By Mal Boright
With a three-game winning streak in tow, the 10-14-1 Vermont (under age 17) Outlaws had home games Wednesday (after the Observer’s press deadline) and Thursday before playing host to the 10th annual Heritage Summer Showdown starting Friday at Rice Memorial High.
The Orleans-Essex-Caledonia Lightning visited the Outlaws Wednesday with the Vermont Jays at Rice for a 5:30 p.m. contest Thursday.
Coach Tim Albertson’s Outlaw nine will open the tournament Friday at 3 p.m. against the Lightning. Two games are slated for Saturday: the Ottawa Knights at 9 a.m. and St. Johnsbury at 5:30 p.m.
A championship round will be played Sunday, pairings to be determined.
The victory string got a serious boost Monday with a doubleheader sweep of the Junior Cannons in Colchester, 12-1 and 10-0.
Pat McHugh threw a complete game one-hitter in the opener, whiffing 11 batters. McHugh also contributed a two-run triple and single to the offense, while Dan Poodiack unloaded three singles and got hit by a pitch while driving home three runs and scoring four times. Sam Mikell collected three hits and a pair of RBIs.
In the nightcap, Andrew Botnick struck out seven batters. Dave Whitcomb bashed two hits to drive in three runs while Jack Dugan had three hits and Riley Fitzgerald whacked a three-bagger and drove in a tally.
The triumphs at Colchester followed a spilt of Sunday’s two home games with St. Johnsbury, which rapped the Outlaws 12-6 in the opener only to get rapped 12-1 by the Outlaws in the second game.
Chief bashers in the Outlaws’ win were Chris O’Brien with three hits and four RBIs and Pat McHugh with four RBIs on a double and sacrifice fly. Mikell had two singles and scored twice while Poodiack knocked a double and single, got hit by a pitch (again) and scored three times.
Thomas Stevens hurled five innings, allowed but two hits and struck out eight.
In the opening defeat, Alex Kent stroked a pair of singles and tallied twice while Connor Barton lashed a double.
Earlier last week, the Outlaws were at the prestigious Coopers Cave Tournament in Saratoga, N.Y. and went 1-4 in the event which draws senior American Legion teams and others from around the northeast.
The win came on July 9, a 6-5 victory over the Granville, N.Y. Legion team thanks to a walk-off broken bat RBI single by Barton, his second hit and second RBI of the contest. Poodiack slapped two singles and got hit twice by pitches.
Earlier in the day, the Outlaws had bowed to R and R Legion of Rhode Island 11-4. On Thursday they got tripped twice, 10-0 by Shrub Oak, N.Y. and 20-1 by Kingston, N.Y.
In Friday’s finale, the Outlaws dropped a 12-1 decision to host Saratoga.