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Rives, Muthersbaugh power Gilford 12s


by Jeff Lajoie
Sports Reporter

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Gilford's Alex Rives struck out eight of the nine hitters he faced in three perfect innings to power the 12U All-Stars past Three Rivers, 8-3, in the Cal Ripken District 6 Tournament opener on Friday night at Odell Park. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
June 23, 2014
FRANKLIN Behind a dominating pitching performance from Alex Rives and five RBI from Alex Muthersbaugh at the plate, the Cal Ripken District 6 Tournament got off to a solid start for the Gilford 12U All-Stars on Friday night.

Rives tossed three perfect innings on the mound, striking out eight of the nine batters he faced, while Muthersbaugh was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with a two-run home run and a double to amass five RBI as Gilford picked up an 8-3 victory over Three Rivers in the 12U opening game at Odell Park under the lights on June 20. Gilford advanced to the best-of-three championship series against Belmont after finishing 3-1 in pool play. The games, which began after deadline on Monday night, would decide which team would advance to the state tournament, scheduled for July 5-10.

Rives, who has been lights out during the spring season and into All-Star play, struck out the side in the top of the first, and Gilford jumped ahead in the bottom of the frame. Cody Boucher walked to lead things off, and with one out, Muthersbaugh clubbed a two-run homer that reached the fence in right field for a 2-0 advantage.

Three Rivers starting pitcher Brigham Bardellini rebounded after that however, as he struck out the next two Gilford hitters to get out of the inning.

That score held until the bottom of the third inning, as Gilford tacked on three more to take a 5-0 advantage. Boucher walked again to lead off, and Muthersbaugh drove him in with a double for a 3-0 lead. Rives drove in Muthersbaugh when he reached on an error, and TJ Carmilia made it 5-0 when Rives scored on a Carmilia RBI single.

Three Rivers clawed back in the top of the fourth however, as Will Wood singled to lead off for his team's first hit of the evening against Gilford reliever Hunter Wilson. Wood stole second and eventually scored on a Max Marinace RBI ground out to make it 5-1. Bardellini clubbed a two out triple one batter later, and he would score when Leroy Laflamme knocked a single through the infield to make it a 5-2 ballgame. Three Rivers looked like it would be in solid position to add to the lead, as Kaleb Oley-Valotta reached on an error. But Muthersbaugh, now playing first base, made up for the miscue by throwing across the diamond to gun down Laflamme trying to make it to third base, ending the threat and the inning.

The momentum carried over into the bottom of the fourth for Gilford, as pinch hitter Joey Blake singled to lead off, and he moved up to third when Boucher hit a double with one out. Wilson drove in Blake with an infield single to make it 6-2, and Muthersbaugh came through with a two-run single for his fourth and fifth RBI of the night, driving both Boucher and Wilson in to put Gilford on top 8-2.

Three Rivers didn't go away quietly however, as Trevor Gallagher singled with two outs and moved up when Wood reached on an error. First baseman Mike Allard came through with an RBI single to plate Gallagher and make it an 8-3 contest, but Wilson managed to escape further damage when he got a strikeout looking to quell the threat.

After Gilford failed to score in the bottom of the fifth, Wilson worked around a leadoff single in the top of the sixth but getting the next three batters in a row with strikeouts, closing things out to give his team an opening game victory.

Rives (eight) and Wilson (six) combined to strike out a whopping 14 batters for Gilford in the win, and neither pitcher issued a walk in the six innings. Muthersbaugh's 3-for-3 day with five RBI and the homer led the offense, with Boucher scoring three runs in three plate appearances (double, two walks). Connor Sullivan also added a hit for Gilford.

Bardellini pitched well for Three Rivers on the night, as the right-hander totaled nine strikeouts in his four innings of work. Marinace came on to pitch the fifth inning, and he struck out one while not allowing a run. Bardellini was 2-for-3 at the plate to lead his club offensively.

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