During the regular season, there wasn’t a lot separating the top three teams in the Southern Division of Vermont American Legion Baseball.
Lakes Region (20-4), Rutland Post 31 (19-5), and Brattleboro Post 5 (18-6) finished 1-2-3 in the South, but once the state Legion tournament began in Colchester on July 27, Brattleboro quickly asserted itself by winning its first two games in the double-elimination tournament.
Post 5 started the tournament with a 7-0 win over Essex Post 91, the defending state champions. Adam Newton, Jeremy Rounds, and Forrester Avard combined on a two-hitter. Newton worked 4 2/3 innings for the win. He gave up both of Essex’s hits, with three walks and six strikeouts. Rounds got the final out in the fifth inning, and Avard finished up the final two innings.
Brattleboro took control with three runs in the third and three more in the fifth. Post 5 had nine hits as Hunter Beebe led the way with two hits and three RBIs. Rounds, Chris Frost, Dan Petrie, Tyler Millerick, Newton, Jack Pattison, and Jack Price all had one hit.
Post 5 then moved into the winners bracket of the tournament with a 7-2 win over Lakes Region on July 28. Brattleboro had 11 hits, but stranded 11 base-runners. They still scored three runs in the second inning and four runs in the seventh.
Rounds had the hot bat, going 3-for-3, while Frost drove in two runs with a base hit in the seventh inning. Alex Kendall added a two-run triple in that inning. Christian Thomsen and Beebe each had two hits and an RBI.
Another masterful group effort delivered the win on the mound, as Lakes Region got six hits, but stranded 10 baserunners as a pair of double plays turned by Post 5 snuffed out any chance for a big inning.
Rounds started and went 2 2/3 innings, scattering four hits with one earned run and three walks. Thomsen followed and pitched 1 1/3 innings to earn the victory; he allowed an earned run a walk. Kendall followed with 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, and Evan Finnell got the final out in the seventh.
Post 5 faced S.D. Ireland on July 29, and lost, 6-1. Avard was the starting pitcher, and gave up three runs in two innings of work. Kendall relieved Avard and gave up another two runs. Brigham finished up and gave up another run. Petrie homered in the fourth for the only Brattleboro run of the game.
On July 30, Post 5 beat Rutland, the winner of the elimination bracket championship game, 10-0. With the victory, Post 5 advances into the championship game against S.D. Ireland, scheduled for July 31. All the details will be in next week’s Commons.
• Post 5 finished the regular season strong with a pair of wins. On July 23, they shut out Bennington Post 13, 1-0.
The win was a group effort for the Post 5 pitching staff, as this game was used as a tune-up for their top pitchers. Newton started and allowed one hit over two innings with three strikeouts and one walk. Rounds pitched the next two innings and got the win, striking out two while allowing two hits.
Avard pitched in the fifth and sixth, allowing two hits and two strikeouts, and Thomsen pitched the seventh and picked up a save.
Post 5 was limited to four hits as Rounds, Frost, Petrie, and Thomsen had hits. Millerick drove in the only run and Rounds, Frost, and Thomsen each had a stolen base.
Post 5 committed two errors, but made the plays when it counted most to make the lone run stand up.
It was another group pitching effort in the regular season finale as Bellows Falls Post 37 was held to just two hits in an 8-0 loss at Tenney Field on July 24.
Kendall, the Post 5 starter, allowed one hit over five innings and recorded five strikeouts to get the win. Finnell pitched the sixth, allowing a hit and a strikeout, while Avard had the seventh and struck out two batters.
Brattleboro put the game out of reach early with six runs in the second inning off losing pitcher Huxley Holcombe. Post 5 got 11 hits in all. Petrie had three hits and an RBI. Joe Rafus had two hits and drove in three runs. Newton had two hits, and Rounds, Frost, Millerick, and Beebe all had one hit.
• With the loss to Brattleboro and a 10-0 loss to Rutland Post 31 on July 23, Bellows Falls Post 37 finished with a 3-21 divisional record and missed the playoffs.
This was an exceedingly difficult year for Post 37. They started the season with a large roster and high hopes of being in the playoff mix. As it turned out, there is talent on the team, but it needs more seasoning. Next year should be better for Bellows Falls.
Shrine players get ready for Maple Sugar Bowl
• This week, 72 of the finest high school football players from New Hampshire and Vermont have gathered at Castleton University to prepare for the 66th annual Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl.
Area representatives include Brattleboro receiver/defensive back Kris Carroll and Bellows Falls lineman Reno Tuttle. Brattleboro’s Mike Empey will be coaching Vermont’s offensive line. The Vermont team is led by Marty Richards, formerly of Mount Mansfield Union High School, while Bill Raycraft, formerly of Windham High School, leads the New Hampshire team.
The players have had double sessions of practice this week to get ready for the game, which will again be played at Castleton University’s Dave Wolk Stadium on Aug. 3.
On game day, there will be the traditional Shrine parade starting at 3 p.m. featuring Shrine units from throughout New England and parts of Canada. Pregame introductions start at 5 p.m. with kickoff following at 5:30.
The Maple Sugar Bowl Game is sponsored by the Cairo Shriners of Rutland and Mt. Sinai Shriners of Montpelier. This game is played as a fundraiser for area Shriners Hospitals for Children. General admission tickets for the game are on sale at outlets throughout New Hampshire and Vermont for $12. On game day, tickets will be priced at $15.
Vail Resorts to buy Mount Snow
• Colorado-based Vail Resorts has been on an acquisition spree in Vermont over the last couple of years, buying Stowe Mountain Resort in 2017 and Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow in 2018.
Now, they are about to add Mount Snow Resort in West Dover to their growing portfolio of ski areas around the United States.
Vail announced last week it’s planning to buy Mount Snow as part of a $264 million deal to acquire Peak Resorts, Mount Snow’s current owner. If the deal receives regulatory approval, Vail would own a total of 34 U.S. ski resorts, including three of Vermont’s busiest ski mountains.
Peak Resorts had spent $31 million over the past couple of years to do capital improvements at Mount Snow, including an improved snowmaking system and the new 42,000-square-foot Carinthia Base Lodge.
Peak also got some unwelcome publicity this year when it came out the Sackler family, which is facing thousands of lawsuits for its alleged role in the nation’s opioid epidemic, was Peak’s largest shareholder.
The Sacklers are one of the wealthiest families in the U.S. Most of their wealth comes from their pharmaceutical company, Purdue Pharma, which is the creator of the painkiller Oxycontin. The family has been accused of deceptively marketing a highly addictive drug and reaping huge profits along the way.
In the news release announcing the sale, Vail Resorts said it “plans to retain the vast majority if each resorts’ employees,” which, if Vail really means it, is good news for all the people in the Deerfield Valley who depend upon Mount Snow for their livelihoods.
Will consolidation affect the ski experience in Vermont? That’s an open question. The Vermont Ski Areas Association reported in June that there were 4.2 million skier visits — defined as one person skiing or riding for one day. It’s the third straight year of growth but, as economist Art Woolf recently pointed out, the overall number of skiers and snowboarders coming to Vermont resorts has been mostly flat since the mid-1980s.
With more competition for the recreation dollar than there was 35 years ago, ski resorts have to work harder than ever to get people to come to the mountain. Vail is betting they can do that, and turn a profit. The economic fate of Dover and the rest of the Deerfield Valley is riding on that bet.
More sports camps at Rec. Dept.
• The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department has two more youth sports camps planned for August.
The Rec. Dept. and Vermont Voltage Soccer Academy will offer a week of Voltage Soccer Camp on Aug. 5-9, from 9 a.m. to noon at the West River Park Field on Route 30. This Camp is for all youth ages 5-18.
Attention will be given to the instruction of good ball control habits and movement techniques in challenging drills and simulated match situations. Conditioning methods and training ethics are also stressed to prevent injuries and improve young athletes’ coordination and flexibility.
The camp fee is $115 for Brattleboro residents and $130 for non-residents. If a second child is registered, the price for the second child will be reduced by $10.
The Recreation & Parks Department will also offer a girls lacrosse camp from Aug. 12-16 for those entering grades 3 through 9. Youth Lacrosse Coach Sarah Armour-Jones will be running the camp. The cost is $50 for Brattleboro residents and $65 for non-residents.
Camp will take place at West River Park from 9 to 11 a.m. each day. No experience is necessary to participate in this camp. Bring your own stick and goggles if you have them; there will be a limited supply for use who do not have one. Be sure to bring a mouth guard, a snack, and a drink.
If there are special needs required for either program, let the Rec. Dept. know at least five days in advance. For all programs and events, visit www.brattleboro.org, “Like” us on Facebook, call 802-254-5808 or stop by the Recreation & Parks Department Office at 207 Main St., Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon or 1 to 5 p.m.
Farewell, Coach Inglese
• One of the great memories I have from my first tour at the Reformer is being inside a sold-out Patrick Gymnasium watching the Catamounts defeat Maine to win the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) championship in March 1993.
The hottest ticket in Burlington that year was UVM womens’ basketball. That was Cathy Inglese’s doing. She took a moribund program and built it up to respectability, then into dominance in the NAC. Her last two seasons with UVM were the best. In 1992 and 1993, the Catamounts went 57-2, were undefeated in the regular season, and got their first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament berths.
Brattleboro’s Kari Greenbaum was a key contributor to those two seasons. The speedy former Colonels guard scored 1,252 points during her time with the Catamounts. She was one of three Vermonters on that team, and Greenbaum, along with Randolph’s Jen Niebling and Essex’s Carrie LaPine, proved that there was some serious basketball talent in Vermont.
Tom Brennan and the UVM mens’ basketball team would have a similar hot streak a little more than a decade later, and fill Patrick Gymnasium with fans. But Inglese’s teams got there first, and reignited the passion for basketball at UVM.
Inglese also had success at Boston College as she built up that program into prominence. But Vermont basketball fans still fondly remember those nights at Patrick Gymnasium, and the scrappy young women she led to glory.
Cathy Inglese died on July 24, a few days after suffering a traumatic brain injury in a fall down some stairs at Hofstra University, where she had been hired as an assistant coach in June. She was 60. She is fondly remembered by UVM basketball fans, and she’ll be missed.
Senior bowling roundup
• There’s a tie for first place after Week 13 of the spring/summer season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl.
DDL and The Great Lakes (both 41-24) share first place, while BDL (39-26) dropped to third place. JKL (37-28) fell to fourth.
Team 5 (36-29) is now in fifth place, followed by 3 Stooges (35-30), MNR (34-31), The Dentists (29-36), Tres Amigos (28-37), Stayin’ Alive (26-39), Stars & Strikes (24-41), and Tornadoes (21-44).
Doris Lake had the women’s high handicap game (243), while Sally Perry had the high handicap series (658). Fred Kolpa had the men’s high handicap game (243), while Fred Bump had the high handicap series (676). The Dentists had the high team handicap game (679) and series (1,918).
In scratch scoring, Warren Corriveau Sr. had a 212 game as part of his 563 series. Gary Montgomery rolled a 203 as part of his 538 series, while Bump had a 188 game in his 535 series, and Jerry Dunham had a 210 game in his 535 series. Duane Schillemat rolled a 184 in his 510 series.
Perry’s 451 series led the women. Lake and Arlene Blum both had a 171 game.
Pool schedule to change in August
• The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department informs everyone that the Living Memorial Park Pool hours for Aug. 4 through 18 will be 1 to 6 p.m. The pool will close for the season on Sunday, Aug. 18, at 6 p.m.