Brattleboro Post 5 pitcher George Atkins is on a hot streak to start the American Legion Baseball season. In his first three starts, all wins, he has given up just two hits over 20 innings.
Against Bellows Falls Post 37 on July 2 at Hadley Field, Atkins just missed out on his second straight no-hitter. He settled for a complete game, one-hit, 92-pitch shut out in a 4-0 win for Post 5.
Atkins struck out eight and walked two over seven innings. The only Post 37 hit came with two outs in the sixth inning, when Carson Fullam beat out an infield hit.
“He’s throwing hard and his control is good,” said Post 5 manager Wayne Wright about his 6-foot-5 lefthanded ace. “He was pounding the strike zone.”
Atkins was the salutatorian of the Class of 2015 at Vermont Academy, and he’ll be attending Dartmouth this fall. He hopes to be playing college baseball for the Big Green next spring.
Post 37 countered with an all-Illingworth battery. Brady Illingworth made his Legion debut on the mound, throwing to his big brother Ethan behind the plate. Brady gave up two runs in the first on an RBI double by Cam Wright and a balk, but held Post 5 scoreless after that until Atkins hit a two-run triple in the fifth. Ed Shambo threw an inning of scoreless relief in the sixth.
On most nights, having a rookie pitcher give up only four runs on four hits might be enough to pull out a win. However, Bellows Falls hasn’t scored more than five runs in any of its first six games.
“We don’t give up a lot of runs and the defense is pretty sound, ” said Post 37 coach Bob Lockerby. “We just haven’t hit.”
The win left Post 5 with a 7-1 record in Southern Division play, while Post 37 fell to 3-3.
• Post 5 has been rolling along in Southern Division play.
On June 26, they skunked Randolph, 15-0, in a five-inning game cut short by the mercy rule. Winning pitcher Kevin Tao threw four strong innings and Miles Hearon retired the side in order in the fifth to end it. Chris Lasch, Kassadi Ramirez, and Hearon each had a pair of hits.
Brattleboro then split a doubleheader with Bennington on June 28, losing 4-2 in the first game and then shutting out Post 13, 10-0, in the second game, which was halted by the mercy rule after six innings.
Sam Ognenoff and Chris McAuliffe each had a pair of hits for Brattleboro in the first game. Post 5 had a chance to win it in the seventh inning when they loaded the bases, but failed to get any runs across. Pitcher Danny Richardson took the loss.
The second game featured a no-hitter by George Atkins. He also helped his cause with a two-run double in the third inning. Lasch and Ramirez each had three hits, while Chris McAuliffe had two hits.
On June 30, Tao threw a complete game five-hitter as Brattleboro beat Hartford, 5-2.
Post 5 scored twice in the first inning. A Lasch single, a Wright double, and a Chris McAuliffe walk loaded the bases, then a wild pitch allowed Lasch to score followed by a Atkins sacrifice fly to score Wright.
Brattleboro added another run in the third, as Kassidi Ramirez singled, stole second, and scored on a two-out single by Ryan McAuliffe.
Ramirez doubled and ultimately scored on another Atkins sacrifice fly in the fifth inning, and Ognenoff closed out the scoring in the sixth when he singled to center, stole second and went home on a Wright RBI double to left.
Tao gave up two runs in the fifth, but otherwise kept the Hartford bats in check for his second win of the season.
Wright, Lasch, and Ramirez all finished with two hits while Ryan McAuliffe and Ognenoff had one hit each.
• Post 37 split a doubleheader with Lakes Region on June 30 at Hadley Field. Bellows Falls took the first game, 2-1, but lost the second game, 5-2.
In game one, Lakes Region scored on a run with a successful double steal in the first inning. That would be the last run they would score off winning pitcher Colby Howe.
Austin Stack tied the game in the fifth when he reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and third, and then scored on a passed ball.
Stack then teamed up with Carson Fullam to score the winning run for Post 37 in the bottom of the seventh. Stack again reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second, and then scored from there off a base hit by Fullam on a perfectly-executed hit-and-run play.
In the nightcap, Post 37 was shut down by Lakes Region’s ace pitcher, Lincoln Pritchard, in the late innings.
Fullam scored on a Doug Avellino sacrifice fly in the first inning, but Lakes Region rallied for two runs in the bottom half of the inning, then added another run in the third with a successful double steal.
Bellows Falls loaded the bases in the third, but could not get a run in.
Dunklee, McClelland win Firecracker 4-miler
• Jason Dunklee of Watertown, Mass., and Dana McClelland of Vernon were the fastest male and female runners in the annual Bill Powers Memorial Firecracker 4-Miler on July 4 in Brattleboro.
Dunklee, 41, covered the course in 21 minutes, 27 seconds to finish first overall. Rob Lind, 29, of Brattleboro was second in 21:42, and Ryan Gilligan of Vernon, 18, was third in 22:28. Gilligan was the fastest male runner last year.
McClelland, 33, of Vernon was the first woman across the line in 25:54, finishing 12th overall. Heather Conarroe, 27, of Brattleboro, was second in 26:24, and Natalie Quintero, 17, of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., was third in 26:43.
There were 107 runners that completed the race, which was run under cool and cloudy conditions.
Glove, Sweat and Cheers tournament this weekend
• This Saturday, community volunteers will host the 21st annual “Glove, Sweat and Cheers: Safe at Home” women’s softball tournament at Living Memorial Park. Proceeds benefit the Women’s Freedom Center.
This year’s tournament will be a one-day event. Games will be played on both the upper and lower fields at Living Memorial Park, beginning Saturday at 8:30 a.m. Updated schedules will be posted at each field. There are no entrance fees for spectators. The swimming pool will be open for those who need to cool down, and the park has several playgrounds for kids of all ages.
Funds are raised through community sponsorship, team and player fees, raffle sales, snack and t-shirt sales, as well as a dance party on Saturday night. Last year’s “Glove, Sweat and Cheers” tournament generated more than $4,000 for the Women’s Freedom Center, and organizers hope to surpass that total this year.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about volunteer opportunities at the tournament.
Derosia helps South sweep North
• Brattleboro’s Maddy Derosia ended her high school softball career by going 3-for-7 with a home run and three RBIs as the South All-Stars swept all three games from the North during the annual Vermont All-Star Softball game played June 26 and 27 at Castleton State College.
Dersosia, who graduated last month from BUHS, played shortstop and second base for the South team. She is now playing for the New Hampshire Comets, a Junior Olympic softball program that fields 11 teams for players between ages 10 and 18. She’ll be attending the University of New Haven this fall, and hopes to play collegiate softball there.
Senior walkers meet Friday
• The Brattleboro Senior Center is pleased to announce the continuation of Senior Windham Walkers. On Friday, July 10, participants will walk/hike the trail up Little Black Mountain in Dummerston. Enjoy scenic views and find peace and quiet in the woods.
Walkers meet at the Senior Center, 207 Main St., at 10:30 a.m. and carpool to each location. This hike is moderately difficult, so wear sturdy walking shoes, dress appropriately (layers are recommended), and wear bug spray. Bring a non-breakable, easy-to-carry water bottle.
Call Jessy Cudworth at the Center in case of inclement weather or to ask questions at 802-257-7570.