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Locals shine in baseball all-star game

RUTLAND — Solid pitching — including from a trio of Addison County hurlers — and timely late-game hitting lifted the North to a doubleheader sweep over the South, 8-2 and 6-0, in the annual Vermont Baseball Coaches Association Senior All-Star Game Saturday at St. Peters Field in Rutland.
Middlebury Union High School graduate Josiah Benoit picked up the win in game one with two innings of scoreless relief. In that game, Mount Abraham’s Sawyer Kamman got the start and allowed just one unearned run in three innings of work. In game two, Middlebury’s Aaron Smith started and tossed three shutout innings.
Overall, six North hurlers combined over the 14 innings to give up 11 hits, one walk and only one earned run. Harwood’s Luke Russell earned the win after the North snapped the scoreless tie in the fifth in the nightcap.
Offensively, Gabe Dichard (South Burlington) doubled and tripled in the win in the opener and four RBI by Jonathan Palmer (Essex) helped complete the sweep in game two.
In game one, Luke Russell (Harwood) went 2-for-3 with a walk, scored twice and drove in two more, and his RBI single snapped a 1-1 tie in a two-run fifth. Zach Dichard led off the sixth with a triple and Elijah Eaton (Missisquoi Valley) singled in two more in a five-run outburst as the North pulled away for the 8-2 win. 
Josh Laroche (Missisquoi) also went two-for-three with two runs batted in. Kamman struck out four in the first three innings, and Josh Kennison (Spaulding) earning the save.
For the South in the opener, Dougie Avellino (Woodstock) had two singles and Noah Rizio (Burr and Burton), who suffered the loss on the mound, added an RBI double. Starter Zack Lanzillo (Mount St. Joseph) went the first four innings, giving up two hits and a run while striking out four.
In the nightcap, Palmer’s two-out triple scored a pair in the fifth to break the scoreless tie, and his two-out, two-run single added two more in a four-run seventh to back more strong North pitching. Smith, Russell and Jake LeVan (South Burlington) scattered just five hits, only one after the third, while not walking a hitter.
Russell also added another single and Wyatt Prue (North Country) went two-for-four with a RBI-double and David Laroche (Missisquoi Valley) chipped in with an RBI single.
Avellino singled and doubled for the South to finish four-for-five over the two games. Starting pitcher Matt Upright (Mount Anthony) allowed just two hits in four solid innings on the mound and added a single at the plate. Rizio also singled in the nightcap and went two-for-three in the twin bill. Matt Thayer (Windsor) caught every inning for the South on the day, scoring a run in the opener and singling in game two.

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