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Area athletes make impact in baseball all-star game

RUTLAND — Several members of this past spring’s successful baseball teams from Otter Valley and Vergennes union high schools played major roles as the North and South teams split an Aug. 10 doubleheader at Mount St. Joseph in the annual 2013 Vermont Baseball Coaches Association North-South Senior All-Star game.
VUHS hurler Charlie Stapleford was the winning pitcher as the North prevailed in the opener, 10-5, while OV’s Justin Owen threw three spotless innings to open the nightcap, a 5-0 victory for the South.
Game One starter Brett Patterson from the Division II champion Otters threw three scoreless innings for the South, while Commodore Devin Hayes tossed a scoreless inning in the nightcap.
OV coach Tim Mitchell, an assistant for the South team, said the hard-throwing Stapleford — who tossed five innings and allowed all five South runs, but was victimized by five North errors — made pitches when he had to, while Patterson and Owen “did their jobs.”
“It was a fun day,” Mitchell said. “Pitching dominated.”
In the opener, Stapleford came on in the sixth with a 1-0 lead, and the North added a run in the top of the seventh to make it 2-0. The South rallied to tie it in the bottom of the seventh on two hits, a walk and an error, but the North’s Matt St. Amour — a Missisquoi grad who will play basketball at Middlebury College this winter — threw out the potential winning run at the plate to force extra innings.
The North made it 5-2 in the top of the ninth with three runs off Burr & Burton’s Jake Stalcup, who will join the Panther football program this fall, on homers by Champlain Valley’s Davis Mikell and Fairfax’s Chris Weiner. But four North errors allowed the South to tie the game again, 5-5, after nine. Owen chipped in an RBI single in that inning.
Then the North scored five in the 10th, with Stapleford contributing an RBI single, his second hit of the game. He also walked and scored in the ninth. Stapleford then nailed down the win with a 1-2-3 ninth, and finished with seven strikeouts and two earned runs allowed in five innings.  
After Owen set the tone in Game 2, the South shut the North down the rest of the way. OV’s Jim Winslow sparked the South’s five-run fifth by walking and scoring his team’s first and winning run; he also walked again that inning. Mitchell said OV catcher Tom Roberts also threw out a runner trying to steal during the action.
Commodore first baseman/catcher Wade Steele was the final local selection to the game, for the North team, and VUHS coach George Ringer led the North squad, with VUHS assistant Peter Stapleford helping him out. 

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