BRATTLEBORO >> On a 75-degree night at Natowich Field, Brattleboro hurler Sam Ognenoff dropped down on the grass just outside of his team's dugout every chance he got.
"I'm really tired," he said aloud before taking his first short rest.
And his pitching performance was dream-like as he dominated one of the top varsity baseball teams in Division 1, leading the Colonels to a 6-1 victory over visiting Burr and Burton on Monday evening.
"Sam is doing a nice job for us right now. He threw strikes and he got ahead of people," BUHS coach Chris Groeger said. "He was throwing with velocity and his curve was sharp. It was an outstanding performance."
After Ognenoff was honored on Senior Night along with classmates Chayse Cunniff, Austin Gilbeau, Stephen Kerylow and Craig Worden, he faced the minimum of nine batters in the first three frames. He fanned 10, walked just one and gave up four hits in seven innings of work.
"We did put the ball in play. They struggled defensively and we took advantage," noted Groeger.
The Colonels took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third, thanks to a couple of errors, singles from Dan Petrie and Cunniff, and an RBI walk by Tanner Bell.
An unearned run in the fourth made it 3-0. And the Bulldogs (11-3) later strung together hits by Daniel Hatheway, James Reilly and Tyler Kraehling to score their lone run in the top of the sixth.
"That's annoying," stated Ognenoff after looking up at the scoreboard and seeing a "1" next to all of the zeros. "And it's all my fault."
The Colonels would bat around in the bottom of the inning and tack on three insurance runs in front of a full house. Matt Dulmain singled and Stephen Kerylow was hit by a pitch to begin the rally. After Gilbeau moved them both over with a ground-out to the right side, Cunniff delivered a pretty suicide squeeze — Dulmain scored from third and Kerylow crossed the plate following an errant throw home. An infield error later in the frame allowed Brattleboro to go ahead 6-1.
After a quick nap, Ognenoff would strike out the side in the seventh to end it.
Kerylow (2B) had three assists and Dulmain (CF) made a couple of catches to lead the BUHS defense. The highlight came from Cunniff (RF), who scooped up Kraehling's single in the fourth and made a fine relay throw to help get Reilly out at third.
Cunniff finished with two hits to pace the 11-3 Colonels, who will play at Rutland on Friday. Petrie and Dulmain each contributed with one single.
Brattleboro lineup: Chayse Cunniff RF, Sam Ognenoff P, Leif Bigelow SS, Dan Petrie C, Conor Hiner 1B, Tanner Bell 3B, Craig Worden DH, Stephen Kerylow 2B, Austin Gilbeau LF, Matt Dulmain CF.
Bigelow and Ben Betz teamed up on the hill when the Colonels downed Hartford 7-5 in their previous contest. Cunniff and Hiner each had a pair of hits, while Bigelow drove in two runs and Hiner finished with four RBI's.