BRATTLEBORO -- When Prince Fielder was crushing the ball on Monday night in Kansas City, odds are that members of the Brattleboro Little League 12-year-old All-Star baseball team were watching.
And taking notes.
Danny Petrie, Ian Fulton-Black and Connor Weeks all went deep on Tuesday night at the South Main Street field, leading Brattleboro to a 12-0 rout of Bennington in Game 2 of the best-of-seven series.
"We were overpowering. Even during practices, the kids have been hitting a lot of home runs," said Brattleboro manager David Heileman.
Leading 3-0, the hosts sent 13 batters to the plate in the third inning and exploded for nine runs. The highlights during that rally were a three-run homer by Weeks and a grand slam from Fulton-Black.
After Tanner Bell walked to start things off, Tyler Germain and Korie Cliche had consecutive one-out singles to load the bases. Griffin Lynde drew an RBI walk and then Fulton-Black belted a line drive over the wall in left. Leif Bigelow later singled to right, Bell dumped a double into left-center and then Weeks hit a big fly to left.
With the 10-run rule looming, Fulton-Black pitched a one-two-three fourth frame to end it. He fanned Dylan Babson, second baseman Griffin Lynde made a play for the second out and Petrie made a catch at the hot corner to seal the deal.
"I can’t say enough about the kids. They came out completely relaxed. We’re all proud of them,"
Fulton-Black went all four innings for the win. He struck out five, walked three and pitched a one-hit shutout.
"Ian pitched a great game," noted the Brattleboro manager.
After giving up a lead-off single to Nate Coyne to start the game, Fulton-Black got a little help from his friends. Bell would gun down Coyne on an attempted steal. And following a walk to Brian Grace, the middle infielders -- Germain, Bigelow -- turned a double play.
Brattleboro took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Petrie launched a tape-measure shot over the wall in dead center.
The hosts increased their advantage to 3-0 in the second, thanks to a two-run single to left by Petrie. Tom Carroll started things with a single up the gut, Adam Curtis drew a walk and then Tony Martinez took one for the team, before Petrie dug in.
Bell and Petrie each had a couple of hits for the winners. Fulton-Black, Weeks and Petrie combined for 11 runs batted in. The 12th came on Lynde’s bases-loaded walk.
The Brattleboro roster is as follows: Reds -- Ian Fulton-Black and Tanner Bell. Giants -- Connor Weeks, Tony Martinez, Leif Bigelow. Pirates -- Devin Millerick. A’s -- Danny Petrie, Tyler Germain. Red Sox -- Tom Carroll. Mets -- Korie Cliche. Royals -- Adam Curtis, Griffin Lynde.
Brattleboro won Game 1, 18-12, over the weekend in Bennington. Trailing 10-4 after the first inning, Brattleboro battled back as Ian Fulton-Black and Leif Bigelow each finished with four hits. And Danny Petrie gave up just two runs in three innings of relief.
Game 3 will be played in Bennington on Thursday at 6 p.m. Heileman said that Leif Bigelow will get the start on the hill.
Shane Covey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.