Legion baseball racks up victories
MIDDLEBURY — As the Northern Division playoff contenders begin to distance themselves from the pack for the stretch run, the Addison County Legion team continued to roll, reeling off four recent wins in four days.
Addison began the stretch by grabbing a pair of come-from-behind victories against visiting South Burlington on Saturday, 5-4 and 3-2.
On Sunday, AC traveled to Hinesburg to face S.D. Ireland for the third and final time on the season and held off a rally for a 6-4 victory, winning the season series, 2-1.
On Tuesday, AC took to the road to face Burlington and earned a 3-0 series sweep with a 6-5 victory in eight innings.
Addison ran its record to 10-1 overall and 9-1 in the Northern Division, putting them in second place, one game behind Essex.
Addison is set to travel to Montpelier on Thursday to face Montpelier for the first time this summer before visiting St. Johnsbury on Saturday to face the OEC Kings.
In Saturday’s opener vs. South Burlington, AC rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the fifth inning.
AC fell into an early hole when SB plated three first-inning runs on three hits off AC starter Devin Hayes, including a double, and an AC miscue. Hayes allowed only one more hit the rest of the way.
AC cut into the lead in the second when Wade Steele and Timmy Shea worked one-out walks. After Josh Stearns singled to load the bases, a Sawyer Kamman grounder scored Steele.
SB made it 4-1 in the third on a double, ground ball and a sacrifice fly.
In the bottom of the fifth, walks to Kamman, Aaron Smith, Marshall Hastings and Ian Shaw forced in a run. With one out, Hayes lofted a fly ball to left, scoring Hastings. A Steele single then tied the game. Timmy Shea next hit a hard ground ball back up the middle off the end of the pitcher’s glove, scoring Charlie Stapleford, who had reached on a fielder’s choice, and giving AC the 5-4 advantage that Hayes then locked down.
In the second game, Addison turned to Kamman, and like the first game South Burlington struck early before Kamman settled down and AC rallied to a 3-2 victory.
In the first inning, SB took a 1-0 lead on a single, a fielder’s choice and another single.
AC was unable to put any rally together over the first four innings, collecting only one hit while working just two walks against losing pitcher Devin Rollins.
In the second, Hayes, at shortstop, took a relay throw from Hastings in center and threw a runner out at home to keep the deficit at one. Right fielder Tyler Delancey also threw out a runner at second in the inning.
In the fifth, SB finally got to Kamman. An error put the No. 9 hitter on second base before a single chased home the second run of the game.
AC mounted a rally of in the bottom of the inning. Dylan Raymond worked a leadoff walk and reached second when Delancey’s sacrifice bunt was mishandled. With runners at first and second, Josiah Benoit bunted, and the throw to first bounced away, allowing Raymond to score from second. After one squeeze bunt failed, Hastings bunted Benoit home with the tying run.
Kamman worked through the sixth and seventh innings, and Raymond started the decisive rally in the seventh by blasting his second hit of the game. Stapleford pinch-ran for him, and moved to second on another Delancey sacrifice bunt. Steele, pinchhitting, then laced the ball right down the first-base line, where it bounced past the SB first baseman, allowing Stapleford to score the winning run.
On Sunday, AC scored early and held off SDI team, 6-4. Addison started things off with a bang in the second inning, when Hayes clubbed a leadoff single, Steele doubled, Shea and Kamman singled, Hastings reached on an error, and Ian Shaw doubled to cap what became a five-run inning.
SDI scored once in the second against starter and winner Aaron Smith. A double, a walk and an error loaded the bases with one out, and the run scored on a fielder’s choice before a nice play by Hayes at third ended the frame.
SDI added another run in the third on two singles and a walk. Smith added a run in the fifth on a walk and a two-out double, and it was 5-3.
SDI’s comeback continued in the sixth. With the score still 5-3, Smith walked two batters and allowed a single, and Josiah Benoit replaced him on the mound with the bases loaded and one out. He induced a fielder’s choice, putting runners at first and third with two outs and scoring a run, and then struck out the next batter on three pitches to end the threat.
AC made it 6-4 in the seventh when Shaw singled and moved to second on an errant pickoff. Shaw reached third on a Stapleford single and scored on another error.
Benoit breezed through the seventh, collecting the save for AC.
AC increased its winning streak to 10 with the 6-5 win at Burlington on Tuesday. AC got things going in the second inning when Hayes walked and Steele doubled to put runners at second and third with nobody out. A Shea grounder plated Hayes, and a Colton Aines single scored Steele. In the third, AC made it 3-0 when Hastings singled, stole second, moved up on a fly ball and scored on a passed ball.
Benoit kept Burlington at bay until the fourth, when Burlington scored twice, thanks in part to a passed ball, a balk and an RBI single.
In the fifth, Burlington chased Benoit from the game. After he walked the first two batters, an infield error plated the first two runners, giving Burlington a 4-3 lead. Hastings took the mound and surrendered a single that made it 5-3.
In the top of the sixth, Stapleford started things off with a bunt single and Hayes walked. Steele reached on an error before Shea knocked in Stapleford on a fielder’s choice. Delancey then laid down a suicide squeeze to knot the game at 5-5.
Stapleford pitched scoreless sixth and seventh innings, and in the top of the eighth, Hayes led off with a walk. Hayes stole second, moved to third on a balk, and scored the winning run on a Steele sacrifice fly. Stapleford then nailed down the win with a 1-2-3 eighth.
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