Opposing teams know what to expect when they face any Bellows Falls baseball team coached by Bob Lockerby: good pitching, opportunistic offense, and sound defense.
That formula got the Terriers to the top of the Division II standings last season and, even though the Terriers have a younger and less experienced squad this season, fans will see more of the same this season.
In the season opener against Leland & Gray on April 8 in Townshend, BF pitcher Mike LaBeau struck out 15 in a 7-1 complete game victory.
Stewart Shaughnessy’s two-run single capped off a three-run first inning for the Terriers. LaBeau added a two-run single in the fourth for some breathing room.
Those were the only two hits BF had on the day, as they took advantage of walks, stolen bases, and errors to score their runs. Drew Barnum walked five and struck out six in the five innings he pitched, taking the loss for the Rebels.
LaBeau, a senior, only gave up one hit. He walked three and hit two batters in a relatively economical 100-pitch outing. The only Rebels run came in the first inning on a throwing error by LaBeau. He also pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning.
“My two-seamer (fastball) was working good today,” LaBeau said. “I threw maybe two curve balls the entire game.”
Leland & Gray coach Eric Durocher admitted that LaBeau had a good game, but said his players “made him look even better” by taking called third-strikes and not going after pitches. “You have to come out and swing the bat,” he said.
Lockerby had a similar lament: “I would have liked to have had a few more hits with runners in scoring position, but I really can’t complain too much. It’s a young team, and they can only get better.”
In the other baseball opener that day, Robert England’s two-out single in the sixth inning helped Burr & Burton rally past the Brattleboro Colonels, 5-3, at Tenney Field.
Brattleboro fell behind early, but Chris McAuliffe hit a two-run double and Evan Parro smacked an RBI single up the middle in the third inning giving the Colonels a 3-2 lead. McAuliffe and Parro each had a pair of hits for the Colonels.
Jimmy Mills threw five strong innings for the Colonels and left with a slim lead, but reliever Elliot Gragen couldn’t sustain it in the sixth, and ended up taking the loss. Burr & Burton’s Taylor Fuller, pitching in relief of starter Noah Rizio, threw two scoreless innings of relief to get the win.
• Kori Griffin’s walk-off RBI double gave Leland & Gray an 8-7 victory over Mill River in the Rebels’ season opener in Townshend on April 11. Griffin, who was hitless going into the seventh inning, drove in pinch hitter Leah Gokey, who reached on a single and moved into scoring position after a walk by Emily Thibault.
The Rebels got 11 hits, with Ashley Goddard leading the way with three hits and three RBIs. Jacqueline Hazard went two for four.
Winning pitcher Elizabeth Symanski struck out seven, walked five, and gave up seven hits. Mill River trailed, 7-2, until the sixth inning when they scored five runs to tie the game.
• What happens when you take a point guard, three Nordic skiers, and a newbie and add them to your girls’ tennis team? If you’re Brattleboro, you end up with a powerhouse team loaded with great athletes who can play tennis.
The retooled Brattleboro team opened the season on April 9 with a 7-0 sweep of Bellows Falls. Halie Lange, a state champ on skis as well as on the track, decided to try varsity tennis this spring. She won her No. 2 singles match with BF’s Alex Harris, 6-1, 6-0.
Kara Piergentilli and Linnea Jahn were teammates with Lange on both the girls’ soccer and Nordic teams. They are now the Colonels’ No. 1 doubles players, and they cruised to a 6-1, 6-0 win over BF’s Antonia Dufort and Faith Ramos.
The rookie, Haley Marcil, was teamed up with returning four-year starter Anna Kerlin-Smith in No. 2 doubles, and topped BF’s Kayla Gilcrest and Taylor Westfall, 6-0, 6-2.
Taylor Bird went from running the Colonel girls’ offense during basketball season to No. 5 singles, where she won her debut match against BF’s Quinn Lawrence, 6-3, 6-3.
Aidan Earley is back at No. 1 singles, and outlasted BF’s Emma Moyna, 6-2, 6-2. No. 3 Libby Annis was also a straight-sets winner over BF’s Bridget Johnson, 6-0, 6-1, and No. 4 Ali Fielding beat BF’s McKenzie Brandon, 6-0, 6-4.
• The Brattleboro boys opened their season on April 11 with a 4-3 loss to Amherst. The Colonels won the top three singles matches, but were shut out in the other four matches.
No. 1 Isaiah Ungerleider defeated Amherst’s James Kirwan 6-2, 6-1. No. 2 Asa Lane also won in straight sets over Ankrish Milne 6-4, 6-1; while No. 3 Benson May rallied to beat Aidan Lieth 4-6, 6-4, 10-7.
Track and field
• Bellows Falls opened its season on April 8 with a sweep of a multi-team meet at Hadley Field.
The BF girls piled up 141 points to win their meet. Brit Moyna won the high jump and pole vault, and was on the victorious 4x400 relay team. Enny Mustapha won the 100-meter dash and ran on the winning 4x100 relay team, while Mariah Barnett finished first in the 800.
The BF boys picked up 134 points to win their meet. Jamie Moore won the 800- and 1,500-meter events. TJ Bernier took the 110- and 300- meter hurdles and Kendrick Mills won the triple jump.
The Brattleboro boys and girls placed fourth and sixth, respectively. Greta Pellerin, with javelin, was the lone BUHS girl to win an event, while Austin Nichols (400), Josh Parro (long jump), Kadin Maile (shot put) and the 4x400 relay team of Gabe Britton, Tyler Clement, Dan Burdo and Nichols were winners in their meet.
• The Brattleboro girls trailed 5-3 before scoring eight unanswered goals to beat Amherst, Mass., 11-5, in the Colonels’ season opener on April 8.
Maddie Rollins had four goals and two assists to lead the Colonels. Rachel Hill added three goals and an assist, while Meghan Siggins scored twice. Anna Burch and Hannah Lynde also got goals.
• The Brattleboro boys also got off to a good start with a 12-2 victory in Rutland on April 9. Jesse Brown, Conner Elliott-Knaggs, Tanner Freeman, Nik Rancourt, and Sam Siegel each scored two goals, while Devin Avery and Brennen Zolnoski each added a goal. Goalie Romello Lindsay stopped 11 Rutland shots.
Good sports raise big bucks
• The Brattleboro Sunrise Rotary Club raised $10,000 for college scholarships for local students with its 17th annual “Nothing but Net” three-on-three basketball tourney.
The Nothing but Net tournament drew four-person teams in middle school, high school and adult divisions, and a new 40-plus division. The grand prize for the adult division players was $100 cash. Each division winner received a medal and bragging rights.
First-place adult division winners were Troy Snell, Ted Knutson, Loren Kelly, and Jeremy Thomas in the men’s division. Winners of the 40-plus division were Rich Perra, Jim Freeman, Steve Sparks, and Jaime Garfield. The high school boy winners were Connor Elliot-Knaggs, Chris McAuliffe, Bob Righi, and Isaac Roach. Middle school boy winners were Eli Lombardi, Dan Jaro, Dylan Santos, and Cheik Diakite. The winner of the three-point contest was Dylan Dejordy. The free throw contest champion was Brad Hastings.
Scholarships are open to anyone in the greater Brattleboro area seeking post-secondary education. Criteria are financial need, academic performance, community service, and the content of an essay. Applications are available at www.brattleborosunriserotary.org.
Cyclists wanted for ‘Going the Distance’ ride
• Are you looking for a local group bike ride that supports a great local organization? The fourth annual Going the Distance Ride for the Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro on June 29 is just the ride for you.
Choose a 30-, 60- or 100-mile loop that will start and end at the Marlboro College Graduate Center in Brattleboro. The 100-mile route from Brattleboro to the Northampton area and back is a scenic ride along the Connecticut River on quiet, well-paved roads. The shorter routes utilize some of the route and rest stops of the Century Ride. Cue sheets and maps are provided, and all routes will be well marked.
Look for rest stops with great food and drink at 20-mile intervals. Both longer routes have a catered lunch midway, with a chance to swim. Sag vans will ride the routes to support riders. An end-of-ride picnic is planned on the graduate school patio.
Riders are asked to raise $500 or more for the club. All funds will stay in the community and directly support the Boys & Girls Club’s programs for local youth. For more information, call Beth at 802-254-5990, ext. 109, write firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.firstgiving.com/bgcbrattleboro/2013.
Remembering Roger the Runner
• Much has been written over the past couple of weeks about Roger Katz, Dummerston photographer and an all-around good guy felled by cancer last month at 65. He was a longtime mentor to me and to many other photographers.
What I didn’t know about Roger was that, in his prime, he also was a pretty good distance runner. Donna Dearborn of Chester was kind enough to send along a clipping from the Brattleboro Reformer from 1974 that detailed some of his exploits.
As a high school freshman in Michigan, he tried the hurdles, but his legs were too short. He switched to the half-mile, and won every one of his races, but couldn’t duplicate that success as a varsity runner. So he switched to soccer and Nordic skiing, and discovered what become known as “the runner’s high,” the rush of endorphins that the body releases during intense exercise.
Katz studied physiology at Marlboro College and kept careful track of his heart rate and respiration at all stages of his training. He described the feeling when he ran as being “out of this world … almost as though I was in a mist. There is no pain, no sensation.”
Katz became more interested in pursuing that natural high than being a serious competitor, saying that competition would spoil his enjoyment of the sport.
Still, at 26, he ran a mile in 4:6.4 in a race in Schenectady, N.Y. When the Reformer asked Katz whether he’d try for a sub-four mile, he dismissed the idea:
“Jim Ryun (then the world record-holder in the mile at 3:51.1) is 6’3” and weighs about 160. I’m 5’10” and weigh 145 when I go into a meet,” Katz said. “The big difference in the stride alone can mean the difference in time.”
Dearborn, who said she was a good friend of Katz in the late 1960s, wrote that “most people in today’s world knew him at ‘the camera guy,’ but he was so much more. This article reveals a little bit more about him and his long-distance running talent that he never really seriously pursued, but he ran some amazing times nonetheless. He was a brilliant, talented (in the past, he played violin and banjo), and athletic guy — and above all, modest.”
As someone who only knew him as “the camera guy,” I offer my thanks to Donna for offering another side of Roger Katz, a guy whom we at The Commons already miss.