It’s been a long time since a baseball game was played on the Fourth of July at Tenney Field in Brattleboro.
In a baseball town like Brattleboro, it seems weird to me that there’s not a ball game on the Fourth of July, other than the Small Fry All-Star games.
But this year, the Brattleboro Post 5 and Bellows Falls Post 37 American Legion baseball teams gave us a treat — a noontime game with the pomp of the Legion Color Guard, the tempting smell of hot dogs and hamburgers grilling and, at least for the Post 5 fans, a satisfying victory to savor.
It wasn’t planned that way. Post 5 and Post 37 were scheduled to play a week earlier at Hadley Field, but thunderstorms postponed the game. After some back and forth, it was decided that the makeup game would be played on July 4 at Tenney Field, and Brattleboro would swap one of its home games scheduled for later in the season for another date at Hadley Field.
Unfortunately, Bellows Falls played a pair of doubleheaders over the weekend, and showed up in Brattleboro with a depleted pitching staff while Post 5 was able to counter with their ace lefty, Leif Bigelow. The result was a 12-2 win for Post 5 in a five-inning game cut short by the 10-run mercy rule.
Post 37 did get to Bigelow early and scored a pair of first-inning runs on singles by Jacob Streeter and Brady Illingworth.
After that, it was all Brattleboro.
Post 5 started the scoring with six runs on six hits in the bottom half of the first. A two-run single from Ben Nelson-Betz and a two-run double to deep left by Tommy Carroll, along with three errors, accounted for most of the damage. Matt Dulmaine and Chayse Cunniff each added base hits as Brattleboro sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning.
After Bigelow held Post 37 scoreless in the second inning, Post 5 picked up six more runs in the bottom half of the inning off losing pitcher Spencer Clark. This time, Brattleboro sent 11 batters to the plate as Carroll and Dulmaine each hit a two-run single.
Both teams went to the bullpen after that as Post 5’s Tanner Bell and Post 37’s Alex Groenewold both finished the game with scoreless relief stints.
• The state Legion tournament is less than two weeks away, set for July 22-26 at the Maxfield Sports Complex in White River Junction.
Four teams from the North and four from the South will play in the double elimination tournament. Host team White River Post 84 and defending champion Brattleboro are battling for the top two seeds in the South, while Rutland Post 31 and Bellows Falls are fighting for the last two spots.
• Post 5 in a good spot right now after sweeping a doubleheader against Lakes Region on July 8 and beating Rutland, 7-1, on July 9.
Brattleboro got great pitching performanaces from Chayse Cuniff and Bigelow in winning the Lake Region games, 2-1 and 4-3.
Adam Newton, a 15-year-old right-hander who normally plays Babe Ruth Baseball, got the start against Post 31 and threw a complete game five-hitter.
Newton struck out three and walked three, and got plenty of defensive support from his teammates with 12 infield outs. Only two balls made it to the outfield. Bret Worden hit a two-run double in the second, and Bigelow and Petrie each had doubles in a three-run sixth.
In a non-league game on July 5, Post 5 lost to the Keene Junior Swamp Bats, 6-5. Cunniff, Newton, and Hunter Beebe did the pitching chores for Brattleboro, and Carroll and Bell each drove in a run.
With the weekend victories, Brattleboro is 18-4 overall, 13-1 in league play, and in first place in the Southern Division.
• Post 37 rebounded from the holiday drubbing with an 11-4 over Randolph Post 9 on July 5. Illingworth got the start for Post 37, and held Randolph to just three hits over six innings to get the victory.
Illingworth helped his cause at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a triple. He drove in four runs and scored two runs to lead the Bellows Falls offense. Jacob Streeter and Groenewold added two hits apiece; Streeter scored a run and drove in another, while Groenewold drove in two runs and scored three.
The next night, Kendall Heath, Post 37’s ace pitcher, held Lakes Region to just three hits and struck out 11 as Bellows Falls rolled to a 9-0 win at Hadley Field.
Heath got plenty of run support as Post 37 scored four runs in the first inning, two more in the fourth, and three in the sixth. The defense helped also, as Post 37 did not commit an error in the field.
Bellows Falls then walloped Ludlow Post 36 on July 9 in a doubleheader sweep, winning the first game, 17-4, and the second game, 15-0. Both were halted in the fifth inning by the mercy rule.
Post 37 got plenty of hitting with 22 hits in the doubleheader. Zach Streeter was 5-for-6 with eight RBIs and two home runs. Joe Corey went 5-fot-7 with four RBIs, and Jacob Streeter, Groenewold, and Heath also hit home runs.
Seth Balch was the winning pitcher in the first game, while Josh Woods got the win in the nightcap. Post 37 exited the weekend with a 10-6 league record and is well-positioned to capture one of the four playoff spots.
Petrie wins Giamartino Award
• Before the start of the July 4 Legion game, Post 5 and Brattleboro Union High School catcher Dan Petrie received the Frank Giamartino Award, presented by the Southern Vermont Baseball Umpires Association.
It is given to a southern Vermont high school player who exhibits passion, enthusiasm, and respect for the game of baseball.
The award is named for the late Frank Giamartino, a longtime umpire and youth baseball booster who died in a car crash in 2006.
Berlings win Firecracker 4-Miler
• Brian and Cortney Berling of Amherst, Mass., swept top honors at the 40th Bill Powers Memorial Firecracker 4-Miler.
There were 112 runners in this year’s race, and Brian Berling, 29, finished in 22 minutes, 15 seconds — 12 seconds faster than 2015 winner Jason Dunklee, 43, of Watertown, Mass.
Cortney Berling, 27, was the women’s winner. She placed third overall in 23:15, nearly two minutes ahead of runner-up Anne Hart, 24, of Stillwater, Minn. (25:02).
Age group winners included Owen Pouliot of Swanzey, N.H., and Olivia Emerson of Brattleboro in the 12-and-under division; Colin Costa-Walsh of Brattleboro and Margaret St. John of Hinsdale, N.H., in the 13-19 division; Jared Pacheco of Brattleboro and Anne Hart in the 20-29 division; and Christopher Parker of Cambridge, Mass., and Marcy Cabanas of Greenfield, Mass., in the 30-39 division.
Dunklee and Lynette Wood of Lindale, Texas were the winners in the 40-49 division; Sri Bodke of Buckland, Mass., and Nancy Heydinger of Vernon won the 50-59 division; John Duff of Newfane and Susan Rogers in Brattleboro were fastest in the 60-69 division; and Fred Ross of Vernon was the lone finisher in the over-70 division.
Complete results can be found at www.redcloverrovers.com.
Little League roundup
• The Brattleboro 12-year-old All-Stars opened their best-of-seven District 2 playoff series with Bennington with a 13-9 win on July 8.
Tristan Evans went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored to lead Brattleboro. Forrester Avard, Sam Henry, Sam Hall, Devin Speno, and leadoff hitter Cameron Frost all finished with two hits; Frost also scored three runs.
Hall was the winning pitcher. He threw into the fourth inning while striking out six batters. Bennington made it close with a three-run triple by Dylan Coyne as part of a five-run rally in the sixth inning.
• The Brattleboro 10-year-old All Stars lost the opener of their best-of-five series with Bennington, 9-6, on July 8.
Sean Moriarty went 3-for-4 and scored three runs to lead Bennington, and Hunter Sherwin went 2-for-4 with a two-run double. Bennington batted around in the first inning and Brattleboro could not recover.
Brattleboro’s Harper Cutler went 2-for-4 and scored a run, while Keagan Systo went 1-for-4 with two runs scored, and John Satterfield, Evan Wright, and Sam Bogart each scored a run.
Fitness classes offered
• The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department is offering a summer session of fitness classes, beginning the week of July 24, at the Gibson-Aiken Center, 207 Main St.
This is a six-week program and is offered for folks 16 years of age and older. The cost for Brattleboro residents is: 1 class a week $38, 2 classes a week $45, or 3 classes a week $56. Non-residents add $25 to the cost of the program. There is a drop-in rate of $10 per class. Late registrations are always welcome.
The class runs 12:10 to 1:10 p.m. and the weekly schedule is as follows: Mondays, Yoga; Wednesdays, Strong Yoga, Fridays, Yoga/Pilates. The instructor is Cyndy Gray. She has a B.S. in physical education and is a certified to teach both Yoga and Pilates. She also has a black belt in Karate.
Gray also offers a kickboxing and conditioning class which focuses on strength, agility and athletic conditioning. New participants are welcome to join anytime. The class is held at the Gibson-Aiken Center on Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m.
The cost is: 1 class a week for $40 per month or $75 for 2 months, or 2 classes a week for $50 per month or $90 for 2 months. There is a $10 discount for participants in the Yoga & Pilates classes. Non-residents add $25 to the cost of the program.
For more information, call the Recreation & Parks office at 802-254-5808.
Paddle on Somerset with the BOC
• The Brattleboro Outing Club (BOC) presents its annual summer paddle trip on Somerset Reservoir on Sunday, July 16.
Designated as one, of only three “great” reservoirs in Vermont, Somerset is the state’s most beautiful place to paddle: a quiet and secluded body of water with no development, no high-speed powerboats, and plenty of places to picnic, swim, and sun. Paddlers can expect to see loons, bald eagles, moose, and other surprises.
Meet at the Coffee Shop, next to Tallulah’s Antiques in Wilmington at the junction of Routes 9 and 100, at 9 a.m., for this all-day adventure.
All BOC paddle trips are free and open to the public, just show up, paddle and picnic. For more information, including a “what to bring” checklist, visit www.BrattleboroOutingClub.org or contact Larry McIntosh at 802-254-3666 or Lmacyak@gmail.com.
Senior bowling roundup
• Week 10 of the spring season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League saw Team 4 (37-13) still in first place, but Team 8 (35-15) has closed to within two games of the lead. Team 5 and Team 1 (25-25) are now tied for third, followed by Team 3 (24-26), Team 2 (21-29), Team 7 (20-30), and Team 6 (13-37).
Sally Perry (244) had the women’s high handicap game, while Carrole Frizzell (689) had the women’s high handicap series, while Warren Corriveau Sr. had the men’s high handicap game (284) and series (702). Team 5 had the high team handicap game (948) and series (2,663).
Corriveau (654) rolled a 600-plus series, with a pair of 200-plus games (268, 222). Frizzell (506) had a 500-plus series. She was joined by Wayne Randall (530), Jerry Dunham (551), Tom Johnson (535), and Marty Adams (546).
Randall (204) and Johnson (205) were the only other men with 200-plus games.
Golf tournament raises more than $12,000 for SEVCA
• Southeastern Vermont Community Action’s (SEVCA’s) 16th annual “Chipping Away at Poverty” Benefit Golf Tournament at the Brattleboro Country Club on June 23 raised more than $12,000 to support SEVCA’s essential anti-poverty programs serving low-income individuals and families in Windham and Windsor counties.
Tournament winners were: 1st place team — Mutual of America; 2nd place team — People’s United Bank; 3rd place team — Tom Burke’s Team; Women’s Closest to the Pin — Thalia Holmes; Men’s Closest to the Pin — Jim McAdams; Women’s Longest Drive — Kathy Orben-Hall; and Men’s Longest Drive — Jason Gaskell.