AC Legion basball opens with a win in three tries
MIDDLEBURY — The Addison County American Legion baseball team opened with one road win on Sunday at Franklin County sandwiched between home losses on Saturday and Monday to Essex and Colchester, respectively
AC was set to play at Stowe on Wednesday night before returning home on Thursday for a rematch with Colchester. AC will visit S.D. Ireland on Sunday for a doubleheader, host Montpelier on June 28 and 30 at 5:30 p.m. both days, and host Franklin County for a twin bill on July 2 beginning at 11 a.m.
The team’s home games are played at Middlebury College’s diamond on South Street, near Porter Hospital.
AC opened on Saturday with a 12-2 home loss to Essex. The local nine drew first blood with a pair of first-inning runs. Devon Kimball and Brian Foote led off with back-to-back singles, and Greg Whitney was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Dylan Raymond singled Kimball home, and Adam Whitcomb plated Foote with a sacrifice fly. AC’s bats went silent after the first: Kimball’s second-inning single proved to be the team’s only other hit.
Essex took advantage of AC starter’s Hunter O’Connor’s control problems to score four unearned runs in the second on three walks, a hit batsman, an error and one hit. O’Connor walked the first two batters in the fourth, ending his day, and Essex added four more runs, all unearned, after reliever George Bailey entered. Six unearned runs were charged to O’Connor; three to Bailey in two innings, one earned; and two earned runs to Will Wormer in one inning.
AC on Sunday picked up its first win of 2016, 7-2 at Franklin County. Whitcomb earned the complete-game pitching win despite striking out just one batter. He allowed eight hits, two unearned runs and two walks in seven innings.
AC scored three in the first, single runs in the third and fifth innings, and added two more insurance runs in the sixth.
In the first, Payson Williams walked and scored on a Chris Leach double. Leach scored on an error on a ball hit by Raymond, and Raymond scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0. In the third, doubles by Raymond and Whitcomb produced the run, and in the fifth Raymond walked, moved up on a Whitcomb single and scored on a Bruce Wright double.
In the sixth, Chris Wood was hit by a pitch, and Leach walked. Wood scored on a wild pitch, and walks to Raymond, Whitcomb and Wright produced another run.
On Monday, Bailey tossed a gem, but Colchester eked out a 3-2 victory in nine innings when Derek Sanderson hit a tie-breaking sacrifice fly.
Bailey took the loss despite allowing only two earned runs and eight hits in 8.2 innings; he struck out six.
“George threw a great game,” said Legion Coach Mike Estey.
Colchester scored twice in the fifth to take a 2-1 lead on a Jordan Bell double, a Jared Rylant triple (one of his three hits), and a balk.
AC took a 1-0 lead in the first, when Williams walked, Leach doubled for one of his two hits, and Sanderson uncorked two wild pitches. Sanderson tossed seven innings, striking out seven, and Cole Reilly earned the win with two innings of scoreless relief.
AC got multiple baserunners on in several innings, including on first and third with one out in the fifth, but could not score again until tying the game in the seventh, an inning they had the potential winning run thrown out at the plate and had a runner picked off third after a missed sign.
Adam Whitcomb pinch-hit for Liam Smith and walked. Wyatt Cameron then entered to run for Whitcomb. Williams then bunted, and both he and Cameron were safe on an error. Leach also bunted, and a Sanderson throwing error allowed Cameron to score and put runners on second and third.
But Williams was thrown out trying to score on a Dustin Whitcomb grounder to second base, and then Leach was nabbed off third when the next hitter missed a squeeze bunt sign. A strikeout then ended the threat and forced extra innings.
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