BRATTLEBORO — Down 11-2 going into the bottom of the third inning, Brattleboro stormed back to defeat Essex Junction 20-18 in the winner's bracket game of the Vermont State Little League Baseball Tournament at the South Main Street field on Sunday.
Essex took advantage of early errors and walks while getting big hits from Eli Bostwick and Jacob Reyome in the first two innings to jump out to the big lead. However, in the bottom of the third, Brattleboro batted around against pitcher Andrew Goodrich to tie the game and then take the lead. Hits from Alex Bingham, Zinabu McNeice, Huxley Holcombe, Aaron Petrie and Alex Carpenter fueled the rally.
Essex would come back with a a three-run home run from Goodrich, but Brattleboro was relentless. Slugger Caden Wood (5 walks) was pitched around in the game, but he scored four runs due to the bats behind him in the order. McNeice had a 3 for 4 afternoon, including a three-run home run after a walk to Wood. Petrie, Holcombe and McNeice all had three hits on the night. Petrie also made a diving play from the catcher position to nab a runner at the plate for the defensive play of the game. Jack Pattison had only one hit on the day, but he saved the best for last with a massive two-run home run over the scoreboard to give Brattleboro the lead for good.
In Sunday's other contest, Colchester trumped Connecticut River Valley North. Garrett Cardin went 4 for 4 at the plate, with two long home runs, to lead Colchester. Cardin also threw a complete game and allowed just six hits. The Colchester offense also benefited from home runs from Leon Roberts and Jake Finelli — both home runs were firsts in their Little League careers. Ben Knapp also continued to hit at the state tournament with a double and a single. Connecticut River Valley North got two hits from Bryce Ilsley and Brendan Walker.
CRVN has been eliminated. Colchester will now take on Essex for the right to play in the championship game against Brattleboro.