Thursday August 01, 2013
The South Burlington 9/10 All-Star team clinched the state championship with a dramatic 6-3 win over Bennington. Aaron “Smiley” Murakami closed the game for South Burlington after stellar performances from reliever Mason Klesch and starter Nolan “Sweet Pea” Antonicci, who won the game ball for throwing five nearly scoreless innings. Will “Bruins” Bruns made the game ending catch, deep in center field, with the bases loaded.
The game was marked by aggressive base running with players like Tyler “Tiger” Gammon who stole bases to get into scoring position to convert singles into scores. Seamus “MickeyD Grath” McGrath intimidated runners from behind the plate and limited Bennington’s ability to take extra bases on passed balls or steals. This was instrumental in limiting the Bennington offensive juggernaut who casually hit home runs in previous games and routinely scored 10 or more runs throughout the state tournament.
The game was truly a team effort where important advantages accumulated over time. For example, Ethan “We want more!” Moore burst from first base to catch foul balls for outs and Ethan “Booyah” Borick caught balls hit to shallow right field early in the game. Kaiden “Oak” O’Connor also made a great catch in left field and James “Insurance Man” Patrick’s patient pitch selection enabled him get a key walk. Luke Fitzgerald fired a throw from left field to hold Bennington runners at third and Devonte “DJ” Jackson had a quality at bat, driving the Bennington pitchers pitch count higher.
With a wide grin, and dripping with ice-cold water, Manager Mike Moore’s tireless efforts were well-rewarded as he watched the boys run with the state championship banner around the field. The team now travels to Cranston, Rhode Island, to represent Vermont in the New England Regional. Their opening game will be against the state champions from Maine on August 4, followed by games against the representatives from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
SUBMITTED BY: Paul Fitzgerald