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Randolph T. Holhut/The Commons

Brattleboro Post 5 pitcher Leif Bigelow reaches out to catch a foul ball during the fourth inning of their American Legion baseball game with Rutland on June 22 at Tenney Field.


Post 5 falls to Rutland, 2-1, in duel of aces

Brattleboro and Rutland ended the high school baseball season at Tenney Field on May 27 with a come-from-behind win by Rutland and a benches-clearing brawl at home plate.

Most of the players on both teams are playing American Legion baseball this summer, and when Rutland Post 31 came to Tenney Field on June 22 to face Brattleboro Post 5, no one knew what to expect.

What happened was a great baseball game that was ultimately won by Rutland, 2-1, in 10 innings.

The common denominator in both games was Rutland’s Reece de Castro. He got what proved to be the game-winning hit in May against the Colonels. Nearly a month later, de Castro was the hero again, hitting a triple to lead off the 10th inning and then scoring on a successful squeeze bunt by Brayden Shannon.

Shannon and Brattleboro’s Leif Bigelow battled in an old-fashioned pitcher duel. Bigelow took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before giving up a one-out single to Luke Vitagliano.

Brattleboro was clinging to a 1-0 lead thanks to a leadoff solo home run in the fifth inning by Kam Pelkey. Rutland tied the game in the sixth when Conner Monukka reached on a throwing error and ultimately scored on another error.

Shannon retired Post 5 in order with a pop up to right and a pair of strikeouts in the 10th. The lefty threw a total of 111 pitches to get the complete game victory. He struck out 7, walked 1, and scattered 6 hits.

Bigelow also struck out 7, gave up 3 hits, and walked no one, throwing 115 pitches to take the loss.

“That was a hell of duel,” said Rutland coach Rick Battles. “Bigelow is going to UConn and he pitched really well, but my guy was fantastic. He is so smart out there.”

“Both guys pitched great,” said Brattleboro coach Eric Libardoni. “We just got hurt by a couple of errors. Leif should’ve had a perfect game through seven innings.”

Battles and Libardoni both said they had no qualms about letting their aces go the distance, and beyond.

“It was Brayden’s game to win,” said Battles.

“I knew he was getting close to the limit (under Legion rules, pitchers can’t throw more than 120 pitches in a game), but Leif was still throwing well,” said Libardoni.

The biggest problem for Post 5 was getting hits. Aside from a 3-for-4 night for catcher Dan Petrie, no other players had multiple hits. Also, aside from Pelkey’s home run, no other Post 5 players had extra-base hits. Bigelow hit two shots to the deepest part of Tenney Field, but Rutland center fielder Reilly Shannon ran them both down for outs.

Rutland and Brattleboro played each other for the state Legion title last year, and both teams look equally good this season. Last week’s game was another sign that these two teams will be beating on each other (metaphorically, I hope) for the rest of the Legion series.

Post 5 opened its season with a doubleheader sweep of Keene, N.H., on June 11, and a 5-3 win over Bennington Post 13 on June 12.

Brattleboro then had a 2-2 weekend at the Punch Out Cancer Tournament over the weekend of June 17-18 in Essex Junction.

Kris Carroll went 2-for-4, including a walk-off double in the seventh, as Brattleboro edged the Brockville Bonnies, 5-4, to open the tournament. Bigelow drove in two, Tyler Millerick had 3 hits, and Tommy Carroll got 2 hits as Post 5 defeated S.D. Ireland, 8-6.

On day 2, Post 5 lost to Clinton County, 8-4, and then lost to Essex 14-2. Pelkey went 1-for-2 and drove in three runs versus Clinton County and Tanner Bell went 2-for-2 against Essex. Adam Newton, Ben Nelson-Betz and Joey Rafus were the Sunday pitchers for Post 5.

With the loss to Rutland, Brattleboro is 6-3 overall, and 2-1 in league play.

• Bellows Falls Post 37 hosted Rutland at Hadley Field on June 23 and came away with an 8-1 win. Kendal Heath, a standout pitcher for Fall Mountain, threw a one-hitter against Post 31 with 2 walks and 6 strikeouts.

De Castro was the starting pitcher for Rutland, and he and reliever Ben Simpson got roughed up for 11 hits by Post 37. The Rutland defense was shaky too, committing 4 errors.

Two other Fall Mountain players helped Post 37 as Joe Corey had 3 hits and drove in 2 runs and Tucker Wright had 2 hits, including an RBI single. Zach Streeter and Heath each hit an RBI double, while Alex Groenwold had an RBI triple and a single.

Post 37 got 3 runs in the second inning and 2 more in the fourth. In both instances, all the runs were scored with 2 outs. They added 3 more runs in the sixth.

Bellows Falls got its Legion season going with a doubleheader sweep of Bennington Post 13 on the road June 18.

Post 37 won the first game, 5-4, as Heath started and went five innings, allowing 4 runs on 5 hits, with 11 strikeouts. Josh Woods came in relief and earned the save by tossing two scoreless innings.

The game was tied 4-4 when Post 37’s Groenewold drove in Seth Balch with the go-ahead run. Brady Illingworth, Corey, Kyle Weeks, and Groenewold had RBIs to lead the offense.

Bellows Falls rolled to a 6-0 win in the second game as Illingworth held Post 13 to 2 hits over 4 1/3 innings and Woods completed the shutout with 2 2/3 innings of relief. Wright led the offense with 2 doubles and Streeter, Illingworth, Balch, Weeks and Corey had RBIs for Post 37.

Post 37 then split a two-game non-league series with the Saxtons River Pirates at Hadley Field. Saxtons River won 5-0 on June 20, but Post 37 came back for a 7-6 win on June 21.

With the Rutland win, Post 37 is 3-0 in league play and 4-1 overall.

Snide again wins Vt. Decathlon

• Bellows Falls track & field standout DJ Snide has made a habit of repeating his victories. At the Division III state meet earlier this month, he successfully defended his 110 and 300 meter hurdles and triple jump titles in helping the Terriers win their fifth straight track title.

Last week at the 42nd state decathlon championships at University of Vermont, Snide ended his high school track career by successfully defending his state title with a score of 5,687 points.

BF junior Shane Clark, a two-time state champ in the javelin, came in third with 5,140 points. Other Terriers who placed included Caleb Lisai (48th, 3,708 points), Gabe Hakimoglu (65th, 3,311 points), Hunter Smith (82nd, 2,701 points), and Andy Goulas (85th, 2,367 points).

Snide, who will be a math major and a decathlete at the University of Vermont in the fall, finished first in the 110 hurdles, second in the 400 meter run, third in the shot put and discus, fifth in the 100 meter dash and long jump, and eighth in the javelin.

Clark was second in the shot put and javelin, and fourth in the discus. He and Snide tied for ninth in the pole vault, clearing 10 feet, 6 inches each, and they paced each other to 21st and 22nd in the final event, the 1,500 meter run.

Brattleboro was led by Evan Koch (22nd, 4,272 points). Other Colonels who placed were Orion Stone and Kade Perrotti (tied for 35th, 3,992 points), David Pierce (63rd, 3,353 points), and Max King (76th, 2,873 points).

Bellows Falls finished third in the boys’ team scoring, with Brattleboro coming in fifth.

In the girls’ division, Brattleboro sprinter Danielle Wood showed her versatility with a fifth place finish with 4,363 points.

An “all hands on deck” approach by Bellows Falls placed them second behind St. Johnsbury in the team competition. The Terrier girls were led by Abigail Cravinhio (11th, 3,948 points), followed by Macie Streeter (15th, 3,865 points), Keri Ticino (23rd, 3,508 points), Hailey Covillion (28th, 3,333 points), Brigid Hodsden (32nd, 3,190 points), and Jaden Luebbert (35th, 3,056 points).

Cravinho finished 10th in the 100 hurdles, long jump, and 400, and was 14th in the 1,500 behind Streeter, who finished in 11th. Streeter was second in the javelin and seventh in the high jump. Ticino finished third in the pole vault, seventh in the javelin, and 13th in the discus. Covillion was in sixth in the pole vault and 12th in the javelin, Hodsden was eighth in the pole vault, and Luebbert came in 11th in the pole vault.

Also part of the two-day competition was a 2,000-meter steeplechase. Nic Potter and Cody Tallent finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the boys’ event.

All-MVL tennis team announced

• Brattleboro’s Martin Sipowicz and Bellows Falls’s Simon Bupp-Chickering were both First Team selection to the Marble Valley League boys’ tennis all-stars.

Nora Bright of Bellows Falls and Jazmin Smith of Brattleboro were both named to the First Team for the MVL girls’ tennis all-stars.

All-stars in action

• The North-South Senior Softball Classic will be played at Castleton University on June 30 and July 1.

Brattleboro will be represented on the South team by center fielder Devin Millerick and first baseman Emmalee Waite, while Leland & Gray will send catcher Jessalyn Stockwell.

• Brattleboro defenseman Evan Perkins will be playing for the Vermont squad in this year’s All-Star Hockey Classic to benefit Make-A-Wish Vermont and New Hampshire

The game will be played Saturday, July 1, at 6 p.m., at Gutterson Field House at the University of Vermont.. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 7-17 (6 and under are free) and are available at the door.

Derby Damez back in action

• The Elm City Derby Damez are back for another season of fun and mayhem on wheels at Living Memorial Park’s Withington Rink.

Once again, the Keene, N.H.-based roller derby team will be using Withington Rink for their home matches. They’ll host United Front of Pioneer Valley from Northampton, Mass., on July 22, Twin State of Enfield, N.H., on Sept. 9, and WoRD (Worcester Roller Derby), on Sept. 30.

League president Aja Anderson, who skates for Elm City under the nom-de-Derby Smackajawea, offered this preview via email of the Damez’s upcoming home matches.

United Front is an all gender team they played earlier this season. “We did not take the win for the first round, but we are looking forward to the rematch in July,” Anderson said.

Twin State is “a very competitive team we haven’t played in a couple of years,” Anderson said. “It should be a good match with lots of action.”

Anderson said the match against the Worcester, Mass, team will be a doubleheader.

We will be working with New Hampshire Roller Derby to put together a Junior Roller Derby scrimmage before we have our game. Junior derby (ages 7 to 17) is growing really quickly around the nation and there will be many teams from around New England coming for the scrimmage.”

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with matches starting at 6 p.m. Admission is by donation. “We are always selling merchandise, baked goods and have other games and raffle prizes available,” Anderson said. “It’s a great night of fun on the cheap!”

For more information about the team, visit elmcityderby.com.

Rec. Dept. offers multi-sports camp

• The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department, in conjunction with the U.S. Sports Institute, will offer a multi-sports camp and sports squirts camp during the week of July 10 at Living Memorial Park.

The multi-sports camp provides the ultimate sporting experience for every age and ability, where your child has the opportunity to play up to 16 different sports from around the world. Sports squirts camp is ideal for the younger sports enthusiast who wants to try their hand at a little of everything. Participants will have the opportunity to try lacrosse, soccer, basketball, t-ball, floor hockey, parachute games, and more.

For Brattleboro residents ages 5-11, the cost is $199 for kids doing a full day for the full week (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.), $169 for just mornings (9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.), and $139 for just afternoons (1 to 5 p.m.) For ages 3-5, the cost is $90 for the week (4:30 to 5:30 p.m.) Non-residents pay an additional $15.

For more information, or there are special needs required for this program, call the Recreation & Parks Department at 802-254-5808, or check their website for a complete listing/description of events at www.brattleboro.org.

Senior bowling roundup

• Week 8 of the spring season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League saw Team 4 (33-7) increase its lead over Team 8 (26-14) to seven games. Team 3 (22-18) is now third, followed by Team 1 (20-20), Team 5 (19-21), Team 7 (15-25), Team 2 (13-27), and Team 6 (12-28).

Sally Perry had the high handicap game (233) and Jennifer Anderson had the high handicap series (672) for the women, while Wayne Randall had the men’s high handicap game (253) and Marty Adams had the high handicap series (664). For the third straight week, Team 4 had the high team handicap game (888) and series (2,594).

Jerry Dunham (556), Warren Corriveau Sr. (586), Adams (581), Peter Cross (516), and Randall (514) all rolled a 500-plus series, while Dunham (200), Corriveau (225), Adams (200), Randall (209), and Cross (205) all had 200-plus games.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #414 (Wednesday, June 28, 2017). This story appeared on page 0.

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