Going further in the Little League All Star District 4 tournament than any Mad River baseball team of 8- to 10-year-olds since the 1990s, the self-named Mad River Bad News Bears forced a second championship game last weekend in St. Johnsbury. After an amazing run that included beating Lyndon 13-0 (a game in which Waitsfield’s Jack Lacey, 10, who also led the team with a 0.736 batting average, pitched a no-hitter), beating Cal West 24-0 in three innings and beating St. Johnsbury 5-0 (a no-hitter pitched by Logan Huffman and Ryan Lacey, both 10, of Waitsfield), Mad River beat Connecticut Valley North (CVN) 6-5 in the championship game on Saturday, July 13. However, because CVN was undefeated and Mad River had lost to them previously in the tournament, Mad River had to beat them a second time on Sunday and came up short in a tough game.
The tournament play was a team effort that included stellar hitting and great infield and outfield play, with Seve Cohen (8, Warren) starting as pitcher against CVN in the championship game, Mason Quenneville (9, Moretown) starting in Sunday’s second championship game, and additional great pitching efforts from Johnny Butler (10, Warren) and Sam Murphy (10, Moretown). The team ended each practice and game by talking about what other players did well and repeating coach David Babic’s formula for success: “Talent x effort = skill, skill x effort = achievement. Effort counts twice as much!”