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New England  Ravens sweep pair from Manchester All Star teams

The New England Ravens 16U team wrapped up their fall season last week with a pair of wins against a pair of Manchester Pony All-Star teams at Goffstowns Lions Field. The Ravens romped in game one, 10-1, and won a much closer contest in game two, 11-9.

In game one, it was Tyler Brown who held the home team All-Stars to four hits and one earned run in a six-inning, six-strikeout performance before giving way to Ravens closer Sammy Fairbanks, who pitched a perfect seventh, striking out two.

Each Raven except one shared in scoring, with shortstop Tim McEachern scoring twice. Hunter Flood and Tyler Brown each had a pair of hits. Adain Kirby added a two-RBI single in the sixth. Flood, Fairbanks and Mike Montombeault each added highlight-reel diving catches in the outfield. The Ravens were held to nine hits for the game; however, it was the Ravens style that made it difficult for the All-Stars to record outs as New England stole seven bases, dropped down a series of perfectly-placed bunts and executed squeeze plays to plate runners each inning except the first. Brown was awarded the game one MVP for his gutsy mound performance. He also hit a two-RBI single.

Game two saw the Ravens jump out early, as they plated a run in the bottom of the first when Flood scored on a Matt Gale RBI single. Tyler Coppo was gunned down trying to score a run off of Flood’s gap double as the Manchester centerfielder threw a laser to home plate just in time to tag the sliding Coppo.

Five Ravens – Gale, Kirby, McEachern, Casper and Montombeault – scored two runs apiece. Montombeault and Coppo each had two hits for the Ravens.

Gale was the starting pitcher for the Ravens in game two. He went five innings, allowing five hits and striking out eight before reaching 100 pitches for the afternoon. He was leading 6-3 upon his departure.

The Ravens used an array of pitchers to preserve the win. Montombeault, McEachern and Fairbanks all faced Manchester batters and recorded outs before Cam Kasper was summoned to the mound by pitching coach Aric Leclair. With the tying run on first, Kasper shut the door on the All Stars. Manchester was trailing 11-9 when All Star pitcher Jared Ranlett tried to steal third. Ravens catcher Coppo threw a bullet to the third baseman Gale for the first out. McEachern gobbled up a grounder and fired to Brown , now at first base, for out number two, and Kasper induced a groundout to end the game.

Coppo was awarded game two MVP for his solid defensive play, anchoring the Ravens battery and rapping two balls off the center and left field fences.

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