By Mal Boright
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.