Brattleboro pitcher Leif Bigelow may be a freshman, but he is quickly making his mark for the varsity baseball team.
Bigelow threw a two-hitter as the Colonels shut out the Fair Haven Slaters, 6-0, in a quick and tidy game at Tenney Field last Saturday morning. He struck out five, and walked only two batters in his third straight dominating effort. He held St. Johnsbury to four hits in a 8-1 win on April 18, and threw a four hitter in a hard-luck 4-3 loss to Drury in the season opener.
“That’s three good starts against three good teams,” said Colonels coach Chris Groeger. “He’s pitching great for us. He throws strikes, keeps the ball down, and keeps his composure.”
The Colonels gave Bigelow a five-run cushion in the first inning as Sam Ongenoff hit an RBI double, Tyler McKinney and Stephen Keryow hit RBI singles, and Tony Martinez drove in a run on a sacrifice fly. A base hit by Nick Hiner was misplayed to get in the fifth Brattleboro run.
Fair Haven pitcher Cody Seaver was knocked out of the game by the third inning when the Colonels loaded the bases with one out. Reliever Ian Misencik gave up a bases-loaded walk to Chayse Cunniff, and then shut out the Colonels the rest of the way.
Hiner finished with three hits, while Ongenoff had two.
Groeger said he felt his team let up once they got a big lead, and should have given Bigelow a few more runs to work with.
“We stopped hitting after the third inning,” he said. “We can’t afford to stop scoring runs when we have a chance to put a team away early.”
The Colonels ended the week with a 2-2 record, and Groeger said they are about to face a turning point in their young season.
Groeger wouldn’t get into details, but said that several players were facing disciplinary action this week when they returned from the spring break — either for academic ineligibility or for other unspecified offenses.
• After starting the season with a doubleheader split with Green Mountain, Leland & Gray got their hitting shoes on and pounded Woodstock, 16-1, on April 23 in Townshend.
Josh Donna was the hero with his bat as well as his arm. As the winning pitcher, Donna struck out 13 batters. At the plate, Donna helped his cause with a triple, a home run, and four RBIs.
The rest of the Rebels were swinging the bats too. Every player in the lineup had at least one hit, as Corey Nystrom went 3-for-4 and scored two runs and Nick Morrow reached base three times and scored three runs.
• Bellows Falls took advantage of 10 walks and got solid pitching from Colby Howe in defeating Mount Anthony, 12-2, in a six-inning game in Bennington last Friday.
Howe scattered seven hits, but he also struck out six and did not allow an earned run. Austin Stack had two hits and two RBIs and Brady Illingworth drove in two runs. BF had six hits in all as they improved to 2-1. Devin Babson took the loss for Mount Anthony; Shae Moody and Cole Lameroux each had two hits.
• Sloppy defense plus so-so pitching equaled a 15-9 loss to Drury for Brattleboro at Sawyer Field on April 23.
Drury scored four runs in the second, but Brattleboro senior shortstop Maddy Derosia hit a three-run homer in the bottom half of the inning to cut the Drury lead to 6-5. The Blue Devils then scored another four runs in the third inning, and the Colonels never got close again.
Devin Millerick and Jamie Mahoney each had two hits for the 1-3 Colonels. Losing pitcher Hannah Wilson struck out two, walked six, hit five batters and gave up five hits in 5 1/3 innings of work.
• Chelsea Wilder went 4-for-4 with a grand slam as Bellows Falls crushed Arlington, 31-1, on April 21.
Mackenzie Crawford and Emily Stoddard also had four hits apiece for the winners. Winning pitcher Murphy Hicks struck out 10 and fired a two-hitter to pick up the victory.
The Terriers’ next game on April 23, against Windsor, was much more competitive as BF held off the Yellowjackets, 7-5. Hicks struck out eight to get the victory as Crawford went 2-for-4, including a double, and Ally Bashaw drove in a pair of runs.
The Terriers will welcome Proctor today at 1 p.m. The 2-1 Terriers, who had to forfeit their season-opening win over Twin Valley because of an ineligible player.
• Leland & Gray won its first game of the season last Friday, a 7-4 victory over Mill River in Townshend.
A six-run fourth inning sealed the deal for the Rebels. Jordan Gouger had a two-run double, Erica Cutts singled home a run, and the Rebels took advantage of a couple of errors to get the cushion they needed. Ashley Bates also had two hits for the 1-2 Rebels.
Winning pitcher Keltey Rushton had two hits to go along with her complete-game three-hitter. She walked eight, but the Rebels played solid defense to minimize the damage. Pitcher Carly Ward gave up nine hits to take the loss for the Minutemen.
• The Colonel boys suffered their first loss of the season on April 22 at Westfield, Mass., 18-5. Westfield has one of the strongest teams in Western Massachusetts, and Brattleboro knew it would have a tough time of it. The Colonels trailed 15-0 at the half.
Jack Gagnon scored twice for the Colonels, while Tanner Freeman, Evan Perkins and Brennen Zolnoski each added a goal, and Zeb Lesure and Owen Schneider each had an assist.
Brattleboro bounced back with a 15-4 win over Spaulding last Saturday in Barre. The game was highlighted by Zolnoski’s 100th career goal, a big milestone for the senior tri-captain. He finished with four goals and two assists.
Freeman had two goals and five assists, while Gagnon scored six goals and had two assists. Perkins had two goals and an assist and Owen Schneider also scored. Goalie Kolton Ravenna finished with 11 saves as the Colonel boys improved to 4-1.
• The Brattleboro boys opened their season with a 4-3 win over Rutland. Alex Shuey and Martin Sipowicz won their singles matches, while the No. 1 doubles team Nick Ahlgren and Carter Falk and No. 2 Tom Szpila and Derrick Harnish both were victorious.
• The Bellows Falls girls got shut out by Woodstock, 7-0, on April 23.
Track & Field
• The Bellows Falls boys placed first with 142 points in a seven-team meet in Windsor last Friday, while the Terrier girls came in fifth with 22 points.
Willie Moore won the 800- and 1,500-meter events to lead the Terrier boys. DJ Snide (100), Brian McAnuff (300 hurdles), Chris Doucet (pole vault) and the 4 X 100 relay team all finished first.
Arianna Morton took third in the 800 for the Terrier girls, while Keri Ticino (javelin) and Dani Marchica (high jump) each finished fourth. The 4 X 100 relay team also finished third.
Tulip Trot set for May 2
It’s not too late to enter for Green Street School’s third annual Tulip Trot on Saturday, May 2, a 5-kilometer run/walk which weaves through the scenic Retreat trails before coming back down Western Avenue to end at the lawn of the school in Brattleboro.
In addition to the 5K run/walk at 10, families are encouraged to bring their young ones to participate in the half-mile “Sprout Run” at 9:30 a.m., which takes place at Green Street School on May 2, as well.
All proceeds from the event benefit the Green Street School PTO’s healthy initiatives. For information, contact Green Street School at 802-254-3737 or visit www.tuliptrot5K.com to register online. Registration on the day of the event takes place at Green Street School, starting at 8:30 a.m.
Moving on up
• In her nearly two years as the Brattleboro Reformer’s chief photographer and multimedia specialist, Kayla Rice has done a fantastic job. Now the Brattleboro Union High School alum and graduate of Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications is about to take her talents to the Big Apple.
Rice announced on her Facebook page late last week that she has landed a job as assistant team photographer for the New York Mets.
“I have enjoyed my time in Brattleboro, but it’s definitely time for me to move on to something a little bit bigger,” Rice told me in an email. “I’m very excited about working for the Mets (even though I’m a Red Sox fan!). I’ve always enjoyed photographing sports, so it’ll be great to be able to focus on that.”
It’s going to be a tough and demanding job, doing sports photography in the most competitive media market in the world, but Rice definitely has the talent and the skills to make it on this very big stage. Best of luck to you, Kayla!