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.
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.