Sports

Mt. Abe baseball team claims Babe Ruth title

THE MOUNT ABRAHAM Eagles Senior Babe Ruth Team on Aug. 15 won the Vermont championship, defeating St. Johnsbury, 6-2, in the title game. The Eagles were made up of Mount Abraham Union High School baseball players and were coached by longtime program head Jeff Stetson.

“Allowing these guys to have that kind of a season at the end, and get some closure for their senior year, was very satisfying for me.”
— Coach Jeff Stetson

BRISTOL — Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck this spring and canceled their season, Coach Jeff Stetson and his veteran Mount Abraham Union School team were convinced they could make a run at a Division II title.
The Eagles might have had a point.
On Saturday, their Senior Babe Ruth team — made up of 14 Mount Abe baseball players, including six who were seniors this past spring — rolled over St. Johnsbury in the Senior Babe Ruth Vermont championship game, 6-2, in a contest played in Dorset Park in South Burlington.
Nolan Whitcomb tossed a two-hit complete game in the final, Ryan Whitcomb hit a key RBI double while the game was still close, according to Stetson, and Colby Lathrop sparked the offense with three hits.
In their semifinal win the weekend before, Nolan Whitcomb tossed a four-hit complete-game win over Chittenden County team Suburban, and in their win the round before Eben Clifford went the distance on the mound with a three-hit effort.
The Mount Abraham Eagles’ roster of recent alumni included Nolan Whitcomb, Clifford, Silas Burgess, Wyatt Thompson, Max Breault and Jackson Gepfert.
Undergraduates were Lathrop, Neil Guy, Carter Monks, Ethan Thompson, Ezekiel Savage, Adam Mansfield, Ryan Whitcomb and Tanner Harris. Dan Guy, Doc Beaver and Jim Carter assisted Stetson. 
In all, the team finished 11-6, 11-4 vs. Senior Babe Ruth competition after losing once in the five-team double-elimination tournament, and 7-3 in regular season league play. The Eagles dropped two non-league games to the Bases Loaded Bulldogs, a Burlington AAU team.
Stetson said all the Eagles were determined to succeed and enjoy their time together, and none missed a practice or game except for family obligations.
“Anybody who was not on family vacation, they all made every event. We had 14 kids there almost every night. It was great,” he said. “They were just so thankful to A, be to able share their passion for baseball, but B, also just to get together with the coaches and the players and just participate in something after such a long time of being isolated from everybody.”
Stetson said watching his athletes get the chance to prove themselves — just before many were going their separate ways — “made his summer.”
“I’ve had some pretty good seasons over the years, and I’ve got to say this is one that ranks right up there as one of the ones that’s most satisfying, just because of all the other stuff leading into this allowing these guys to have that kind of a season at the end, and get some closure for their senior year, was very satisfying for me,” Stetson said.
“To be together for the last time as a group and actually win a Babe Ruth state championship was pretty special for them.”

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