BRATTLEBORO >> The Brattleboro American Legion and Little League baseball teams are headed to the Regionals in Bristol, Conn., with the former facing Shrewsbury, Mass. on Wednesday after the 9:30 a.m. opener on sportingnewsct.com and the 12-year-olds taking on Scarborough, Maine on Sunday at 1 p.m. on ESPN3.
Shrewsbury defeated Pittsfield twice in the Massachusetts State Tournament, and both of those teams earned a berth in the American Legion Regionals. Matt Stansky and Alex Black were the winning pitchers in those contests, which were finished off by closer Connor Gaudette. Tyler McKeon and Matt Jackson each had a clutch hit for Shrewsbury during the tourney, including a two-run single and three-run double respectively.
But that team will likely have to deal with Brattleboro ace Leif Bigelow, who went 2-0 on the mound, struck out 13 and delivered the title-winning base hit to earn MVP honors up in Castleton. Not to mention, Post 5 has a dangerous lineup that includes All-Tourney Team members Kassidi Ramirez, Tanner Bell, Chris Lasch, Matt Dulmaine and Dan Petrie.
Brattleboro went 4-1 in the states, outscoring its foes by a combined 35-23. And it was their first Vermont championship since 1999.
In Little League action, Scarborough has won a dozen games in a row, with the latest being a 14-0 victory over Biddeford in the Maine title game on Friday. Sam Clark fired a one-hitter to get the win and improve to 6-1 on the hill in the 2016 postseason. T.J. Liponis, Jack Simonton, Nic Frink and Clark all homered for the Maine champs versus Biddeford.
That's two less than Brattleboro hit in its latest game against Colchester, however, as Zinabu McNeice went yard twice and the Vermont champions also got deep flies from Alex Carpenter, Alex Bingham, Jack Pattison and Caden Wood. "Z" also held his foes scoreless for 3.2 frames, striking out nine before reaching the 85-pitch limit.
Wood has been outstanding in 2016, including five homers in the regular season and six more during the All Stars. The left-handed slugger has been hitting third in the Brattleboro lineup, behind middle infielders Pattison and Bingham. And then comes dangerous clean-up hitter Zinabu McNeice, who led the league with 10 bombs while helping the A's to a perfect season.
Post 5 roster: Coaches — Eric Libardoni, Brad Venice, Kyle Henry. Players — Chris Lasch, Chayse Cunniff, Leif Bigelow, Kassidi Ramirez, Dan Petrie, Kam Pelkey, Matt Dulmaine, Chris Hall, Sam Ognenoff, Ben Betz, Tommy Carroll, Steve Kerylow, Matt Boggio, Tanner Bell, Tyler Germain.
Brattleboro Little League roster: Coaches — Mike Bingham, Rob Pattison, Jeff Henry. Players — Jack Pattison, Alex Bingham, Caden Wood, Zinabu McNeice, Huxley Holcombe, Aaron Petrie, Tristan Evans, Elias Gradinger, Magnus Von Krusenstiern, Alex Carpenter, Sam Henry, Turner Clews.