~ Submitted by Bedford Babe Ruth Baseball
It wasn’t quite a cornfield in Iowa, but the Bedford Junior Babe Ruth team came into Thursday nights game against Belmont with championship dreams. Belmont was the #2 seed and had beaten Bedford earlier in the year, so a formidable opponent.
Isaiah Triplett started on the mound for Bedford and got the job done with a 1, 2, 3 top of the first, including 2 strikeouts. He turned right around in the bottom of the first and drove a ball to the outfield for a double. Two batters later, Miles Trant drove him in with a single for the first run of the game. Trant scored when Belmont overthrew on Anderson Marino’s ground ball. Oren Brosgol then drove Marino in with a sacrifice fly to right. After one full inning, Bedford 3, Belmont 0.
Belmont did not reach base in the second inning. They threatened in the third, with runners on 2nd and 3rd and no outs, but Triplett struck out the next three batters to retire the side. Bedford had their own threat in the third, loading the bases with no outs, but like Belmont, they were unable to capitalize.
Belmont broke through in the 4th, when their first batter reached on a walk and then scored on a throwing error. The Bedford players picked each other up and prevented any further damage. The score after 4 innings was 3 to 1, Bedford.
Bedford turned to Alex Colangelo to pitch starting in the fifth. The home team coaches had all of their pitchers prepared to go, but wanted to stick with the boys who were throwing well in the game as long as possible. Belmont did add another run in the fifth, on another throwing error to first, but further damage was prevented when right fielder Henry Lewis backed up the throw and the relay got the batter trying to make it to 3rd base for the third out of the inning. Score after 4 1/2 innings, Bedford 3, Belmont 2.
Zach Wirth led off the bottom of the 5th with a single, and then Colangelo walked. They advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. Jacob Hollingsworth came to the plate with one out looking to deliver some insurance. His single knocked in two more runs to make it 5 to 2 in favor of the Bucs.
Each team went quickly in the 6th. Belmont came up to bat in the top of the 7th down three runs, but with the heart of their order coming up. Bedford needed three outs. The first batter popped up to the infield, one out. Belmont’s next batter reached first on a very close play, but the umpire called safe. The next batter walked. Runners on first and second, one out. The next hitter swung on the first pitch and drove a sharp line drive, but wasn’t able to get it past shortstop Gabe Thompson who turned and threw quickly to Hayden McAllister for the double play to end the game and seal the victory for the Bucs.
Three players on the team were back to back summer champions, having also won in 2020 – Alex Colangelo, Gabe Thompson, and Zach Wirth.
The boys really gelled as a team over the course of the season. Games started in early July with just one half of a practice under their belt, and then the rains came. Postponements, cancellations and reschedules were the rule. Manager Scott Wright (BHS 2003) told the boys from the very first day “Effort and attitude – that’s what we can control”. The energy they brought to the table, especially for the playoff run was a big part of their success.
Coach Wright got celebratory dousing from water bottles after the victory when he assembled the team at the mound. He told them how proud he was of them and the way they played and supported each other. Coach Marino pointed out how everyone on the team had contributed to success, everyone had their moments.
Not present Thursday, but a big part of the teams success this year were Derek Gallant, Tommy Mahoney, and Max Marchionna.