Less than a month after the combined Peoples Academy/Stowe High baseball team won the high school state championship, a team of Lamoille County’s best young players went undefeated in the district tournament in St. Albans.
In the tournament, held over the Independence Day weekend, the 8-to-10-year-old All Stars beat St. Albans and Fairfax, and then beat Essex Junction twice to take the title.
Pitching for Lamoille was led by Blaine Gillespie and Jackson Stram. Gillespie started all four games and allowed only one earned run while facing 64 batters, striking out 28.
Stram, as a relief pitcher, faced 24 batters, striking out 15.
“This 1-2 punch on the mound, who consistently pounded the strike zone, was a big contributing factor for LC’s success in the tournament,” coach Andrew Gillespie said. Catcher Sawyer Bornemann “was a wall behind the plate.”
“He kept opposing base runners at bay with his extremely strong arm, denying steals from the opposition,” Gillespie said.
The coach also recognized solid fielding from first baseman Jack Bruno, second baseman Stevie Barnes, third baseman Hugo Vanovac, and from Stram at shortstop, “a great support crew in the infield.”
“Outfielders Kamden Dubuque, Ryan Hughes, Cedar Keaton, Max Lund, Connor Mayo, Owen Ruane, and Liam West performed extremely well, making all the routine plays, and kept the other teams to singles, denying extra bases when balls were hit to them,” Gillespie said. “Speed and smart base running allowed Lamoille County to put runs on the board.”
Offense was provided by Barnes, Bornemann, Bruno, and Vanovac.
Stowe High School’s baseball team folded in 2012, after too few players signed up to form a team, and it hasn’t been a varsity sport at Stowe since. This year’s D-3 champion team was deep with Stowe talent, the result of more than a decade of work by volunteer parent-coaches who shepherded a robust farm league for the county, including a large Stowe contingent.
The 8-10 All Star Team consists of nine players from Stowe — Stevie Barnes, Jack Bruno, Blaine Gillespie, Ryan Hughes, Cedar Keaton, Max Lund, Connor Mayo, Owen Ruane, Jackson Stram and Hugo Vanovac.
There are two Hyde Park players — Sawyer Bornemann and Kamden Dubuque, and one Morrisville player, Liam West.
Team manager Andrew Gillespie, from Stowe, has had help from assistant manager Eric Bornemann of Hyde Park, and bench coach Ben Keaton of Stowe.
The team will play in the Little League 8-10 All Stars tournament in St. Johnsbury, starting next Friday, July 23.