When the calendar turns to April, I always think of artist Dug Nap’s painting, “Vermont Weather Report,” and its only slightly tongue-in-cheek forecast: “Hot & sunny, turning to sleet mid-morning, becoming a blizzard by noon, 6-42 inches, followed by warm, moist, tropical air which will probably bring severe thunderstorms & a flood watch & a heat wave.”
The first full month of spring in Vermont is usually a month of contrasts, temperatures that can range from the 20s to the 90s, snowstorms and thundershowers, frosts and flooding, crocuses and confused birds pecking at the half-frozen ground.
Perfect weather for baseball.
Some of the coldest games I’ve covered in my three decades in Vermont have been baseball games in April. But a reporter and photographer like me has it easy. I don’t have to try to grip a baseball that’s as slippery as a chunk of ice, or feel the sting in your hands and wrists when you hit the ball, or try to catch a pop fly in a stiff breeze in tricky late-afternoon sunlight.
The Brattleboro Colonels and the Bellows Falls Terriers opened their high school baseball seasons on April 10 at Hadley Field on a windy 40-degree day. Yes, it was cold, but the Colonels left the field with the warm glow of an 11-0 victory.
Adam Newton threw a complete-game shutout in the six-inning contest cut short by the 10-run mercy rule. He struck out 12 and walked four, allowing only three hits. He also helped himself with a 4-for-4 day at the plate.
“The conditions aren’t ideal,” said said Brattleboro coach Chris Groeger. “It’s cold and yet he still threw the ball well.”
Bellows Falls had their chances, but stranded nine runners on base and aided the Colonels with a few defensive mistakes.
“You can’t strike out as much as we did, and make as many mistakes in the field as we did, and expect to win games,” said BF coach Bob Lockerby. “We simply didn’t make the plays that we needed to.”
Brattleboro took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Millerick and an RBI-double by Newton. The Colonels plated five more runs in the second inning as Hunter Beebe and Millerick each hit two-run singles.
Losing pitcher Jack Brown hit the 75-pitch limit with two outs in the third. He came out and McGregor Vancor came in, and gave the Terriers a chance with 2 1/3-innings of scoreless relief pitching.
BF’s Griff Waryas threw in the sixth inning, and Brattleboro got its last four runs. Newton hit a two-run triple and Jeremy Rounds and Chris Frost each drove in a run.
The Colonels stole lots of bases last year, and continued the trend this season as Millerick, Frost, Brenden Gilbeau, and Evan Finnell all stole bases. It could have been worse, but Vancour picked off Newton in the fourth and Frost in the fifth.
“We took some good swings and put guys on base, but we still don’t really have any big bats, so we have to run and put the pressure on the other team’s defense,” said Groeger.
• The Terriers recovered from the Brattleboro loss with a 12-10 win over Mount Anthony on April 13.
Reliever Elliott Graham was the winning pitcher, with four strikouts and one walk in two innings of work. He gave up just one hit. Starter Grady Lockerby struck out three batters.
McGregor Vancor was BF’s star on offense, he went 2-for-3, scored twice, stole two bases and drove in a run.
• Brattleboro and Bellows Falls also faced each other in softball on April 10 to get their respective seasons started, but unplayable conditions in Westminster meant the game got shifted to Sawyer Field. The result was a 35-0 win by the Colonels in a five-inning game cut short by the mercy rule.
Hailey Derosia and Leah Madore split the pitching duties and combined on the shutout for the Colonels. There was only one home run, by Makenna Severance, for the Colonels. Rachael Rooney, Alexa Kinley, Mya McAuliffe, Bella Powell, Kylie Smith, Natalie Hendricks, Brook Barrows, and Derosia all had base hits.
The beat went on against Otter Valley on April 13, as the Colonels rolled to a 16-0 win in another five-inning, mercy rule-shortened game in Brandon. Derosia struck out 14 and walked just two batters in throwing a no-hitter.
McAuliffe (three RBIs) and Derosia (one RBI) each had a pair of hits. Kinley (one RBI), McKenney (two RBIs), Garrette Shanks (two RBIs), Madore (one RBI), Rooney and Hendricks all finished with one hit as the Colonels improved to 2-0.
• The Brattleboro girls scored six unanswered goals in the first 10 minutes of the game and cruised to a 13-5 win over the Woodstock Wasps on April 11 at Natowich Field.
Brattleboro’s first six goals came during a three minute stretch of the first half, when the Colonels’ offense was absolutely unstoppable. After Woodstock called a timeout after the sixth goal, with 20:22 to play in the first half, the Wasps regrouped and made it a 7-2 game at the half.
Liz Day scored six goals to lead the Colonels in the win. Tobin Lonergan and Brianna Paul each finished with three goals, while Avalon Johnston pitched in with one tally.
Audrey Eggum and Gina Sorrentino scored two goals apiece for Woodstock. Kelly Gebhardt added a goal and an assist for the Wasps, and goalie Kai Albers made eight saves.
The victory evened the Colonel girls’ record at 1-1. They lost their opening match on April 10 against Kearsarge, 10-9.
Liv Romo (three goals), Lonergan (four goals) and Day (two goals, three assists) provided all the offense for Brattleboro.
• Despite being shorthanded due to the start of spring vacation, the Brattleboro boys had enough firepower to stop the McCann Tech Hornets, 9-2, at Natowich Field on April 12.
Colonels goalie Dylan Carrasquillo made 16 saves and the Brattleboro defense did a good job containing McCann’s offense.
Brattleboro led 3-0 at the half, as Ryan Tyler scored five goals to lead the Colonels. Austin Wood added two goals, and Isaiah Clark and Elliot Bauer also scored. Colby Ghidotti and Zavier Martin-Levesque scored the McCann goals. The Colonel boys are now 2-0.
• The Brattleboro boys were shorthanded against Rutland, and lost 6-1, on April 10. No. 2 singles player Forest Zabriskie won his match 6-4, 6-4 for the Colonels’ lone win.
In the Colonel boys’ opener on April 11, they beat Burr & Burton, 5-2. Josh Nordheim, Pablo Tunon and Ari Essunfeld all won a singles match, while the doubles teams of Rowan Kidder and Abe Moore Odell and Max Naylor and Owen Gallagher swept their matches. The Colonels finished the week at 1-1.
• The Brattleboro girls beat Mount St. Joseph, 6-1. The Colonels swept the singles matches as Paige Starkweather, Alissa Walkowiak, Camden Haskins, Maia McNeall, and Lydia Hazzard-Leal were all winners. In doubles play, the No. 2 team of Cearra O’Hern and Emeline Stewart were victorious.
Track & Field
• The Bellows Falls girls’ and boys’ track teams opened their season on April 12 with a sweep of an eight-school meet.
Abby Broadley won the 1,500-meter event in 5 minutes, 12 seconds and the 3,000 in 10 minutes, 54 seconds to lead the BF girls to victory. Jaden Luebbert (pole vault), Brigid Hodsden (javelin), and Madi Joy (shot put) also won as the Terrier girls compiled 167 points.
The BF boys were just as dominant, piling up 130.33 points to win easily. Reno Tuttle had victories in the shot put (47 feet, 2 inches) and discus (122 feet, 3 inches), while Ryan Kelly won the high jump and Gabe Hakimoglu took first in the 200 meter dash.
The Brattleboro girls’ and boys’ teams both finished fourth in their respective meets. Maggie Lonardo finished first in the long jump with a leap of 15-08 and Declyn Tourville won the 800 in 2:14.5.
Leland & Gray has a track team this year, and the 4x100 boys’ relay team of Cam Anderberg, Justin Crosby, Riley Barton, and Batikan Cinar wound up fifth in 51.20, while Jairen Sanderson (400) and Kate Petty (200) were sixth in their respective events.
Grace Cottage ‘Spring into Health’ 5K welcomes Boston Marathon champ
• The 10th Annual Grace Cottage “Spring into Health” 5K will take place Saturday, May 11 (Mother’s Day Weekend), starting at 8:30 a.m. on the Townshend Common.
Leading the pack this year is 1968 Boston Marathon champion Amby Burfoot. More than 50 years later, Burfoot continues to run marathons. He was the long-time editor of Runner’s World magazine and has authored several books on running.
Burfoot says he will be happy to speak with attendees at the event and will have autographed books available for sale. He is also delivering a free lecture and Q&A at Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro on May 10 at 5:30 p.m.
The event will be professionally-timed for competitors, but is open to all to run or walk. The course is 3.1 miles of mainly flat, paved road along Grafton Road. Healthy snacks and water will be provided. Free t-shirts for the first 100 to register. After the run, there will be awards, raffles, and a free Fun Run for kids 6 and under on the Common.
Runners, walkers, or strollers can register in advance for the 5K online for just $15 at www.gracecottage.org/events. Event day registration takes place from 7:45 to 8:15 for $20, but with no guarantee of a t-shirt.
Parking is available across the street at Leland & Gray High School. The event will be held rain or shine. This event, sponsored by People’s United Bank, raises funds for the hospital. For more information, call 802-365-9109.
Senior bowling roundup
• With two weeks left in the winter season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl, Team 3 (53-21) keeps rolling along in first place, and Team 9 (48-27) remains five games behind in second place.
Team 4 (46-29) is still in third place, followed by Team 7 (42-33), Team 10 (41-34), Team 8 and Team 2 (both 37-38), Team 5 (35-40), Team 12 (34-41), Team 11 (30-45), Team 1 (25-50), and Team 6 (23-52).
Carol Frizzell had the women’s high handicap game (255), while Pamela Greenblott again had the women’s high handicap series (666). Gary Montgomery had the men’s high handicap game (285) and series (708). Team 3 had the high team handicap game (934) and series (2,574).
In scratch scoring, Montgomery rolled a 264 on the way to a 645 series. Robert Rigby had a 245 game as part of his 643 series, and Warren Corriveau Sr. had a 226 as part of his 624 series.
Frizzell rolled a 200 game, but it was Josie Rigby (535) who finished with another 500-plus series to lead the women. Marty Adams (519) and Jerry Dunham (502) both finished with a 500-plus series.