THE MWV 10U Cal Ripken team poses for a photo after winning the District Eight championship on June 26 at Whitaker Field. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
July 02, 2012NORTH CONWAY — There was no doubt that the two best teams were in the finals.
Plymouth and Mount Washington Valley had been the dominant forces in the Cal Ripken District Eight 10U tournament over the previous weekend, so the fact that both teams were in the tourney finals on Tuesday, June 26, came as a surprise to nobody.
And it likely came as no surprise that the deciding game came down to the last inning.
What might have come as a surprise, however, was the fact that the first game of the championship round wasn't even close at the end.
MWV beat Plymouth by an 8-1 score in the first championship game and then came up with two runs in the top of the sixth inning in the second championship game to seal the District Eight championship by a 4-3 score.
The pivotal moments in the deciding game for the MWV team came in the bottom of the fifth inning, with Plymouth ahead by a 3-2 score.
Plymouth leadoff hitter Henry Green reached on an error and took second on a wild pitch. The speedy third baseman then sprinted for third when the base appeared uncovered. MWV shortstop Ethan Ouellette broke for third as well and catcher Braeden Bailey gunned a throw to third, just nabbing the sliding Green for the inning's first out.
Nicholas Qualey followed with a base hit for Plymouth and Bailey promptly gunned him down stealing second for the inning's second out, keeping Plymouth from adding on runs and allowing the MWV team to rally in the top of the sixth inning for the win.
Derek Dascoulias reached to start that inning when Jack Corbeil's foot came off the bag on a throw to first. Three wild pitches later, the game was tied. Dominic Jones then worked a walk off of Plymouth hurler Cody Bannon and a base hit by Chase Spencer pushed him around the bases and Jones scored after an error on the play to give MWV its first lead of the game. Bannon retired the next three, but the damage had been done.
Nate Grames then took the hill for MWV and closed out the game, pitching around a double by Corbeil and striking out the side to send MWV on to the state tournament in Exeter.
Qualey got the start on the mound for Plymouth in the second game after starting and throwing three innings in the first game of the night. He got the side in order in the top of the first inning and Plymouth responded well, scoring two in the bottom of the inning against MWV starter Dascoulias.
With two outs, Cole Johnston and Bannon drew back-to-back walks and both runners scored on a base hit by Corbeil, which was compounded by an error in the outfield.
Qualey again set the side in order in the second and it looked like Plymouth was poised to add more in the bottom of the inning, as Andrew Baxter led off with a double. Conner Greene took over on the bases and took third on a wild pitch, but Dascoulias settled down and struck out the next three batters to end the inning.
Bannon took the mound for Plymouth in the top of the third and Ouellette led off by reaching on an error and going all the way to third on the play. Will Eaton then put down a perfect bunt and Ouellette scampered home with MWV's first run. However, Bannon got the next two batters to get out of the inning.
Bannon and Corbeil drew walks in the bottom of the third, but Dascoulias pitched his way around them. Qualey took the mound again in the top of the fourth and pitched into a little trouble, as Justin Olson, Jones and Spencer all walked. However, catcher Adam Means alertly pounced on a ball in front of the plate and tagged the plate for the force, ending the inning.
Dascoulias got a little defensive help in the bottom of the fourth, as Jones made a nice diving catch in center and MWV took advantage against Bannon in the top of the fifth. Eaton walked and took second on a wild pitch. He then raced home when Parker Coleman reached on an error, cutting the lead to 3-2. Coleman then tried to score on a base hit by Grames, but Qualey made a great throw from center to gun the runner down at the plate, ending the inning with MWV still trailing by a 3-2 score.
Then came the fateful bottom of the fifth, with Bailey cutting down two runners on the bases and MWV rallying in the top of the sixth for the winning runs.
The first game of the finals ended up being a bit of a blowout, with MWV taking the 8-1 win.
Grames started for MWV and gave up a leadoff walk to Green to open the game, but struck out two of the next three batters to get out of the inning.
Qualey started for Plymouth and worked around a walk to Olson. Grames responded by striking out the side in the top of the second and MWV pushed across four runs in the bottom of the inning.
With one out, Spencer had a base hit and after a wild pitch, took third on a groundout by Ouellette Eaton then reached on an error to bring home the game's first run and Coleman, Bailey and Olson worked consecutive walks to push across another run. Grames beat out an infield hit for a 3-0 lead and Dascoulias worked a walk to push the lead to 4-0 before Qualey got a strikeout to get out of the inning.
Plymouth (Qualey) and MWV (Jones and Coleman) each put runners on in the third, but nobody scored. Plymouth had a good chance in the top of the fourth when Corbeil lined a double, but Grames was up to the task, as he struck out the side for the second time in the game.
Bannon took over on the mound for Plymouth in the fourth and worked around a Grames base hit. Grames then came out and struck out the side again and his teammates came up with four more runs in the bottom of the fifth against Corbeil.
With one out, Ouellette reached on an error and after a strikeout, Coleman and Bailey worked walks. Olson reached on an error to bring home two runs and a Grames base hit pushed across two more for an 8-0 lead.
Olson took over on the hill in the top of the sixth and after Spencer made a nice grab in left field, Johnston reached on an error and Bannon doubled, putting two in scoring position for Plymouth. Olson got a strikeout, but a wild pitch pushed Johnston across for Plymouth's first run. Olson then snared a liner back up the middle to close the game and the 8-1 win.
The MWV roster includes Braeden Bailey, Justin Olson, Nathan Grames, Derek Dascoulias, Chet Johnston, Chase Spencer, Ethan Ouellette, William Eaton, Noah Barrows, Dominic Jones, Parker Coleman, Evan Dascoulias, Ryan Lund and Shane Johnston. The team is coached by Mike DiGregorio and assistants Doc Walker and Brad Grames.
The Plymouth roster includes Henry Green, Nicholas Qualey, Cole Johnston, Cody Bannon, Ian Tryder, Jack Corbeil, Adam Means, Andrew Baxter, Jared King, Joe Cleary, JC Graumer, Conner Greene and Charlie Comeau. The team is coached by Mike Bownes and assistants Brett Tryder and Aaron Comeau.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at email@example.com or 569-3126