery pitched the fifth inning, and Brandon Weeks finished up the game in the sixth to get the win. Barre led 7-6 going into the sixth inning before Brattleboro rallied.

In the winners’ bracket game on July 16, Williston pitcher Stephen Rickert struck out 12 batters over five innings as they shut down Brattleboro, 5-1. Rickert also helped his cause with a 3-for-4 day at the plate.

Brattleboro got its only run of the game when Jackson Emery walked, got to third on a double by Elliott, and scored on a base hit by Hill. McCelland, Thurber, and first baseman Degan Gundry were the only other Brattleboro players to get hits.

Barre and Brattleboro faced each other again on July 21 in the elimination game, and it was Barre that came out on top, 6-5.

Brattleboro looked like it was going to run away with a win. In the first inning, Gerard smacked a two-run homer well over the center field fence, and then Gundry followed with a solo homer to the same spot for a 3-1 lead.

Shaky defense by Brattleboro and good hitting by Barre resulted in four runs in the third inning as Barre took the lead to stay. After the rocky first inning, winning pitcher Averill Parker held the Brattleboro hitters in check over the next four innings.

The 11-year-old All Stars were managed by Chad Gundry, who was assisted by Rich Fagley and Chad Emery. Other members of the team included Troy Forkin, William Miskovich, James Fagley, and Nolan Chisholm.

Babe Ruth roundup

• Alex Lier was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to give the Brattleboro 14-year-old Babe Ruth All-Star team a 7-6 victory over host St. Johnsbury in the state championship game on July 16.

Brattleboro starting pitcher Greg Fitzgerald managed to hold the powerful St. Johnsbury lineup to just four runs through five innings. Trailing 4-2, Brattleboro pulled even on a fifth-inning double by Lier.

Alex Kendall pitched well in relief, and ultimately earned the win after Brattleboro’s game-winning rally in the seventh.

Trailing 6-4 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Brattleboro was patient at the plate and tied the game at 6-all with two outs before Lier was drilled with the bases loaded to force in the winning run.

With the win, Brattleboro advanced to the Babe Ruth 14-year-old Regional Tournament in Trumbull, Conn. They lost to Pittsfield, Mass., 13-4, on July 21, and were eliminated from the tournament on July 22 with a 11-0 loss to Waterford, Conn.

The 14-year-old All-Stars were coached by Soren Pelz-Walsh, Jamie Martell and Mike Bingham. Other players on the team are Dylan Harden, Liam Styles, Henry Thurber, Andrew Peloso, Nick Bingham, Alex Kendall, Sam Griffith, Shea Buckley, Jason Cowan, and Alex Bingham.

Senior bowling roundup

• Team 4 is starting to pull away from the field after Week 12 of the spring season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League. Team 4 (47-13) now has a nine-game lead on second place Team 8 (36-24). Team 5 (30-30) remains in third, followed by Team 3 (29-31), Team 2, Team 7, and Team 1 (all 27-33), and Team 6 (17-43).

Pat Bentrup (245) had the women’s high handicap game, while Lorraine Taylor (652) had the high handicap series (655). Wayne Corriveau Sr. had the men’s high handicap game (257) and Peter Gilbert (681) had the high handicap series. Team 3 had the high team handicap game (870) and series (2,446).

Corriveau (601) rolled a 600-plus series, with a pair of 200-plus games (219, 243). Wayne Randall (513) and Fred Ashworth (551) each rolled a 500-plus series; Randall (200) had the only other 200-plus game last week.

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