BRATTLEBORO -- Christmas in June was just held at Tenney Field, as far as Bob Lockerby is concerned.
The coach of the Bellows Falls American Legion Post 37 baseball team said his players gifted a win to Post 5 in Wednesday's game, which ended 14-2 via run rule in the bottom of the sixth inning. Post 37 used four pitchers and gave up 10 walks in the loss, which evened the squad's record to 1-1. Brattleboro Post 5 is now 2-1.
"We didn't come to play. They took advantage of it," Lockerby told the Reformer in his team's dugout after the game.
Post 5 was ahead 11-2 in the bottom of the sixth when Kevin Tao laced a bases-loaded double to right-center to end the game via run rule. Coach Wayne Wright said winning one day after a tough 3-2 loss to Bellows Falls shows the strength of his team.
"(On Tuesday), we got beat in a close game up at (Vermont Academy) and their No. 1 pitcher is very good -- from Castleton (State College). So it was important for us to win today, when (Post 37) didn't have their ace going," Post 5 coach Wayne Wright said. "We were out to take the extra base today."
Jimmy Mills faced every Post 37 batter for Brattleboro, registering three strikeouts. Wright said Mills had good control throughout the game and knuckled down whenever he had runners on base.
Following a fairly quiet inning and a half, Brattleboro's Rob Heileman walked to begin the bottom of the second. He moved to second when George Atkins grounded into a fielder's choice and then advanced to third on a passed ball. Heileman scored when a throw on a ground ball by Chris Lasch got away from Post 37 shortstop Doug Avellino. Jeff Kerylow and Lasch also scored on a single by Cam Wright to give Brattleboro a 3-0 lead.
With two outs in the top of the third, Post 37's Ed Shambo smacked a double to left field and scored when teammate Austin Stack traded places with him. Brattleboro batted around the order in the bottom half of the frame and Tao (two walks, double), Ryan McAuliffe (single, double) and Atkins (walk, two singles) crossed the plate to make the score 6-1. Tao and McAuliffe scored again in the bottom of the fourth to add to the lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, Lasch singled before swiping second with a steal. Cam Wright then doubled and Kassidi Ramirez reached on an infield single to load the bases. That's when McAuliffe sent a sacrifice fly to right field, allowing Lasch to tag up and score for a 9-1 advantage. Bellows Falls added a final run in the top of the sixth, when Stack doubled and later scored on a sacrifice fly.
A single and a walk added Atkins and Kerylow to the basepaths and both scored to make it 11-2. Hunter Smith, Wright and Ramirez then loaded the bases before scoring on Tao's walk-off double.
Zack Streeter, Colby Howe, Nick Diak and Stewart Shaughnessy each hurled from the mound for Post 37. Bellows Falls is preparing to host Bennington American Legion Post 13 in a doubleheader on Saturday.
Post 5 is scheduled to visit Bennington for a game on Tuesday.
Domenic Poli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.