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Suncook boys eliminated from state tourney

JAKE SHERMAN goes sliding back into first base as the Nashua first baseman awaits the throw during Sunday action in Rochester. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
July 13, 2010
ROCHESTER — Perhaps more than a week off during the hottest stretch of the summer was a little too much for the Suncook Valley Cal Ripken 10U squad.

After winning the District Six championship on Wednesday, June 30, the Suncook Valley kids had to wait until Saturday, July 10, for their first game of the state tournament, which was held at Roger Allen Park in Rochester.

The first game, the team was certainly flat and dropped a 4-2 decision to Berlin-Gorham, the District Three champions.

The loss put Suncook Valley in the losers' bracket with a second game on Sunday morning, July 11, against Nashua South. The Nashua kids were playing their third game of the tournament and were far from rusty when they took the field against Suncook Valley.

Nashua plated four runs in the top of the first inning against Suncook pitcher AJ Gagnon. Four walks and a wild pitch played a part in the rally, as did a pop-up that fell untouched on the infield. Nashua also got a ringing double in the frame. First baseman Cam Place made a solid defensive play to force one run at the plate on a grounder to him and Gagnon struck out the final batter of the inning.

Suncook got only one hit in the first inning, as Place beat out an infield hit with two outs. However, he was stranded on first base.

Nashua plated two more runs in the top of the second inning, as a couple of hits, a groundout, a wild pitch, an error and a hit batter all contributed to the rally. Catcher Brian Lindsay ended the inning in fine fashion for Suncook, as he threw out a runner attempting to steal second base for the third out.

Casey Clark was robbed of a base hit by the Nashua pitcher leading off the second, and a Jake Sherman walk was all the offense Suncook Valley could muster in the frame.

Nashua added three more runs in the top of the third inning. After Gagnon walked the first batter and hit the second, he was replaced by Casey Clark. Clark gave up an RBI base hit, with another run scoring on the throw. An error allowed another run to cross, and Nashua had a 9-0 lead before an out was recorded in the inning. Clark settled down and got a grounder to first, a pop-up to the mound and a fly ball to center to end the inning.

Connor Locke reached on an error to open the bottom of the third inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt that Connor Blandini almost beat out at first. Locke took third on a wild pitch, but was stranded there as the next two batters were retired.

Clark struck out two Nashua batters in the fourth inning, sandwiched around a double. However, catcher Drew Nickerson threw out the runner trying to steal third base to end the inning with no runners crossing the plate for Nashua.

Suncook finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Clark had a base hit and one out later, took second on a wild pitch. A delayed steal got him to third and a passed ball allowed him to slide home with Suncook's first run. Sherman and Lindsay drew back-to-back walks and a delayed double steal put them both in scoring position, but they were stranded on a popup to second to end the inning.

Nashua responded with three more runs in the top of the fifth inning, looking to end the game early with the mercy rule. A one-out triple, an error, three wild pitches and a base hit helped plate the three runs, staking Nashua to a 12-1 lead.

Suncook came up in the bottom of the inning needing two runs to keep their season alive another inning. Nickerson walked to start the inning and Hudson Ingoldsby took over at first base. One out later, Place hit a grounder that forced Ingoldsby at second. Noah MacGlashing followed with a base hit and a double steal made it 12-2. Clark then reached on an error to cut the lead to 12-3, as MacGlashing hustled all the way from second to score. However, Clark was called out stealing second to end the inning on a close call.

Nashua added a couple of runs in the sixth, as a couple of errors and a base hit allowed the runners to cross the plate. Sherman made a sliding grab in center to end the inning, sending Suncook to the plate with a deficit of 14-3.

Cole Hapgood led off the bottom of the inning with a base hit and Sherman was hit by a pitch. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch, but the next two batters were retired, putting Suncook down to its final out.

Connor Blandini walked and Hapgood scooted home on the wild pitch on ball four for one run. Sherman followed as the ball got away from the pitcher on the attempt at the plate and Suncook cut the gap to 14-5.

Gagnon followed with a base hit to score Blandini. Place reached on an error and MacGlashing walked to load the bases. A wild pitch plated Gagnon to make it 14-7 and after a Clark walk, Hapgood doubled home two more runs, cutting the lead to 14-9.

However, the rally came up a little short, with a grounder to the mound ending the rally and the season for the Suncook Valley 10U team.

Suncook Valley's roster includes Connor Locke, AJ Gagnon, Connor Blandini, Drew Nickerson, Brian Lindsay, Cole Hapgood, Cameron Goduti, Cameron Place, Jake Sherman, Casey Clark, Hudson Ingoldsby, Luke Mostoller and Noah MacGlashing. The team is coached by Karl Ingoldsby, Greg Gagnon and Jim Sherman.

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