Tuesday, December 10, 2013
FARMINGTON -- Sometimes in a baseball game, the smallest details turn into the biggest plays. That was the case in Saturday night's New England Babe Ruth tournament game between Franklin County and Manchester, N.H.
Manchester left fielder Peter Abood threw out Franklin's Chad Luker at third base after Luker overran the bag and stumbled trying to get back for the final out of the game. The play gave Manchester a 5-3 win.
Manchester will play Trumbull, Conn., the other remaining unbeaten team, at 7 tonight at Hippach Field. Franklin, the host team, will face Braintree, Mass., in an elimination game at 1 p.m.
"It was there," Abood said of his game-ending throw to third. "I noticed he overran the bag earlier."
Down 5-1 entering the seventh inning, Franklin's rally began when Robbie Matteson singled. Ryan Greenman singled to drive in a run, and with two out, Luker walked. Cam Abbott singled to left, scoring Greenman on the play that ended the game.
Manchester hit the ball well throughout the lineup, rapping out 10 hits, all sharp singles and scored a pair of runs in the second inning. Abood, the No. 9 hitter, had an RBI single. Leadoff hitter Mike Plentzas singled up the middle to score another run. Manchester added two more runs in the third to take a 4-0 lead when Carmen Giampetruzzi drove in a run with a groundout to short, and Cody Bassett hit an RBI single.
"We're all good hitters," Abood, who had two hits, said. "We all hit great all season."
Franklin had chances to score, but left the bases loaded in the first and sixth innings.
"In the first inning, we were right on (Manchester starter Cody Bassett)," Franklin manager Dave Duley said. "We couldn't get a run across."
Franklin did push across a run in the fifth, when Charlie Martin scored on a Greenman grounder to first base. Manchester got the run back in the bottom of the inning on a Steven Deane RBI single.
Martin, Abbott and Luker each had two hits for Franklin. Jacob Boylan and Giampetruzzi had a pair of hits for Manchester.
Leominster, Mass. 7, Apple Vallely 6: A seventh inning rally fell just short for Apple Valley, which was eliminated from the tournament.
Leominster scored a pair of runs in the first inning, three more in the second, and two more in the fourth. Cam Ruziak tripled to score Cody Lanza in the fourth, and scored when a throw to third base went out of play to give Leominster a 7-1 lead.
Apple Valley scored two runs in the fifth inning to cut Leominster's lead to 7-3, and Tyler Hutchinson hit a three-run homer to right field in the bottom of the seventh to make it 7-6.
Apple Valley had the bases loaded with nobody out in the first inning, but a double play kept them off the scoreboard.
Hutchinson had three hits and drove in five runs for the Maine state champions. Brady Dion scored a pair of runs.
"These kids battled until the end. Together, there's so much chemistry. These kids love being together and they love baseball," Apple Valley manager Joe Hutchinson said. "You don't want to have to motivate players, and I didn't have to motivate any of these guys."
Lanza and Ruzniak, Leominster's eight and nine hitters, each scored a pair of runs.
Braintree, Mass. 9, Cranston, R.I. 3: A five-run fifth inning was the key to Braintree's win, which eliminated Cranston from the tournament.
Patrick Horrocks scored a pair of runs for Braintree. Dan Miller had two hits and scored a run for Cranston.
Trumbull, Conn. 10, Essex, Vt.:2: Chris Massey had three hits, including two doubles, to lead Trumbull to the win.
Massey scored three runs and had three stolen bases for Trumbull.
Josh Baez scored both Essex runs.
Travis Lazarczyk - 861-9242