Thursday July 24, 2014
The South Burlington 9/10 All Star baseball team’s rollercoaster season ended on the sixth consecutive night of games Friday evening, July 11. Despite excellent pitching and hitting, the team’s biggest asset might have been ‘player 14’, which was the code for the continuous support streaming from the dug-out.
The bats thundered in a win against Burlington American, when South Burlington scored 19 runs. Sullivan ‘Slugger Sully’ Beers received the game ball for superb pitching and a clutch double play to stop a Burlington American rally.
Ethan ‘Booyah Borick’ Borick pitched a complete game gem in the 1-0 loss to Shelburne, where hits were rare from both teams and Ethan recorded 8 strike-outs.
Next, Shane ‘Burk-A-Derk’ Burke crushed the ball with two doubles that bounced from the fence during at-bats against North Burlington in a 20-4 win for South Burlington.
In the team’s final ‘pool play’game, the bats came to life against Charlotte in a 16-6 victory when Raymond ‘Landlord’ Cheung and Kaiden ‘Mighty Oak’ O’Connor drove the ball deep into the outfield for extra-base hits. And, Luke ‘Speedy Fitz’ Fitzgerald hit his second error-free inside the park homerun in this game for a grand slam.
SB started off the double-elimination District 1 tournament with a 6-4 win over a tough Colchester team that launched numerous deep hits, including a game-ending liner in the bottom of the sixth that landed safely in a diving Zach ‘Zach Attack’ Erickson’s glove in right field.
The most dramatic game of the team’s All-Star season was against Williston. Kenny ‘Crush It Kenny’ Chamberlain made a brilliant heads-up play to tag out an overzealous runner at second base following a cleanly hit double. After 8 innings, the game was tied 0-0. In the top of the ninth inning, SB ripped 2 runs in a series of hits from Borick, Fitzgerald, and Burke. The streak continued with a hit from Sully Beers, but then ended with a triple play from a blazing line drive hit by Cheung. Amazingly, Williston came back to score three runs to win the game in the bottom of the ninth, 3-2.
SB bounced back quickly the following night with a dramatic 14-1 win over Vergennes. Ryan ‘Sweet 16’ Sweet stole home. Harper ‘Good Goodwin’ Goodwin pitched superbly in a closing role, winning the game ball for his team. John ‘Kaboom” Terhune’ used his excellent pitch selection to get a much-needed walk at a key point in the game.
An exhausted team took the field last Friday night, fighting like an old junkyard dog. Colchester scored early and continuously but broke the game open with 9 runs in the fifth. SB would not quit and a string of SB players had their first base hits of the season in the bottom of the fifth. Evan ‘La La Mothe’ LaMothe started things off, followed by John ‘Johnny P’ Patrick with exciting singles. The team managed to score 2 of the runs they needed but did not have enough in the tank for the third run to keep the game going.
Manager Matt Borick and coaches Paul Fitzgerald and Brian Terhune want to recognize the tremendous growth of the players and their positive attitudes. The players learned to gel around one another and to be resilient regardless of the circumstances. The coaching staff wishes to thank Tim and Donna Kaczmarek for their tireless efforts to support South Burlington Little League. The coaches wish to thank volunteers like South Burlington resident Todd Lawliss for umpiring the games. Finally, the coaches want to thank team parent Erin Begnoche and all of the families for their support.
SOURCE: Paul Fitzgerald, Guest Contributor