White River Junction advances at states

Published: 7/30/2021 9:52:50 PM
Modified: 7/30/2021 9:52:54 PM

BRANDON, Vt. — White River Junction Post 84 made the most of a busy Friday, earning two victories to advance in the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination Vermont American Legion state baseball tournament.

Post 84 held off the Colchester Cannons, 5-4, and followed up with a 4-1 victory over Franklin County Post 1 in contests played at Otter Valley Union High School.

WRJ (13-8) is the third seed out of Vermont’s Southern Division.

White River Junction scored twice in the bottom of the fifth inning to get past the Cannons. Nick Martin singled, Carder Stratton was hit by a pitch and Ethan Belvin delivered both with a two-run, two-out single. Alex Bushway made it stick, going the distance on 92 pitches for the mound win. Belvin, Bushway and Nate O’Donnell all scored in a three-run second for WRJ, which erased a 2-0 deficit only to have Colchester regain the lead one inning later.

Post 84 never trailed against Franklin County, scoring in the third, fourth and fifth frames. Stratton needed just 78 pitches to produce a complete-game four-hitter, striking out four with just one intentional walk.

Jake Barry singled four times in four trips to the plate, driving in Stratton in the third inning, scoring in the fifth and reaching base again in the seventh. 

Drew Martin had an RBI sacrifice fly in the fourth to plate Jacob Dwinell with the eventual game-winning run in the fourth. Belvin added a two-run single in the fifth to give Stratton a cushion.

WRJ will need to win two more games on Saturday to stay alive in the tournament. All action will take place at St. Peter’s Field in Rutland, with Post 84’s first contest set for a 1 p.m. start. 

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