Angels shut-out Harvard in 1-0 No-Hitter

In Thursday’s game the visiting Angels shut out Harvard 1-0 in a 6 inning no-hitter to continue their winning record. As I personally missed the game due to work, all I can recount from the fans who were there is that the Angels pitching effort was great with David P., Derek M. and Matt L. all sharing the glory. For Matt’s part, he closed with 7 batters faced in 2 innings. The nail-biter finish was due to a Harvard runner who had initially reached 2nd base on a fielding error & then stole 3rd to be in scoring position with 2 outs in the  bottom of the 6th. Matt was able to execute the final strike-out with a cut fastball that both came in on the batter and dropped off the table, which is a new pitch for him.  Another heart-stopper if I had been there. The single Angels run was scored by Matt on a key mid-game RBI by David T. who jumped in to assist the team since so many regulars were away for various reasons. Overall a close game with both teams very well-matched. That’s what makes baseball great.

Angels defeat Groton Giants 11-8

The Angels now have their roster finally together with all players finished with the 12U and 11U tournaments. Matt L., Joey D. and Mikey P. were back in the line-up after finishing with the Tigers yesterday in Hudson. Matt started the game on the mound for the Angels and pitched 3 innings, giving up 4 hits and 4 runs but collecting 6 strike-outs. Mikey P., Joey D. and David P. all pitched in the remaining innings. The Groton bats were active throughout the game with the top of their line-up doing the most damage in hits and runs.

Offensively the Angels struck early & often with 6 runs in the 1st inning and added insurance runs in the 3rd and 4th before booking 3 more in the 5th.  Mike W. hit 2 doubles and scored three times, Jared W. hit 3 for 3 with 2 runs and 2 RBIs. Joey D. hit a single and then a triple combined with stealing home for 2 runs and 1 RBI. Matt L. hit 2 doubles, scoring once with 1 RBI. David P. hit a 2-RBI triple and also scored a run. Mikey P. was also on base with a walk and a single, scoring both times. Unbelievable hitting.

Stay tuned for Thursday Night Baseball vs. Harvard…

DeMarini Bat Problem

During tonight’s Angels game I experienced my first problem with a DeMarini baseball bat. The bat in question was a brand-new Black Coyote model, which dented TWICE on successive line-drive hits and now looks like something someone took to a sign-post. Unbelievable!

Never have I seen a bat dent like that, especially when the weather was around 80 degrees so there was none of the “cold weather factor” involved (theoretically if the temperature is below 60 degrees, baseballs become more dense and are therefore more likely to dent non-wood bats). Also, while these players are good, they are still only 12-13 years old and not Big Papi.

I am also surprised since I thought DeMarini had a good reputation for both quality and performance. Haven’t had similar issues (yet) with other DeMarini bats but I wanted to throw this out there for other readers to comment on. Another word for the wise: WHENEVER buying a non-wood bat, SAVE YOUR RECIEPT FOR 1 YEAR! In my experience, I did not happen to save it and so was thrown out at first in my attempt to get a replacement. As many bat purchases are made via the internet, please consult the manufacturer’s return/replacement policy BEFORE buying since you could obtain a new bat from a non-authorized reseller and also be caught foul.

Let me know your thoughts.

Littleton fights Northbridge to narrow 3-4 loss

Today’s game was the 4th of the series for both Littleton and Northbridge. Since the tourney was pool play involving 2 groups of 5 teams, the Semi-Finalists were determined by best win/loss record (with Runs Allowed as a tie-breaker factor). Going into this game, Littleton was 1-2 and Northbridge was 3-0. Nuf Ced about who was expected to win on paper.

Littleton opened up an early 1-0 lead in the 2nd inning with Connor B. both hitting a double and then stealing his way home. Northbridge answered with 2 runs in the 3rd inning to take a 2-1 lead, but Littleton came back with 2 more runs in the 4th on a 2-RBI double by Matt L. to re-establish a brief 3-2 lead. In the bottom of the 4th, the Northbridge bats stayed hot and scored 2 more runs to retake a 4-3 lead for the remainder of the game. Pitching for Littleton were Christian W. and Mikey P. who gave up plenty of hits to the Northbridge wrecking crew, but kept their cool while the Littleton fielding defense minimized the runs allowed: At 1st base Matt was busy assisting in completing 8 of the Northbridge put-outs including a galloping foul catch that nearly sent him headlong into the fencing protecting the opposing fans. Connor B. was named Littleton MVP for hitting 2 doubles and scoring 2 of the Tiger’s 3 runs.

What must be said about this game is that although it did not change the outcome of the tourney, Littleton played like true dirt-dogs and gave Northbridge their closest game in the entire series. Congratulations to Northbridge and Marlboro who continue on with the Finals match tomorrow. The winning team from that challenge will finally move on to the Cal Ripken Regional Championship tournament in August preceding the Cal Ripken World Series.

Hats off  to the Littleton Tigers who played real dirt-dog baseball with Moxie and improved on their record from last year as the 2009 Western Massachusetts District 3 Champions!

Stay tuned for continuing Summer baseball action with the Angels Tuesday night…

Littleton falls to Williamstown 6-8

Littleton lost another nail-biter to Williamstown 6-8 in a game that was interrupted by thunder and a torrential downpour. Littleton opened up an early 2-0 1st inning lead, with Williamstown pulling ahead 3-2 in the 2nd inning. Littleton scored 3 more runs in the 3rd inning and once more in the 4th inning to make the score 6-3, but Williamstown hitters pulled ahead with 4 additional runs in the 4th inning and an extra insurance run in the 5th inning to secure the win. Connor B. and Mikey P. stayed hot by each hitting doubles, while Christian W. and Matt L. both hit singles. Matt L. received his 2nd MVP award of the series for batting 1.000 with 2 RBIs, 3 stolen bases and 1 run scored. He was also hit by a pitch again but fortunately this time it was on the leg rather than the head.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s final game against Northbridge…

Littleton wins 5-0 shut-out over Mohawk

The Littleton 11U All-Star Tigers won the first game of a Sunday double-header in a 5-0 shut-out vs. Mohawk. On the mound for 5 innings was Jon T. who faced 19 batters with 7 strike-outs. 8 additional fielding plays were anchored at 1st base by Matt for put-outs. Closing in the 6th was Mike D. with 1 K against 3 batters. Offensively the Tigers were hot with Cole A., Connor B., Matt L. and Mikey P. all hitting doubles. Christian W., Nick F. and Mike D. also hit singles. RBI’s were booked by Cole, Christian, Connor, Mike and Matt to give the Tigers the win. Jon T. was named game MVP for a job well done on the mound.

Littleton Falls to Groton in 6-5 Nail-biter

The first game of Littleton’s round in the Cal Ripken Western Mass. State Tournament was an absolute nail-biter. The lead changed hands twice after Groton scored in the 1st inning matched by a Littleton run in the 2nd. Then a very scary moment occurred when Matt L. was beaned with a high fastball to the head but still managed to take his base after officials determined that no serious concussion was involved. Groton took the lead with another run in the 3rd, but Littleton took it back with 3 more runs in the 5th. In the 6th inning Groton scored 4 additional runs to establish a solid lead 6-4 before Littleton had their last at-bats. After scoring a key run on Groton throwing errors, Littleton remained within striking distance of a come-back win with 2 outs and 2 men in scoring position. Matt L. then drove a screaming shot to the center-field fence in what looked to be a clutch walk-off double, but was robbed at the last second by a terrific center-field play to save the game for Groton.

It was a tough loss, but what a way to go! The game-saving hit vs. the game-saving catch in the deep outfield: A beautiful and classic baseball moment regardless of the outcome. Matt L. was also named Littleton’s MVP for showing the Moxie to still play 1st base all game, hit .667, steal 2 bases and collect 1 RBI after having his bell rung. Now THAT’s baseball that builds character.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s double-header action…