BRATTLEBORO -- The crucial third game of the 10-year-old Little League All Star best-of-five series will be held in Brattleboro on Saturday afternoon.
Home field advantage? Not so much.
The visiting team won for the second consecutive time on Wednesday night, as Bennington evened the series with a 22-8 rout of Brattleboro in Game 2 on the South Main Street field.
"We’re lacking some pitching. That’s one advantage that they (Bennington) have," said Brattleboro coach Chris Millerick. "It will be a big game on Saturday. We have our ace (Adam Newton) going. If he throws strikes, we will be OK."
After getting two quick outs in the top of the first, Brattleboro starter Tyler Millerick struggled with his control. He would walk five, hit one batter, give up a two-run single to Philip Burbier and serve up a three-run triple to Jackson Free before looking up at the scoreboard to see that his team was down 8-0.
The hosts put up two runs in their half of the first, on a two-run jack from Adam Newton. The Brattleboro slugger would finish the game a perfect 3-for-3 and just a single shy of the cycle.
"Adam crushed the ball," said the Brattleboro coach, who noted that it was Newton’s first big fly of the season.
With southpaw Chris Frost pitching in relief, Bennington added three more runs in the second to go ahead 11-2. The rally came to a halt when Free lined out to left fielder Jake Gilbeau, who then
Millerick drew a walk and then Newton sparked Brattleboro’s four-run second frame with a double to deep left. Shane Cyr followed with a two-run single, while Campbell and Anthony Palomba each added a base knock.
Leading 11-6, the visitors broke the game wide open by hanging an 8 spot in the top of the third. Tanner King and Calob Hay each belted an RBI double during the marathon surge.
Millerick and Frost each drew a two-out walk in the Brattleboro third, setting the table for Newton’s two-run triple to left. But those would be the home team’s last runs of the night, as reliever Quinton McIntire pitched a scoreless fourth to give Bennington the mercy-rule victory.
Millerick, who was playing second base, made two fine defensive plays in the top of the fourth. With the bases juiced, he fielded a bouncer on the infield grass and fired a strike to catcher Shane Cyr for the force out. He then made an unassisted play at first base.
"Tyler had a good game in the field," said his father and coach. "We’re a young team. The series is tied at 1-1...that’s not bad."
Newton had three hits and four RBIs to lead the hosts. Cyr and Campbell followed with two hits apiece.
Brattleboro will host Bennington in Game 3 on Saturday at 1 p.m. The 12-year-old contest will follow that at 4 p.m.
Brattleboro 9-10 All Star roster: Pirates -- Tyler Millerick, Adam Newton. Royals -- Chris Frost, Anthony Palomba. A’s -- Shane Cyr. Giants -- Nick Campbell, Jake Gilbeau. Red Sox -- Alex Hudon, Liam Styles. Reds -- Charlie Galanes. Cardinals -- Jacob Curtiss, Malcolm Toleno.
Shane Covey can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.