Legion reaches 9-4 in Northern Division

MONTPELIER — The Addison County American Legion team remained in the thick of the Northern Division playoff hunt by splitting four recent games. AC is 9-4 in the league, 9-5 overall.
On Tuesday, AC won a back-and-forth contest at Montpelier, 4-3. On Sunday, visiting Essex rallied past AC, 3-2. And on this past Saturday, AC split a doubleheader at Burlington, dropping the opener, 8-7, before winning the nightcap, 8-2.
AC had been set to visit South Burlington on July 3, but bad weather forced that game to be postponed to this Thursday.
Including that game, AC has eight contests left on its regular season schedule. This weekend, the local nine is set to visit Franklin for a twin bill beginning at noon at BFA-Fairfax High School, and then host OEC on Sunday at Middlebury College for an 11 a.m. doubleheader.
On next Thursday, AC heads to Essex for one game before its season is set to conclude with another twin bill, at Middlebury College vs. Montpelier beginning at 11 a.m. on July 19.
AC, 4-3
On Tuesday, Sawyer Kamman earned the complete game win on the mound and scored the winning run in the fifth inning as AC edged Montpelier. Kamman surrendered 11 hits and two earned runs in seven innings, walking none and fanning five.
AC took the lead in the first when Kamman was hit by a pitch and Devin Hayes and Wade Steele singled. Montpelier took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of inning on two errors and a Dylan MacIsaac triple.
  AC made it 2-2 in the fourth. Steele singled, moved to third on a passed ball and a groundout, and scored on a Josh Stearns squeeze bunt.
Montpelier regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning on a single, double and a sacrifice fly.
AC scored the game’s final runs in the fifth with a two-out rally. Kamman tripled home Aaron Smith and then Hayes tripled in Kamman to make it 4-3.
Josh Kennison took the loss, throwing five innings, allowing four runs on five hits and two walks and striking out two batters.
ESSEX, 3-2
On Sunday, visiting Essex rallied in the eighth to nip AC. Smith, the losing pitcher, in that inning surrendered a single and two doubles as Essex scored twice to erase AC’s 2-1 lead. Other than that, Smith allowed only a first-inning run on a walk and an RBI double. He tossed eight innings and struck out four.
“Aaron threw a gem for eight innings,” said Coach Mike Estey.
AC scored both its runs in the third. Kamman — who reached base 15 times in 16 at-bats in the three weekend games on five hits, six walks and three errors — led off with a walk and scored on a Hayes double. Hayes moved to third on a Steele groundout and scored when Stearns laid down a squeeze bunt.
AC managed five hits and six walks in six innings off the Essex starter, but could not score again. Patrick Brodeur earned the win with three innings of scoreless relief, fanning four.
“We had some chances all day,” Estey said.
AC, 8-2
On Saturday at Burlington, AC bounced back from a disappointing opening loss to cruise in the nightcap. Hayes earned the complete-game win, allowing nine hits and a walk in seven innings, whiffing three.
AC took the lead for good with two runs in the first. Smith and Kamman walked and Steele reached on an error to load the bases, and Dylan Raymond singled and Stearns hit a sacrifice fly to plate the runs.
AC tacked on one run in the second on a walk to Chris Leach, a hit-batsman, an error and a Hayes sacrifice fly, and then broke the game open with four in the third.
Josiah Benoit and Joe Hounchell started the rally by drawing walks, and Smith singled home the first run. After Kamman reached on an error, Hayes singled home two runs before Raymond capped the inning with his second RBI hit of the day.
The final AC run came in the fourth on walks to Benoit and Messenger and Leach’s RBI single.
In Saturday’s opener, AC committed seven errors in a one-run loss. Benoit was the hard-luck loser, allowing just one earned run in seven innings on seven hits; he walked none and struck out five.
“Josiah threw well,” Estey said. “He should have won.”
AC managed seven runs on nine hits and six Burlington errors.
AC scored three in the first on two errors, singles by Kamman and Hayes and a Benoit sacrifice fly; two in the third on singles by Hayes, Aaron Benway and Benoit and an error; and two in the fifth on a single by Devon Kimball and three errors, the last one on a ball hit by Calvin Desforges that allowed both runs to come home.  

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