THE SUNCOOK VALLEY 12U team celebrates its District Eight championship on June 26 in Farmington. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
June 30, 2014FARMINGTON — The Suncook Valley 12U Cal Ripken team wrapped up an undefeated round robin portion of the District Eight tournament on Tuesday, June 24, defeating Farmington 10-5 to advance to the finals against Plymouth.
The double-elimination finals began on Wednesday, June 25, and Suncook got out to a quick lead. Devin Bedell got the start on the hill and got a little defensive help from Nate Cassidy in the first, as he scooped a low throw to get an out.
Bedell and Jeff Wagner worked walks in the bottom of the first, but they were both stranded and Bedell worked his way around a base hit and a walk in the top of the second inning.
Suncook got things going offensively in the bottom of the second inning. Calvin Michael led off the inning reaching on an error. One out later, a Josh Planchet base hit made it 1-0. Hayden Drew worked a walk and a base hit from Bedell loaded the bases. A fielder's choice from Nolan Sykes pushed home another run for a 2-0 lead.
Wagner took over on the hill in the third and put the side down in order and with one out in the bottom of the third, thunder forced the players off the field. Eventually the decision was made to bring the teams back the next day to pick up the action.
Wagner loaded the bases on a pair of walks and a base hit in the top of the fourth inning, but he worked around it nicely. Bedell worked a walk after Planchet beat out an infield hit, but neither runner was able to score in the bottom of the fourth.
Wagner worked around an infield hit and a walk in the top of the fifth and in the bottom of the fifth, Suncook got a little insurance.
Wagner led off with a walk and one out later, a base hit from Chris Daniels pushed him to third. A groundout by Michael plated Wagner to make it 3-0. Plymouth went in order in the top of the sixth to close out the win.
In the second game of the finals, Bedell again got the start on the hill and worked around walks in each of the first two innings. Suncook was unable to get anything going until the fourth inning, but by that point Plymouth was on the board.
With Sykes on the hill in the bottom of the third, a base hit, a stolen base and a base hit made it 1-0 for Plymouth.
In the top of the fourth, Sykes led off with a base hit and Wagner doubled to put two runners in scoring position. One out later, a base hit from Daniels plated both runners for a 2-1 lead. Michael followed with a base hit, but the two runners were stranded.
Plymouth had a big fourth inning, as they put up seven runs and they added another run in the bottom of the fifth inning for an 8-2 lead.
In the top of the sixth inning, Wagner led off with a base hit and stole second. After Daniels reached on an error, a base hit by Michael plated a run, but that was as close as Suncook got, as Plymouth took the 8-3 win, forcing a third and deciding game.
In that third game, Suncook jumped out to an early lead. Sykes worked a walk and doubles from Wagner and Daniels plated a pair of runs for a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Planchet got the start on the hill for Suncook and gave up a pair of runs in the bottom of the first, tying the score at two.
Suncook battled right back to take the lead in the top of the second. Nate Cassidy worked a walk and Planchet had a base hit to start the inning. After Drew reached, a base hit from Bedell plated two runs. After a Sykes groundout, a throwing error allowed a fifth run to score for a 5-2 lead.
Planchet worked around two walks in the bottom of the second and Suncook appeared to add to the lead in the third, but it was ruled that the runner left early on a fly ball and the score remained 5-2.
Suncook added to the lead in the top of the fourth inning. Cassidy led off with a base hit and after a force play by Planchet, a Drew base hit drove in a run and a double from Bedell plated another. A base hit from Wagner eventually allowed the run to get home and an error pushed across another for a 9-2 lead.
Suncook added a run in the sixth, as Bedell doubled and Sykes drove him in with a base hit for a 10-2 lead. Plymouth was able to plate a run in the bottom of the sixth, but Wagner came on to close the door, getting a popup and two strikeouts to clinch the championship.
Suncook will take part in the state tournament in Lancaster starting on July 5.
The Suncook roster includes Devin Bedell, Nolan Sykes, Jeff Wagner, Ryker Burke, Chris Daniels, Nate Cassidy, Ryan Dube, Hayden Drew, Calvin Michael, Cody Willette, Brennan Lavigne and Josh Planchet. The team is coached by Tom Drew, Chip Wagner and Ken Michael.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 569-3126 or email@example.com