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Farmington 13U All-Stars fall to Keene in state tourney opener

CATCHER IKE MORSE waits for the throw as a Keene runner slides safely home during 13U state tournament action in Concord July 25. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
July 28, 2009
CONCORD — The 13U Babe Ruth state tournament got off to a tough start for the Farmington All-Stars on Saturday, July 25.

The Farmington kids were dealt a tough matchup in the opening round, as they faced off with a talented squad of All-Stars from Keene on the Doane Diamond at Concord's Memorial Field.

Seth Fogg got the start on the mound for the Farmington All-Stars, a team featuring athletes from Farmington, Wakefield, New Durham and Alton.

And despite some defensive miscues in the first few innings, the Farmington kids hung tough, as Fogg pitched through the trouble the best that he could.

Keene scored once in the top of the first inning, using a Farmington error, a passed ball, a groundout and a sacrifice fly to plate the game's first run.

However, Farmington answered right back in the bottom of the inning. AJ Valladares led off by reaching on an error and a base hit from Kevin Radcliffe put two runners on base. One out later, Corey Wilson grounded back to the mound, with both runners moving up a base. Ike Morse followed with an infield hit to tie the game at one.

Keene came right back in the top of the second inning and took the lead again, with a leadoff double and a base hit accounting for the run. Ryan Scruton made a nice grab in left field to end the inning and keep Keene from scoring again.

Farmington went quickly in the bottom of the second and Keene was able to come up with two more runs in the top of the third.

A couple of errors and a rundown that went awry led to the first of the two runs and another error allowed the second run to score, giving the District One champs a 4-1 lead. However, Wilson threw out a runner trying to steal second and Fogg struck out the final two batters to get out of the inning.

Farmington then closed the gap a bit. With two outs in the bottom of the third, Fogg doubled, then came home to score on a base hit by Wilson, cutting the lead to 4-2.

Another Farmington error, a base hit and a ground out led to another Keene run in the top of the fourth, but a solid grab by leftfielder Brannon Blair ended the inning with Farmington hanging tough, 5-2.

However, the Keene hurler set the Farmington kids down in order in the bottom of the inning and in the top of the fifth, they got to Wilson, who took over on the mound, for one run. A nice play by Valladares at first base and a play to cut down a runner trying to come home on a wild pitch with Morse feeding Wilson for the out, helped get Farmington out of the inning, trailing by four, 6-2.

Farmington again went quietly in the fifth and in the top of the sixth, a walk and two base hits helped plate two more runs, stretching the lead to 8-2. However, a 6-3 double play, initiated by Fogg at shortstop, got Farmington out of the inning with no more trouble.

Wilson reached on an error and Morse walked in the bottom of the sixth, but Farmington couldn't capitalize.

Kenne added two more runs in the seventh against Radcliffe and took a 10-2 lead to the bottom of the inning.

Ike Jacobs led off the seventh by reaching on an error and after the Keene leftfielder made a nice grab on a foul ball off the bat of Brandon Hilman, a passed ball and a walk to Valladares put two runners on with one out.

Radcliffe grounded to second, moving both runners into scoring position, but the Keene rightfielder tracked down the final out of the game and the District One champs had a 10-2 win over the District Five champions from Farmington.

With the loss, Farmington dropped to the losers' bracket, with the second game of the tournament coming after deadline on Monday, July 27, at noon in Concord. A win meant the boys played again after deadline Tuesday, July 28, at noon. The tournament concludes today, July 30, with games at 5 p.m. and if necessary, 8 p.m.

The Farmington All-Stars consist of Brandon Hilman, Brannon Blair, Christian Haskell, Ike Jacobs, Ryan Scruton, Connor Leahy, Isaac Morse, Corey Wilson, Seth Fogg, Kevin Radcliffe and AJ Valladares. The team is coached by Dave Valladares and Shawn Bernier. Because Bernier was away from the team, Ted Healy stepped in to help lead the team in Concord.

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