Colonels ousted in opener
BRATTLEBORO -- England is known for making such things as machine tools, paper products, textiles and automobile parts.
Robert England, well, he just produces in the clutch.
With two away in the sixth inning, the Burr and Burton infielder came through with a two-run single that allowed the Bulldogs to beat the Brattleboro varsity baseball team 5-3 in Monday's season opener at Tenney Field.
"I just feel like we gave them most of their runs," said BUHS coach David Zolnoski. "We just need to not walk batters and play better defense."
The Colonels got five quality innings from starter Jimmy Mills, who gave up just two hits before leaving with a 3-2 lead.
"I thought he did a nice job," stated Zolnozki, who decided to take Mills out after the ace threw 78 pitches. He fanned four, walked four and had two costly errors committed behind him.
In the top of the sixth, BUHS reliever Elliot Gragen walked the first two batters he faced and then the visitors pulled off a double steal. The southpaw would calmly retire the next two Bulldogs in the order, before England ripped the game-winning single up the middle that was just out of the reach of diving shortstop Kassidi Ramirez.
Burr and Burton closer Jake Stalcup pitched a one-two-three sixth and seventh to end it. What took place between those frames was somewhat peculiar.
None of the three outs in the top of the seventh were what you'd call ordinary. With two runners aboard, Brattleboro's Jeff Kerylow (2B) stopped a grounder, but Ramirez wasn't covering so he had to outrun a Bulldog to second for the first out. Catcher Joey Barrows picked off a runner at third to make it two down, and then Dalton Blackwell was caught in a rundown for the third out, but not before Alex Alberti's single to center made it 5-3.
England had two hits to lead the winners, while Noah Rizio, Stalcup and Alberti all hit safely. Chris McAuliffe and Evan Parro each had a pair of hits to lead the hosts.
The Colonels fell behind 2-0 when Burr and Burton put up a couple of unearned runs in their half of the third. But BUHS battled back with three runs in the bottom of the third, when Mills drew a lead-off walk, Ross Meyer blooped a 3-2 pitch into center, McAuliffe drove a two-run double to deep left, and Parro lined an RBI single up the gut.
The purple and white would hold that advantage until the top of the sixth, when England drove the game-winning hit into center that scored Alberti and Tanner Carleton.
Burr and Burton's Taylor Fuller, who pitched two innings of scoreless relief, picked up the win.
Bulldogs batting order: Robert England, 2B; Noah Rizio, P; Zach Stewart, SS; Jake Stalcup, 1B; Dalton Blackwell, RF; Alex Alberti, LF; Tanner Carleton, 3B; Taylor Fuller, CF; Colin McLeigh, DH.
Colonels batting order: Kassidi Ramirez, SS; Ross Meyer, LF; Chris McAuliffe, 1B; Evan Parro, CF; Kevin Tao, 3B; Elliot Gragen, RF; Jeff Kerylow, 2B; Joey Barrows, C; Jimmy Mills, P.
Shane Covey can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.
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