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Offense bounces back as Kingswood 10Us bounce Gilford

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

COACH TOM MCCULLOUGH puts up the hold sign as Ashton St. Pierre pulls into third with a first inning triple on Sunday. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
July 07, 2014
BARRINGTON — After a tough loss to a strong Nashua team in the opening round of the Cal Ripken 10U state tournament, Kingswood bounced back with a solid win over Gilford on Sunday, July 6.

Kingswood wasted no time getting on the board against Gilford, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning, aided by some Gilford miscues.

With one out, Patrick Runnals and Will Danais both reached on errors and advanced on a wild pitch. Ashton St. Pierre then tripled down the right field line, driving in the two runners. Jackson McCullough then reached on an error, allowing St. Pierre to score the third run for Kingswood. Riley Smith also reached on an error and Hayden Robischeau walked, but they were stranded and Kingswood had to settle for the three runs.

St. Pierre got the start on the hill for Kingswood and worked his way around a base hit and a double in the first inning.

Kingswood was aggressive in the second, as Henry Saunders reached on an error, stole second and came all the way around to score when Gilford threw the ball away twice.

Two nice plays by Jake Apgar at shortstop helped St. Pierre work through a perfect bottom of the second and his teammates got him some more runs in the top of the third.

St. Pierre led off with a base hit and advanced to third on two wild pitches. McCullough worked a walk and stole second and on a Smith grounder to shortstop, St. Pierre scored the fifth run. A wild pitch allowed McCullough to score and after walks to Robischeau and Apgar, Gilford made a pitching change. Shaw Swinerton drew a walk to load the bases and a Reese Clarke base hit made it 7-0. Saunders followed with a base hit to make it 8-0, but Swinerton was gunned down at the plate. Runnals followed with a base hit, but Clarke was gunned down at the plate to end the inning.

Gilford was able to get one run in the bottom of the inning, but St. Pierre did a nice job working around two hits and a walk.

Danais, McCullough and Smith all reached in the top of the fourth, but Kingswood was unable to score in the inning and Gilford got another one back in the bottom of the fourth against McCullough. However, the Kingswood pitcher was able to work around two walks, an infield hit and an error, allowing just that one run.

Kingswood came up with two more in the top of the fifth, again with aggressive, hustling base running.

With one out, Swinerton was hit by a pitch and was forced at second on a grounder to short by Clarke. Saunders followed with a base hit and errors on the play allowed Clarke to score and Saunders, who never stopped hustling, alertly scampered home on an overthrow near the plate, making it 10-2 for Kingswood. Runnals followed with a double but he was stranded at second.

Smith took over on the hill in the fifth and put two runners on before Agpar was summoned with two outs. An error allowed one run to score but he got out of the inning with no further trouble and Kingswood led 10-3 heading to the final inning.

With two out in the sixth, Smith and Robischeau had back-to-back base hits and Apgar followed with a double for an 11-3 lead. Good defense helped seal the deal for Kingswood in the bottom of the inning. After a leadoff walk, a grounder in the hole off first was snared by Saunders, who flipped to second for the force. After another walk, Smith made a nice play at short, flipping to Runnals at second for another force. Robischeau then made a nice play at third and fired to second to close out the game and the 11-3 win.

That win put the Kingswood kids into the next day's action, which was against Exeter after deadline Monday evening.

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

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