BRATTLEBORO >> Round one went to those in the purple corner.
The Brattleboro Union High School varsity baseball team had 10 solid hits and knocked out rival MAU, 10-1, on Monday evening at Tenney Field.
"Any time we can put some offense together like we did, it's a bright spot. We haven't done that all year," said BUHS coach Chris Groeger. "But we don't have much time to celebrate this one, because we play them again tomorrow."
Ben Betz had a shutout going into the seventh inning, but that was spoiled by a sacrifice fly from Pat Powers. The Brattleboro starter gave up six hits, walked six and struck out five on the night.
"That was a gem," BUHS third baseman Chris Hall told Betz as the two walked toward their dugout after the game. "That's what you are...a gem."
The Colonels stole a 4-0 lead in the first frame, with the highlights being a base knock from Conor Hiner and a two-run single to left by Stephen Kerylow. Dan Petrie started Brattleboro's four-run fifth inning with a double to deep left, before Hiner and pinch-hitter Tommy Carroll each drove a run in during the bottom of the sixth.
Brattleboro made some impressive defensive plays as third baseman Chris Hall ran down a fly ball that nearly went out of play and shortstop Leif Bigelow made a diving stab behind second base before flipping to Sam Ognenoff (2B) for a force out.
Betz pitched a one-two-three second inning, but would leave a combined 11 MAU runners stranded in the other frames. His most exciting matchups came against Normyle, who fouled a pitch off of a car in the first, was robbed by a diving Bigelow in the third, grounded one to the left side that hit an advancing teammate in the fifth, and was hit by a pitch in the seventh.
"He did a good job," Groeger said of Betz. "He fell behind in the count at times, though, and he's got to keep the ball down."
The home team had a scare in the top of the fourth when Bigelow chased down Brody Farnum's fly ball in shallow center. Tony Martinez (CF) went down and eventually left the game with an ankle injury. He was replaced by Matt Dulmain.
Petrie doubled twice and also had a single to lead the BUHS attack. Hiner followed with two hits, while Chayse Cunniff, Ognenoff, Bigelow, Kerylow and Carroll all hit safely. Hall drew four free passes.
"Petrie, Hiner and Kerylow all had big hits for us," noted Groeger. "We got contributions up and down the lineup."
It was the third consecutive win for the purple and white. Ognenoff fanned 12 in Brattleboro's 6-0 decision over Otter Valley and Bigelow scattered five hits in a 2-1 victory over Hartford.
The Colonels improved to 8-3 overall.
Brattleboro lineup: Chayse Cunniff RF, Sam Ognenoff 2B, Leif Bigelow SS, Dan Petrie C, Conor Hiner 1B, Chris Hall 3B, Craig Worden DH, Stephen Kerylow LF, Tony Martinez CF.