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Joyce Endee

Late rally sends Great Bay past Plymouth Babe Ruth


Berlin-Gorham athletes chip in for Plymouth team


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by Joshua Spaulding
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Sports Editor - Salmon Press Newspapers

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Kody Lemieux races down the first base line in state tournament action on Saturday. (Photo by Joshua Spaulding) (click for larger version)
July 22, 2021
PLYMOUTH — The Plymouth Babe Ruth 15U team, which also includes players from the Littleton program and the Berlin-Gorham program, was close to clinching a berth into the state finals on Saturday, July 17, in a game against Great Bay. Both teams entered the game undefeated in the tournament and the winner received an automatic berth to the championship, while the losing team had to move to the consolation bracket and try to win its way into the title game.

Plymouth scored twice in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 3-2 lead, but Great Bay came back in the top of the seventh inning and plated three runs to take the 5-3 lead and hung on for the win.

The game was played in less than ideal weather, with rain coming through Plymouth in a couple of bands, including a downpour as the game was coming to a close.

Great Bay got on the board in the first inning against Plymouth starter Johnny Flaherty. He walked the first batter and after a couple of hit batters, he issued another walk to force in a run. The hurler got out of trouble, however, as catcher Camden Stratton made a nice grab of a foul pop behind home plate and then a strikeout ended the inning.

Plymouth got a two-out double from Blake Fillion and Stratton followed with a walk in the bottom of the first, but they were both stranded. Flaherty pitched a perfect second inning, getting a nice grab from Fillion at shortstop to help out.

The hosts tied the game in the bottom of the second. With one out, Flaherty worked a walk and took second on a balk. Tyler Dekutoski reached on an error and one out later, Noah Dutille hustled down the first base line to reach on an error and Flaherty dived home with the first run on a wild pitch moments later. Dekutoski tried to score on another wild pitch, but he was cut down at the plate to end the inning.

Flaherty set the side down in order in the top of the third inning and Kody Lemieux reached on a walk to open the bottom of the inning, stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch, but he was stranded on the bases.

Great Bay threatened in the top of the fourth. With one out, a base hit and two walks loaded the bases. The next batter lofted a foul pop fly behind third base. Tim Ryan charged back and snagged the ball, stopping just short before running out of play and then turned and fired a perfect throw to Stratton, gunning down the runner at the plate, ending the inning.

Plymouth went in order in the bottom of the fourth inning and Great Bay added a run in the top of the fifth. Two walks, a hit batter and a bloop hit pushed the second run across. However, the next batter lined a shot to Cam Manning at first base and he raced to the base and turned it into a double play. Manning then caught a foul pop up to end the inning.

Plymouth took its first lead of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. Dekutowski led off with a walk and Owen Cahoon also worked a walk. One out later, Lemieux walked to load the bases and Plymouth took advantage of a little sloppiness. A squeeze attempt was popped up and the Great Bay pitcher was able to catch the ball. The Plymouth runners were way off the bases, but nobody covered third and Dekutowski got back to third. The Great Bay pitcher fired to first in an attempt to double off Lemieux, but threw the ball away, allowing Dekutowski to score to tie the game. Moments later, Cahoon raced home on a wild pitch to give Plymouth the 3-2 lead. Fillion worked a walk to keep the inning going, but Plymouth couldn't get another run across.

Lemieux took over on the mound for Plymouth in the sixth inning and gave up a leadoff base hit. The next batter grounded to short for a force play at second, but the umpire ruled that the runner slid out of the base path to try and take out the defensive player and ruled the runner at first out as well. Lemieux then got a line drive to short to end the inning.

Plymouth went in order in the bottom of the sixth inning before Great Bay came out and took the lead back in the top of the seventh inning. With one out, three consecutive walks loaded the bases and coach Gary Finkle brought in Fillion to pitch in the pouring rain. An error allowed the tying run to score and one out later, a base hit off the third base bag drove in a pair of runs for the 5-3 lead before the inning was over.

Plymouth went down in order in the bottom of the seventh, sending Great Bay to the championship game and forcing Plymouth to play Lamprey River in the consolation bracket finals. Plymouth fell to Lamprey River 12-2 later that afternoon and Lamprey River went on to beat Great Bay twice on Sunday to win the state championship.

Sports Editor Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 279-4516, ext. 155 or josh@salmonpress.news.

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