Local roundup: Big early inning sets table for Thetford’s semifinal baseball win

Staff Reports
Published: 6/8/2021 10:28:48 PM
Modified: 6/8/2021 10:28:50 PM

THETFORD — An eight-run explosion in the second inning proved pivotal for the top-ranked Thetford Academy baseball team, which held on for an 11-10 win over fifth ranked Hazen in Tuesday’s VPA Division III semifinals.

Hazen came out of the gates firing, scoring three runs in the first inning to take the early lead. The Panthers (12-3) rebounded in the home half of the second inning, sending 13 batters to the plate while putting up eight runs on nine hits. The teams traded salvos from there before relievers Mack Briglin and Jacob Gilman did enough to slow the Hazen attack and help the Panthers emerge with the win and a berth in the state championship game.

“It could have been easy to fold or get down (after Hazen’s quick start), but we persevered. We got to their starter in the second inning, and that’s when the tone of the game changed,” Thetford coach Phil Chaput said. “We added a few more runs, and Mack and Jake were effective for the final four innings. I’m proud of this team; they buckled down when they needed to.”

Ryan Malloy helped set the tone for the Panthers at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two runs scored. Nolan Pepe drove in two on two hits. Jackson Kingsbury was 1-for-3 with two RBIs. Lucas Gilman had a hit and drove in two. Logan Brinkman, Jake Gilman, Briglin and Justin Robinson each drove in one.

Brinkman started on the mound for Thetford, allowing five runs, four earned, on three walks and three hits in three innings. Briglin went the next two innings, walking two and allowing five hits but just one earned run. Gilman tossed the final two frames, striking out one while allowing a pair of runs on two hits.

The top-seeded Panthers will face No. 2 seed Peoples in the state championship game at Centennial Field in Burlington. The teams did not face each other in the regular season.

White River Valley 13, Proctor 1 (5)

SOUTH ROYALTON — The Wildcats banged out 16 hits and pitcher Curtis Barry needed just 52 pitches to lead the undefeated hosts to a dominant win in the VPA Division IV semifinals.

Carder Stratton led the attack for WRV, going 3-for-3 with five RBIs and three runs scored. Jacob Barry had three hits, including a triple, to drive in one while scoring three times. Alex Lober was 3-for-4. Dominic Craven also scored three runs while going 2-for-3 with a RBI double.

Tyler Ballentine had two hits and two RBIs. Robby McShinsky was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Curtis Barry helped his own cause, going 1-for-3 with a run.

Barry was efficient while toeing the rubber for the Wildcats, allowing just three hits while walking two and striking out five.

“He did a great job on the mound today. He got ahead of hitters and did everything we could’ve asked of him,” WRV coach Devin Cilley said.

The Wildcats will face Blue Mountain, who beat Arlington 5-1 in the other D-IV semifinal game, for the state title at Centennial Field. WRV (16-0) beat Blue Mountain in a 10-9 thriller in South Royalton on May 25.

Boys LacrosseRice 7, Hartford 3

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. — The Hurricanes (12-5) saw their season come to an end with a loss to undefeated and top-seeded Rice (12-0) in the VPA Division II semifinals.

Rice built a 5-1 lead at halftime and held off any Hartford comeback plans after the break. Joe Barwood, Aidan Boonyaharn and Brayden Trombley scored for the Canes. Goalie Tarin Prior had 11 saves.

Hartford will graduate Bentley Boonyaharn, Ethan Schaal, Remy Lambert, Jackson Balch, Colston Allen, Carter Nalette, Paul Cormier, Dan Kelliher and Jack Hinckley.

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