Having a mentor is a good thing; there appears to be no question that Bob Lockerby was Bill Lockerby’s mentor.
Bill earned his own baseball legacy, both at Bellows Falls Union High School and at American International College, BUT, when your playing days come to an end, it’s time to sit back and observe the coaching aspect of the game.
Obviously good baseball people, which includes Bill Lockerby, learn plenty while they play the game, BUT, when you have the opportunity to watch someone run a team for a number of years and they show a certain kind of consistency, you learn so much more. Bill was on Bob’s coaching staff for a number of years, and although you still throw your own spin on things when you are the headman, you also know, if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it and keep many things intact when you run the show.
Lockerby’s Pierce Lawton Post 37 baseball team had a strong season this summer. Lockerby told The Shopper/Vermont Journal early Monday evening “I am more than pleased with what our team did this year. I thought we could play with anybody, and for the most part, we did. I told you before the tournament began, we showed we could play the game by being 9-3 against anybody not named Brattleboro and Hartford. I think Hartford is the best, but on any given day, I think this team could beat them, too.”
Bill Lockerby basically said there is a Post 37 secret. “Bob’s philosophy was that every year our goal was to get into the tournament. Once you qualify for the tourney, you know anything can happen,” the first-year head coach told The Shopper/Vermont Journal. Such was the case this year.
“We played very well in our first game,” (a 6-4 victory over the North’s number one seed the OEC Kings), Lockerby pointed out. “Zac Streeter pitched very well, he threw strikes and kept them off balance. He threw something like 102 pitches and lasted 8 1/3 innings and then Josh Woods, finished up. That showed we were a good team and we played well,” the coach continued. “It was an exciting game,” Lockerby added, “and ended with a diving catch in right field.”
In the end, pitching depth was likely the biggest reason the Pierce Lawton team fell short in the tourney. “We actually hit the ball the best we hit all season,” Lockeby said, pointing out that Matt Gendron, Ethan Illingworth and Jacob Streeter led the hitting parade. BF took the lead in their second and third games of the tournament early, BUT, in both contests, the number of pitches the team had to throw, tired out the 37’ers arms in the end. Woods, who saved game 1, started game 2 and “pounded the zone with strikes,” Lockerby noted. HOWEVER, what appeared to be a small strike zone, built up the crafty lefty’s pitch count and contributed to wearing him down in the end. Despite the fact, Brady Illingworth, Matt Gendron, Colby Howe, Liam Hackett and Garet Andrus tried their time on the mound, their pitches were not effective long enough to keep things in check.
Post 37 led Rutland and their ace Andy Kenosh jumped ahead of Rutland early 3-0, BUT, by the time the Rutlanders rebounded and nine innings were complete, BF was on the short end of a 9-3 loss. One day later, Post 37 took another 3-0 lead, BUT, in time, Essex led 8-3, BF bounced back to 8-6 and had their chances, BUT, the arms down the line would not hold up and even though BF ended the night with the six runs, BF pitching just ran out and the final was 15-6.
“Ya, I guess you could say that’s fair,” Lockerby responded, when I asked IF when all was said and done BF tired out by throwing too many pitches each day. Post 37 was outscored 28-15 in the three games, BUT, since they hit the ball pretty well and they led in every game, they stood up well. Well enough to have their coach say, “I am more than pleased with what our team did this year. I thought we could play with anybody, and for the most part, we did.”