BRATTLEBORO -- The BUHS baseball team is off to a rough start. They’ve lost their first three games, and that’s because, according to head coach Chris Groeger, the boys haven’t been able to put together a complete effort.

"There has always been something we’ve across in those three games," said Groeger. "Offensively, we are not there yet."

On Thursday, Drury came to town and beat the Colonels, 7-3, after the contest was called due to darkness. Brattleboro starter Jimmy Mills gave up eight hits and had two walks over six innings.

Rob Heileman, Ryan McAuliffe, and Chris McAuliffe all had hits for the hosts, which gave the Colonels their first run in the fifth, and two more in the sixth.

Rutland visited Tenney Field on Saturday and won, 15-14, in what Groeger thought could have been his team’s first win. "That’s a lot of runs," said Groeger. "But we had too many miscues in the field, and if you give Rutland an opportunity they’re going to take advantage of it."

Kassidi Ramirez gave up nine runs and walked 10 batters in the loss.

The Colonels led 7-2 heading into the third inning. Chris McAuliffe went 4-for-4 which included a double, triple, and RBI, Kevin Tao had a double and two RBIs, and Gene Buckley went 3-for-3. Ryan McAuliffe belted a three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to get Brattleboro within one run, and Dan Richardson had a solo home run in the fifth.

So it’s not like the Brattleboro bats weren’t coming to life. "Still, we played catch up the rest of the day," said Groeger, whose 0-3 Colonels will play at Amherst on Tuesday.

Baseball

Otter Valley 6, Bellows Falls 1

WESTMINSTER -- Coach Bob Lockerby knew his Terriers were in for a challenge as his Terriers fell to the defending Div. 2 champion Otters Valley, in either team’s opening game held Friday at Hadley Field.

"The difference is that they [Otter Valley] were consistent," said Lockerby. "We weren’t. They’re a championship team who graduated a lot of seniors but they brought back some good boys."

Austin Stack, Ethan Illingworth, and Alex Groenewold all had hits for the hosts. Zach Streeter pitched for five innings, and reliever Carson Fullam finished for Bellows Falls. The Otters had 10 hits.

The Terriers will host MAU on Wednesday.

LAX boys lose opener

BRATTLEBORO -- The Brattleboro boys varsity lacrosse team lost its season opener to Northampton, 13-8.

Sam Siegel had five goals to lead the 0-1 Colonels. Tanner Freeman, Brennen Zolnoski and Jack Gagnon also split the posts.

"We didn’t get the win but we played hard and I think a lot of kids left the field more confident in their abilities," said BUHS coach Chris Sawyer. "Some tough breaks and a few breakdowns in the second half but I think that the team had fun competing and we saw a lot of encouraging things that we hope we can build upon."

Bryce Fletcher made three saves for the purple and white. Defensive midfielder Cesar Borges had a team-high 12 ground balls.

Brattleboro will play at Otter Valley on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.

With over 20 players gone from last year’s state semi finalists and 19 new faces joining the 27-player roster, the Brattleboro boys lacrosse team has a lot of question marks to answer as they begin their quest for a fourth straight Marble Valley League title.

The first question that needs to be answered is who will take over for all-state goalkeeper Romello Lindsey. Senior Bryce Fletcher, a converted midfielder, and junior Ian Cebek have split duties in the preseason.

With the loss of all-state Nik Rancourt and nine others, midfield was the other position hit hardest by graduation. Senior Conner Elliott-Knaggs, all-MVL his sophomore and junior years, does return.

Along with Elliott-Knaggs, fellow senior Vijay Woodworth returns and they will be joined by first-year team members: senior Cesar Borges and James Ferris; juniors Robyn Avery, Iziah Cliché, Johnny Curtis, Perry Legg, Leon Ogden, and Owen Schneider; and freshman Jack Gagnon. 

While the defense graduated several key long poles including three-year starter Philip Perkins, returning seniors Colby McGinn and Kyle Patno are amongst the states best at their positions and will lead a hard-working unit that will only improve during the season.

The unit will be rounded out by first-year team members: juniors Lyndon Bunker, Andy Gadowski, and Tyler Putnam; sophomore Aleks Harrison; and freshman Declan Lonergan.

The one position that the Colonels do remain fairly intact at is the attack. Senior Sam Siegel and juniors Tanner Freeman and Brennen Zolnoski have developed significant chemistry during the past three seasons, and will look to bring stability and scoring to the Colonels early.

"Sam is as good as they come in this state. Brennen has had a knack for finding space and this year and is developing as a dodging threat. Tanner plays hard and can be tenacious in the riding game. We’ll need to rely on them early to help take some of the pressure off our other units ," continued Sawyer.

The unit will be rounded out by first-year team members: senior Matt Anderson; juniors Jake Atomanuk and Liam Perra; and sophomore Evan Perkins who has impressed early.

"We are a fairly inexperienced team but we believe in our program, are excited to play a top schedule and have team goals that we want to reach. We hope to be competitive in our league, have fun and grow as a team. We know it’s going to be a challenge but we’ll work hard to develop our stick skills, fundamentals and lacrosse IQ and see where we are at the end of the season," said Sawyer.

The 2014 Colonels will be led by team captains Elliott-Knaggs, McGinn, Patno and Siegel. Completing the Colonel coaching staff are Will Lapinski and Nick Rose. Craig Roach will serve as the junior varsity coach and Jon Vinson, John Wong and Logan George will assist the program.