Youth baseball: Northampton 13U All-Stars finish season, Amherst Koufax wins

Northampton’s Tait Kennedy comes around to score against Southampton earlier this summer.

Northampton’s Tait Kennedy comes around to score against Southampton earlier this summer. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Staff Reports

Published: 07-08-2024 4:46 PM

The Northampton 13U baseball All-Star team watched its terrific season come to a close on Saturday afternoon, falling 3-2 on a walk-off hit in the bottom of the seventh inning against Bridgewater in the Massachusetts Intermediate 50/70 sectional tournament.

Trailing 2-0 in the top of the seventh, the Blue Devils needed a spark to keep their hopes alive. Oliver Yau delivered one more key hit – as he’s done all summer – for Northampton, starting the frame off with a double. Dylan Lawrence-Riddell singled him home one batter later to make it 2-1. A fielder’s choice and an error put runners on first and second with one out before Bridgewater pitcher Charlie Stull struck out a Blue Devils batter for the second out of the inning.

Alex Visentin-Laing came up clutch with Northampton’s season on the line, ripping a single to right field to drive in Lawrence-Riddell and tie the game.

On the mound, Lawrence-Riddell came on in relief for Tait Kennedy in the fourth inning. Kennedy tossed three innings, where he surrendered one hit and one run. Lawrence-Riddell pitched 3 2/3 and struck out nine batters, including five strikeouts in a row at one point. He gave up only one hit.

Unfortunately, that one hit was the last hit of the game. With two strikes and two outs and a runner on second in the bottom of the seventh, Lawrence-Riddell threw a fastball low and inside to Stull, who singled on a ground ball to left field. The throw home was too late to get the runner, and Bridgewater walked it off, 3-2.

Northampton outhit Bridgewater 7-2 in the game but couldn’t push across enough runs in the loss.

Leading the way offensively for the Blue Devils were Lawrence-Riddell and Visentin-Laing, each going 2-for-3 with an RBI. Maceo Nteta and Elliott Frankl had a hit apiece for Northampton. Stull pitched all seven innings for Bridgewater, striking out nine and walking none. The Blue Devils finished the sectional tournament 0-3, but they competed hard and they finished the All-Star run 12-5-3 overall.

Northampton won several huge games against good competition, including the Massachusetts Intermediate 50/70 District 2 championship game, and saw tremendous growth from all players, according to its coaching staff.

PVYBL Sandy Koufax

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Amherst avenged its first loss of the season last week, defeating Brattleboro 8-5 in a Pioneer Valley Youth Baseball League game at Amherst Regional Middle School in a Sandy Koufax Division sho down.

Brattleboro took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, but the Hurricanes’ bats came to life in the bottom half. Drew Holland highlighted the frame with a 3-run, extra-base hit to give starting pitcher Cyrus Arwade a 4-1 lead after two.

Arwade allowed just two runs over 4 2/3 innings pitched before Holland came in to stave off a late rally and secure an Amherst win.

The ‘Canes ran wild on the base paths, collecting 11 stolen bases, and Daniel LeBron, Oscar Petersen, Brady Klaes and Jack Cycz all recorded RBIs in the victory.