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Life and Work

Cash crunch threatens Legion baseball in Brattleboro

Brattleboro has long had the reputation of being a great baseball town, which is why the news that American Legion Post 5 has cut back its financial support of the Legion baseball program comes as a shock.

But, according to Post 5 commander Richard Guthrie, the reality is that the post can no longer afford to support the baseball team in the way that it had for the past six decades.

“We’re losing membership every year,” he said in an interview last week. “The warning signs have been up for the last five years.”

It has cost about $10,000 a year to run the program, Guthrie said, and Post 5 had picked up most of the cost.

“Last year, it cost the post about $8,500 a year, and that’s a substantial amount of money for us. We’re still going to support the team, but not at 100 percent,” he said.

In a letter to the Brattleboro Reformer last week, Claude Gouin of Dummerston, who managed the Post 5 baseball team for the past two seasons, wrote that he is organizing a fundraising drive to come up with enough money to pay for this year’s expenses, such as equipment, insurance, travel costs and umpires.

If you would like to support Legion baseball in Brattleboro, you may send your donations to Gouin at 1102 Kipling Rd., Dummerston, VT 05301.

Lacrosse

• The Brattleboro boys rallied to beat Burr & Burton, 9-6, in Manchester last Tuesday. Sam Siegel scored three goals, Conner Elliott-Knaggs added two more, and Colin Campbell, Jon Thomson, Jesse Brown, and Nik Rancourt each added a goal. Goalie Romello Lindsey had 16 saves to get the win.

Two days later at Natowich Field, the Colonels cruised to a 12-4 win over the Taconic Braves. Rancourt and Elliott-Knaggs got a pair of goals in the first half, while Campbell and Tanner Freeman finished up the first half scoring. The reserves got most of the action in the second half, Siegel and Thomson scored twice and Galen Finnerty, Brennan Zolnoski, David Mahoney also got goals.

The Colonels finished up the week with a 9-8 win at Rutland on Saturday. Brattleboro led 8-2 at the half, but a penalty-filled second half opened the door for a Rutland comeback. Lindsay made 20 saves, and Mac Paige and Aaron Prue keyed a strong defensive effort to preserve the win. Siegel had three goals and two assists as the Colonels finished the week at 8-1. Campbell and Rancourt each had two goals.

• The Brattleboro girls lost to Mount Anthony, 12-11, in overtime in Bennington on Friday. Ava Myette and Maddie Rollins had three goals apiece, while Carli Gossard scored two. Marissa Semenovich had 15 saves in goal as the Colonels fell to 5-5 on the season.

Baseball

• Brattleboro got a big win last Thursday night with a 2-1 victory over Keene, N.H. It was the Colonels’ first win over the Blackbirds in a least a decade. Winning pitcher Sawyer Olson held Keene to five hits, striking out five and walking two. Jamie Martell had four hits, and Evan Parro hit a two-run double in the sixth that provided the margin of victory.

The Colonels got another 2-1 win on Saturday, this time at Fair Haven. Tommy Heydinger threw a complete game three-hitter for the victory. Both of Brattleboro’s runs came in the second inning on RBI singles by Olson and Soren Pelz-Walsh.

As has been the case in so many games this season, the Colonels didn’t light up the scoreboard against either Keene or Fair Haven. However, good pitching and timely hitting will usually lead to wins, which is why Brattleboro is one of the top teams in Division I, with a 7-1 record to end the week.

• Twin Valley got blasted by Poultney on April 28, 19-0, in a game cut short by the 15-run mercy rule. The Blue Devils took a 12-0 lead after the first inning and never looked back as the Wildcats were held to just three hits.

• Drew Barnum threw a no-hitter as Leland & Gray ripped Black River, 14-0, in Townshend last Thursday. Barnum struck out 15 and walked just one batter. Brandon Reil­ly went 3 for 5 with a single, double, and triple. Barnum helped his cause with a single and a double, and Dar­ius Ladolce drove in two runs.

Barnum, Corey Nystrom, and Robbie Litchfield each drove in two runs on Saturday as the Rebels cruised to a 10-3 win over Twin Valley in Wilmington. Caleb Bristol and Zach Wilkins split the mound duties for the 7-2 Rebels, and combined for 11 strikeouts. Craig Green was the losing pitcher for Twin Valley.

• Jeremy Kilburn came out on top in a pitchers’ duel as Bellows Falls edged Windsor, 2-1, on Friday. Killburn threw a complete-game three-hitter, besting losing pitcher Ethan Hill, who gave up five hits. Mike Hall drove in the winning run on a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning.

Softball

• How do you score 12 runs while getting only one hit? For the Brattleboro Colonels last Thursday, they pulled off the feat against Hartford by taking advantage of 14 walks on the way to a 12-3 win at Sawyer Field.

Hartford scored three early runs off winning pitcher Kayla Wood in the first inning. A pair of hits and a pair of infield errors accounted for the damage. After that, Wood and the Colonels clamped down. Wood struck out 10 and walked just one batter in the six innings she pitched. Rissa Smith threw a perfect inning of relief in the seventh.

Losing pitcher Jenna Lee had a no-hitter going through the sixth inning, but issuing 12 walks proved to be her undoing. Reliever Kaitlyn Woodward, who came in with two outs in the sixth, gave up the Colonels’ only hit, a hard single up the middle by Wood.

The Colonels did a little more hitting on the road against Fair Haven on Saturday on the way to a 6-2 win. Wood went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and Kalee Graham, McKinlie Carpenter, and Haley Struthers each had base hits. Graham and McKenzie Bover each drove in a run as the Colonels finished the week at 7-2.

• Leland & Gray rapped out 11 hits as they beat Burr and Burton, 12-7, last Wednesday. Nicole Sherman and Kiara Wilhite each went 3-for-5; they combined for three doubles and eight RBIs. Elizabeth Symanski had two hits and scored five runs, while Ashley God­dard hit a two-run homer. Sherman pitched five innings of no-hit ball to get the win. Symanski gave up three hits in two innings of relief.

On Saturday against Twin Valley, the Rebels took care of Twin Valley, 8-4. Sherman had 13 strikeouts and held the Wildcats to just three hits. She also hit a solo home run. Summer Bills hit a pair of doubles and Kiara Wilhite drove in another run with a double. The Rebels are riding high in Division III with an 8-1 record.

• Twin Valley rallied for three runs in the sixth inning to tie the game, but the Proctor Phantoms scored the winning run in the last of the seventh to eke out a 6-5 win last Wednesday. Pitcher Kate Corey struck five and walked four in a losing effort. Jordan Niles went 2-for-3, while Sam Cunningham and Bit Aekus each had a hit.

• Bellows Falls had their best offensive game of the season against Black River, but it still wasn’t enough as the winless Terriers lost, 8-5, on Saturday. Stephanie Green led the way with three hits, while Emma Shaw, Chelsea Wilder, and Mor­gan Finnel had two apiece. Shaw, who was the losing pitcher, struck out seven.

Tennis

• The Brattleboro girls lost their first match of the season last Monday with a 7-0 loss to the defending state champion Burr & Burton Bulldogs on the BUHS courts. The only match to go beyond straight sets came at No. 1 single, as Lucia Matos rallied to beat Brattleboro’s Caroline Dinicola-Fawley 5-7, 6-2, 10-4.

In the rematch last Wednesday in Manchester, the Colonels fared no better, losing 7-0. Anna Kerlin-Smith and Libby Annis won the first set at No. 1 doubles, but that was the only set of the match won by the Colonels as Kerlin-Smith and Annis lost to Burr and Burton’s Gabi Hasaj and Lauren Yeager 5-7, 6-2, 10-4.

A tough week got tougher on Saturday with a 7-0 loss at Amherst, Mass. In the Colonels’ defense, they were facing one of the top teams in Massachusetts.

• Despite having to forfeit a singles match, the shorthanded Brattleboro boys still had enough firepower to take care of Burr & Burton, 5-2, last Tuesday in Manchester. Isaiah Ungerleider, Jordan Renouf and Cuyler Cunningham all won their singles matches. In doubles play, Seth Marcil and Benson May won in straight sets at No. 1, while the No. 2 team of Tony Acevedo and Hassan Obeidat battled to a 6-4, 4-6, 10-8 victory.

Against Mount Anthony last Wednesday at the BUHS courts, the Colonels cruised to a 6-1 win. The Colonels went 4-for-5 in singles play, as Ungerleider (6-1, 6-0), Asa Lane (6-1, 6-4), Renouf (6-1, 6-2) and Cunningham (7-5, 6-3) all earned victories. Brattleboro swept the doubles matches as No. 1 Marcil and May won 6-0, 6-2, while No. 2 Acevedo and Obeidat won 7-5, 6-2.

Track & field

• Brattleboro’s Jacob Ellis had himself a big day at Saturday’s Burlington Invitational. He was named the meet’s Outstanding Male Track Athlete with record-setting performances in the 800 and 1,500 meter runs.

Ellis won the 1,500 in 4:04.39, breaking the record of 4:05.03 that was set by Ken Bun­nell in 2008. He ran the 800 in 1:59.02, which tied John Breukner’s meet record set in 2007.

Teammates Helen Manning (high jump), Colin Owen (javelin), and Andy Hale (discus) all placed seventh at Saturday’s meet, which attracts the top track and field stars in Vermont and is usually a barometer of what might happen at the state meet in June.

Kids Play Day at the BOC

• The Brattleboro Outing Club is sponsoring a Kids Tennis Play Day on Saturday, May 12, from 10-11:30 a.m., at 202 Cedar St. (near the ski jump). This is a free event and open to the public, rain or shine.

There will be fun tennis games for all ages and abilities. Bring a racquet, or use one of theirs. Wear smooth soled sneakers as players will be on the BOC’s clay courts. Contact Pam Bolduc at 802-387-2109 or brattleborotennis@gmail.com for more information, or visit www.brattleborooutlingclub.org.

Putney Rowing Club hosts open house

• Learn more about rowing when the Putney Rowing Club hosts an open house on Saturday, May 12, from 1 to 3 p.m. They’re located on the Connecticut River just south of the Putney Landing. Come down and have a look at the boats, ask questions from members, and learn about their upcoming beginner clinic. More information can be found at http://sites.google.com/site/putneyrowingclubsite.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #151 (Wednesday, May 9, 2012).

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