American Legion baseball picks up its first three wins

MIDDLEBURY — The Addison County American Legion baseball team bounced back from its slow start, winning three of five games between July 6 and 12 to improve to 3-8 heading into a busy weekend, when games were played after the deadline for this sports section. 
AC broke into the win column by sweeping a July 9 doubleheader at Montpelier and also knocked off host South Burlington on July 12. The Orleans-Essex-Caledonia (OEC) Kings won on AC’s home field on July 6, and host S.D. Ireland knocked off AC on July 11. 
AC will have to have kicked into high gear starting this past Friday to have any chance at a Northern Division playoff berth. A doubleheader at Franklin County on Friday was set to kick off a stretch of seven games in six days for the local nine: They were set to host home doubleheaders vs. South Burlington and Franklin on Saturday and Sunday, respectively; visit OEC for another twin bill on Tuesday; and then hit the road again on Wednesday for a date with the Colchester Cannons. 
In their recent successful stretch, Adam Whitcomb picked up two pitching wins, while Chris Wood, Devin Kimball, Oakley Gordon, Dustin Whitcomb and Hunter O’Connor swung the hottest bats.
AC over SB, 7-0
On this past Wednesday, Adam Whitcomb and Dustin Whitcomb teamed up to toss a four-hit shutout as AC defeated host South Burlington, 7-0. Adam Whitcomb threw the first five innings to earn the win, surrendering three hits and a walk, and Dustin Whitcomb mopped up. 
AC got on the board with four runs in the third. Wyatt Cameron singled, Liam Smith was hit by a pitch, Wood reached on an error and Kimball singled the first two runs in. A batter later Dustin Whitcomb singled in Wood and Kimball. 
In the fourth, Kimball singled, Gordon walked, and Kimball scored on an error. In the fifth, Jeffrey Stearns singled and scored on an error, and in the seventh Nick Kaufman walked and eventually scored the final run on a groundout.  
OEC WINS, 10-4
Back on July 6, the visiting OEC Kings scored six times in the top of the seventh to erase a 5-4 AC lead and prevail, 10-4. Adam Whitcomb, who had pitched a scoreless sixth, got roughed up for a double, three singles and a walk before Cameron came on to put out the fire, but not before surrendering the final OEC run. Dustin Whitcomb had started and allowed four runs on five hits and a walk in five innings. 
AC scored four runs in the fourth. Wood was hit by a pitch, and Kimball, Gordon, and Dustin Whitcomb all followed with singles, which combined with two wild pitches scored the first three runs. An Adam Whitcomb sacrifice fly plated the fourth run. AC took the lead in the sixth, when Wood reached on an error and scored on Gordon’s single.
For OEC, Brady Perron doubled twice, including in the seventh, and Jasper Rankin and Tyler Weeks each doubled and singled. 
On Sunday, AC won the opener vs. host Montpelier, 12-0, in five innings as Adam Whitcomb allowed just one hit and one walk and fanned three. AC scored its runs on six hits, 10 walks, three errors and two wild pitches. O’Connor led the way with two hits and three runs.
AC scored three in the third on singles by O’Connor, Cameron and Wood and an error. In the second O’Connor singled and eventually scored on a Cameron squeeze bunt.
Montpelier’s wheels came off in the fourth, when AC scored six times on six walks, an error and Liam Smith’s RBI groundout. AC added two more in the fifth on an error, a walk, two wild pitches and an Adam Whitcomb single.
AC kept scoring in the nightcap, an 18-7 win that included a seven-run first and a five-run fourth. Cameron pitched 2.3 innings in relief of Wormer, the starter, allowing one run on four hits to earn the win. Dustin Whitcomb tossed an inning of relief. 
Offensively, George Bailey (three hits, three runs), Wood (double, two singles, two runs), and Gordon and O’Connor (three hits, two runs each) led AC’s 17-hit attack. Keion Correll and Dustin Whitcomb also scored two runs apiece as AC also took advantage of six more errors in finishing off Montpelier in six innings to close out the doubleheader. 
S.D. IRELAND wins, 9-2
On Tuesday, host S.D. Ireland coasted to a 9-2 win over AC at Champlain Valley Union High School. AC took a short-lived 1-0 lead in the first, when Gordon singled and scored on O’Connor’s two-out hit, but SDI roughed up O’Connor, Cameron, Will Wormer and Wood on the way to the victory. 
AC picked up its second run in the fourth, when Patrick Messenger doubled and Cameron singled him home. 
Collin Vincent picked up the win for SDI. Storm Rushford and Chris O’Brien each knocked out two hits and scored twice for the winners, while Kyle Rivers drove in two runs with two hits. 
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