Londonderry 8-U Baseball Stars Take Salem Tourney Title

There’s no reason for the players on the Londonderry 8-U all-star baseball squad or their coaches to think that anything but the sky is the limit for them this summer.

And head coach A.J. Marsh’s young men showed what they’re capable of recently by snaring the title at a tournament in Salem.

The locals thumped the Chelmsford (Mass.) entry by a 10-4 tally in the championship game in earning the right to hoist the heaviest hardware at that event.

The title-winning crew includes coach Marsh’s assistants Brian Belanger and Dave Hamilton and skilled hardball players Devin Boles, Jameson Keaton, Jonathan Wilson, Zach Green, Ryan Williams, Jayden Hamilton, Boden Belanger, Joseph Santiago, Brady Gillis, Giovanni Nevares, Zach Mantegari, Casey Marsh, Frankie Jarek, and Carter Browning.

In the big championship game, Jayden Hamilton was the starting and winning pitcher. He twirled three great innings, including nine first-pitch strikes with six total strikeouts coming from his show of accuracy.

Jonathan Wilson then pitched two innings and tallied a pair of strikeouts, and Brady Gillis closed out the victory by throwing four pitches in the last inning.

The locals drove out to an early lead in this game thanks to an RBI single by Hamilton, an RBI single by Gillis, an RBI double by Ryan Williams, and an RBI double by Casey Marsh during the first inning.

Jonathan Wilson also did plenty of damage with his bat, racking up three RBI on a bases-clearing triple in the third inning.

The local stars then added two more runs in the top of the fourth when Gio Nevares singled to score Zach Green. That smack was followed up by Zach Mantegari’s single which scored Frankie Jarek.

Defensively, first baseman Devin Boles turned a solo double play in support of hurler Wilson on the mound. And Mantegari’s quick glove at second base was instrumental in getting some big outs.

From that success in Salem, the Londonderry crew moved on to compete in Bay State tournaments in both North Andover and Dracut, Mass., in preparation for the big state tourney at the end of July.

In the North Andover event, the locals started by taking on an older, 9-U crew from Tewksbury, Mass. and falling by a slim 2-1 tally.

Defense was at the forefront of that game, with Ryan Williams and Brady Gillis putting forth strong pitching efforts for the locals.

The two skilled hurlers were supported by some great defensive work, including strong play from shortstop Hamilton (solo double play), Casey March, Mantegari, Wilson, Devin Boles, Carter Browning, and Frankie Jarek.

The Londonderry crew then enjoyed success in its first game in the Dracut tourney, beating its host by a 12-6 count in just six innings.

Dracut plowed its way out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, but the local hardball side kept plugging and scored five runs in the fifth on a ground-out by Boden Belanger, a two-run double by Hamilton, a ground-out by Ryan Williams, and an RBI single by Wilson.

Hamilton racked up four RBI on two hits for his squad, and Londonderry once again put on a pitching show, thanks to the work of Marsh, Zach Green, Mantegari, Hamilton, and Gillis.