Cozza, Fontaine, Avard shine in Little League openers

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BRATTLEBORO — The Reds, Pirates and Giants won the first three Little League baseball games of the season on the South Main Street field.

The Reds blanked the Mets 10-0 in Monday's opener. Reds right-hander Sean Cozza had 12 strikeouts on the mound in the victory. At the plate, he hit a booming triple and scored two runs. Reds catcher Ryan Peloso also had a strong day at the plate with an RBI single and a walk while scoring twice in his Little League debut. Shortstop Spencer Claussen had another memorable debut with a base hit and two runs scored while playing strong defense. The Mets struggled to get going against Cozza but center fielder Landon Zinn was aboard twice in the defeat. Reliever Alasdair Jenks cooled down the Reds offense with 2 1/3 innings of solid relief while striking out five. Shortstop Gabe Alexander and catcher Matt Satterfield both had strong defensive games.

In a tight affair at the Brattleboro Little League field on Tuesday, the Pirates nipped the Red Sox 4-3 thanks to a long RBI double off the bat of shortstop Damian Fontaine in the fifth inning. Strong pitching on both sides kept the game close throughout. Lefty Lucas Speno got the start for the Pirates with Fontaine coming in from the bullpen. The pair combined to strike out 12 Red Sox batters. Matthew Worden was aboard three times and lined an RBI single in the fifth. Eason DeMarsico doubled and scored and was on base twice. The Red Sox got strong pitching from Nick Fortier and Henry Schwartz who combined to strike out 11 Pirates. First baseman Iain Cudworth starred with an unassisted double play and a base hit. Schwartz, Alex Fortier, and Izaya Bullins each scored a run.

On Wednesday, Hayden Avard threw five innings of hitless baseball while striking out 12 as the Giants topped the Athletics 8-0. He also lined a two-run triple and was on base three times. First baseman Cooper LaFlam completed an unassisted double play and hit an RBI single in the second inning. Donnevhan Hall and Halen Ranslow each hit a long triple for the winners. Ranslow scored a run and was on base twice. Second-year player Kason Gundry tossed a scoreless inning of relief with two strikeouts to close it out. The Athletics struggled against Avard but played strong defense. Shortstop Trace Tetreault, second baseman Logan Waite, and Right fielder Desmond Grace all made fine plays. Reliever Grady Jutras struck out six and allowed just two hits across three innings on the hill.

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Upcoming Schedule

July 10: Pirates vs. Royals, 5:30 p.m.

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July 13: Mets vs. Royals, 5:30 p.m.

July 14: Athletics vs. Reds, 5:30 p.m.

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July 15: Pirates vs. Red Sox, 5:30 p.m.

July 16: Giants vs. Athletics, 5:30 p.m.

July 17: Royals vs. Pirates, 5:30 p.m.

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