HB U-10 All-Stars perform well at districts
The Hollis Brookline U10 All-Stars began Cal Ripken district play with a strong effort defeating a tough Merrimack team 15-4 in Nashua.
Alex Razzaboni pitched four solid innings and Bryce Sturges collected four hits including a double to lead HB. Travis LaFontaine and Adam Connelly hit RBI singles in the first propelling HB to an early 2-0 lead.
After Merrimack jumped ahead 3-2, Jackson Goldstein hit an RBI double to tie it up. Later in the third, Adam Connelly drew a bases loaded walk and Elliot Troddyn drove in the fifth run with a hard ground out to first.
Consecutive singles by Goldstein, Razabonni and LaFontaine set up Ben Dufoe who put the game out of reach with a hard line drive RBI single to center. Gavin Knudsen and Andrew Eckman each had two hits and Evan Costa cruised on the mound through the final two innings to close out the win.
HB couldn’t come up with big hits leaving six runners on base and lost to Amherst in the 2nd game of Cal Ripken District play by a score of 9-1.
Alex Razzaboni continued his torrid hitting going 3 for 3 at the plate, while Martin Bergeron and Ben Petrella both hit long doubles. However, Nick Nowak and Maddux McGrath shut down the HB attack, each pitching three strong innings. McGrath homered to center in the sixth to put the game away. The loss was HB’s first in the double-elimination tournament.
HB bounced back with a resounding 20-1 win over Nashua B. Travis LaFontaine, Andrew Eckman and Gavin Knudsen dominated from the mound, striking out eight while only allowing two hits. Eckman lead the hitting attack with three hits and drove in four runs.
The HB bats came alive in the second inning with three singles a row by Travis LaFontaine, Ben Petrella and Ben Dufoe followed by an Eckman triple deep in the left-field corner to stake HB to a 6-0 lead.
In the third, Petrella hit an RBI single and Martin Bergeron followed with an RBI double on a deep fly ball to right. The HB attack continued with RBI singles from Eckman and Gavin Knudsen followed by a line drive double in the gap by Jackson Goldstein, who scored on a single by Evan Costa to make it 13-1 after three innings. Bryce Sturges, Goldstein and Petrella finished with three hits apiece.
After a classic battle on Tuesday night, HB lost a heartbreaker to Merrimack, 9-8 in 10 innings.
HB withstood some early punches from Merrimack, which jumped out to a 5-1 lead heading in to the bottom of the fourth.
HB cut the lead in half when Bryce Sturges and Jackson Goldstein hit back to back doubles. Goldstein held Merrimack scoreless in the fifth and sixth inning with strong relief pitching, setting up a pressure filled bottom of the sixth.
Three outs away from elimination, Gavin Knudsen turned the momentum around with a leadoff double to deep left center. Bryce Sturges followed with double to RF to make it 5-4. Goldstein then laced an RBI double down the 1st base line to tie it at 5-5, but was tagged out rounding 2B. Travis LaFontaine then hit a 2-out double on a deep fly to LF, but Adam Connelly’s line drive was snagged by the pitcher to keep the score tied and send the game to extra innings. In the 7th, Merrimack pushed across a run against Goldstein on 3 walks and a single. HB turned to Knudsen in relief, who came in to a bases loaded jam with no outs. Knudsen gave up a single to make it 7-5, but then slammed the door with 2 strike outs in the inning. In the bottom of the 7th, HB bounced back again. Ben Petrella doubled to LF and Martin Bergeron stayed hot with a single to CF. Knudsen then delivered at the plate with an RBI line drive single to make it 7-6. Bergeron scored on a passed ball to tie the game at 7-7 while the potential winning run moved to 3B. After Goldstein was hit by a pitch, Razzaboni rapped a hard grounder to the shortstop who just beat Goldstein to 2B for the final out of the inning to keep the game tied. In the 8th, Merrimack pulled ahead 8-7 on a 2B by Reese Lopez. Once again, HB answered with another run in the 8th to tie it up. LaFontaine led off the inning with a double CF, moved up on consecutive walks by Connelly and Petrella, and scored on a passed ball. Both teams were held scoreless in the 9th. After a delay to move the game to a lighted field, Sturges relieved Knudsen to start the 10th inning. Keegan Ponder singled to lead off and later scored on a Lopez single. Sturges struck out the final 2 batters to give HB one more shot in the 10th. Despite a booming 2-out double over the head of the leftfielder by Martin Bergeron, HB ran out of magic and couldn’t push across the tying run. Regardless of what the scoreboard read, the boys fought like champions. The loss knocks HB out of district play which will give them a week off before hosting the Cam Ricard SVI tournament at the HB fields beginning on July 6th where they were the U9 Champions last Summer.