Legion nine splits four home contests
MIDDLEBURY — The Addison County American Legion baseball team split four home games over the weekend, including dealing South Burlington its first loss, and stood at 4-7 heading into a Tuesday game at Colchester played after the early holiday deadline for this edition of the Independent.
AC swings back into action this weekend at home. The county Legion team will host Franklin County for three games: first at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and then at 11 a.m. for a Saturday doubleheader. Non-league foe The Bulldogs will take on AC at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Coach Cameron Curler said he will confer with the Bulldog coach on whether the teams will play one nine-inning game or a doubleheader.
This past weekend AC opened on Friday with a 7-0 victory over visiting Barre in which Wyatt Cameron pitched a complete-game, two-hit shutout and faced one batter over the minimum. Cameron struck out seven, walked none and threw only 75 pitches. Barre’s Dalton Cody had both hits, a leadoff singe in the fourth inning and a two-out double in the sixth inning after which Cameron picked him off. AC played errorless ball behind the team’s ace.
Nolan Whitcomb paced AC offensively with two hits, three RBIs and two runs scored. Nolan Whitcomb and Ryan Whitcomb both poked RBI singles in AC’s five-run fifth inning, which broke open a 2-0 game.
On Saturday AC split a doubleheader with visiting South Burlington, winning the opener, 3-2, before falling in the nightcap by the same score. SB entered the day with a 5-0 record.
Dustin Whitcomb started the opener for AC and tossed three innings, allowing one earned run in the second that gave SB a 1-0 lead.
AC tied the game in the bottom of the third, when Tucker Stearns led off with one of his two hits and eventually scored on a Dustin Whitcomb sacrifice fly.
With Coach Curler being mindful of pitch counts, Nolan Whitcomb came on in the fourth to pitch and ended up being the winning pitcher after allowing one hit over 1.2 innings.
AC scored three runs in the fourth, an inning keyed by Cooper O’Brien’s lead-off walk and stolen base, Hale Hescock’s RBI hit, and a misplay on a ball hit by Stearns.
Payson Williams relieved Nolan Whitcomb with a 3-1 lead and two outs and one runner on base in the fifth. Williams got out of the inning and gave way to Hescock with a runner on third and one out in the sixth. Hescock induced two fly ball outs on two pitches to end the inning, with one run scoring.
In the seventh, SB’s first two batters singled, one on a bunt, to reach base. Hescock, who earned a save, struck out the next batter, and then AC ended the game with a double play. The next batter hit a fly to Stearns, who threw to third base as both runners tagged. Cameron, the shortstop, cut-off the throw and caught the trail runner in a rundown between first and second, and O’Brien at first base tagged him to end the game. Cameron also had two hits in the game.
In game two vs. SB Stearns again led off with a single, and this time after he stole second Cameron singled him home.
Adam Mansfield started on the mound for AC and threw three scoreless innings. But the first four SB batters reached in the fourth inning, and three of them scored. Ryan Whitcomb came on in relief and escaped the jam. Whitcomb held SB at bay, tossing four scoreless innings, allowing four hits and striking out two.
AC tried to cut the deficit in the fifth inning, but O’Brien was thrown out trying to score from second base on a Nicholas Kaufmann single. AC made it 3-2 in the sixth, when Wyatt Cameron, who finished with two hits, doubled with two outs to score Robbie Bicknell, who had singled and stolen a base. Cameron was stranded when SB’s centerfielder snagged Dustin Whitcomb’s drive to center field, making a running catch with his back to home plate.
AC got the tying run to second in the seventh on a Casey Kimball leadoff walk and a sacrifice, but SB held on.
On Sunday the Colchester Cannons breezed past AC, 10-0, in five innings. Colchester opened the game with three straight extra-base hits in a five-run first inning off losing pitcher Nolan Whitcomb.
Williams allowed two runs in the 3.1 innings pitched in relief and also doubled for AC. Hale Hescock tossed the fifth inning and allowed one run.
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