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Suncook boys best MWV, Franklin and Plymouth, play for District Six title

PITCHER XENTHIOS CYR has the ball but canít quite reach Carroll County runner Sam Cochrane to put the tag on during action Saturday, June 27, in Wolfeboro. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
June 30, 2009
WOLFEBORO — The Suncook Valley 10U tournament squad took the long way to the championship game of the District Six Tournament in Wolfeboro, but nonetheless, the squad made it to the top of the tournament heap.

In the first round of the double-elimination portion of the tournament (see the round robin highlights below) on Tuesday, June 30, Suncook used a two-run first inning, a two-run third inning and a two-run fifth inning to pull ahead of undefeated Mt. Washington Valley by a 6-2 score, but the northern squad rallied to tie the game in the fifth and the two teams battled into the eighth before Suncook plated two runs to take an 8-6 lead and held on for the win.

They immediately moved to the second game, where they faced undefeated Plymouth and dropped a 10-5 decision, dropping them to the loser's bracket.

Suncook returned to Wolfeboro on Wednesday, July 1, and scored six runs in the first inning and held off a furious Franklin rally to pull out an 11-9 win to advance to the championship game, once again against undefeated Plymouth.

In that contest, Suncook Valley fell behind by a 4-0 deficit in the first inning, but slowly rallied back, picking up three runs in the third. They added four in the fifth to take a 7-5 lead, then surrendered the lead to the Plymouth kids in teh bottom of the fifth.

However, an unearned run in the top of the sixth put Suncook on top 8-7 and pitcher Xenthios Cyr survived a furious Plymouth rally in the bottom of the final frame, striking out the final batter with the bases loaded to give Suncook Valley another shot at the championship.

Because Plymouth hadn't lost in the double-elimination portion, the two teams have to do battle again, and are slated to play on Thursday, July 2, at 5 p.m. at The Nick to decide the 10U District Six champions.

(Editor's Note) There were no pictures from the big Plymouth game because the Suncook Valley coaches complained about the photographer's flash.

Round Robin

The Suncook Valley 10U tournament team captured three of its four games in the round-robin portion of the District Six tournament last week in Wolfeboro, earning the squad the second seed in its division heading into the double-elimination portion of the tourney.

Suncook got things off on the right foot on Thursday, June 25, clobbering Gilford by a 14-0 score in three and a half innings.

Sam Borelli took the ball for Suncook at the start and set the Gilford kids down in order in the first inning, though he got a bit of defensive help from second baseman Wyatt Stockman on a line drive on the first play of the game.

Suncook came out swinging in the bottom of the inning as well. AJ Gagnon was hit by a pitch to get things started and Tom Blandini doubled him home for the first run. After a sacrifice groundout by Borelli, a wild pitch plated Blandini with the second run. Xenthios Cyr walked and stole second, then scored on a base hit by Christian Parenteau to make it 3-0. A stolen base and a wild pitch made it 4-0 and a walk to Joey Cleary and a base hit by Jesse Slater had Suncook threatening with two outs, but the Gilford catcher threw out Cleary trying to steal third to end the inning.

Borelli struck out the side in the top of the second inning, giving Suncook another chance with the bats and the momentum hadn't slowed.

Chris Arvanitis walked to start things and after two stolen bases, Gagnon walked and a double steal and error allowed both runners to cross the plate. Blandini then ripped a homer to left, circling the bases to make it 7-0. One out later, Cyr walked and stole second, then came around to score on a base hit by Stockman. Walks to Cleary, Slater and Arvanitis produced another run, giving Suncook a 9-0 lead before the inning ended.

Tim Shea took the ball for Suncook in the top of the third and surrendered a lead-off triple, but the Gilford runner was gunned down trying to stretch it to a homer, as right fielder Jacob Fifield fired the ball in and the relay made it to Slater behind the plate for the out. Shea made a nice grab of a line drive for the second out and after an error allowed a runner to reach, Fifield cut him down trying to reach second.

Suncook then plated five runs in the bottom of the third inning. A walk to Blandini and a base hit by Shea made it 10-0. Cyr grounded out to plate another run and after a walk to Hudson Ingoldsby and a hit by Parenteau, Fifield lined a base hit to score two runs. Slater then doubled home another run to make it 14-0 before the final two outs were recorded.

Shea took care of business in the top of the fourth, striking out two and handling a popup, giving Suncook the 14-0 win.

Suncook started out strong against a solid Plymouth team on Friday, June 26, but the boys from Plymouth were a bit stronger in the end, getting a no-hitter from Dylan Donahue to record a 5-2 win in a very quick game.

Suncook scored both of its runs in the top of the first inning. Gagnon walked and Blandini reached on an error. A pickoff error allowed Gagnon to score, and a walk to Borelli and a hit batsman (Cyr) loaded the bases. Blandini continually danced off third base and eventually forced a throwing error, allowing him to score the second run of the inning.

However, Plymouth came right back with three in the bottom of the inning against Shea, who got some solid defensive help from Cyr at first on two consecutive grounders.

Cyr made a great scoop of a throw in the bottom of the second inning and Blandini made a nice play on a pop up at shortstop to end the inning.

Blandini reached on an error in the top of the third and took second on a sacrifice groundout, but that was as far as he got.

Ingoldsby made a nice catch of a sinking liner in right field to open the bottom of the inning and helped keep Plymouth off the board.

Plymouth added a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, taking advantage of a Suncook error to score one run. Shea did strike out two in the frame, as he did in the third inning.

Cyr took over on the mound in the fifth and needed a little defensive help to get out of a jam, which was partially caused by a Suncook error. Blandini made a nice play at shortstop to force a runner at third and Cyr struck out the final batter of the inning.

Plymouth had one final chance to score, but couldn't muster a hit in the final frame and fell 5-2.

Carroll County proved to be a tough opponent on Saturday, June 27, as Suncook Valley had to rally back from a deficit in the bottom of the fifth inning to come away with a 20-10 win.

Suncook scored first, plating one run in the bottom of the first, as Blandini lined a base hit, stole second and scored on a throwing error to make it 1-0.

Carroll County came back strong in the top of the second inning, plating three runs and was looking for more, but Fifield threw out a runner at second for the final out of the inning.

Suncook Valley got a triple from Cleary to lead off the second inning and a groundout by Stockman pulled his team to within one at 3-2.

Carroll County then went out and scored five times in the third inning, bringing Parenteau to the hill to replace Cyr, who had started for the Valley kids. Again, Fifield proved valuable in right field, as he threw in to Blandini at second base to catch a Carroll County runner off the bag for the final out of the inning.

Suncook came up with five runs of its own in the bottom of the third inning. Fifield led off with a base hit and after an infield hit for Gagnon, Blandini was hit by a pitch. Borelli followed with a groundout to plate the third run of the game, then a delayed steal of home by Blandini made it 8-4. A walk to Cleary and a double by Stockman cut the lead to 8-5 and an error made it 8-6. Shea followed with a base hit and the lead was one at 8-7 before Carroll County got out of the inning.

Despite a great play on a grounder up the middle by Blandini, Carroll County came up with two more runs in the fourth, taking advantage of a couple of Suncook errors to take a 10-7 lead.

A bunt hit by Gagnon, and a base hit by Blandini, coupled with a couple of Carroll County errors, allowed Suncook to pull within one at 10-9 in the bottom of the fourth and after Borelli got out of a small jam thanks to a 4-6 double play (Stockman caught a line drive and doubled the runner off second) the Valley boys came roaring back.

Cleary started the inning with a hit and stole second. Stockman followed with a base hit and Shea walked, but on a wild pitch, Cleary was out at the plate. However, Stockman was alert, and when the Carroll County catcher bent over to tighten his shin guards, he scampered home with the tying run. Slater doubled home the go-ahead run and after a strikeout, Gagnon reached on an error and Blandini plated both runners with a base hit. Borelli then doubled home a run and Ingoldsby reached on an error to make it 15-10. Cleary got a base hit and Stockman was hit by a pitch, which brought Shea to the plate and he lined a two-run base hit to make it 17-10. Slater then lined a triple to the fence to make it 19-10 and a base hit by Arvanitis ended the game by a 20-10 score.

Suncook won its final game of the weekend on Sunday, June 28, besting Meredith by a 9-3 score.

The team was in action after deadline Monday and possibly Tuesday and Wednesday in the double-elimination portion of the tournament.

The Suncook Valley team consists of AJ Gagnon, Chris Arvanitis, Wyatt Stockman, Hudson Ingoldsby, Sam Borelli, Joey Cleary, Jacob Fifield, Tim Shea, Christian Parenteau, Tom Blandini, Xenthios Cyr and Jesse Slater. The team is coached by Rodney Stockman and assistants Paul Blandini and Karl Ingoldsby.

Martin Lord Osman
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