The fine group, which makes up the Londonderry 10-U all-star baseball squad, has been extremely successful as a unit for a number of years now. The successes keep rolling right on in for that talented crew.
That team, which won the 9-U state championship last summer, is on its way toward repeating that success at the 10-U level after winning the District 5 tournament at its own Londonderry Athletic Field Association complex on Sunday, June 25.
The locals won all of the four games they played in the district tourney, receiving a combined no-hit performance from two pitchers in game two and absolutely walloping the arch-rival Hudson contingent by a 15-0 count in the championship contest.
The 10-U team now moves on to the state tournament in Lancaster this weekend, with its first game slated for Saturday, July 1.
“We have a phenomenal group of talented kids that have so much fun playing together,” said team press liaison Natalie Cook. “Every single player contributes and makes a difference. We are fortunate to have so many great pitchers. Most clubs have one or two that they rely on, but we have a handful of pitchers that the coaches use more regularly, and every single kid on our team can pitch and pitch well. Our depth is exceptional, and when our bats are connecting these kids are unstoppable.”
The locals played their first three games of the district tournament on home soil on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday of last week in advancing to the title contest on the morning of Sunday, June 25.
In game one against Quintown on Tuesday, June 20, the Londonderry side thumped its way to a lopsided 13-7 win.
The big inning for the hosts was the third, in which they plated six runs. Londonderry took advantage of two Quintown errors in scoring three of those runs, and Jonathan Wilson also laced a two-run double.
The host team also made the fourth inning an extremely productive one, scoring six more times as Devin Boles thumped a solo home-run and Jayden Hamilton, Casey Marsh, and Wilson all knocked singles.
All in all, the local crew smacked out some 15 hits with Boles, Marsh, Zach Mantegari, Hamilton, and Wilson each collecting multiple hits. Boles paced the potent attack by going 3-for-3, and Wilson went 2-for-3 and drove in three runs.
Hamilton, Brady Gillis, and Marsh all pitched, holding Quintown to seven hits and combining for eight strikeouts.
The next day, pitchers Wilson and Gillis combined on a masterful, no-hit shutout in a 3-0 blanking of a frustrated Concord crew.
Wilson drew the start and went four innings, collecting 10 strikeouts. Gillis then came on and pitched the final two frames, striking out five would-be hitters and only throwing 19 total pitches. Of those, a pretty stellar 16 were strikes.
“They were two walks and one error away from a perfect game. It was awesome,” said Natalie Cook.
Offensively, the locals received run-scoring doubles from Wilson and Boles and an RBI single from Mantegari. Other hits were smacked by Gillis and Ryan Williams.
Londonderry played its third game on Friday, June 23 and dealt arch-rival Hudson a 6-3 defeat.
The locals collected seven hits in that contest, with Mantegari and Boles each bashing two and Boden Belanger smacking an important, early double. Boles hammered a two-run homer to right-center field.
On the mound, Hamilton and Gillis combined to give their victorious squad a fine effort.
Now sitting pretty with a 3-0 record in the double-elimination tourney, Londonderry had to wait to see who it would play in the finals on Sunday, knowing that that opponent would have to beat the host team twice to snare the district crown.
The locals had no trouble with powering their way past that same Hudson contingent in the title battle, beating the rival by a 15-0 tally in a game which required just three innings.
“The boys left no doubt about going back to defend their state title,” said Natalie Cook. “Everything came together today. The pitching was great, the defense was amazing, and the bats were on fire.”
Wilson was on the hill for all three frames, tossing 38 total pitches with 30 going for strikes. He only allowed one hit and two base runners.
Offensively, the powerful locals had Belanger, Marsh, Mantegari, Wilson, and Boles each collect two hits. Carter Browning and Cole Metivier each tallied one smack, with Boles driving in some four runs and Belanger, Browning, and Wilson tallying two RBI apiece.