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Legion nine wins two straight, back in race

MIDDLEBURY — The Addison County American Legion baseball team managed just five hits in two games this past weekend, but won both thanks to strong pitching and errorless defense.
On Friday, AC edged host South Burlington, 3-2, with George Bailey earning the pitching win and Hunter O’Connor nailing down the final out for a save. On Saturday at the Middlebury College field AC blanked Stowe, 3-0, as O’Connor tossed a two-hit shutout.
The victories pushed AC’s winning streak to three games and record to 5-8. The team remains two games out of a playoff spot with several teams involved in the race for the final two of the four Northern Division postseason berths at roughly the season’s midpoint.
As of Sunday, the Northern Division standings were: 1. OEC Kings, 12-2; 2. S.D. Ireland and Colchester Cannons, 8-4; 5. Essex, 6-5; 6. Montpelier, 8-7; 7. South Burlington, 6-7; 8. AC, 5-8; 9. Franklin County, 4-12; 10. Stowe, 2-10.
AC was scheduled to play a second game vs. Stowe on Saturday and then host OEC for a double dip on Sunday, but rain forced those games to be postponed. Coach Mike Estey said no makeup date has been set for the Stowe game, while AC will host OEC for a doubleheader starting at 3 p.m. on Monday.
AC was also set to host S.D. Ireland on this past Wednesday, but the team’s early schedule was heavy on home contests, and all the rest of its remaining games are on the road.
In this past Friday’s 3-2 win, host South Burlington got both of its runs in the first inning. With two outs, Bailey walked a batter and surrendered three straight hits to score the runs. But shortstop Wyatt Cameron snared a line drive to end the threat, and Bailey settled in from there.
In all, Bailey allowed nine hits and just that one walk, striking out seven. After a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh, Estey brought in O’Connor to end the game. O’Connor surrendered a single to the No. 3 hitter, but struck out the cleanup batter with the winning runs on base.
AC tied the game in the second. Dylan Raymond doubled to lead off and scored when SB misplayed a ball hit by Greg Whitney. Bruce Wright doubled Whitney home with two out to make it 2-2.
Devon Kimball led off the third with AC’s third and final hit, and Liam Smith hit an RBI grounder to score him with the eventual game-winning run.
In Saturday’s 3-0 victory, O’Connor surrendered two hits and five walks and struck out 11 in blanking Stowe. He allowed two baserunners in each of the first, third and fourth innings retiring the final 10 Stowe batters in order.
AC managed two hits, one of them in the third inning, when the team scored all of its runs. Calvin Desforges walked to lead off, and Cameron sacrificed him to second. Kimball singled to put two runners on, and two wild pitches and errors on balls hit by Dustin Whitcomb and Adam Whitcomb scored Desforges, Kimball and Dustin Whitcomb. Whitney singled in he second inning for the only other AC safety. 

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