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The Commons
Photo 1

Doug MacPhee/Special to The Commons

Mike LaBeau of Bellows Falls, seen here pitching for the Keene Swamp Bats last summer, spent this summer in Alaska pitching for the Peninsula Oilers in the Alaska Baseball League.

Sports

BF native chases a baseball dream in Alaska

Originally published in The Commons issue #421 (Wednesday, August 16, 2017). This story appeared on page D4.



Bellows Falls Union High School and Castleton University alum Michael LaBeau played in the Alaska Baseball League (ABL) this summer.

The ABL is an amateur collegiate summer baseball league with five teams in four Alaskan cities. It has a long and storied history of attracting the top college players from the West Coast who are looking for a shot at the major leagues.

Many great ballplayers, including Tom Seaver, Dave Winfield, Mark McGwire, Jeff Kent, Randy Johnson, Jared Weaver, Barry Bonds, and Aaron Judge, all played in the Land of the Midnight Sun before making it to the big leagues.

LaBeau pitched in 10 games in relief for the Peninsula Oilers, compiling a 0-2 record with one save. Over 15.1 innings, he walked nine, struck out 11, and gave up 17 hits for a 4.11 earned run average. He also appeared in the ABL All-Star Game.

The Oilers finished the regular season at 19-25, but made it to the ABL semifinals, where they lost to the eventual champs, the Matsu Miners.

LaBeau, a 5-11 right-hander, graduated from Division III Castleton in May after four years with the Spartans. He was the ECAC New England Pitcher of the Year in 2017; he made 11 appearances with eight starts this season, posting a 5-4 record to go with one save.

He tossed six complete games, recorded 57 strikeouts, and allowed just 14 earned runs in 60.1 innings of work for a 2.09 earned run average. LaBeau posted two complete-game shutouts this season, including a two-hitter with seven strikeouts against North Atlantic Conference foe Thomas. He finished his Spartan career with 10 wins, five saves, and a 2.09 ERA with 108 strikeouts in 116.1 innings.

Last year, LaBeau played for the Keene Swamp Bats in the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL), and came into his own as a relief pitcher. In a league full of major league prospects from some of the best college baseball programs in the country, LaBeau held his own, appearing in 19 games and compiling a 3-1 record with seven saves and a 2.16 ERA. He was the only Division III player to be named to the NECBL’s All-Star team.

At 22, we don’t know where LaBeau’s baseball future will take him. He could land with an independent league team, or sign as an undrafted prospect with a minor league affiliate of a big league team. In any event, good for LaBeau for being willing to keep chasing that baseball dream a little longer.

Women’s golf roundup

• You know you’re a good golfer when you have a lousy day on the course, and still win a big tournament with ease.

Holly Reynolds of the Copley Country Club in Morrisville won her ninth Vermont State Women’s Golf Association Amateur Tournament title on Aug. 9 at the Country Club of Barre.

Reynolds shot an 84 during the final round, so the eight-stroke lead she started the day with was whittled to two.

However, her three-day score of 236 was enough to hold off runner-up Jeanne Morrissey of the Williston Country Club, who shot a 76 in the final round to make Reynolds sweat a little before finishing with a three-day score of 238.

Brattleboro Country Club was represented well in the tournament by Tracy Sloan, who was 13th. She shot an 87, an 83, and an 87 for a three-day total of 257.

• A few weeks earlier, another Brattleboro CC golfer, Liz Walker, was the runner-up in the Vermont State Women’s Golf Association Senior Tournament at the Country Club of Vermont in Waterbury.

The tourney was won by Reggie Parker of Green Mountain National CC in Killington. She shot a 78 and an 81 for a two-day gross score of 159 for her ninth Senior title. Walker’s two-day score was 84-82--166.

Other local golfers in the July 19-20 tourney included Nancy Gorham-Lasante of Bellows Falls CC (90-98--188, 36th place). Other BFCC golfers included Lynda Jo Gregory (100-103--203, 58th place) and Sandra Thomas 111-115--226, 84th place).

Brattleboro CC golfers in the field included Judith Manley (103-98--201, 54th place), Sherryl Libardoni (102-106--208, 67th place), Becky Day (104-105--209, 71st place), Lois Forrester 102-110--212, 77th place), and Iedje Hornsby (121-125--246, 88th place).

Linda Jane Parson of Mount Snow CC was 39th with a score of 95-94--189. Parson also finished 28th in the Vermont Women’s Amateur.

Sign these papers

• The first day of practice for the fall high school soccer, field hockey, and cross-country seasons in Brattleboro is Aug. 21. However, if you want to take the field, there are a few forms to be filled out.

In order to go out for a sport at Brattleboro Union High School, all students must pre-register and complete the necessary forms and requirements. For this school year, these requirements can be completed on-line via a platform called “Form ReLeaf.” To register, visit formreleaf.com/organizations/brattleboro-union-high-school and follow the instructions.

The Well Exam & Sports Participation Clearance Form must still be physically handed in to the Athletic Department or specific sport team coach prior to participation. Your doctor’s office can provide you a completed form following the exam, or a copy of the required form can be downloaded at www.buhs.k12.vt.us/sports and brought to the office at the time of the exam.

If assistance is needed with the online registration, call the FormReleaf Support line at 844-367-6735. If you have any questions regarding the process or well exam, contact BUHS Athletic Director Chris Sawyer at csawyer@wsesu.org.

Get your motor running...

• The progress toward building a skatepark in Brattleboro has been slow but steady over the past year or so, but there is progress. Brattleboro Area Skatepark is Coming (BASIC) is now just a bit shy of the halfway mark in fundraising for the $230,000 project to build a skatepark at Living Memorial Park.

But on Saturday, Aug. 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Brattleboro Union High School, BASIC is going to get some help from some kindred folk who also like to go fast on four wheels.

VTStance, a nonprofit group dedicated to bringing car enthusiasts in the Vermont area together, is teaming up with BASIC and is using their annual car show, Down ’N Out III, as a benefit for the new skatepark. Cars and motorcycles from all makes and years are welcome. VTStance plans to hold an exhaust and limbo competition, and hand out awards for best in show. There will be also be food and parts vendors on site.

Admission is $10 per single occupant car, $15 for multi-occupant cars, and kids under 12 are free! Donations are encouraged for those walking in, proceeds will benefit the skate park. For more information, check out VTStance’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/VtStance.

Doodle in your Canoe-dle

• This Labor Day weekend, the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) encourages everyone to combine their creative impulses with their love of the great outdoors by taking part in The Great Canoe-dle Doodle, sponsored by Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters and Vermont Canoe Touring Center.

Beginning during Gallery Walk on Friday, Sept. 1, and continuing throughout the weekend, pick up simple sketching supplies at the museum. What you do next is up to you.

There is no shortage of beautiful waterways in Brattleboro— the stately Connecticut River, the rambling West River, the lovely Retreat Meadows where the West and Connecticut rivers come together, the rushing Whetstone Brook in the heart of downtown, or picturesque Sunset Lake.

You can go to any these places, or your own favorite spot, and sketch what you see. Then come back on Monday, Sept. 4, at 5 p.m., to share your work with other Canoe-dle Doodlers at a picnic in front of the museum. There will be live music, a raffle (the grand prize is a $500 gift certificate to Sam’s), Tito’s tacos and burritos, and plenty of appreciation to go around.

There is no fee to participate, but $5 gets you an optional supply kit — which includes a sketch pad donated by Nasco, pencils, eraser, and sharpener — a raffle ticket, a snack provided by the Brattleboro Food Co-op, and a coupon for a discounted canoe rental at Vermont Canoe Touring Center. Additional raffle tickets available for $5 each or 5 for $20.

Get ready for the Dooley 5K race

• The ninth annual First Lt. Mark H. Dooley 5K Race and Kids Fun Run will take place on Saturday, Sept. 16, starting at 9 a.m., at the old Twin Valley High School, 1 School St., Wilmington.

This event, which consists of a 5K walk or run and a 1K kids fun run for ages 4 to 12, is held every September as a living tribute to Dooley.

A former Wilmington police officer and a member of the Vermont Army National Guard, Dooley was killed in action on Sept. 19, 2005, while serving his country in Iraq.

There will be custom awards and trophies for all age groups, plus live music, bagpipes, event T-shirts, amazing food, and wonderful people. Proceeds from the race will benefit the First Lt. Mark H. Dooley Memorial/Scholarship fund.

For more information, contact ltmarkdooley5k@gmail.com, or visit www.markdooley5k.com.

Fight hunger with your bicycle

• On Sept. 30, the Whitingham-Halifax Lions Club will host the sixth annual Hungry Lion Bike Tour (HLBT) through southern Vermont and western Massachusetts.

To date, the event has raised more than $50,000 for the Lions’ annual Holiday Food Basket program, and for local food pantries.

The HLBT attracts riders from across the Northeast to enjoy fall foliage rides ranging from 10 to 75 miles. This year’s tour will again offer cyclists a choice of four rides through a wide range of terrain.

This is a fully-supported ride that includes rest stops with healthy snacks, water, and beverages, as well as a barbecue celebration at the finish. Van support is available on the course, and riders are eligible to win a variety of prizes, including bike gear and gift certificates from local businesses. All rides start and finish at Town Hill.

For more details and registration information. visit www.hungrylionbiketour.com.

Senior bowling roundup

• Team 4 (53-22) is in first place after Week 15 of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League, but second place Team 8 (50-25) is now within three games of the lead. Team 5 and Team 1 (both 39-36) are now tied for third, followed by Team 3 (36-39), Team 2 (32-43), Team 7 (29-46), and Team 6 (22-53).

Shirley Aiken had the women’s high handicap game (221), while Sonya Shippee (509) had the high handicap series. Warren Corriveau St. had the men’s high handicap game (268) and series (654). Team 8 had the high team handicap game (699) and Team 2 had the high handicap series (1,913).

Corriveau (652) rolled a 600-plus series, with a pair of 200-plus games (267, 218). Fred Ashworth (539), Jerry Dunham (525), and Marty Adams (581) all rolled a 500-plus series. Fred Bump (213) was the only bowler other than Corriveau to roll a 200-plus game.

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