MANCHESTER -- In a high scoring affair, the Brattleboro Union High School baseball team defeated Burr and Burton Academy 14-7 on Tuesday night.
Brattleboro (4-5) scored eight runs in the third inning to take a 10-5 lead, which was just too much for the Bulldogs (3-4) to come back from.
The monster inning came after the Bulldogs had just put up five runs in the bottom of the second to take a 5-2 lead.
"I thought when we scored the five runs and took the 5-2 lead that that would get us motivated to just continue," said BBA coach Tony Cirelli. "As I told these guys here, when you got a team down you’ve got to keep them down. You can’t let them back into the game. Giving up eight runs in the third, fourth inning there Š after we just scored five, that’s a rally killer."
Brattleboro coach Chris Groeger said after the game that he was afraid of the impact BBA’s five run inning might have on his team, but he encouraged them to battle.
"[I told them] that there was time left to go. We were able to get some opportunities early and still be able to capitalize throughout the game," said Groeger. "What I was concerned about was that our kids would get down and all the momentum would have shifted to Burr and Burton, but Š we were able to re-grab the momentum."
Brattleboro’s Chris McAuliffe was responsible for a sizeable portion of the damage, going 3 for 5 and driving in five runs with a double and a pair of singles.
After Brattleboro scored a run in each of the first two innings -- one via a walk with the bases loaded and another off a McAuliffe single -- BBA got on the board early in the second with back to back doubles to center field by pitcher Noah Rizio and Griff Stalcup. Four batters later, Adam Maitland singled to center with the bases loaded to tie the score at 2-2.
The next batter, Seth Wilkins, hit a sac fly down the third base line to score Jeremiah Parker.
With runners at second and third and two away, and errant throw on a pick off play at third allowed BBA to score a runner and take a 4-2 lead. With a runner on third, Cody Roberts made good, driving in the fifth run of the inning on a single to give Rizio -- who struggled with his control during the outing -- some breathing room going into the third.
That’s when the wheels came off. After a pair of walks and a double by Adam McPhail, Rizio hit Hunter Smith to make the score 5-3. After Kassidi Ramirez got on to force home another run, McAuliffe doubled to make it 7-5 Colonels. Following another hit batter later in the inning by Rizio, Cirelli went to Jon Iris with one down. The Colonels were able to score three more runs though before Iris was able to get out of the inning.
McAuliffe caused more trouble for the Bulldogs in the fourth. After Hunter Smith and Ramirez walked to begin the inning, McAuliffe roped an RBI single to left to make it 11-5. A sac fly by Kevin Tao allowed Ramirez to score and a single by Rob Heileman later in the inning gave the Colonels a 13-5 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth.
In the bottom half of the frame, the Bulldogs were able to put two more up on the board. Roberts hit an RBI triple to drive in Wilkins -- who had gotten aboard via a walk -- and later took home on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fourth.
The Colonels tacked on a run in the top of the seventh off a single to center by Ramirez to make it 14-7.
Stalcup came on in relief in the fifth inning, allowing one run in three innings and striking out two.
Brattleboro starting pitcher Dan Richardson allowed seven runs in four innings and struck out one. Tao came on in relief in the fifth, holding BBA scoreless and striking out three in three innings of work.