The 2010 12U 50/70 Division Cal Ripken Tourney for Central Mass. is now wrapped up with the Littleton Tiger All-Stars being knocked out before the finals after several well-played games.
Friday’s game vs. Groton was a 6-5 win for Littleton thanks to a walk-off home run by Cole A. Mikey P. pitched for 5 innings and collected the Win in a good defensive game against the local rivals. Saturday featured a double-header with games against Douglas and Sutton. Douglas won the first game in a 7-0 shut-out. Littleton came back vs. Sutton with a 6-5 nail-biter win in which Sutton held the lead into the 5th inning. This win put Littleton solidly in 2nd Place in the Tourney. Sunday offered another double-header with games against Uxbridge and Milford. The Uxbridge game was a heart-breaker, with Littleton losing 7-3 after holding a 3-2 lead into the 6th inning. This loss knocked Littleton to 3rd Place and out of contention for the Finals. The last pool play game was against the dominant 1st Place Milford team which summarily took command of the game and defeated Littleton 16-0 in 4 innings.
Overall a combination of inconsistent hitting and costly fielding errors (both physical and mental) served to hold the Tigers back in a couple of games, but the boys had fun and played well which is all that matters. As with AAU, it is clear that teams that can draw from a large talent pool either due to geography or town size will always have an advantage. The key is to play with heart and not take the outcome too seriously. While it is always more fun to win, playing ball well is the most important thing.
Stay tuned for the Western Mass. State Championship in two weeks when these teams will have one more shot at each other before all the boys say good-bye to junior baseball and face a new adventure growing into the full-sized diamond.