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MWV Cal Ripken kids shine in state tourney

by Joshua Spaulding
Sports Editor - Granite State News, Carroll County Independent, Meredith News, Gilford Steamer, Winnisquam Echo, Plymouth Record-Enterprise and Baysider

PITCHER ETHAN PEPIN takes a throw at the plate, but not quite in time to get a Stratham runner during action Friday in the state tourney. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
July 09, 2012
KENSINGTON — The Mount Washington Valley 10U Cal Ripken team got the state tournament off to a great start with wins over Stratham and Gilford over the weekend.

The MWV boys got the game off to a quick start, scoring a run in the first inning after pitcher Nate Grames worked around a two-out base hit in the top of the inning.

Braeden Bailey opened the inning with a walk and Justin Olson was hit in the helmet by a pitch. After Grames grounded to third to force Bailey, a wild pitch moved both runners up. After a groundout, Olson broke for home on a throw and scored the first run of the game for a 1-0 lead.

Grames got some defensive help from Ethan Pepin in the top of the second, as he worked around a walk and a hit batter.

MWV broke the game open in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, Will Eaton reached on an error and Chet Johnston beat out an infield hit. Eaton then raced home an error on the throw back to the mound for a 2-0 lead. One out later, Bailey reached on an error to push across another run and three wild pitches later, the MWV kids took a 4-0 lead. Olson worked a walk and Grames reached on an error and Derek Dascoulias drove them both in with a double, pushing MWV's lead to 6-0 after two innings.

Pepin took the mound in the top of the third inning and Stratham rallied back, taking advantage of a couple of errors and a couple of hits to plate three runs to cut the lead to 6-3.

MWV answered back in the bottom of the inning, plating another run. Pepin started with a hit and Chase Spencer walked. Pepin was cut down at the plate trying to score on a wild pitch, but Johnston reached on an error to push another run across for a 7-3 lead.

Grames went back to the hill for the top of the fourth inning and a trio of hits and a double steal allowed Stratham to push across two more runs, cutting the lead to 7-5 before Grames got out of the inning. Ryan Lund also made a great leaping catch in left field to help get out of the inning.

MWV went in order in the bottom of the inning and Grames started a 1-6-3 double play in the top of the fifth inning to work around a leadoff hit. MWV couldn't add any runs in the bottom of the inning and Stratham had one final chance.

Grames got the first out, but the next hitter came through with a base hit. However, the next batted ball hit the lead runner, eliminating him on the bases. Dascoulias then made a nice play on a pop fly to first base to close out the game.

The MWV team then moved on to play Gilford on Saturday afternoon and picked up a 3-2 win to advance to the next round of the tournament on Sunday afternoon, where they lost to host Exeter.

The MWV roster includes Nate Grames, Braeden Bailey, Derek Dascoulias, Parker Coleman, Noah Barrows, Ethan Pepin, Justin Olson, Ryan Lund, Chase Spencer, Will Eaton, Chet Johnston, Evan Dascoulias, Dominic Jones and Shane Johnston. The team is coached by Mike DiGregorio, Doc Walker and Brad Grames.

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at sportsgsn@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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