It was a great way to start the baseball season for the Brattleboro Colonels.
The Colonels’ ace pitcher, Leif Bigelow struck out 16 batters in throwing a no-hitter against Bellows Falls for a 9-0 victory on a cool, mostly overcast April 9 afternoon at Tenney Field.
Bigelow walked two BF batters — Griffin Waryas in the first inning and Noah Rawling in the second — and hit one batter, Lucas Saunders, in the third inning. He needed just 84 pitches to get through seven innings for the win.
That performance wasn’t surprising. Bigelow, a senior who has already punched his ticket for a spot on the University of Connecticut’s baseball team in 2019, is one of the best pitchers in Vermont.
The surprise? Brattleboro is a team with speed that will create runs with aggressive baserunning.
“We’ve got a ton of speed on this team, and we’re going to use it every way we can,” said Brattleboro coach Chris Groeger.
In the first inning, Brattleboro’s Tyler Millerick reached on an error, stole second, and scored on a double by Dan Petrie.
Brattleboro then pulled away with three runs in the third inning. With one out, Jeremy Rounds reached base on a throwing error and Millerick singled. Both scored on a ground out and a wild pitch, respectively. Cam Pelkey added an RBI single.
The Colonels got two more runs in the fourth. Ben Betz and Adam Newton opened the inning with back-to-back base hits. Both scored on a base hit by Millerick.
BF starting pitcher Spencer Clark gave way to reliever Jackson Brown in the sixth, and he gave up three more runs. Newton led off with a single and pinch-hitter Brendan Gilbeau reached base on a dropped third strike and a throwing error. Both scored on a base hit by Bigelow, who eventually scored on a dropped fly ball hit by Petrie.
“Four years in a row, my team has had to face him on opening day,” said BF coach Bob Lockerby. “I’m glad I won’t have to see him again next year.”
Lockerby said he had only one starter from last year’s team on the field against the Colonels — third baseman Clayton Groenewold — so this season will be a learn-as-you-go experiment for the Terriers.
• Two days after getting blanked by the Colonels, the Terriers bounced back nicely with a 9-3 win over Mill River in North Clarendon.
Waryas, making his varsity debut on the mound, threw five strong innings to get the victory, aided by some excellent defensive work by Groenewold at third base. Brown threw two innings of relief in a non-save situation.
BF got three runs in the first inning, taking advantage of three walks and an RBI single by Waryas. He also hit a two-run single in the sixth inning, which saw Noah Wilkinson hitting a double and Saunders an RBI single.
• There was also a no-hitter on the other side of the BUHS campus on April 9, as Colonels junior pitcher Hailey Derosia shut down Bellows Falls in a 17-0 win at Sawyer Field.
Derosia struck out nine, walked one, and hit one batter to get the win in the season opener. She also helped her cause with two hits to drive in four runs.
Maddi DiBernardo drew a walk and was hit by a pitch to be the Terriers’ only baserunner.
The Colonels took advantage of 15 walks by BF’s pitchers. Julie Hendricks had a hit and drove in two runs, Kayla Leonard-Houle also got a hit and Rachael Rooney and Lauren McKenney each drove in a run.
• BF’s pitching was just as wild in their next game, a 29-14 loss to Mill River in North Clarendon on April 11. The Terriers gave up 21 walks and Olivia McPhee, Grace Gilman, Sadria Majorell, and McKenna Ludden all had three hits each for Mill River.
• The Brattleboro girls opened their season in Sutton, N.H., against Kearsarge on April 10 and beat the defending New Hampshire Division III state champs, 14-13.
Liz Day was the heroine with seven goals and two assists as the Colonels withstood a furious rally by Kearsarge. After taking a 6-1 lead, the Colonels’ advantage dwindled to 9-8 at halftime. However, a strong defensive effort made Brattleboro’s lead stand up in the second half.
Also showing up in the scorebook for the Colonels were Tobin Lonergan, with three goals and two assists and Meg Ayotte with a goal and two assists. Liv Romo and Sam Cragin each got a goal, and Avalon Johnston scored her first varsity goal.
• The Brattleboro boys seem to love playing on the fast surface that is Landmark College’s new artificial turf field. They picked up a 12-8 win over Pittsfield, Mass., on April 9 for their second straight win in Putney.
Trailing 8-7 going into the final period, the Colonels rallied with five unanswered goals to get the win. Alejandro Cornman and Durin Hoyer each finished with three goals. Charles Burroughs and Elliot Bauer added two goals each, while Ryan Tyler and Tanner Edson each scored a goal. Brattleboro goalie Caleb Martin ended up with 10 saves.
Track & Field
• Brattleboro got off to a great start in its opening meet at the Freeman Track on April 12.
Jasper Reed won the 100, 200, long jump, and triple jump as the Colonel boys won their eight-team meet with 141 points, topping second-place Mount Anthony (91 points) and Burr & Burton (56.5 points).
Also finishing first for the Colonel boys was Evan Koch (110 and 300 hurdles), Orion Stone (pole vault), Isaiah Gilbeau (shotput), Isaac Freitas-Eagan (1,500 and 3,000), and the 4x400 relay team of Ben Brady, Kade Perrotti, Koch, and Freitas-Eagan.
The relay teams led the way for the Colonel girls as they won their meet with 137 points, finishing ahead of Woodstock (58 points) and Mount Anthony (48 points). Maggie Lonardo, Alina Secrest, Dory Abdallah, and Kharisma Boyd won the 4x100, and the 4x800 foursome of Emilia Dick-Fiora Del Fabro, Alexandra Miskovich, Elery Loggia, and Liz Morse also finished first.
Individual winners included Winter Matweecha (pole vault), Maggie Lonardo (long jump), Kharisma Boyd (triple jump), and Kai Boyd (discus).
Delany Bullock of The Putney School was the winner in the 1,500 and 3,000 meter races.
• Brattleboro opened the season on the road on April 9 with a 7-0 loss to Woodstock. The Colonels lost six matches in straight sets and had to forfeit a doubles match.
The most competitive match was at No. 2 singles as Alissa Walkowiak lost to Grace Frazier 6-4, 6-3. Annie Takacs, Camden Haskins, and Paige Starkweather all got skunked in their matches, while No. 5 Bella Takacs lost her match to Chloe Noble 6-3, 6-1.
• Bellows Falls also opened on the road on April 9, and topped Springfield, 4-1.
Sarah Scarlett, Hannah Harlow, and Olivia Lauricella all won their singles matches, and Emily Wunderle and Anika Larsen added a win at No. 1 doubles.
• Brattleboro lost its opening match of the season on April 11 in Rutland, 4-3.
The teams split in singles play. No. 1 Martin Sipowitz lost in straight sets, 6-1, 6-0, to Rutland’s Andres Aguilar. No. 2 Alex Shuey outlasted Rutland’s Connor Solimano, 7-5, 1-6, 10-8.
Rutland’s Austin Roussel battled No. 3 Mason Powers and won 6-7 (3), 6-3 10-8 for the Raiders singles victories. Brattleboro took the last two singles matches in straight sets, with No. 4 Jonah Petrie beating Zach Lane 6-3, 6-0, and No. 5 Josh Nordheim stopping Augie Louras 6-3, 6-1.
Rutland then swept the two doubles matches. At No. 1, Keagan Bliss and Noah Tyson defeated Brattleboro’s Ari Essunfeld and Mason Foard 7-5, 6-2 and Dylan Roussel and Brady Kenosh defeated Brattleboro’s Cole Merkle and Forest Zabriskie 6-4, 6-4.
Leland & Gray Class of 2018 hosts Bubble Soccer benefit
• The Leland & Gray senior class will host Bubble Soccer, which will take place on Sunday, April 29, from 1 to 3 p.m., at the Leland & Gray soccer fields.
The game consists of two teams of four players, individually surrounded by an inflatable bubble, but playing together as a team to score goals. Multiple games are played on the fields simultaneously, so look for lots of action and laughs. For a look at how to play bubble soccer, go to www.newenglandbubblesoccer.com.
Players can sign up individually for $20 or as a team for $80; spectator fee is $5.
The event is family friendly and fun for all ages. Food, beverages, baked goods and 50/50 raffle tickets will be available for purchase. Proceeds will be used to fund Leland & Gray’s Project Graduation, a substance-free, senior class celebration, which takes place on the night of graduation on June 16. This year, the celebration will be held at Mount Snow.
Senior bowling roundup
• With two weeks left in the fall-winter season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League, Team 10 (48-22) is still in first place, but Team 5 (43-27) moved into second. Team 2 (41-29) dropped to third, followed by Team 4 and Team, 8 (both 40-30), Team 3 (39-31), Team 7 (35-35), Team 9 (both 34-36), Team 6 (32.5-37.5), Team 1 (28.5-41.5), and Team 11 (25-40).
Josie and Robert Rigby were the stars in Week 14. Josie had the women’s high handicap game (257) and series (665), while Robert had the men’s high handicap game (258) and series (712). Team 10 had the high team handicap game (908), while Team 3 had the high handicap series (2,594).
In scratch scoring, Robert Rigby led the men with a 700-plus series (712), and individual games of 235, 258, and 218.
Gary Montgomery (608) had a third straight 600-plus series, with individual games of 212 and 213. He was again joined by Warren Corriveau Sr. (664), who had individual game scores of 215, 213, and 236. Montgomery had games of 212 and 214.
Josie Rigby (626) was the lone woman with a 600-plus series; she had a 244 individual scratch score. Men in the 500-plus club were Marty Adams (553), Duane Schillmat (543), Fred Bump (510), and Jerry Dunham (550).
Peter Gilbert (558), Charles Marchant (529), Peter Cross (519), Marty Adams (511), Richard Dowley (565), and Wayne Randall (595) all rolled a 500-plus series. Randall (225, 221), Gilbert (206), Dowley (202, 213), and Charles Marchant (200) had 200-plus games.