WESTMINSTER >> Everyone in New England knows what happens when a player named Brady gets an opportunity with the game on the line.
It's never good news for the opposition.
Brady Illingworth became the hero on Wednesday, hitting a walk-off single to left field that gave the Bellows Falls varsity baseball team a thrilling 4-3 comeback victory over visiting Brattleboro.
"We just needed to keep our energy up," said Illingworth, when asked about his team falling behind early. "We couldn't get down. We were only down 3-0."
The previously undefeated Colonels appeared to be in good shape. Sam Ognenoff blooped a three-run double in the second inning and ace Leif Bigelow was dominating on the hill.
But the hosts kept chipping away. Clayton Groenwold belted an RBI double in the fourth and the Terriers pulled even with a pair of unearned runs in the sixth, setting the stage for their clean-up hitter in extra innings.
After consecutive errors by Brattleboro in the bottom of the eighth and then a line-out off the bat of Zach Streeter, Illingworth ended it by singling to left to bring in Jacob Streeter from second base.
"It's just disappointing," stated Brattleboro coach Chris Groeger. "Don't take anything away from Bellows Falls, but we struck out 14 times and at least six of them were looking, we're not making plays in the infield and our catcher isn't blocking balls that he needs to. It's just asking for trouble."
Bellows Falls hurlers Zach Streeter, Jacob Metcalf and Alex Groenwold combined for 14 strikeouts, four walks and a three-hitter. Ognenoff's double to right put the Colonels ahead 3-0, Tony Martinez doubled to right-center in the fourth, and Dillon Green singled to left in the fifth.
"We weren't aggressive at the plate at all. We would watch one strike go by and then watch a second strike go by," said a frustrated Groeger.
Bigelow (11 K's, 2 BB, 4 hits) went the distance for the visitors. He often froze opposing batters with nasty curves for called third strikes and had two fine plays made behind him — third baseman Dillon Green went to his left to get to a slow roller off of Reid Coursen's bat and fired across the diamond for the out, and Ognenoff (SS) somehow backhanded Illingworth's grounder deep in the hole and made the play to first.
Clayton Groenwold's double in the fourth was the only extra-base hit for the winners. Alex Groenwold, Zach Streeter and Illingworth all singled, with Brady's shot to left in the eighth ending it.
Brattleboro lineup: Chayse Cunniff RF, Sam Ognenoff SS, Leif Bigelow P, Dillon Green 3B, Dan Petrie C, Conor Hiner 1B, Tanner Bell LF, Stephen Kerylow 2B, Tony Martinez CF.
Bellows Falls lineup: Jacob Streeter SS, Alex Groenwold 2B, Zach Streeter P, Brady Illingworth 1B, Clayton Groenwold 3B, Jake Lober LF, Brian Green RF, Liam Hackett C, Jacob Metcalf CF.
Brattleboro 21, Windsor 6
WINDSOR >> On Tuesday, Dillon Green (6 K's, 3 BB, 8 hits) went the distance and Brattleboro improved to 3-0. Leif Bigelow and Green each finished with four hits, while Tanner Bell and Ognenoff followed with three hits apiece. Ognenoff had a team-high four runs batted in and Bigelow ended up with three RBI's.