While Brattleboro Post 5 had a earlier exit than it hoped for from the American Legion Baseball Northeast Regional Tournament in Worcester, Mass., last week, they did do something that hadn’t been done since 1999 — win a game in this tournament.
About half of the players currently in Major League Baseball played Legion baseball during their high school years. Legion baseball is still considered a major stepping stone for young baseball players who aspire to play after they graduate high school, and how they get noticed by college coaches and major league scouts.
The quality of play in American Legion Baseball is high, especially at the tournament level, when a Vermont team gets thrown into the fire against some of the best amateur baseball programs in the Northeast.
So, when Brattleboro beat Southington Post 72, the runner-up in the Connecticut state tournament, in a 4-3 thriller at Holy Cross’s Fitton Field on Aug. 7, people took notice.
A pair of errors in the first inning gave Southington a 2-0 lead, but Brattleboro got the runs back in the second inning. Christian Thomsen doubled, scoring Jack Pattison from first base. Thomsen then scored on Chris Frost’s RBI single to tie the game.
Post 5 went ahead for good in the fourth when Thomsen hit another double and then was able to score on a throwing error on a Jack Price sacrifice bunt. Price later scored on a fielder’s choice. Southington added a run in the fifth inning, but got no closer.
Adam Newton was the winning pitcher. After the rocky first inning, he settled down and pitched a strong game. He threw for six innings and allowed four hits, one earned run, three walks, and seven strikeouts for the win. Tyler Millerick pitched the the seventh for the save, with one walk and one strikeout.
Post 5 finished with eight hits off Southington. Pattison and Thomsen each had two hits, with Jeremy Rounds, Chris Frost, Dan Petrie, and Newton all hitting safely.
It was the first Brattleboro win in the Northeast Tournament since 1999, when Jeff Dixon and Derek Root led Post 5 to a 3-2 win over the host team that year, Manchester, N.H.
• Post 5 then lost the second game, 9-0, to the host team, Shrewsbury, Mass. Post 397, on Aug. 9. Despite a delay due to rain and lightning, Shrewsbury got 15 hits off Post 5 pitching, with Matt Livingston doing most off the damage with a 4-for-4 night with two doubles, a home run, and six RBIs.
Shrewsbury used a group pitching effort to save the arms of its staff for later games. It was a definite roll of the dice, but with pitch counts limiting how much you can use your pitchers, managing your rotation is critical in navigating a team through a double-elimination tournament.
Post 397’s John West got the win, going three innings and holding Post 5 to just one hit, while while Mike Bean, Alex Zidonis and A.J. Hamm combined to allow three hits over the next four innings.
Shrewsbury got four runs in the first inning and three more runs in the second inning to put the game away early. Newton had two hits for Post 5, and Frost and Pattison also hit safely.
• Brattleboro next faced Stamford, Conn., Post 3 in an elimination bracket game on Aug. 9, and lost, 9-0. The only bright spot in that game was the pitching performance by Forrester Avard, the youngest member of the Post 5 squad who will start his freshman year at BUHS in two weeks. He threw three scoreless innings of relief with a pair of strikeouts.
Thomsen was Post 5’s starting pitcher and took the loss. Alex Kendall and Alex Bingham also pitched. Post 5 was held to four hits as Rounds, Petrie, Newton, and Thomsen all had one hit each.
• Shrewsbury would ultimately win the tournament, beating Lawrence, Mass., in the championship game, 3-1, on Aug. 11. Shrewsbury now advances to the eight-team American Legion World Series in Shelby, N.C., which begins on Aug. 15.
• Post 5 finished the season with a 29-11 record, including a 5-1 record in the Vermont state tournament. Other members of the championship team included Evan Finnell, Aaron Petrie, Hunter Beebe, and Joe Rafus. Manager Eric Libardoni was assisted by coaches Kyle Henry, Brad Venice, Jamie Martell, and Greg Short.
Brow keeps on winning at Monadnock Speedway
• A proud mother, Brandy Brow of Vernon, wrote in to The Commons recently to call attention to her son, Solomon Brow, who right now is the hottest driver at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H., with 10 straight wins this season.
On July 27, Solomon, driving his black #33 car in the Late Model Sportsman division, broke the Monadnock Speedway track record for most consecutive wins to start a stock car season.
According to Monadnock’s announcer and historian, Dave Sutherland, Pete Fiandaca was the only driver ever to win seven consecutive features to start a year, during the 1980 season. That record stood for nearly four decades until Brow’s second win of the night, where he surpassed the record.
Solomon also won the last three races from the previous season, finishing second in the 2018 Late Model Sportsman season championship to Tyler Leary of Hatfield, Mass. With additional feature wins on Aug. 3 and 10, Brow’s total win streak is now stands at 13.
With less than half the season to go, Brow has firm control on first place in the race for the 2019 championship.
Brandy said that Solomon “started his racing career in the young guns division at the age of 15, where he raced for one year before moving up to mini stocks. In his second year of minis, he won the mini stock championship and then moved up to late models, then called super stocks.
“This is his third year racing the late model sportsman division and he’s poised to take the championship, though a lot can change in just one race, so the team takes each race one at a time, counts on nothing, and gives everything.”
To what does he credit his success so far? “Having enough patience and consistency,” Solomon said. “There’s a good team, a good spotter, a fast car. It’s fast because of the people who work on it.”
The #33 team consists of crew chief and dad Jim Brow of sponsor Slade & Brow Roofing, and Billy Barnett of sponsor Barnett Motorsports. Brandy said that “they are there every week to keep the car in top shape and make it turn corners as fast and smooth as possible.”
Of course in auto racing, money equals speed and the more sponsors you have, the easier it is to put a competitive car on the track. If you want to share in the Brow family’s success on the track, Brandy suggests sending along an email to Jim Brow at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign up for youth activities and sports at Rec. Dept.
• The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department is now taking rolling registrations for fall youth activities and sports — including soccer, field hockey, flag football, chess, and gymnastics.
You may register for activities from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. at the Rec. Dept.’s office at the Gibson-Aiken Center on Main Street. Additional registration hours, from 1 to 6 p.m., will take place on Aug. 28 and 29. A late registration fee will be in effect Friday, Aug. 30.
Find further information regarding these programs in the Rec. Dept.’s Fall Newsletter, which is on their website at www.brattleboro.org and their Facebook page at Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department. Or call the office at 802-254-5808 with any questions.
Sign-ups begin for BHA youth hockey
• We know it’s still summer, but the 2019-20 youth hockey season is not that far away. The Brattleboro Hockey Association will have a sign-up session on Sunday, Aug. 18, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Withington Rink at Living Memorial Park.
Skating lessons are free, and a season at the novice level costs $315. More details on opportunities for young hockey players, as well as an online signup sheet, can be found at www.brattleborohockey.com.
Killington World Cup tickets go on sale Aug. 21
• Speaking of winter sports, if you want to see U.S. Ski Team superstar Mikaela Shiffrin and other top Women’s World Cup alpine racers at Killington Resort on Thanksgiving weekend, tickets for the 2019 HomeLight Killington Cup will go on sale at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 21, at killington.com.
The best women’s giant slalom and slalom racers will be returning to Killington on Nov. 29-Dec. 1 to race on the resort’s signature Superstar trail. It is Vermont’s highest-level professional sporting event, and draws the largest crowds of any stop of the Women’s World Cup tour.
General admission standing room tickets at the base of Superstar are free, but the good seats and prime parking spots are limited in number. If the demand for World Cup tickets this year is anything like it was over the past three years, they will be gone in a flash.
For more information about this event, visit www.killington.com/culture/world-cup-fis-ski-racing/killington-cup.
Senior bowling roundup
• DDL (50-25) had a 5-0 week to maintain their hold on first place after Week 15 of the spring/summer season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl.
3 Stooges and BDR (both 44-31) are tied for second, while The Great Lakes (43-32) dropped to fourth place. MNR (41-34) is fifth. followed by Team 5 (39-36), JKL (38-27), Tres Amigos (37-38), Stayin’ Alive (32-43), The Dentists (27-43), Tornadoes (29-48), and Stars & Strikes (24-51).
Nancy Dalzell again had the women’s high handicap game (249), and also had the high handicap series (701). Dick Cooke had the men’s high handicap game (256) and series (683). Tres Amigos had the high team handicap game (697) and DDL had the high handicap series (1,960).
In scratch scoring, Warren Corriveau Sr. had games of 208, 197, and 192 to again lead the men with a 597 series. Gary Montgomery rolled a 211 as part of his 573 series, while Les Wigdor had games of 197 and 194 as part of his 560 series and Marty Adams rolled a 192 in his 500 series. Fred Bump had a 205 game.
Dalzell’s 533 series led the women; she had games of 193, 170, and 170. Pamela Greenblott had a 177 game.