The Brattleboro Small Fry Baseball season started on May 6 at Larry Robinson Field, and thanks to the work of the man whom the field is named for, the players will have new dugouts this year.
With help from his friend Bill Christmas, and lots of donated or discounted materials from local lumberyards and hardware stores, Robinson built the dugouts after the end of last season. The finishing touches were put on last month, and they were formally dedicated on Opening Night.
The dugouts had the names of two stalwarts of Small Fry Baseball — Dave Weaver and Ben Underhill.
Weaver died on May 30, 2012, at age 65, after a long battle with cancer. The self-employed owner of Dave’s Painting, he coached the Small Fry team sponsored by his painting business for 33 years. Before his death, the third base dugout was dedicated in his honor.
“I was really glad we had a chance to do it before he passed away,” said Underhill.
Underhill, president of Putnam Insurance in Brattleboro, has also been involved with Small Fry for many years as a coach and organizer, but he hadn’t expected to get a dugout named for him, complete with a sign in the front and a metal plaque at the entrance.
He too has been battling cancer — a rare and often deadly blood disease called multiple myeloma — for more than a decade. It has taken a toll on his mobility, as he now uses a wheelchair to get around, but he still is involved with Small Fry, and his love of baseball is deep and abiding.
“Ben has been so instrumental in running this program,” said Robinson. “He deserves this honor.”
• Lizzie Clark scored five goals as the Brattleboro girls rolled to a 16-3 win at Hartford on May 6. Maddie Rollins added three goals, while Rachel Hill, Meghan Siggins and Anna Burch each scored two. Gaia Uman and Melissa Semenovich combined for five saves in goal. The defense did a job in this game too, shutting out the Hurricanes in the second half.
The Colonel girls improved to 6-3 on the season with an 8-5 win over Woodstock last Friday. Siggins and Rollins scored four and three goals, respectively, for Brattleboro, and Fellows added a goal.
• Sam Siegel, Brennen Zolnoski, and Nik Rancourt all scored three times for the Brattleboro boys in a 13-8 win over Burr & Burton on May 7 at Natowich Field. Jesse Brown added two goals, while Conner Elliott-Knaggs and Adam Griffin each scored, and Siegel had three assists. Goalie Romello Lindsey finished with 11 saves.
• Leland & Gray stayed hot last week as pitcher Drew Barnum threw a complete game four-hitter in shutting down Arlington, 11-1, on May 6. in Townshend. Barnum struck out 14 and walked one batter. Robbie Litchfield was hot with the bat, driving in five runs. Jeremy Bovat had three RBIs as the Rebels scored six runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth to put the game out of reach for the Eagles.
On May 9, Litchfield was the winning pitcher as the Rebels crushed Black River, 19-0, in five innings in Townshend. Litchfield struck out eight in the victory and every player in the lineup got a hit.
The Rebels finished the week with a 4-3 win over Twin Valley at Baker Field last Friday. Barnum doubled and homered, while Corey Nystrom finished with two hits. Starting pitcher Zach Wilkins struck out five and allowed just one hit to get the win, while Barnum struck out five in relief. Kyle Murdock went two for three to lead the hosts, while Sam Molner scored two runs. Leland & Gray is now 7-1.
• Brattleboro came close to getting its second win of the season, but fell to Fair Haven in the eighth inning, 5-4. Dan Richardson pitched for seven innings and was relieved by Elliot Gragen in the eighth. Richardson threw six strikeouts and walked two for the Colonels. Chris McAuliffe, Evan Parro, and Gragen all had singles.
• Cade Nesbitt went four for four and Molner was five for five as Twin Valley beat up on Proctor, 19-10, on May 7. Dal Nesbitt, Dylan Johnson and Hunter Therrien all finished with three hits. Murdock and Jason Moore each added two hits.
• Brattleboro dedicated its game on May 7 to Jeff Rawson, the assistant coach and team photographer who is starting a chemotherapy regimen to treat his bone cancer. The Colonels beat Fair Haven, 6-1, behind solid pitching by Kayla Wood and some great defense by center fielder Daisy Giroux and right fielder Bailey Paige.
Wood struck out 10 and walked two in hurling a five-hitter. Maddie Derosia hit a two-run double, followed by a three-run double by Mckinlie Carpenter, during a five-run fourth inning.
• Leland & Gray had an up-and-down week. The Rebels started with a 11-4 win over Burr & Burton on May 7 in Manchester. Ashley Goddard hit an inside-the-park home run and pitcher Elizabeth Symanski struck out seven to get the win.
Last Thursday, Otter Valley clobbered the Rebels 12-1 in Brandon. Symanski walked eight and gave up nine hits in the loss.
The next day, the Rebels improved to 6-3 as they outslugged Twin Valley, 12-9, in Whitingham. Jordan Gouger, Kate McAllister, and Kori Griffin all had a pair of hits, and Griffin and McAllister each drove in three runs. Jordan Niles went three for five and drove in a pair of runs to lead the Wildcats.
• Sammy Cunningham-Darrah had a pair of hits, Veronika Vernon drove in three runs, and Hannah Swanson stole three bases as Twin Valley topped West Rutland, 12-9, on May 6. Abbi Putnam was the winning pitcher.
The next day, Proctor broke open a close game with a seven-run fifth inning to beat Twin Valley 16-6.
• Bellows Falls could not hold on to a lead in the seventh inning and lost at Windsor, 7-6, last Thursday. Losing pitcher Chelsea Wilder held the Yellowjackets to just two hits, but the 1-7 Terriers lost despite getting three hits from Wilder and Emily Perry and two hits from Tasha Long.
• The Brattleboro boys hung on for a 4-3 win over Burr & Burton on May 6. The top four singles players were winners in the match as Isaiah Ungerleider won 6-0, 6-1 at the top spot; Asa Lane was victorious 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2; and Benson May took a 7-5, 6-2 decision at No. 3 singles. The match came down to the No. 4 singles, when Tony Acevedo beat David Shehadi for the Colonels’ sixth straight win.
Last Friday, the boys extended the streak to seven with a 6-1 win over Fair Haven at the BUHS courts. Ungerleider, Lane, Acevedo, and Oliver Goodman were the singles winners, while Lochlan Francis and Gideon May prevailed at No. 1 doubles and Luke Cionci and Jake Gartenstein won at No. 2 doubles.
• The Brattleboro girls traveled to Amherst, Mass., last Friday and lost 5-0. Amherst is 13-1 and has the top two players in Massachusetts.
• The Pirates finished week two of the Brattleboro Little League season undefeated with a 4-0 record. The Cardinals are in second at 2-1, the Red Sox are third at 2-2, the Athletics are 1-2, and the Giants and Royals are both 1-3.
The Pirates beat the Athletics 10-4 on May 3, then blanked the Red Sox, 1-0, on May 6. The Red Sox (4-2 over the Giants) and Cardinals (10-2 over the Royals) were winners on May 4. The Giants got their first win of the season on May 7 with a 12-2 victory over the Royals, while the Athletics and Cardinals got rained out last Wednesday.
Team represents Retreat in annual Run-Walk to Home Base
On May 4, a team of seven current and former employees of the Brattleboro Retreat ran in support of returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families as part of the fourth Annual Run-Walk to Home Base in Boston.
The event raises funds for the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program, which serves returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and families affected by post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury through clinical care, community education, and research.
“Our team’s fundraising total was $6,450,” said Donny Richard of the Brattleboro Retreat’s Uniformed Service Program (USP). “We received several positive comments from participants and veterans alike about USP. It’s an honor to be recognized as part of this community.” USP opened in 2009 to provide specialized care to men and women struggling with PTSD and related issues stemming from their service in the military, police, fire, corrections, and as first responders.
Other Retreat team members were Stefanie Carreiro, Traci Fletcher, James Fleury, Frank Gallo, Martha Kerylow, and Sara Swartz.
The Run-Walk to Home Base starts and ends at Fenway Park with all runners crossing home plate at the finish line. Last year, about 3,000 runners and walkers participated, including 500 active duty military participants.
A community celebration at West River Park
• On Saturday, May 18, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Brattleboro Recreation and Parks Board and the West River Park Committee will host a grand opening celebration for West River Park on Route 30. The rain date is Sunday May 19.
There will be plenty of food and fun during the day. Raffle tickets for a chance to win eight tickets to see the Red Sox are currently being sold with the drawing at the park on the 18th. Any donations to the park will be gratefully accepted
The day starts with a boys’ youth lacrosse game at 9 a.m., followed by a girls’ youth softball game at 10 a.m. The Small Fry game will run from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., followed by the mens’ softball Legends game.
At 2 p.m. there will be presentations and a ribbon cutting. The Girls Youth Lacrosse game will start at 2:30 p.m. followed by another mens’ softball Legends game. There will be hot dogs, hamburgers, drinks, salads, and chips for all to enjoy.
BOC Tennis hosts Memorial Day mixer
• The tennis community at the Brattleboro Outing Club on Cedar Street invites everyone to its Memorial Day mixer on Monday, May 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Instructors will arrange double matches for anyone of any age and skill level who wants to play. The grill will be open, offering free hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, and soft drinks. Families are welcome.
The BOC’s six soft red clay courts are situated in a wooded setting and surround the vintage 1930s clubhouse, with its wraparound veranda and comfy chairs. They are among the best in New England. Membership fees are $190 for adults, $40 for youths, and free for kids with a parent or Big Brother/Big Sister member.
Hyam Siegel, BOC tennis committee chair, says that the tennis program is a unique community resource that is almost entirely volunteer run, keeping the fees low. There are no waiting lists, and players of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to join.
“We have a welcoming atmosphere, ” Siegel says. “We’re trying to make tennis enjoyable for everyone from the very casual to the more serious player.”
Brattleboro Swim Team prepares for 2013 season
• The Brattleboro Swim Team (BST) is gearing up for its 2013 swim season. Last year, the BST program had more than 80 local swimmers of varying abilities and ages, and placed first in the 2012 Southern Vermont Swim League (SVSL) and second place overall at the Vermont Swim Association (VSA) Division 2 Championships.
This year, BST is building on the team’s recent successes by expanding its coaching staff. This year’s staff consists head coach Dan Morse, current assistant coach at Keene State College; developmental team assistant coach Beverly Baldwin, a longtime BST coach and experienced swim instructor; and assistant coaches Diana Pimer, a current Division III swimmer at Keene State, and Chris Brewer, a former BST swimmer.
Team practices will begin on Monday, June 17, at the Living Memorial Park Pool, and will take place from 4 to 5 p.m. for swimmers 10 and under, and from 5 to 6 p.m. for swimmers over 10, Monday through Friday.
The Brattleboro Swim Team competes within the Southern Vermont Swim League and participates in eight regular season meets, culminating in the VSA state meet at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center in White River Junction the first weekend of August.
The team is open to swimmers ages 5 and up who are able to swim the length of the pool (25 yards) unassisted. Swimmer registration and a chance to meet the coaches will be held Sunday, June 2, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the Warming Shelter at the Living Memorial Park Pool.
The registration fee for each swimmer is $160 for Brattleboro families, $175 for non-resident families. The fee is reduced by $10 for each additional swimmer in a family and there is a $500 maximum for multi-swimmer families. All swimmers are required to be registered by June 2, and payment is due in full with registration. Late registrations will incur an additional fee of $20 per swimmer.
For more information, visit the BST Facebook page or call Jen Rice at 802-254-3868. Completed registration forms with full payment can also be mailed by June 2 to Carla Magbie, 184 Country Hill Rd., Brattleboro, VT 05301.