14U All-Stars knock off Goffstown, Great Bay North
|JT SYMONDS fires a pitch during action against Goffstown on July 28 in Laconia. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)|
August 03, 2009LACONIA — After losing the first game of the state tournament, the Farmington Babe Ruth 14U All-Stars made a bunch of noise moving through the losers' bracket before finally being eliminated by Keene on Saturday, Aug. 1, at The Robbie Mills Memorial Sports Complex in Laconia.
After the opening loss to Manchester on Sunday, July 26, the Farmington kids (featuring players from Alton, New Durham and Wakefield in addition to those from Farmington), returned to Laconia on Tuesday, July 28, for a game with Goffstown and fans in attendance got more than their money's worth in a game that moved quickly through the first five innings and required nine innings before a winner was decided.
Farmington opened the game with both Tyler Olberg and Austin Healey getting hit by pitches in the first inning. A pickoff error moved both runners up a base and a wild pitch allowed Olberg to score, however, Healey was cut down trying to score as well.
Ethan Henderson followed with a base hit and stole second, but one out later was gunned down trying to steal third to end the inning.
JT Symonds took the hill for the Farmington kids and his sidearm delivery had the Goffstown kids off balance all evening long.
He set the side down in order in the first inning, but Farmington also went down in order in the top of the second.
Goffstown got a leadoff hit in the second inning, but a nice catch by Healey on a foul pop-up and Symonds struck out the final batter of the inning.
Farmington went in order in the third and Symonds got some good defensive help from first baseman Greg Brannon in the bottom of the inning, which helped keep Goffstown off the board.
Symonds worked a walk in the fourth with two outs, but was picked off on a nice throw by the Goffstown catcher.
A one-out double put a runner in scoring position for Goffstown in the bottom of the fourth, but one out later, Jason Houghton hauled in a fly ball to left to end the inning.
Farmington went in order in the fifth and Goffstown put the first runner on in the bottom of the inning. After stealing second base, the runner was gunned down by Healey trying to steal third to quiet any chance of a Goffstown rally.
Kris Saba walked to start the sixth for Farmington and a sacrifice bunt by Luke Hefler moved him to second. Saba moved to third on a pickoff error, but was stranded there and in the bottom of the inning, Goffstown finally got on the board.
The leadoff batter reached when a pop up fell behind the mound. A stolen base and an error moved the runner to third and he tried to score when the throw to third soared to the fence. However, Houghton, the leftfielder, was backing the play up and gunned down the runner at the plate.
The next batter was hit by a pitch and after Hefler made a nice catch in right, a base hit tied the game at one. Symonds struck out the final batter to get out of the inning.
Brannon laced a two-out base hit down the third base line in the seventh, but the Farmington kids couldn't score, sending the game to the bottom of the seventh with the score tied at one.
Henderson took over on the hill for Farmington in the bottom of the seventh and struck out the first two batters he faced before issuing a walk. However, Healey threw out the runner trying to steal third, ending the inning.
Houghton led off the eighth with a walk and Saba bunted him to second. Hefler followed with a groundout to second to move Houghton to third and after Olberg walked, an unusual play helped Farmington take the lead.
The Goffstown catcher threw to first, where the firstbaseman pretended he missed the throw. Houghton broke from third to home, but the Goffstown first bagger took his time throwing home and Houghton slid in under the tag to give Farmington a 2-1 lead. The Goffstown manager was thrown out of the game after arguing the call.
However, Goffstown rallied in the eighth. After Henderson struck out the first two batters, a double and an error allowed Goffstown to tie the score at two.
Farmington rallied in the top of the ninth. Henderson led off with a walk and stole second and third. An error allowed him to come home to give Farmington a 3-2 lead. Symonds walked and moved to second on a groundout by Brannon. Coty Cole followed with a base hit and stole second, putting runners on second and third. Houghton then lined a base hit to plate Symonds and make it 4-2.
Henderson then set down the side in order in the bottom of the ninth, getting a nice grab by Saba at short to help close out the 4-2 win.
Farmington returned to Laconia on Thursday night to take on Great Bay North and once again, the fans got their money's worth with a well-played affair.
Henderson doubled in the first inning, but was stranded at second. Great Bay put the first runner on base in the bottom of the inning against Olberg, but he was gunned down by Healey trying to steal second. After an error and a base hit put two runners on, a 6-5-3 double play, with Zach Tattersall throwing to Symonds, who fired across the diamond to Brannon, ended the threat.
With one out in the second, Saba had a base hit and moved to third one out later on a double off the left field fence by Houghton. However, Farmington couldn't plate a run.
Great Bay came up in the second and got on the board. Henderson started out the frame by making a nice grab in centerfield and one out later, a walk and a base hit put runners on the corners. A double steal gave Great Bay a 1-0 lead, but Brannon did a nice job of tracking down a foul pop up to end the inning.
Farmington came inches from tying the game in the top of the third. With one out, Healey lined a shot off the fence in left center that missed being a homer by about five inches. However, Healey was gunned down stealing third to keep Farmington from scoring.
With one out in the bottom of the frame, Henderson made a great running catch going back to the fence in left center for the second out.
Walks to Symonds and Saba put two runners on for Farmington in the fourth, but again they couldn't score and in the fifth, Olberg had a base hit but was caught stealing to keep the score at 1-0.
Henderson made another nice grab in center to start the fifth, but two hits later, a force play and a groundout helped keep Great Bay from upping the lead.
In the top of the sixth, Farmington finally got on the board. Henderson led off the inning with a base hit and moved up on a pickoff error. Symonds then drove him in with a base hit. Symonds moved to second on the throw home and a passed ball put him at third. Two outs later, Symonds was cut down at the plate trying to score on a wild pitch.
Henderson took over on the hill for the sixth and with one out, gave up a hit and a double to allow Great Bay to take a 2-1 lead. However a nice catch by Cole in right helped get Farmington out of the inning.
With one out in the top of the seventh, Dakota Heon walked and Cole doubled, putting runners on second and third. A wild pitch allowed the tying run to score and one out later, Healey lined a base hit to give Farmington a 3-2 lead.
Henderson surrendered a walk in the bottom of the seventh, but nobody scored and the game ended with Farmington earning a 3-2 win and earning a spot in the losers' bracket finale, which took place on Saturday, Aug. 1.
In that game, things started out well, as Farmington put the first two runners on in the first inning. However, they were unable to score and for the rest of the game, the Keene hurler kept Farmington off the basepaths, allowing just one hit.
Symonds also pitched well for Farmington, giving up five hits and striking out five, but Keene pushed across three runs and walked off with a 3-0 win over Farmington to earn a trip to the finals against Manchester on Sunday, Aug. 2.
The Farmington All-Stars roster included Tyler Olberg, Austin Healey, Ethan Henderson, JT Symonds, Greg Brannon, Zach Tattersall, Dakota Heon, Kris Saba, Nick Eldridge, Jason Houghton, Luke Hefler and Coty Cole. The team was coached by Ted Healey and Joe Symonds.
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