BRATTLEBORO — It took the Lakers a while to get their sea legs back after the 3-hour drive to Brattleboro, but once they did it was smooth sailing on to their first baseball state championship game since just before most of the team was born.
The No. 2 Colonels’ 4-0 lead through three innings vanished in a string of productive frames for No. 3 seed Colchester, which got within one in the fourth, stormed ahead with four in the fifth, and broke away with a 5-run sixth for a 12-5 win.
The Lakers (16-3) will face fourth-seed South Burlington (14-5) for the Division I trophy, Saturday morning at 11 at the University of Vermont’s Centennial Field.
It will be Colchester’s first title game since 2000, when the Lakers lost 8-7 to Mt. Mansfield. Tuesday’s game was the Lakers’ fourth semifinal in the past six years, but their first win.
Saul Minaya, Colchester’s junior ace, should be ready to take the mound again Saturday, with three days’ rest after throwing five innings in Brattleboro. Minaya struck out four and walked three while allowing five hits.
A pair of singles by Kam Pelkey, the first driving in two runs and the second one, fueled the Colonels’ strong start. But the Lakers held Brattleboro to just one run the rest of the way for the win.
Minaya also led the CHS offense with three hits and four runs batted in. Eben Provost followed with three hits and three RBI.
The Lakers edged the Wolves for the third seed by four points in the VPA index rankings, thanks to the Lakers’ 3-1 win when the teams met in the regular season, May 7 in South Burlington.