The last Brattleboro Little League team still in the postseason, the 11-year-old All-Stars, have brought home a state championship.
Brattleboro went undefeated in the 9-11 state tournament in Stowe, clinching the title with a 12-1 victory on July 20.
The District 2 champs opened the double-elimination tournament with a pair of decisive wins — a 15-3 victory over District 1 champion Burlington American on July 13 and a 12-2 victory over District 3 champs Browns River on July 13.
That put them into the championship game on July 20, where they played Burlington American, the winner of the elimination game over Browns River. Brattleboro lost the first game, 9-8, but came up big in the second game.
The Brattleboro 11s now advance into the Little League Eastern Regional Tournament of Champions, which begins July 30 in Beverly, Mass., and features the state champs from New England, New York, and the Mid-Atlantic states.
Brattleboro will face New York’s state champion in the first game of the 10-team tourney on July 30.
Babe Ruth roundup
• Brattleboro lost all three of its games in the round-robin phase of the New England Regional Babe Ruth Baseball tournament in Westfield, Mass.
The Vermont champs began the tournament with a 2-1 loss to Westfield on July 19. On July 20, Brattleboro was beaten by Portland, Maine, 5-1. Brattleboro finished the opening weekend with a 10-0 loss to Norwalk, Conn., on July 21.
• Brattleboro Post 5 and Rutland Post 31 entered the final week of the American Legion baseball season assured of finishing either second or third behind the Southern Division leaders, Lakes Region.
Bennington Post 13 and White River Junction Post 84 are battling for the fourth and final playoff spot.
Post 5 missed a chance to keep their hold on second place with a 5-0 loss to Rutland Post 31 on July 16 at St. Peter’s Field.
Josh Beayon threw 6 1/3 innings of shutout ball to get the win, a win that Post 5 made him work for by running up his pitch count. He left the game having thrown 106 pitches with six strikeouts and four walks. Ethan Senecal then came in to get the last two outs.
Brattleboro had its ace, Adam Newton, on the mound and he held Rutland to a single run over the first four innings. Things unravelled in the fifth as Post 31 scored four unearned runs on just one hit. Three errors, two walks, and a hit batsman opened the door for Rutland.
Tyler Millerick led Post 5 with two base hits and Jeremy Rounds added a double.
Post 5 bounced back with a soggy 6-0 win over White River Junction Post 84 at Tenney Field on July 17.
Christian Thomsen threw a complete game shutout for the win, allowing just three hits with six walks and two strikeouts. Despite the less than ideal field conditions, the Post 5 defense played an error-free game behind Thomsen.
At the plate, Brattleboro had nine hits. Millerick had three of them, and Rounds, Thomsen, Jack Pattison, Hunter Beebe, Alex Kendall, and Evan Finnell all hit safely. Post 5 also took advantage of four errors by Post 84.
After three days off, Post 5 was well rested for its last few games of the regular season. But they caught another break on July 21 as Randolph Post 9 forfeited a scheduled doubleheader at Tenney Field.
Considering it was scheduled to be played starting at noon on one of the hottest days of the year, it was just as well that Randolph forfeited. Post 5 played instead an intramural scrimmage to stay sharp.
At press time, Post 5 still had two regular season games left to play — at Bennington on July 23 and Bellows Falls at Tenney Field on July 24.
• Rutland Post 31 blanked Bellows Falls Post 37, 8-0, at St. Peter’s Field on July 19. Josh Beayon went 5 for 5 with a home run for Post 31, while teammate Reece de Castro had three hits and drove in a run.
Starting pitcher Patrick McKeighan earned the win by going 5 2/3 innings, scattering five hits with seven strikeouts and five walks. Jackson Brown was the losing pitcher for Post 37.
On July 21 at Castleton University, Lakes Region swept Post 37 in a doubleheader. Bellows Falls lost the first game, 10-0, and was beaten 12-2 in the second game in a pair of mercy rule-shortened losses.
With its final two games of the season against Brattleboro and Rutland, Post 37 has a chance to play spoiler in terms of setting the final seedings for the Vermont American Legion Baseball state tournament, which begins July 27 at Saddlemire Field at Colchester High School.
Beware of bears
The recent shooting of a “brazen” adult male black bear by Vermont game wardens on the Long Trail in Glastenbury is yet another reminder that bears are out, they’re hungry, and if they see a chance to get some easy grub, they’ll happily take it.
According to a news release from the U.S. Forest Service, which oversees the Green Mountain National Forest where much of the southern section of the Long Trail is located, they’ve had several reports of bears approaching and entering shelters and aggressively getting into backpacks in an attempt to find food.
In the case of the bear on the Long Trail, Vermont game wardens said the bear was habituated to human food and waste and had lost all fear of humans. That made him a risk to hikers.
The recent spike in bear activity on the Manchester Ranger District of the Green Mountain National Forest prompted the Forest Service to remind hikers and campers to secure their food and dispose of food waste properly.
“It is vital that people recreating in the Forest keep a clean campsite to ensure that bears and other animals don’t forage for your food,” the Forest Service said. “Be sure to properly store all food, and odorous items, including toothpaste, condiments such as ketchup and mustard, food wrappers, and anything else that may attract bears.”
Improperly stored food “not only attracts bears to people currently camping at a site, but lets the bear know that it can find food at that campsite in the future. The bear may return to the site when other families are recreating there.”
You can’t blame the bears. The forest is their home and they are doing what they are genetically programmed to do — stuff themselves with as much food as possible to prepare for hibernation in the winter. They are not trying to cause trouble, but when they get habituated to eating food packed in by humans, they will go after it with gusto.
So, do the bears a favor. Don’t leave any food out when not in use, and store food in bear-resistant units, hard-shelled vehicles or car trunks. Keep sleeping areas, tents, and sleeping bags free of food and odor (like toothpaste or deodorant). Don’t sleep in clothes you cooked or handled fish or game in. Never bury or burn food waste.
If camping in the backcountry, hang your food bag at least 10 feet off the ground and 5 feet out from a tree limb that could support a bear, or better yet, pack and use bear resistant containers. If possible, in backcountry areas, place sleeping tents at least 100 yards away from food storage and cooking areas. If hiking with a dog, keep it on a leash or leave it home.
If you see damage caused by bears, contact the nearest Vermont Fish & Wildlife office at 802-828-1000, or a local Vermont State Game Warden at 802-442-5421.
Senior bowling roundup
• Week 12 of the spring/summer season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl saw another reshuffling of the standings.
DDL (40-20) had a 5-0 week to take over first place, while BDR (38-22) had a 0-5 week and fell to second place. JKL (37-23) also went 5-0 to move into third, while The Great Lakes (36-19) had their second straight 0-5 week to drop into fourth.
MNR (34-26) is now in fifth place, followed by Team 5 (32-28), 3 Stooges (30-30), Stayin’ Alive (25-35), Stars & Strikes, Tres Amigos, and The Dentists (all 24-36), and Tornadoes (17-43).
Sonya Shippee had the women’s high handicap game (249) and series (650), while Jerry Dunham had the men’s high handicap game (263) and series (707). JKL had the high team handicap game (681) and series (1,970).
In scratch scoring, Dunham rolled games of 235 and 207 as part of his 623 series. Warren Corriveau Sr. had a 208 game as part of his 517 series and Gary Montgomery had a 182 game as part of his 509 series.
Carole Frizzell rolled a 188 as part of her 475 series that led the women. Lorraine Taylor had a 177 game.
Hops For Hope 5K is looking for runners
• The 2019 Hops for Hope 5K at Mount Snow is a mountainous 5K run/walk that benefits the American Cancer Society.
This year’s event will take place Saturday, Aug. 31, starting at 9 a.m. Hops for Hope was started by local community members as a way to get in some exercise ahead of the Annual Brewers Festival (which draws thousands of people to the area) and to ensure the American Cancer Society continues to provide the critical programs and resources that many depend on.
The top fundraiser will receive a trophy, a 2019-20 Season Pass to Mount Snow valued at more than $1,000, prizes from partners/sponsors, and join millions of supporters helping the American Cancer Society attack cancer from every angle.