Memorable Moments of the 1990s
Synopsis: The 1990s saw the program go from two wins in 1990 to 10 wins three years later, and a Metro South title in 1995. Toward the end of the decade, the home run became en vogue for the first time in nearly a decade at CHS. Decade record: 70-100. Three playoff wins. Decade batting average: .261. Weird fact: The 1997 team became the first CHS team in 20 years to have more strikeouts (131) than total bases (125).
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- April 26 at Missisquoi: The Lakers are cruising with a 4-3 lead going into the top of the seventh inning behind strong pitching from Brett Brosseau. Colchester tacks on four insurance runs in the inning only to see Brosseau run into a jam in the bottom half, allowing two runs before Whitney Lyman relieves him and allows three more runs. The 8-all score lasts until Travis Jocelyn allows a one-out run in the ninth. The Lakers lose, 9-8.
- May 3 at South Burlington: Behind Travis Jocelyn's home run, Colchester holds a 5-1 lead going into the bottom of the sixth and a 7-3 advantage heading into the last of the seventh. Starting pitcher Whitney Lyman allows one run without getting anyone out in the seventh and is relieved by Matt Weinheimer, who allows three runs without recording an out. The collapse is culminated in the one-out run Kory Merchant allows in the inning and the Lakers lose, 8-7.
- May 24 against Winooski & May 26 against Essex at Centennial Field: In two games as the home team at Centennial Field, the Lakers twice blow close games in the late innings and end their 2-14 season on a three-game losing streak, including losses in 14 of their last 15 games. In game one, Whitney Lyman holds the Spartans in check for seven innings and takes a 4-all game into the eighth inning only to combine with Matt Weinheimer in allowing seven runs in the final inning. Weinheimer allows three runs while only recording one out and ends up the losing pitcher as the Lakers rally for four runs in the bottom of the inning. Final score: 11-8, Spartans. In game two, Brett Brosseau allows only two hits but loses a complete-game effort, 6-1. The Hornets score four runs in the seventh inning to blow open a close game. In the two games, Colchester matches its opponents with four runs each in the first five innings but gets blown out 13-5 from the sixth inning on.
- April 23 at Champlain Valley: The Lakers rally for three seventh-inning runs to pull out a 7-6 road victory. Chris Montgomery starts the rally with a triple and scores on a groundout. Rob Shepard later follows with a two-out triple and scores on Kory Merchant's single to tie the game before Merchant scores the winning run later in the inning. Spike Green pitches 2/3 of an inning for the win and Tyler Cochran pitches the seventh for the save.
- May 2 vs. South Burlington: Colchester improves to 2-5 with a 9-5 victory, keyed by a six-run second inning. Jeff Pecor (double) and Keith Lavoie (triple) each collect bases-clearing extra-base hits in the inning. Tyler Cochran pitches a complete game for the victory.
- May 20 at Middlebury: The Lakers crush the Tigers, 17-7, as Jeff Pecor explodes for a big day at the plate: 2-for-4 with a three-run homer and six runs batted in. Chris Montgomery becomes the first Laker to score five runs, Tyler Cochran goes 2-for-4 with two RBIs, Kory Merchant doubles and triples, and Bryant Perry doubles. Cochran also picks up the victory.
- May 2 vs. Essex: The Lakers lose a heartbreaker to Essex, 11-6, in eight innings. Colchester trails 4-0 through 4-1/2 innings but rallies for a 6-5 lead going into the seventh. Essex rallies for one run in the seventh and five in the eighth for the victory. The Hornets open the eighth with a pair of walks and a two-run error, which sparks their five-run rally. Peter Rogers doubles and drives in two runs while Nate Brubaker drives in three runs. Tyler Cochran picks up the loss.
- May 7 at Missisquoi: Colchester blows a 5-3 seventh-inning lead and loses to the Thunderbirds, 6-5, with the winning run scoring on a wild pitch. Peter Rogers pitches a complete game and Todd Perry doubles.
- May 21 at Burlington: The Lakers rally from a 6-0 deficit to tie the game, only to succumb to a seventh-inning rally and lose, 7-6. Burlington's game-winning run scores from third base on a ground ball to shortstop. Trailing 6-0 after two innings, the Lakers mount a comeback with home runs in consecutive innings, the only homers hit by the team all season: Nate Brubaker delivers a three-run shot in the fourth and Scott Eaton hits a two-run bomb in the fifth, tying the game at six. Brubaker also picks up the loss after 4-1/3 innings of relief, allowing only the game-winning run in the seventh.
- May 23 against St. Johnsbury at Centennial Field: St. Johnsbury batters visiting Colchester with a 14-run second inning, drubbing the Lakers by a 16-7 score. Starting pitcher Jeff Pecor pitches one-plus inning and allows 11 runs. Scott Eaton relieves him and, in his only varsity pitching appearance, allows five runs in the remaining five innings. Colchester actually out-hits the Hilltoppers, 12-10, as all of St. Johnsbury's hits are singles. Nate Brubaker smacks three hits, including a double, Tyler Cochran rips a double, and Pecor legs out a triple.
- May 26 vs. Rice: The Lakers win an 11-inning epic, the longest game in their history, 4-3, when Sean Gilbert's single to left-center field plates Jeff Simays, who catches all 11 innings. Colchester leads 3-1 before Rice rallies for two runs in the sixth, necessitating the four extra innings. Fresh off a disastrous one-plus-inning, 11-run performance at Centennial Field, Jeff Pecor pitches the first 10 innings and allows only three runs before Nate Brubaker relieves him and pitches one inning for the victory. Bryant Perry doubles in the win.
- May 28 at North Country: Nate Brubaker picks up his second win in three days in an 8-1 victory. In his first career pitching start, Brubaker goes all seven innings, allowing only a solo home run in the seventh inning. Bryant Perry drives in two runs while he and Jeff Pecor double for the Lakers, who only score two earned runs.
- May 30 vs. Middlebury: Just three outs away from being knocked out of playoff contention, Middlebury scores the tying run in the seventh and two runs in the eighth and wins, 11-9. The Lakers blow leads of 6-2 and 9-4 in their season finale before Middlebury rallies for four runs in the sixth to tighten the score. Senior Jeff Pecor pitches all eight innings in his final high school game and finishes his career having allowed the most runs (122) in school history, a record he does not hold until the disastrous eighth inning, when he passes Ray Halnon (121). Bryant Perry leads the offense by driving in two runs and doubling while Tyler Cochran triples. Scott Eaton and Sean Gilbert each double.
- May 11 at Champlain Valley: The Lakers pound the Crusaders, 11-1, led by Bryant Perry's homer and double. Mike Johnson also homers for Colchester, and Peter Rogers pitches a complete-game five-hitter.
- May 15 at Milton: Visiting Colchester crushes Milton, 17-7, rapping 19 hits and scoring in every inning but the sixth. Nate Brubaker leads the attack with three hits and four RBIs while Sean Murphy slugs a two-run homer. Mike Johnson and Bryant Perry each contribute two hits while Joe Manahan and Jeff Simays each double. Kenny Boucher picks up the win.
- May 20 vs. South Burlington: In a rain-shortened five-inning game, Colchester blows out the Rebels, 10-2. Marc Ferlo has a career day with four RBIs, a run scored and three doubles. Nate Brubaker knocks in a run and doubles in aid of his complete-game effort. Joe Manahan and Bryant Perry smack doubles in the win.
- June 1 at Rice: Nate Brubaker pitches a complete-game two-hitter in an 11-0 victory, allowing only a single and a triple while striking out 10. Bryant Perry goes 3-for-5 and scores a run, and Jeff Simays doubles.
- June 3 vs. North Country: Peter Rogers wins a 1-0 game with a complete-game two-hitter. Nate Brubaker knocks in the only run of the game in the fourth inning, an unearned run. Rogers allows only a single and a double.
- June 10 vs. No. 11 Rice: Peter Rogers continues his dominant pitching with a playdown no-hitter in a 4-0 victory for sixth-seeded Colchester. Rogers strikes out five, walks six and hits a batter in his final high school pitching appearance. Bryant Perry backs Rogers with a home run.
- May 3 at Champlain Valley: The Lakers win a wild 15-9 game with a six-run ninth inning, keyed by two walks and three Crusaders errors. Colchester bangs out 13 hits, led by three from Jeff Simays, including a two-run homer. Marc Ferlo smacks two hits, including a home run, and Joe Manahan and Sean Murphy each contribute two singles. Mike Johnson also goes deep in the win. Southpaw John Hill pitches two innings of scoreless relief and picks up the victory.
- May 5 at North Country: Between long bus rides to and from Newport, Colchester drubs the Falcons, 15-0, led by Sean Murphy and his career day: 5-for-5, four RBIs, a double and two triples. Todd Charlebois doubles twice, and Craig Bessette doubles once while Kenny Boucher pitches a complete-game four-hitter for the victory.
- May 14 at Rice: Colchester pounds out 17 hits in a 19-2 throttling of Rice. Neil Scichitano pitches a complete-game five-hitter, striking out 10 and walking five. He also smacks three hits, including a double, and Jeff Simays adds two singles. Todd Charlebois doubles, and Adam Sicard triples in a game which sees Rice use six pitchers - a different pitcher in each inning, including two separate stints for one pitcher. Rice commits seven errors in the loss.
- May 18 vs. St. Johnsbury: The Lakers come as close as they ever had to being no-hit, being perfected for five innings by Geoff Shufelt before Shufelt is pulled to save his arm for a game that weekend. Shufelt strikes out 10, and the Lakers finally break up the perfect game when Tom Belisle doubles in the sixth for his first hit of the season. To put that hitless skid into perspective, the game is the eighth of the season for Belisle, Colchester's regular catcher, and he ends up playing every single inning all season. His hit ends up being Colchester's lone hit in a 10-0 loss, as the Lakers play without sick outfielders Marc Ferlo and Sean Murphy.
- May 31 at Mount Mansfield: The Lakers rally from a 6-3, seventh-inning deficit to tie the game at six on Kenny Boucher's three-run double, only to fall 7-6 when the Cougars plate the winning run in the bottom of the inning. Neil Scichitano pitches a complete game for the loss. Steve Wood adds two singles.
- June 1 vs. Middlebury: A fifth-inning single by Jeff Simays is Colchester's only hit, but the Lakers somehow pull out a 2-1 decision with a run in the eighth: John Hill leads off with a walk, followed later by a one-out walk; the runners pull off a double steal, forcing an intentional walk, and Tom Belisle hits a chopper to shortstop allowing Hill to score. In addition to scoring the winning run, Hill pitches 2/3 of an inning of scoreless relief in the eighth for the victory.
- April 25 at BFA-St. Albans: Senior D.J. Peters comes up big for Colchester, smacking a team-record-tying three doubles and pitching the last two outs in the seventh inning for the save of a 3-2 victory. After two runs had already scored in the seventh inning off of starter Kenny Boucher, Peters comes in with two runners on base with one out and walks the first batter before getting the last two outs on a pop-up to the catcher and a strikeout looking. Boucher pitches 6-1/3 innings for the victory.
- May 4 at Spaulding: Craig Bessette keys Colchester's seven-run seventh inning with a three-run homer, and the Lakers go on to a 13-6 victory. The home run is one of Bessette's three hits and helps Colchester break open a 6-6 game. Tom Belisle doubles and triples in the victory while Jeremie Blondin and Tom Dicesare also double. Kenny Boucher pitches a complete-game six-hitter for the win.
- May 13 at Vergennes: Craig Bessette and Steve Wood each rap three hits in Colchester's 9-6 victory. Bessette ties a team record by tripling twice, and Wood also legs out a triple. Tappan Little pitches 6-1/3 innings for the victory, and Alan Hill pitches 2/3 of an inning for the save.
- May 16 vs. Burlington: Seniors D.J. Peters and Tom Dicesare combine to pitch the third no-hitter in Colchester history during a 2-1 win. It ends up being Peters' only varsity start on the mound. He pitches four innings and picks up the victory while Dicesare pitches three innings for the save. The Lakers play flawless defense behind them, and catcher Tom Belisle doubles for one of Colchester's five hits.
- May 23 at South Burlington: Kenny Boucher and Tom Dicesare combine to strike out 11 batters and allow only two hits while pitching the first tandem shutout in Colchester history, 15-0. Dicesare actually picks up the victory because Boucher only pitches the first three innings. D.J. Peters leads the offensive attack with three singles while Dicesare, Tom Belisle and Craig Bessette each pick up two hits. Belisle, Boucher and Sean Murphy each double.
- May 30 vs. Winooski: Kenny Boucher has himself quite a day with both the bat and his arm, firing a two-hit, 9-0 shutout and smacking two doubles while driving in five runs.
- June 6 vs. No. 10 Mount Mansfield: Seventh-seeded Colchester loses its playdown game, 8-3, when seniors Craig Bessette, Kenny Boucher and Sean Murphy all miss the game for different reasons. Tappan Little, starting on the mound in place of scheduled starter Boucher, pitches well through six innings, allowing only five runs, but the Cougars tack on three more runs in the seventh inning off of relief pitching to put the game away. The Lakers are held to only two singles in the loss.
- April 25 at St. Johnsbury: Tom Hergenrother keys Colchester's one-out, seven-run rally in the seventh inning with a grand slam, the first in team history, and the Lakers outlast the Hilltoppers, 10-7. Hergenrother gets four hits in four at bats, including a triple and the big home run. Jeremie Blondin also doubles in the victory while Jim Dicesare picks up the win in relief.
- April 27 vs. Essex: Alan Hill tosses a gem, striking out four batters and allowing only a double, en route to a 3-1 victory. Steve Wood collects a single and double while driving in two runs, and Tom Hergenrother continues his hot hitting with four singles in five at bats.
- May 14 vs. Vergennes: When the Lakers lose to the Commodores, 3-0, it is Colchester's first loss to Vergennes since May 20, 1980, a span of almost 16 years. (To be fair, the Lakers didn't play Vergennes from 1986 to 1994.) The Lakers muster only one single in the loss.
- May 21 vs. South Burlington: For the first time in their history, Colchester is held hitless, as Rebels pitcher John Wells strikes out six Lakers in a 3-1 South Burlington victory. Wells also walks six in the win and allows an unearned run in the seventh inning. Laker Jeff Mongeon pitches all seven innings in his first varsity pitching start and allows only three hits, as all three runs he allows is unearned.
- May 25 against Winooski at Centennial Field: Travis Hilton's 10th-inning sacrifice fly drives in Jeff Mongeon, giving the visiting Lakers a wild 7-6, come-from-behind victory at Centennial Field. After falling behind 5-2 after only two innings, the Lakers rally for two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth to tie the game. Each team scores a run in the eighth, setting the stage for the dramatic 10th inning. Tom Hergenrother hits three singles and Steve Wood knocks two singles in the win, with Scott Tomasi also doubling. Alan Hill picks up the win in relief.
- May 27 at Mount Mansfield: Alan Hill throws a complete-game two-hitter and allows no earned runs ... and loses, 7-0. His offense musters six hits, but the defense makes four errors in the loss. Scott Tomasi picks up half of Colchester's hits, all three of them singles, and Jason Lestage hits a double.
- April 26 at St. Johnsbury: Jason Lestage's three-run double keys Colchester's four-run seventh inning as the Lakers turn a close 4-3 game into an 8-3 victory. Tom Klingebiel smacks two hits, including a triple, and Alan Hill pitches a complete game for the win.
- April 29 at Milton: Travis Hilton's fifth-inning bunt single ends up being Colchester's only hit in a 3-0 loss, one which sees the Lakers go down 14 times on strikes. Jim Dicesare allows only five hits in a complete-game effort but gets tagged with the loss.
- May 2 vs. South Burlington: Colchester is perfected through five innings before Mike Bouffard legs out an infield single for what proves to be the Lakers' only hit of the day in a 7-0 loss. In consecutive games, Colchester is held to two hits in 14 innings.
- May 22 at Vergennes: Colchester's offense finally sees the light of day in a 6-4 victory. Tom Klingebiel collects three hits, including a seventh-inning two-run double, Travis Hilton smacks two singles and a double, and Sean Chase drives in three runs on two hits. Alan Hill also doubles for one of Colchester's season-high 11 hits. Hill picks up the save in relief of winning pitcher Jeff Mongeon.
- May 31 at Hartford: With the 15th seed in the playoffs on the line, senior Alan Hill throws a no-hitter in his last varsity pitching appearance in a 5-1 play-in win. Hill strikes out 12 batters while walking two and allowing only an unearned run. Hill leads Colchester at the plate, as well, singling twice and driving in two runs.
- April 21 vs. Missisquoi: Sophomore Justin Bissonnette makes an auspicious varsity pitching debut, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning before settling for a one-hit shutout and a 9-0 victory. Bissonnette strikes out 11 while Nate Malley drives in two runs on two hits, including a double. Travis Hilton drives in two runs and doubles while Jim Dicesare also doubles.
- April 25 vs. St. Johnsbury: Mike Riley's three-run double comes in the middle of a seven-run outburst in the fifth inning, turning a 5-1 deficit into an 8-5 lead during an 8-6 win. Mark Carpenter and Travis Hilton each single twice while Justin Bissonnette goes the route for the victory.
- May 5 at Essex: In his first pitching start of the year, Tom Klingebiel strikes out 13 batters and allows only three hits in a complete-game 6-1 victory. Klingebiel also bats 3-for-4 and scores twice, and Nate Malley contributes a double.
- May 16 vs. Burlington: Colchester scores three runs in the sixth and withstands a Seahorses comeback in the seventh in a 9-8 victory. Burlington rallies to tie the game at six in the sixth inning after the Lakers blow an early 6-2 lead, but Colchester takes a 9-6 lead into the seventh. Burlington scores two runs in the inning before falling short. Justin Bissonnette goes all the way on the mound while Sean Chase and Tom Klingebiel each collect three hits and three RBIs. Chase triples while Jeremy Malley doubles.
- May 23 against Champlain Valley at Centennial Field: Justin Bissonnette strikes out 11 batters and allows only two hits in visiting Colchester's 2-1 victory. Twelve Lakers strike out, but Colchester takes a 2-1 lead in the second and holds it the rest of the game.
- May 26 at Rice: Jim Dicesare strikes out eight and walks one while allowing only a fourth-inning single in an 11-0 victory. Sophomore Luke Laroche singles twice and drives in two runs in his first varsity game while Jeremy Malley also singles twice.
- April 17 vs. North Country: Colchester's offense wastes no time getting into gear, scoring five runs in the first inning of the year en route to an 11-1 Opening Day victory. Luke Laroche bats 3-for-3, doubles twice, scores twice and drives in three runs. Nate Malley hits a two-run triple and pitches a five-inning complete game, striking out four while allowing only an unearned run. Jason Carey also doubles in the win.
- April 20 at BFA-St. Albans: The Lakers plate nine runs in the third inning of a five-inning, 15-4 victory. Ty Pratt doubles twice and triples, Mike Bouffard and Travis Clairmont each single three times, Nate Malley triples, and Jason Carey singles twice. Luke Laroche pitches a complete game for the victory.
- April 22 at St. Johnsbury: Colchester watches a 9-5 lead evaporate when the Hilltoppers score nine runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and steal a 14-10 win from the Lakers. Nate Malley goes 2-for-3 while driving in three runs and also gets tagged with the loss in relief. Jason Carey and Travis Clairmont each double.
- April 29 vs. Missisquoi: With the aid of a Ty Pratt home run, the Lakers defeat Missisquoi, 10-0, in a six-inning game. Luke Laroche adds two hits, including a triple, while Jason Carey doubles and Nate Malley pitches all six innings for the win. Pratt's three-run home run is the first home run hit by a Laker since April 25, 1996, when Tom Hergenrother hit a grand slam in St. Johnsbury (a span of 1,069 days); it is Colchester's first three-run home run since May 4, 1995, when Craig Bessette hit one at Spaulding (1,456 days); it's the first home run hit by a Laker at home since Sean Murphy's solo shot on May 21, 1994 (1,784 days); and it is the first three-run home run hit by a Laker at home since May 21, 1988, when Mike Myers went deep (3,975 days). Oddly enough, the next Laker home run comes just two days later when Luke Laroche homers in Burlington, and the next three-run home run comes on May 6 at Essex off the bat of Pratt.
- May 1 at Burlington: Luke Laroche leads the Lakers to a five-inning, 20-2 drubbing of Burlington, the most runs Colchester had ever scored on the road. It is also Colchester's first ever win in Burlington after eight losses. Laroche not only pitches all five innings, striking out five, but he also hits two doubles and a home run, scoring three times and driving in six runs, the latter tying a team record. Mike Bouffard contributes three hits - including a double - and three RBIs while scoring four runs. Jason Carey and Nate Malley each double. Colchester's fifth-inning 10-spot puts a 10-1 game out of reach.
- May 6 at Essex: Colchester earns a wild 16-13 win over the Hornets at the fenceless Essex High School field. The Lakers blow out to a 7-1 lead after 2-1/2 innings, aided by a four-run third inning. Addie Dion hits a line-drive, inside-the-park, two-run home run to left field in the inning. Essex scores four runs in the bottom of the inning to pull within 7-5, and the Lakers still hold a 9-8 lead after four innings. Colchester scores four sixth-inning runs and takes a 13-9 lead into the seventh inning, where they add some insurance runs: Ty Pratt hits what The Burlington Free Press estimates to be a 425-foot bomb to right field that turns into a two-out, three-run, inside-the-park home run. The 16-9 Lakers lead dwindles to 16-13 before Luke Laroche puts out the fire with 2/3 of an inning of relief. Laroche picks up the save while also scoring three runs, driving in two more and hitting a triple. Nate Malley records the victory with 6-1/3 innings on the mound, hits a double and drives in four runs at the plate. Dion finishes the game 2-for-3 with the home run and four runs batted in. Pratt goes 3-for-5, scoring four runs, driving in five and hitting the home run. Mike Bouffard and Jason Carey each bat 3-for-5 and score three runs, with Carey also smacking a double. The first six hitters in the lineup combine to bat 14-for-26 and score 15 runs, while the bottom three combine to bat 1-for-11 and score only one run.
- May 14 against Mount Mansfield at Centennial Field: Head Coach Dave Saddlemire picks up his 100th career victory when the visiting Lakers make an improbable comeback from a 6-0 deficit with eight runs in the top of the seventh inning for an 8-6 victory. Ty Pratt's two-run single ties the game and Luke Laroche's groundout plates the go-ahead run. Five bases on balls are handed out during the big inning and one batter is hit by a pitch. Nate Malley pitches a complete game for the victory on his way to a 4-1 season record.
- May 17 vs. Winooski: Bill Wooden strikes out 10 Spartans as Colchester blows away Winooski, 12-4. The Lakers bang out 15 hits, including seven of the extra-base variety: five doubles (Jason Carey and Ty Pratt two apiece, Jeff Boyer one) and two home runs (Pratt and Addie Dion). Boyer, Nate Malley and Travis Miles also contribute multiple hits.