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Northampton, Easthampton youth baseball teams seeking state, regional titles

  • Ryan Kirkendall, of Northampton, runs to first against Westfield in the Little League 9-11 District 2 Semifinal, Thursday at McDonald Field. He didn't beat the throw. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Trey Kuzmeski, of Northampton, pitches to Westfield in the Little League 9-11 District 2 Semifinal, Thursday at McDonald Field. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Justin Colpack, of Easthampton, bats against Auburn during the Intermediate Little League sectional final Monday at Sheehan Field. He earned a walk during this at-bat. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Hudson Fulcher-Melendy, of Easthampton, dives safely back to first base on a pick attempt by Auburn during the Intermediate Little League sectional final Monday at Sheehan Field. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS



@Hargraves24
Friday, July 14, 2017

Two Northampton youth baseball teams, along with an Easthampton intermediate ballclub, are in the midst of deep playoff runs — and both teams are looking for more success.

The Northampton 10-11 Little League All-Stars won the District 2 championship after a 3-2 win over Westfield last weekend.

“Our team chemistry is amazing,” Northampton coach Robert Maslowski said. “It’s rare that they all get along.”

Northampton Little League has brought home multiple district titles in different age groups the last five years.

This year’s Hamp team will look to add a state title to its banner. Northampton will play Pittsfield at McDonald Field in Florence, Saturday at noon. The state tournament is double elimination.

“We are relaxed and excited to get to play at home,” Maslowksi said.

Marty Maslowski will take the ball for Northampton. Maslowski pitched five innings with nine strikeouts against Westfield.

Northampton features a deep team.

“Everyone on the team has done something positive,” Maslowski said.

Among Northampton’s top hitters are Liam Flynn, Ryan Kirkendall and Trey Kuzmeski.

Flynn earned the save for Northampton in the district final.

Shane Winters play centerfield for Northampton, flanked by James McNally in right and Alex Rosen in left.

Caleb Steiniger plays an important role in the infield at either third or shortstop.

Rounding out the roster is Grayson Loos, Brett Barnowski, Cody Keel, Maggie Lauder and Jackson Ayres.

Northampton Cal Ripken

The Northampton Cal Ripken Under-12 team is headed to New Milford, Connecticut, to play in the Northeast Regional Tournament.

“We are practicing loose,” Northampton coach Sean McDonald said. “We’ve been playing together for five weeks. Our defense is very good and disciplined. A lot of communication.”

Some players on the team were scheduled to participate in a skills competition on Friday, which included a home run derby and a fastest man contest.

Dominic Badorini will start against New Milford, Saturday at 5:30 p.m. If Northampton wins, it will play the winner between Franklin (Mass.) and Hebron (Conn.) That game would be Sunday at 5:30. The losers of both games would play at 12:30 Sunday.

Tyler Vanasse, Badorini and James Elliott are Northampton’s top hitters.

Rounding out the Cal Ripken roster is Brady McDonald, Quinn McDonald, Ben Sledzieski, Jordan Rickles, Kelvin Perez, Wes Parent, Ian Crowley, Justin Meunier and David Shycon.

The regional champion will advance to the national tournament in Branson, Missouri.

Easthampton intermediate

The Easthampton Little League Intermediate team plays Lincoln-Sudbury in the state championship, Saturday in Auburn.

Game 1 of the best-of-three series is at noon, followed by Game 2 at 3 p.m. If necessary, Game 3 is Sunday at a time to be determined.

“Excited for the opportunity,” Easthampton coach Tom Colpack said. “And the challenge.”

The club hasn’t allowed rain to dampen its practice schedule, as the team had access to an indoor batting cage the past couple days.

“With the rain, it’s a huge advantage to hit indoors,” Colpack said. “To get reps is important. We haven’t played since Monday.”

Nick Jolicoeur will start on the mound in Game 1 for Easthampton.

Ryan O’ Leary, Ohm Patel Justin Colpack, Colin Larson and Will Robbins form the heart of Easthampton’s lineup. Easthampton is hitting .545 as a team and have outscored the competition 135-22 in its seven postseason games.

The rest of Easthampton’s roster includes Nick Lloyd, Matt Damon, Gabe Johnson, Otis Follet, Tommy Vaillancourt, Hudson Fulcher-Melendy, Connor Perreault and Michael Rodriguez.