Nonprofit, Award-Winning Community News and Views for Windham County, Vermont • Since 2006
Photo 1

Kim Kunkle

Though they did not get the chance to proudly wave a Little League District 2 championship banner, this homemade banner displayed by the Brattleboro 12-year-old All-Stars after losing to Bennington on July 16 nicely summed up the ultimate lesson taught by youth sports — that the effort is as important as the result, and to always do your best.

Sports

Brattleboro 11-U team wins Little League district tournament

Randolph T. Holhut, deputy editor of this newspaper, has written this column for more than a decade and has covered sports in Windham County since the 1980s. Readers can send him sports information at news@commonsnews.org.

The box score for the three Brattleboro Little League All-Star teams in their respective District 2 tournaments last week was a championship for the 11-and-unders, the runner-up prize against an unstoppable Bennington team for the 12-and-unders, and a series loss to Bennington for the 10-and-unders.

• 11-U: Brattleboro knocked out Rutland to win the District 2 tournament with a 22-4 victory in four innings on July 14. Brattleboro pounded out 20 hits and winning pitcher Logan Waite scattered six hits and struck out four for a complete game victory. Rutland scored a pair of runs in the third inning and two more in the fourth.

On July 11, Brattleboro finished with 15 total hits and shut out Rutland, 12-0. Winning pitcher Senji Kimura struck out 13 and allowed just one hit.

As the District 2 champs, Brattleboro advanced to the state tournament game at Schifilliti Field in Burlington. In their first game on July 17, they lost to Essex, 5-4. Kimura was the starting pitcher and hit his maximum pitch count of 85 in the fourth inning. Briar Cutting finished up the game and ultimately took the loss.

Essex was in front, 4-3, when Kimura was lifted, but Brattleboro tied the game in the fifth inning. Essex ultimately scored the winning run in the sixth.

With one loss in the double elimination tournament, Brattleboro has to win its next game on July 24 to keep on playing.

• 12-U: Second-seeded Brattleboro was to have played third-seeded Rutland in the District 2 semifinal on July 15, but Rutland forfeited the game. That meant a ride over the mountains for Brattleboro and a double-elimination final at undefeated and top-seeded Bennington that began that evening.

Brattleboro lost, 7-0, but ended Bennington’s no-hit streak. They got three hits off winning pitcher Brody Smith, who walked one and struck out eight for the complete game victory.

Bennington clinched the win with a five-run third inning. The big hit came from Rowan Behan, with an RBI triple. Behan drove in two runs, while Smith had three runs batted in.

Bennington then clinched the District 2 title with an 11-0 win over Brattleboro in a four-inning game on July 16 in Bennington.

Winning pitcher Blake Tienken allowed two hits with no walks while striking out three batters. Kymarian Hall doubled and Halen Ranslow singled for Brattleboro’s only hits.

The suspense was over early as Bennington scored eight runs in the first inning. Brattleboro’s defense struggled in the field, giving Bennington plenty of scoring opportunities.

Bennington now hosts the state championship tournament, which begins July 24, after finishing the District 2 tournament with a 6-0 record. They outscored their opponents 73-0 in those six games.

• 10-U: Bennington had another double-digit game, but visiting Brattleboro did not as Bennington rolled to a 13-3 victory in five innings on July 15.

Starter Ben Burnell got the win for Bennington. He went 2 2/3 innings, and gave up two runs. He did not give up a hit while issuing three walks and striking out seven. He did allow two runs, one earned, as Brattleboro’s Dominic McKay scored from third on a wild pitch after drawing a walk in the top of the third.

Addison Dwyer finished up the game in relief. Brattleboro’s Azyi Crews ripped an RBI triple down the third base line in the third inning off Dwyer and scored on a double steal to cut the lead to 9-3, but Brattleboro was held scoreless after that.

Bennington, which scored 13 and 12 runs, respectively, in its first two games, took advantage of six walks, several wild pitches, and a two-run single by Nolan Sherman to take a 6-0 lead in the first inning.

With Bennington leading the best-of-five series, 2-1, the scene shifted to South Main Street Field for Game 4 on July 17. Bennington won the deciding game, 13-7. Brattleboro out-hit Bennington, 10-5, but the visitors took advantage of 12 walks and 14 stolen bases to score most of their runs.

Brattleboro took an early 3-0 lead, but Bennington scored four runs in the top of the fourth for a 4-3 lead. The hosts tied the game at 4-all with a run in the bottom of the third, but another four-run inning for Bennington in the fourth put them in front to stay.

Sherman and Dwyer each scored three runs for Bennington, and Dwyer, Burnell and Sawyer Tatro each drove in two runs. Bennington now plays in the state championship series, which starts on July 24.

Legion roundup

• The final two weeks of the American Legion Baseball regular season have five Southern Division teams battling for three spots on the state tournament.

Brattleboro Post 5 solidified their chances, at least when the weather was dry enough for them to play. On July 13, they shut out Bellows Falls Post 37, 6-0, at Tenney Field.

Post 5 starting pitcher Alex Brigham threw five scoreless innings to get the win, aided by a pair of double plays. Reliever Aidan Davis preserved the shutout over the final two innings.

Post 37 pitchers Rex Hill and Grady Lockerby combined for eight strikeouts, seven walks, and six hits allowed.

Jeremy Graves hit an RBI single in the fourth inning and a two-run double in the fifth to lead the Brattleboro offense. Jack Pattison tripled, Bingham hit a double, and Turner Clews and Zinabu McNeice each had a base hit.

Hill, Cam Harriman and McGregor Vancor all had base hits for Post 37.

• Bellows Falls bounced back from the loss with a 3-2 over Manchester Union Underground on July 15. Post 37 tied the game in the sixth and got a walk-off win in the botton of the seventh on a throwing error.

Winning pitcher Elliott Graham went the distance for Post 37. He gave up five hits, walking two batters and striking out four.

• Brattleboro and Bellows Falls played each other again on July 17 at Hadley Field and Post 5 came away with a 4-2 win.

Caden Wood went 2-for-3 and drove in three runs and Jack Pattison had two hits and one RBI to the Brattleboro offense.

Bingham was the winning pitcher, with reliever Jackson Emery getting a save.

Post 5 ended the week in sole possession of first place in the Southern Division at 9-3, two games ahead of Manchester at 8-6. White River Junction Post 84 (5-4) and Bellows Falls (6-6) are battling for the South’s last spot, as Rutland got an automatic bid for hosting the state tournament.

Vermont sweeps Lions Soccer Cup

• The annual Lions Soccer Cup all-star games between the top graduating high school seniors of Vermont and New Hampshire resumed on July 17 at Hanover (N.H.) High School after the COVID-19 pandemic canceled last year’s series.

Leland & Gray’s Riley Barton and Twin Valley’s Izaak Park played for the Vermont boys as they rolled to a 5-1 win. Park won the game’s Sportsmanship Award. Recently retired Leland & Gray head coach Chris Barton was one of the assistant coaches for the Vermonters.

The Vermont girls won their game, 3-2. No area players were selected for the Vermont team.

Learn how to be a soccer official

• There will be a Vermont new soccer officials clinic on Saturday, Aug. 21, at Burr & Burton Academy in Manchester.

The clinic will run a classroom session from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., followed by on-field work at 1 p.m., refereeing a Burr & Burton boys’ soccer team scrimmage.

The cost is $25 online (register with NFHS Insurance on Dragonfly) or $50 in person (check payable to Eric Evans), which covers the clinic, rulebook, directory, and Vermont Soccer Officials Association membership through Dec. 31, 2021.

Participants should bring a laptop/tablet/smartphone with internet access, and as much refereeing gear as they have. To reserve a spot at the clinic, or more information, contact Evans at eevansvtlax@gmail.com or 802-345-8627.

Still time to buy a ball for Youth Services’ Helicopter Golf Ball Drop raffle

• The deadline to purchase a numbered ball for Youth Services’ Helicopter Golf Ball Drop, is July 27. A popular feature of Youth Services’ annual Golf Tournament (set for July 28 at the Brattleboro County Club), the Helicopter Golf Ball Drop is a game of chance with favorable odds.

Balls numbered 1 through 100 are purchased, loaded into a bucket and transported by helicopter over the 9th fairway at the BCC where they are dropped from a height of 20 feet. The owner of the numbered ball which lands closest to the pin collects $3,000 cash.

Individuals do not need to be part of the tournament to buy golf balls, priced at $100 each, nor they are required to be present at the drop to win the cash prize, though dinner tickets at Bella Notte are available by advance reservation at $35 per person for individuals wishing to watch the spectacle in person from the tented outdoor dining area.

If all 100 balls are sold, this raises $7,000 for Youth Services programs. A ride in the Renaud Bros. Inc. helicopter will also be live-auctioned for a weather-permitting flight, donated by pilot Mike Renaud. To buy a golf ball for the drop, visit www.youthservicesinc.org/ball-drop.

Senior bowling roundup

• Week 12 of the spring/summer season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League on July 15 at Brattleboro Bowl saw first place Team 2 (41–19) go 1-4, yet still maintain their five-game lead over second place Team 6 (36-24), which also had a 1-4 week. Team 7 remained in third place (33-27), followed by Team 5 (28-32), Team 4 (27-33), Team 3 (26-34), and Team 1 (25-35).

Pat Bentrup had the women’s high handicap game (245), while Sally Perry again had the high handicap series (669). Jerry Dunham had the men’s high handicap game (234), while Peter Gilbert had the high handicap series (648). Team 2 had the high team handicap game (850) and Team 4 had the high handicap series (2,447).

In scratch scoring, Robert Rigby led the men with a 587 series that featured games of 204, 192, and 191. Warren Corriveau Sr. had a 195 game as part of his 501 series. Dunham rolled a 190 game.

Nancy Dalzell had the high scratch game (193) and series (509) to lead the women. Josie Rigby had a 486 series and Bentrup and Carole Frizzell had games of 176 and 172, respectively.

Like what we do? Help us keep doing it!

We rely on the donations and financial support of our readers to help make The Commons available to all. Please join us today.

Originally published in The Commons issue #622 (Wednesday, July 21, 2021). This story appeared on page C4.

Share this story

Links

Related stories

More by Randolph T. Holhut