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Post 5 off to fast start as Legion baseball season begins

High school baseball success doesn’t always translate into success in the American Legion Baseball season, but it never hurts.

The Brattleboro Colonels made it to the Division I semifinals and finished with a 17-2 record. The core of that team makes up the bulk of this season’s lineup for Brattleboro Post 5, and the success from the high school season is carrying over into the Legion season.

Last week’s games were a good example. On June 19 at Tenney Field, Post 5 mercy-ruled Bellows Falls Post 37, 13-1.

Brattleboro had plenty of hitting, with a 3-for-3, 4 RBI night from Tanner Bell and two hits from Tommy Carroll.

Post 5 pulled away early with five runs in the second inning and three more in the third. But the buzz of the night came in the fourth inning from Dan Petrie. He drove the ball over the left-center field fence to the deepest part of Tenney Field, 387 feet from home plate, for a two-run homer.

Post 37’s lone run came in the fourth inning, when Clayton Groenewold reached base on an infield single and eventually scored on a groundout.

Adam Newton was the winning pitcher for Post 5, striking out four and walking two over five innings. Spencer Clark and Jack Brown split the pitching chores for Post 37. T hey gave up a total of three walks and eight hits.

On June 22 at Tenney Field, Petrie hit another home run — a three-run shot to straightaway center field — to complete an 11-0 mercy rule win over Bennington Post 13.

One of the standouts from the BUHS Class of 2017, Tanner Bell, held Bennington to just one hit over four innings. He walked no one and hit one batter. Jeremy Rounds finished up with a scoreless fifth inning, walking just one batter.

It took a couple of innings for the Post 5 bats to get going, but once they did, it was all over for Bennington. Brattleboro sent 12 batters to the plate and scored six runs in the third inning. A three-run triple by Adam Newton and an RBI single by Joey Rafus were the big hits in the inning.

Post 5 then added five more runs in the fifth inning, as back-to-back RBI singles by Tyler Millerick and Leif Bigelow prefaced Petrie’s home run.

Two days later, Post 5 swept a doubleheader with Randolph at Tenney Field, and did it without Petrie and Bigelow, who were away playing for the Vermont squad in the annual Twin State Classic against New Hampshire.

Brattleboro showed its depth in this doubleheader sweep. In the first game, Ben Betz threw a complete game for a 10-5 victory. He struck out three, walked one, and scattered seven hits.

Chris Frost, Millerick, Tommy Carroll, and Newton all had multiple hits for Post 5. Frost also stole three bases, while Rafus and Betz stole one base each.

In game two, Rounds and Rafus combined on a no-hitter for a 9-2 win.. Rounds struck out five in five innings of work to earn the win. Betz and Millerick had three hits each for Post 5. Carroll added two and Shane Cyr hit a double.

Post 5 is now 7-1 overall and coach Eric Libardoni likes what he’s seen so far.

Having Bigelow as the staff ace is a luxury, but Libardoni is happy that he has a strong No. 2 pitcher in Newton and three steady arms in the back of the rotation.

“We don’t have dominant pitching, but we have effective pitching,” he said after the Bennington win. “Tanner, Ben, and Joey get lots of ground balls. They keep the ball down and throw strikes.”

• While their teammates were sweeping Randolph, Bigelow and Petrie were helping Vermont sweep New Hampshire in the Twin State Classic in White River Junction.

The UConn-bound Bigelow was named the Vermont MVP. He threw a scoreless inning of relief in the first game, an 8-1 victory for the Vermonters.

In the second game, a 10-3 come-from-behind win for the Green Mountain Boys, Bigelow was the starting shortstop and drove in four runs with a single and triple.

• As for Bellows Falls, they bounced back from the drubbing by Post 5 with a 9-0 win over White River Junction Post 84 at Hadley Field on June 21.

Post 37 starting pitcher Kendall Heath struck out 11 batters and was one out shy of a complete-game shutout. Reliever Rex Hill got the final out.

Heath helped himself with a two-run double in the first inning, while Groenewold and McGregor Vancor each drove in two runs in the second inning. Post 37 then picked up three more runs in the sixth.

Snide dominates Vt. Decathlon

• After winning back-to-back state decathlon titles as a high school athlete, DJ Snide won a third state title — this time in the open division — at the Vermont Decathlon, held June 18 and 19 in Burlington.

Snide, a 2017 graduate of Bellows Falls Union High School, won the men’s open competition with a score of 5,793 points. John Lonardo, a member of the BUHS Class of 2016, was sixth with 1,832 points.

Another BUHS grad, Danielle Wood, was second in the women’s open field with 3,760 points.

In the high school girls’ division, BF’s Abbe Cravinho (4,072) and Macie Streeter (4,001) ended up eighth and ninth, respectively. Teammates Hailey Covillion (21st), Jaden Luebbert (22nd), and Abby Dearborn (26th) were among the 59 high school girls who participated in the event.

The top local athletes in the boys’ high school division were BF’s Shane Clark, who finished third, and Brattleboro’s Evan Koch, who came in eighth.

Brattleboro’s David Pierce finished 30th, while teammates Orion Stone placed 33rd, Kade Perrotti was 34th, and Max King wound up 54th.

BF’s Gabe Hakimoglu was 38th, while teammates Ryan Kelly was 43rd, Tylar Stanley finished 48th, Hunter Smith was 53rd, and Dylan Clark placed 62nd.

The athletes competed in 10 different events over the two-day competition: the 100, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400, 100 hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, and 1500.

Locals well represented on MVL teams

• The Marble Valley League named its all-star teams for the spring sports season, and our local athletes were well represented on the baseball, softball, lacrosse, and tennis squads.

• In baseball, Brattleboro’s Chris Groeger was named A Division Coach of the Year. The Colonels were 17-2 and reached the Division I semifinals this season.

Four of Groeger’s players were also honored as pitcher/shortstop Leif Bigelow, catcher Dan Petrie, and first baseman Kris Carroll were all named to the A Division First Team. Third baseman Ben Betz received Honorable Mention.

Leland & Gray made it to the Division III semifinals before bowing out to the eventual champion, Windsor. Four players from the 12-7 Rebels were honored as Patrick McDonald, Luc DuGrenier, and Christian Thomsen all were named to the C Division First Team. Grayson VanHendrick received Honorable Mention.

Twin Valley and Bellows Falls each had two players honored. BF’s Clayton Groenewold was named to the B Division First Team, while McGregor Vancor received Honorable Mention. Twin Valley’s Joey Rafus, was named to the C Division First Team, while Hayden Reed, and Eric Bolognani both received Honorable Mention.

• In boys’ lacrosse, Brattleboro defender Liam McNeil, attacker Charles Burroughs, and goalie Caleb Martin all received honors.

McNeil was a First Team selection, while Burroughs and Martin were named to the Second Team.

• In softball, Brattleboro’s Kelly Markol, whose team compiled a 14-4 record this season, was selected as the A Division Coach of the Year.

Markol had plenty of company as pitcher Hailey Derosia, catcher Jamie Mahoney, and shortstop Rachael Rooney were all First Team selections, while third baseman Lauren McKenney and first baseman Mya McAuliffe were Honorable Mention selections.

Leland & Gray’s Erin Cutts, Olivia Brown, Mariah Hazard, and Sarah Andersen all made the Division C First Team after helping the Rebels to an 11-6 record.

Emily Bazin and Paxton Santorelli of Bellows Falls were Honorable Mention selections in the B Division, while Twin Valley’s Callie Dix and Leah Putnam earned Honorable Mention in the C Division.

• In boys’ tennis, Brattleboro’s Charlie DeRosa was named A Division co-Coach of the Year, sharing the honor with Mount Anthony’s Trevor Grimshaw. The Colonels finished 9-5 this season.

Brattleboro’s Martin Sipowicz, Jonah Petrie, and Alex Shuey were all named to the A Division First Team.

Firecracker 4-Miler set for July 4

• The Red Clover Rovers will host the annual Bill Powers Memorial Firecracker 4-Miler in Brattleboro on Wednesday, July 4.

This is a 4-mile point-to-point race that begins at Living Memorial Park, travels through downtown Brattleboro and ends at the town common. Each mile is marked. There is one water station at Mile 2. Prizes will be awarded to the male and female winners of each age group (1-12, 13-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-plus).

Water and light refreshments are provided at the finish. In order to minimize impact on the environment, the race features local or organically produced food, compostable cups at the water stop, and reusable water bottles at the finish (to be taken home by the runners).

Registration for adults is $15 in advance, or $25 on race day. Registration begins at 8 a.m. at Living Memorial Park, with the race starting at 9:30 a.m. Visit www.redcloverrovers.com for more information, or contact race director Kim Lier at kim.lier@gmail.com.

Senior bowling roundup

• Despite a 1-4 week, Team 2 (29-11) remains in first place after Week 7 of the summer season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League. Team 3 (25-15) is still in second place, followed by Team 1 (24-16), Team 8 (22-18), Team 4 and Team 7 (both 21-19), Team 5 (20-20), Team 9 (19-21), and Team 6 (16-24).

Mary Parlimall had the women’s high handicap game (256) and series (695). Gary Montgomery had the men’s high handicap game (277), while Jon Peters had the high handicap series (677). Team 1 had the high team handicap game (874) and series (2,501).

In scratch scoring, Montgomery (617) rolled a 600-plus series with a 257 game.

Fred Ashworth (570), Wayne Randall (537), and Jerry Dunham (521) all had 500-plus series. Randall had a 226 game, while Ashworth rolled a 210.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #465 (Wednesday, June 27, 2018). This story appeared on page C1.

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