MIDDLEBURY — The Addison County American Legion baseball team pounded out a 10-2 Northern Division win over the Burlington Lynx at the Middlebury College field on Tuesday to improve to 7-1 overall and 4-0 in the league.
AC and Essex remained the only unbeaten teams in the Northern Division heading into Wednesday, when AC was set to host Colchester in a makeup game after the deadline for this edition of the Independent. AC will travel to Colchester on Thursday before heading to Newport on Saturday for a doubleheader with the OEC Kings.
AC swept visiting South Burlington in a doubleheader this past Sunday, with one game counting in the Northern Division standings, and on June 25 dropped its only game, a non-league contest at home to Rutland.
On Tuesday night AC used nine hits — including a homer and triple by Sean Harrison and a Dean Butler triple — and five walks to score 10 runs to back Harrison’s solid work on the mound. Harrison allowed five hits and one walk in five innings, surrendering two runs, one earned.
AC coach Mike Estey noted that the Lynx were making contact, but that Harrison made pitches when he needed to and showed sharp control.
“They hit him a little bit, but he still threw well. He threw strikes,” Estey said.
After working out of a jam in the first, Harrison retired nine straight batters until a two-out walk, an infield error, a dropped pickoff throw and an infield hit produced Burlington’s first run in the top of the fourth.
By then, AC had scored six times. Harrison got things rolling in the second inning by pulling a two-run homer to right field. The ball bounced off the scoreboard behind the fence and scored Kyle Kayhart, who had singled.
Harrison’s three hits and three RBIs in the game gave him five hits and eight RBIs in the past two games — he tripled twice and drove in five runs in Sunday’s nightcap.
In the third, AC added four more runs when Lynx starter Nate Wark’s control deserted him. Wark walked Collin Curler, Logan Williams and Cam Curler. Collin Curler scored when the Lynx botched a rundown after catching him off base. Butler drove in Williams with a sacrifice fly, and after Kayhart walked, Harrison singled in Cam Curler. A Ben Orvis sacrifice fly plated Kayhart.
Singles by Burlington’s Given Campbell and Ben Vachereau created some suspense in the fifth. Frank Grady, who relieved Wark in the fourth, bunted Campbell to third, but Harrison forced Vachereau at second on the play. Campbell scored on a groundout, and then Harrison struck out cleanup hitter George Buteau to end the threat.
AC roughed up Grady in the bottom of the inning to put the game out of reach. Butler tripled, and a Kayhart sac fly made it 7-2. Harrison tripled, and Delorme singled him home. Grady surrendered a single to Orvis, and got the second out on a Dylan Bresnick fielder’s choice. But he hit Mickey O’Connor with a pitch, and Logan Williams plated Delorme and Bresnick with a soft single to center to cap the scoring.
Cam Curler threw two scoreless relief innings to wrap up the mound work.
Overall, Estey remains optimistic, particularly about his defense and hitting.
“We’re coming along. There are some guys who are starting who hit the ball pretty well,” he said.
If AC has a question mark, it is depth on the pitching staff. A couple athletes have yet to work their arms into shape, and early postponements mean the schedule will get heavy, Estey said.
“We’ll need somebody to eat up some innings,” he said.
On Sunday AC defeated previously unbeaten South Burlington, 11-0 and 13-2, with only the first game counting in the league standings. On June 25, AC lost a non-league game to visiting Rutland, 12-9.
In Sunday’s opener, Orvis tossed a one-hit shutout and struck out six. Addison backed him with a balanced attack: Collin Curler poked three hits, scored twice and drove in a pair of runs; Bresnick doubled, singled twice, scored a run and drove in one; Marshall Hastings singled twice, drove in two and scored a run; and Delorme singled twice, scored twice and drove in a run.
In the non-league nightcap, Collin Curler got the pitching win as Harrison sparked the attack with his two-triple, five-RBI outburst. Cam Curler drove in two runs with three hits and scored three times, and Williams singled twice and scored four runs.
In Friday’s loss to Rutland, AC fought back from a 10-1 deficit before falling short, loading the bases with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Harrison and Kayhart sparked the rally with two hits and two RBIs apiece. O’Connor took the loss, and Williams and Kayhart also threw. Estey said uncharacteristic lapses in the field led to some of the Rutland runs.
Andy Kirkaldy is at email@example.com.