Brattleboro 12s earn series with Bennington
BRATTLEBORO — Jolie Glidden and the Brattleboro 12-year-old Little League All-Star baseball team were the biggest winners on Tuesday evening at the South Main Street field.
Glidden correctly answered announcer Scott Smyth's trivia question during the third inning to earn a Nerds Rope prize and then the hosts held on for an 8-2 victory over Rutland in a District 2 Tournament contest.
"They hit today," said winning manager Jolene Paquette of her players. "We got the bats going right off."
As Vernon Town Clerk Tim Johnson enjoyed his two hot dogs from the concession stand, second-seeded Brattleboro jumped out to a 5-0 lead over No. 3 Rutland in the first two innings. Evan Wright's two-run single and Riley Morse's RBI double to the warning track in center were the major blows early on.
Speed demon Aaron LeFrancois would get the visitors on the board in the top of the third — reaching on a fielder's choice and then sprinting around the bases with no fear to score.
In the middle of the inning, Smyth asked the fans who would be starting at pitcher for the National League later that night. Glidden raced up the stairs to the booth and correctly answered "Hyun-jin Ryu" before being handed a pack of rainbow candy for his knowledge.
Brattleboro added three more runs in the fourth frame to go ahead 8-1. Harper Cutler and Sam Bogart each singled during the rally, while Morse chipped in with an RBI groundout.
Rutland's Beckett Patorti walked and eventually went home on a passed ball in the top of the fifth to cap the scoring.
In addition to running the scoreboard and announcing who was digging in, Smyth also played music for the players and fans. There were some country tunes, Billy Idol's Mony Mony, and a little "I bless the rains down in Africa" flowing through the speakers.
Brattleboro hurlers Cutler, Morse and Wright would combine for a two-hitter on the night. Morse, who threw a no-hitter for the Royals during the regular season, fanned five in 1 2/3 innings of relief.
"Our pitchers have been working really hard," stated Paquette, noting that 11 of the 13 players on the roster have experience on the hill. One of those 13 is starting outfielder Mason North, who earned the 2019 Jim Waters Sportsmanship Award.
Cutler, who led the Brattleboro league with three homers, was one of six players to finish with a hit for the home team. The others were Asher Jackson, Alex McClelland, Wright, Morse and Bogart.
Brattleboro will play Game 1 of a best-of-three District 2 championship series at top-ranked Bennington on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
"It's gonna be tough, but we can do it," Paquette commented. "We just need to stay focused and play like we did today."
Rutland lineup: Aaron LeFrancois C, Jonathan Olsen CF, Greg Olsen SS, Quin Hall P, David Franzoni 3B, Dylan Thomas LF, Quinn Velde 2B, Cam Lamson RF, Mickey Colvin 1B. Subs: Isabella Wildman, Ricky Gillam, Beckett Patorti, Tegen Gurney. Coaches: Brian Olsen, Alden Franzoni, Joel LeFrancois.
Brattleboro lineup: John Satterfield 2B, Alex McClelland C, Harper Cutler P, Evan Wright 1B, Sam Bogart SS, Riley Morse 3B, Asher Jackson LF, Chase Austin RF, Mason North CF. Subs: Jayke Glidden, Hayden Avard, Derek Sage, Lucas Stolpp. Coaches: Jolene Paquette, Lance Cutler, Ryan Satterfield.
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