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MWV 12U All-Stars take District Six title



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THE MOUNT WASHINGTON VALLEY 12U All-Stars celebrate their District Six championship in Wolfeboro on Thursday, July 1. (click for larger version)
July 06, 2010
WOLFEBORO — They may have taken the long road, but in the end, the journey still led the Mount Washington Valley 12U All-Stars to the District Six championship.

MWV endured the tournament's most intense game on the first night of the double-elimination portion of the tourney and after a tough loss had to fight back through the losers' bracket to make it to the finals. Making it to the finals assured the MWV kids of a spot in the state tournament, as two District Six teams will be playing in the tourney, but the Valley boys wanted the District Six title as well.

The double-elimination portion of the tournament began on Tuesday, June 29, as MWV took on Suncook Valley.

MWV, undefeated through the round robin portion of the tournament, took a 1-0 lead in the third inning on a double by Axel Olson and a Suncook Valley error, allowing Tyler Lund to push Olson across the plate.

MWV threatened to open the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Will Pollard launched a long fly ball to left centerfield, but Suncook Valley's Christian Parenteau reached over the fence and hauled the ball back in.

Suncook tied the game in the top of the fifth inning and the two teams battled through scoreless innings all the way through the eighth inning, still tied at one.

In the top of the ninth, Suncook took a 3-1 lead, meaning MWV needed two runs in the bottom of the inning to keep the game going.

That's just what they got. Pollard reached on an error and Lund had an RBI double. Drew McDonald reached on an error, putting runners at the corners and a passed ball scored Lund for a 3-3 score after nine.

In the bottom of the 10th inning, Pollard ended the game, parking a ball well over the fence for a three-run homer (Dominic Knox and Tyler Eaton singled ahead of him) and the 6-3 win.

Lund, Pollard and McDonald combined for 20 strikeouts in the win.

After the exhausting win, the Valley boys had to turn around and play Plymouth just a short while later, and despite the long game, got off to a good start.

A two-out single by Pollard plated Fritz Carr with the game's first run in the top of the first inning.

MWV then loaded the bases in the top of the second inning as well. Walks to Kaleb Pepin and Carr and an error that allowed Nate Emerson to reach put MWV runners on every base with two outs. However, nobody crossed the plate and it remained 1-0.

Mount Washington Valley doubled its lead in the top of the fourth inning. Pepin led off with a walk and took second on a wild pitch. With two outs, he bolted for third on another wild pitch and the catcher's throw sailed into the outfield, allowing him to score the game's second run.

Pollard replaced Lund on the mound in the bottom of the inning and a leadoff single and throwing error had Plymouth threatening with a runner just 60 feet away. Pollard got the next two outs and then surrendered a walk to put runners on the corners. The next batter lifted a fly ball to right that looked like it would end the inning, but the ball was dropped and all the runners scored, giving Plymouth a 3-2 lead.

MWV threatened in the top of the fifth, as a walk and a McDonald single had two runners on, but the inning ended with nobody scoring.

McDonald threw a 1-2-3 bottom of the fifth, but MWV couldn't get anything going in the top of the sixth and dropped a 3-2 decision, sending them to the losers' bracket.

The next night, MWV returned to Wolfeboro for the losers' bracket final, where they took on Farmington, earning a 3-1 victory and a chance to play Plymouth for the title. Being as Plymouth had yet to lose in the double-elimination portion, MWV needed to win two games in order to secure the championship.

The first game was played immediately following the losers' bracket final.

Valley got on the board first, plating two runs in the top of the second inning. McDonald beat out a slow roller past the mound and Eaton and Pepin walked to load the bases. McDonald scored on a wild pitch and one out later, Carr walked to load the bases. Olson then drew a walk to plate Eaton for a 2-0 lead before Plymouth got out of the frame.

Plymouth came back with one run in the bottom of the second inning, scoring against Pollard with two outs in the inning. MWV's defense helped Plymouth plate the run, but Pollard struck out the final batter of the inning.

In the top of the fifth inning, MWV added another run. Pollard reached on an error and Lund walked to put two on with one out. McDonald hit a fly ball that just eluded the Plymouth centerfielder, allowing Pollard to score for a 3-1 lead. However, the next two batters struck out to strand Lund and McDonald on base.

McDonald, who took over on the mound in the third, pitched brilliantly through the fifth, but ran into a little trouble in the sixth inning. After a walk and a base hit, Lund came back in with one out and got a strikeout. After a walk to load the bases, he came back and struck out the next batter to end the game.

McDonald was the pitching star, throwing three and a third innings, giving up just one hit, no runs, one walk and striking out seven. Lund got the save, striking out four in his one and two-thirds innings of work.

With the win, MWV earned another chance to take on Plymouth on Thursday, July 1, this time with the championship going to the winner.

Lund gave up a base hit and a sacrifice bunt to the first two batters of the game on Thursday, but came back to strike out the next two hitters to get things under way.

MWV got two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Carr reached on an error and Olson doubled. Knox then drove in Carr with a grounder to shortstop. Pollard walked and a wild pitch scored Olson for a 2-0 lead.

Pollard took over on the hill for MWV in the second and gave up three walks and got only one out before he was replaced by McDonald, who got a strikeout and a grounder to end the inning.

Pepin had a one-out walk in the bottom of the second inning and came around to score on a double by Carr, stretching the lead to 3-0.

Lund returned to the hill in the third and struck out two and got a grounder to third to keep Plymouth off the board.

With one out in the bottom of the third, Zach Bradley walked and Pollard and Lund had back-to-back base hits, loading the bases for McDonald, who laced a double to right centerfield, plating two more runs for a 5-0 lead.

Both teams went quietly in the fourth inning, but in the fifth, Plymouth got on the board.

With McDonald taking over on the hill, a walk, a wild pitch and an error put two runners on base. McDonald got a popup to first and a liner to shortstop for the inning's first two outs. The next batter hit a dribbler in front of the plate and beat the throw to first, allowing two runners to score. However, he was out trying to take second on the throw home, ending the threat, though Plymouth had cut the lead to 5-2.

MWV went quietly in the bottom of the fifth, meaning Plymouth needed three runs to keep their championship dreams alive.

Lund made sure that wouldn't happen, as he struck out all three batters he faced, giving MWV a 5-2 win and the District Six championship.

MWV will open the Cal Ripken state tournament on Saturday, July 10, at 10 a.m. against District One in Claremont. If they win that game they play Sunday at 10 a.m., if they lose that game they play Sunday at 12:30 p.m. The tournament continues until Friday, July 16, if necessary.

The MWV squad includes Keith Babb, Dominic Knox, Nate Emerson, Nate Lautenschlager, Kyle MacDonald, Aaron Lamar, Fritz Carr, Adam Martinese, Axel Olson, Zach Bradley, Will Pollard, Tyler Eaton, Drew McDonald, Tyler Lund and Kaleb Pepin. The team is coached by Erik "Rowdy" Brown, Adam Martinese, Doc Walker and Mandy McDonald and the batboy is Ryan Lund.

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