Williston players thrive with Babe Ruth All-Stars (7/23/09)

July 23, 2009

Fourteen Williston baseball players are participating on three Babe Ruth All-Star teams this summer. The players are members of Suburban teams, made up of players from Charlotte, Shelburne, Williston and Winooski.


    Courtesy photo
The 13-year-old Suburban Babe Ruth team pictured above, which features Williston players Erik Bergkvist, Davis Mikell, Jamie Pierson, Ryan Schneiderman, Hayden Smith and Connor Stankevich and assistant coach Andy Dattilio, will play in the state tournament in Montpelier this weekend.

The 13-year-old Suburban team overcame a tough first game loss and rattled off five straight wins to win the District II Championship last week. The team will move on to the State Tournament, which starts July 24 in Montpelier.

Erik Bergkvist, Davis Mikell, Jamie Pierson, Ryan Schneiderman, Hayden Smith and Connor Stankevich represent Williston on the team, with Andy Dattilio serving as an assistant coach.

After losing the opener to Champlain Valley, 7-6 in nine innings, Suburban rebounded by beating Burlington 16-2, South Burlington 7-0 and Champlain Valley 16-5 in a rematch.

Those victories set up the championship match against Colchester. Since Colchester was undefeated, Suburban needed to win twice.

In a back and forth first game, Suburban was leading 4-3 in the seventh inning before pushing across four runs, led by RBI singles by Schneiderman and Smith, to secure a 8-4 win. Mikell and Pierce Farrington were excellent on the hill to keep Colchester in check.

In the second game, Colchester jumped out to leads of 3-0 and 4-1 before Suburban exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Singles by Farrington, Corey Hemingway, Bergkvist and Jacob Bray led to the first five runs before Mikell provided the big blow — a double to drive in two.

Bergkvist, Mikell and Farrington shut down Colchester with 6 1/3 innings of relief pitching, allowing only three hits and two unearned runs to wrap up a 10-5 victory and the District title. Stankevich finished the championship game with three RBIs, while Mikell went 2-2 with two doubles, two walks, and two RBIs.

Two and out for 14-year-old team

The 14-year-old Suburban team was bounced from the State Tournament last weekend, losing to Brattleboro and Franklin County.

Williston players on the team included Connor Brown, Joe Chevalier, Kirk Fontana, Alex Henning, Tucker Kohlasch, Dillon Ritchie and Cale Whitcomb. Eric Fontana served as a coach.

In the Sunday game, due to errors and Franklin County’s timely hitting, Suburban fell behind 7-2 after two innings. Suburban chipped away with scattered base hits and aggressive base running, closing the score to 7-4 going into the bottom of the seventh. Needing three runs to tie, Suburban scored two. The 7-6 loss eliminated Suburban from the tournament.

On the mound, Chevalier held Franklin County scoreless for the last three innings to give Suburban a chance to rally. Kohlasch went 4-for-4 at the plate and stole five bases.

As a testimony to the players, Tournament Director Sue Tesky complimented them on their spirit and sportsmanship on the field and their courtesy and helpfulness off of it. She singled them out as one of the top two or three teams she’s seen during her 15 years.

Benevento on mound for 13- to 15-year-old stars

Calvin Benevento was Williston’s lone player on the 13- to 15-year-old Suburban All-Star team. Mike Benevento was a coach.

Champlain Valley topped Suburban in the opener, 6-3. Facing elimination, Suburban beat Burlington 12-0 and crushed South Burlington 21-1. Champlain Valley won the District Tournament, however, beating Suburban 7-3 in the championship game.

Calvin Benevento was the tournament’s pitching star, allowing no earned runs in almost nine innings. Batters hit only .188 off him. He was particularly impressive against the Champlain Valley team; Champlain Valley scored 36 runs in 9 1/3 innings against other pitchers, but managed only two unearned runs in almost eight innings against Benevento.