July 24, 2014

Outlaws run roughshod over tournament foes

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Observer courtesy photo Riley Fitzgerald threw a complete game in the 18-3 victory over the Ottawa Nepean-Canadians to clinch the Championship of the Heritage Summer Showdown, hosted by the Vermont Outlaws.

Riley Fitzgerald threw a complete game in the 18-3 victory over the Ottawa Nepean-Canadians to clinch the Championship of the Heritage Summer Showdown, hosted by the Vermont Outlaws. (Observer courtesy photo)

By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

Coach Tim Albertson’s under-age-17 Vermont Outlaws baseball combine has heated up with the summer temperatures.
A four-game sweep of the Heritage Summer Showdown for which they were hosts last weekend at Rice Memorial High boosted their win streak to eight straight and the overall record to 15-14-1 going into Monday’s contest at Lake Placid, N.Y.
After games Tuesday and Wednesday at Orleans-Essex-Caledonia County and Colchester, the Outlaws have a home game Thursday against Lake Placid at 5:30 p.m. A trip to Ottawa, Ont. is set for the weekend for a two-day, four-game tournament starting Saturday morning.
In capturing the three-day tournament last weekend, the Outlaws showed outstanding pitching, allowing just five runs in the four games while blanking two opponents.
In the final two games, the lumber swingers went, well, all batty in producing 17 hits in each game, capping the demolition with an 18-3 victory over the Ottawa Napeau-Canadians in the championship test.
Sam Mikell rapped four hits, scored three runs and drove home two while Jack Dugan slammed a triple and two singles, drove in three runs and scored four. Tanner Smith also belted three safeties. Riley Fitzgerald hurled the seven-inning route, fanning six.
In Saturday’s two outings, Outlaw hurlers dealt in goose eggs, zipping the Ottawa Knights 2-0 in the morning opener behind Andrew Bortnick’s two-hitter with 11 strikeouts. Catcher Dan Poodiack, the black and blue team leader, got hit by a pitch (again), singled and scored a run.
In the afternoon second game, the bats boomed for 17 hits and Tanner Smith checked St. Johnsbury on just three bingles in a 13-0 pasting. Fitzgerald pushed home four runs with a double and single, Dugan added a two-bagger and single while Poodiack, Tanner Stevens and Jordan Bell each contributed two hits.
The Outlaws opened the tournament with a 4-2 triumph Friday over the OEC Lightning as Stevens (five innings) and Bortnick (two) combined on a two-hitter.
OEC led 1-0 into the bottom of the fourth when the Outlaws struck for all four tallies with the key hits an RBI bunt single by Mikell and a slashing single up the middle by Smith which chased home another run.

Little Leaguers bash way to N.E. Regionals

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The Williston 11-12 year old All-Star baseball team won the District I Championship last week with a nail-biting 4-3 win over rival South Burlington in eight innings. (Observer file photo)

The Williston 11-12 year old All-Star baseball team won the District I Championship last week with a nail-biting 4-3 win over rival South Burlington in eight innings. (Observer file photo)

Bristol, Conn.? Here we come.
That’s the byword for the Williston Little League All-Stars after they smashed past Bennington Tuesday in a four-inning 27-0 championship triumph at Burlington’s Shifilliti Field.
The victory was a continuation of the Willistonians’ muscular explosions as they crushed four home runs including a grand slam and three-run jack by Griffin McDermott, who had four hits and eight runs batted in.
Joining McDermott in the slam fest were Aiden Johnson with a grand slam dinger and three other safeties and Ben Herskowitz, who rapped three hits including a solo four-bagger.
Joining the bopping party were Baker Angstman (four hits), Jonah Roberts (three hits) and Carl Layman (two hits, three RBIs).
Starting pitcher Storm Rushford worked the four-inning route and allowed but two hits in gaining the shutout.
In reaching the pinnacle of Vermont’s Little league world, coach Paul Angstman’s combine bumped off defending champion South Burlington in district play and upon reaching the state tournament, rattled off 45 runs in three winning efforts.
The Connecticut invasion takes place Aug. 1 with the Nutmeg State’s champions the initial test. The regional games are televised on the New England Sports Network (NESN).

Vermont boys zinged by Granite staters

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By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

An early shooting dry spell proved costly for the Vermont boys All-Stars Saturday as they fell 91-75 to the New Hampshire in the annual Twin State games for graduated seniors played at Keene State College’s Spaulding Gymnasium.
A big and mobile New Hampshire outfit rolled up an early 23-6 lead on swishless Vermont. Even though the Green Mountain guys got some offense going in the second half, they could not get closer than within nine points of the winners, who notched 18 of 26 three-point tries and fired at an overall 46 percent clip for the game.
On the Vermont squad was Luke Aube of Champlain Valley Union, who helped lead a second half Vermont comeback. He scored seven points and hauled in two rebounds in 12 foul-hampered minutes.
One of Aube’s teammates was Tommy Fitzgerald of Williston and Rice Memorial High, who started at point guard and nailed Vermont’s first of four three-pointers when it appeared New Hampshire was going to fly out of reach early.
Fitzgerald finished with seven points, tied for team high with 11 rebounds and led the helpers with five assists.
Both Aube and Fitzgerald agreed after the game that the early misses were costly. Vermont was just one of 13 from the floor and trailing 20-3 before Fitzgerald canned the triple.
“This was fun,” said Fitzgerald who will suit up in a couple of weeks for the Vermont team in the annual Shrine football game.
Jason Manwaring, from smallish Williamstown High, was named the Vermont team’s most valuable player Saturday with 23 points (9-15 shooting) and 11 rebounds in 28 minutes.

CVU quartet helps Vermont out-hoop N.H. girls

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Amanda Beatty had 13 points and three assists in the Twin State game, which Vermont won 79-66.

Amanda Beatty had 13 points and three assists in the Twin State game, which Vermont won 79-66.

By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

Call it the last rumble of the rampaging Redhawks (or at least this edition).
With four members of the last two Division 1 champion Champlain Valley Union High girls basketball team (47-0 last two seasons) helping out, the Vermont all-star squad of graduated seniors unloaded a 79-66 licking on New Hampshire’s stars Saturday afternoon at Keene State’s Spaulding Gymnasium.
Hey, Vermont victories in this game do not happen that often. After the triumph, the overall record in the annual series remained in New Hampshire’s favor, 17-12.
The difference probably is not surprising, given that the neighboring Granite State has well over one million folks to some 600,000 for tiny Vermont.
“This team really came together and cheered for each other and helped each other out,” said Vermont head coach Ute Otley of CVU after the contest.
The teamwork was admirable for Vermont, which had an edge (19-16) in assists plus a huge 61-45 advantage on the boards that was 41-26 on the defensive end as New Hampshire stayed with an outside gunning game rather than going inside to its sizeable post players.
The Granite Staters pegged away 28 times from international waters and sank only eight while Vermont launched only nine from outside the arc but nailed five, all from Rice Memorial’s Hailee Barron, named the winners’ most valuable player. She led the victors with 17 points while adding four assists, three rebounds and two steals in 21 minutes.
The CVU four all had solid performances.
Emily Kinneston, Vermont’s Miss Basketball for the last two years, was, well, herself. She had 13 points, hitting six of 13 shots. She cruised in among the tall timber to rip down a team-leading 13 rebounds, passed off for three assists and was officially credited with three thefts of the ball while actually forcing several more N.H. turnovers.
Amanda Beatty worked efficiently down low in elbow country and dropped in six of nine shots from the floor, plus a free throw for 13 points. She added two rebounds and a steal.
Kaelyn Kohlasch was three-for-four from both the floor and foul line for nine points. The steady guard also made two rebounds and blocked a New Hampshire shot.
Amanda Lougee thrived in the big crowd and came away with four points, five rebounds and a blocked shot.
There was plenty of other help. Burlington High’s Ilona Maher was a tough inside presence with 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals. Morgan Raiche of West Rutland High worked the boards for 11 rebounds while hitting five points.
Mount Abraham Union’s Ashley Fay, a speedy guard, popped four of five shots for nine points to go with a pair of assists.
Vermont got a quick start, storming to early 7-0 and 12-4 leads as all five starters scored.
But New Hampshire started hitting shots and came back to a 22-21 advantage. But then, Barron rapped for order. The Rice guard, who gave CVU some anxious moments in her four years as a starter, snapped the twine for two straight treys to put Vermont up 27-21.
After a New Hampshire deuce, Beatty connected for two hoops and a free throw and Kinneston bagged a hoop. Vermont was up 34-24 and rolled on to as much as a 71-47 lead in the second half before New Hampshire mounted a late but futile rally over the final seven minutes.
For the game, Vermont was 43.4 percent (33-76) from the floor while New Hampshire went just 30.8 percent (24-78).
Barron said she enjoyed playing with the Vermont stars, some of whom have been four-year foes, but likened it to AAU where they had played together in the past.
Inside operator Heather King from Lebanon, N.H. High was New Hampshire’s most valuable player. She had 17 points, five rebounds and two steals in 28 minutes.
Crowd numbers were in the 100 range and Vermont appeared to have the loudest and most enthusiastic cheering.
“It was like a home game for us,” said Otley.