13U Ruffnecks Advance to PG Super25 Championship. Dedicate NEBC Flag Pole

John Moore Pitches

Ruffnecks Part of Memorial Day Weekend Ceremony

Memorial Day Weekend was a busy time at the New England Baseball Complex, and the 13U Ruffnecks found themselves playing 6 games in 3 days in a highly competitive Perfect Game Super25 Regional.  The team also had a prominent role in the beautiful Flag Pole dedication ceremony (Watch the video).  Two 13U Ruffnecks have dads who served in the military: Kai Grocki and John Moore.  Ruffnecks players helped to raise the flag in honor of two local men who gave their lives in service to their country.  Indeed, the families of Brian Ouellette and Brian Arsenault both attended the dedication and appreciated the participation of Ruffnecks players in honoring their fallen heroes.

In the baseball portion of the weekend, the young ‘Necks handily captured their Pool in the first three games.  They clinched by virtue of two consecutive shutouts and an 11-2 win in the third game.  Tommy Clark got the Ruffnecks going with a superlative start in Game #1 against a very fine opponent from Fairfield County, Connecticut.  Clark was masterful as he pitched a complete game 3-0 shutout.  Much of the credit goes to his batterymate, Donald Sivolella who caught and managed his pitcher with precision.  Offensively, the Ruffnecks were sparked by Lucas Stowe, Kevin Skagerlind, and Eric Foster.  The defense was solid, particularly the infield play of Kai Grocki (3B), Richie McNamara (SS), Jack Palfrey (2B), and Holt Fletcher (1B).  They made all the plays, including a spectacular diving stop by Grocki.  The outfield was no less impressive in supporting the shutout.  Kevin Skagerlind, Stowe, and Will Figueroa made all the plays, keeping hard hit balls from dropping.

13U Ruffnecks Stand at Memorial Day Flag Raising

In Game #2 John Moore got the start on the mound and continued the scoreless streak by shutting down the opponents with some outstanding pitching.  Moore also helped himself with a timely two-out RBI hit.  Once again the defense was solid with Zach McCarthy turning a nifty double play at 2B.  Will Figueroa pitched very well in two innings of relief work, and Kai Grocki finished it up. Peter Chandor led the offense with two extra base hits.  The Ruffnecks knew that Game #3 would clinch the Pool before the game began.  Holt Fletcher took the mound and delivered an outstanding performance in a convincing 11-2 win.  Once again the offense was a formidable challenge for the opponents as the Ruffnecks got timely hits from many players.  Game #4 was a formality in which several players who pitch very little, took the ball unselfishly in order to keep their fellow teammates fresh for the Monday playoff round.  Nevertheless, the Ruffnecks competed well with catcher Ben Carbeau doing an excellent job managing a pitching staff that had little experience going deep into games.

Advance to Championship

On Monday, May 25th (Memorial Day), the Ruffnecks faced NEBA opponent, the Connecticut Bombers, in the semi-final game.  Randy Reyes got the start for the Ruffnecks and pitched another spectacular game, going 6 innings without giving up a run.  He worked himself out of several jams, kept his composure, and led his team to victory.  The offense was efficient, while not explosive.  Runs came by virtue of moving runners along and timely situational hitting.  Kai Grocki came in to finish the game, and although the Bombers scored a run, the 5-1 victory launched the Ruffnecks to the championship game against the Legends.

In the finals, the Ruffnecks got on the board first with a run in the top of the 1st to take a 1-0 lead.  However, the Legends bats were too much for the ‘Necks, as their hitters simply had a very good day and took advantage of two defensive miscues in the bottom of the first for 5 runs.  Myles McDermott pitched very, very well against a solid hitting team in the Legends.  The Ruffnecks tip their caps to the Legends for an outstanding run to the Perfect Game Super25 Regional Championship, while the ‘Necks can take satisfaction in making it to the final game of a highly competitive event.

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New Ruffnecks Home Makes a Difference

The New England Baseball Complex is making a difference for baseball in New England.  A front page article in the Boston Globe on April 2 hailed the complex as haven for collegiate and high school baseball during this extended winter and difficult spring.  The NEBC has been equally important to the New England Ruffnecks program.  The 13s and 14s have been outside and practicing for several weeks.  In addition to the practice opportunities, the NEBC has been the site for the Pre-Season Warmup and the NEBA Jamboree.  The young ‘Necks played in both events, getting valuable game experience to go with the practice time.  Most important however, is the professional atmosphere and expanse of resources for workouts and practices… The advantages show in the play of the youngest Ruffnecks teams.

Responsibility & Work Accompany Privileges

Ruffnecks Clear NEBC Dugout.

The 13s and 14s are learning that the privilege of the NEBC comes with added responsibilities.  Players from both rosters work each weekend doing chores around the NEBC.  The chores include field preparation, bagging trash, and lugging protective screens, platforms, and batting cages.  Prior to the Pre-Season Warmup the 13U team helped with clearing the snow off the field in the morning.  The young Ruffnecks are quickly learning the responsibilities that accompany “home field advantage.”  As one parent recently stated, “I like the discipline as much as the baseball!  It is great to see that chores are not just lectures from mom and dad.”

13U Ruffnecks Get First 2 Wins

The 13U Ruffnecks had the privilege of being the first Ruffnecks team to play a tournament game at the NEBC.  They made the best of the opportunity with a convincing 7-3 win against their opponent.  Randy Reyes pitched well, with Myles McDermott, and Peter Chandor contributing in relief.  The offense was led by Kai Grocki with a 2 RBI double.  Leadoff hitter, Lucas Stowe, was on base most of the day, gaining experience and confidence running the bases with each plate appearance.  Defensively, the Ruffnecks infield played outstanding baseball behind Jack Palfrey (SS) and Zack McCarthy (2B).  Palfrey made a web-gem play to end the second game.  Grocki (3B) and Tommy Clark (1B) anchored the corners in Game 1, while McDermott played 1B in Game 2.  Eric Foster returned from the DL with a solid game at SS and 3B.  The catching duties were split in both games between Donald Sivolella and Holt Fletcher.  The outfield play improved as the day progressed.  Kevin Skagerlind, Will Figueroa, and Stowe started the first game.  Stowe, Reyes, and Chandor played OF in the second game with Chandor making an outstanding catch.  Tommy Clark, Kevin Skagerlind, and Kai Grocki combined to pitch in the 7-1 Game 2 win.  The 13U Ruffnecks are now 2-2 on the season… all against 14U competition.

Meanwhile, the 14U Ruffnecks rolled through a cold, nighttime win by a score of 13-2.  As referenced earlier, the 14s graciously accepted the “short straw” in order to accommodate the players, coaches, and families of other teams to play in the first-of-the-season event at the NEBC.

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Important Notices

(Updated Thursday, Jan. 18 at 9:00am)

Thursday, Jan 18
14U Ruffnecks
Team Hitting
6:30 to 8:00

Saturday, Jan. 20
OPEN Hitting

9:00 to Noon
All Ruffnecks

Sunday, Jan. 21
1st FULL Winter Workout
Harvard University
6:00 to 8:00am

Wednesday, Jan 24
13U Ruffnecks
Team Hitting

Thursday, Jan 25
14U Ruffnecks
Team Hitting
6:30 to 8:00


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