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Amherst defeats Northampton, wins Mickey Mantle tournament title

  • Jamie Carey pitches for Amherst in the Mickey Mantle tournament final against Northampton at South Hadley High School. Amherst won the championship game 3-0.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY

    Jamie Carey pitches for Amherst in the Mickey Mantle tournament final against Northampton at South Hadley High School. Amherst won the championship game 3-0.
    AYRIKA WHITNEY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Ethan Young of Amherst slides into second base as Garret Connly of Northampton catches the ball during the Mickey Mantle tournament championship game Sunday at South Hadley High School. Amherst won 3-0.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY

    Ethan Young of Amherst slides into second base as Garret Connly of Northampton catches the ball during the Mickey Mantle tournament championship game Sunday at South Hadley High School. Amherst won 3-0.
    AYRIKA WHITNEY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Daniel Hodgkins of Amherst Mickey Mantle high fives teammmate Jack Rees after Hodgkins scored during the championship game against Northampton on Sunday in South Hadley. Amherst won the game 3-0.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY

    Daniel Hodgkins of Amherst Mickey Mantle high fives teammmate Jack Rees after Hodgkins scored during the championship game against Northampton on Sunday in South Hadley. Amherst won the game 3-0.
    AYRIKA WHITNEY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Zach Kelley and Brett Morrison of Amherst laugh after they pour water on their head coach Micael Bohl. Amherst won the division championship game against Northampton 3-0.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY

    Zach Kelley and Brett Morrison of Amherst laugh after they pour water on their head coach Micael Bohl. Amherst won the division championship game against Northampton 3-0.
    AYRIKA WHITNEY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Zach Kelley and Brett Morrison of Amherst laugh after they pour water on their head coach MIchael Bohl. Amherst won the MIckey Mantle tournament championship game Saturday against Northampton 3-0.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY

    Zach Kelley and Brett Morrison of Amherst laugh after they pour water on their head coach MIchael Bohl. Amherst won the MIckey Mantle tournament championship game Saturday against Northampton 3-0.
    AYRIKA WHITNEY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Amherst poses with its trophies after winning the Mickey Mantle tournament championship game against Northampton 3-0 Sunday in South Hadley.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY

    Amherst poses with its trophies after winning the Mickey Mantle tournament championship game against Northampton 3-0 Sunday in South Hadley.
    AYRIKA WHITNEY Purchase photo reprints »

  • The Amherst Mickey Mantle team cheers after winning the tournament championship game against Northampton 3-0 on Sunday in South Hadley.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY

    The Amherst Mickey Mantle team cheers after winning the tournament championship game against Northampton 3-0 on Sunday in South Hadley.
    AYRIKA WHITNEY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Daniel Hodgkins scores for Amherst despite getting hit in the head by the ball during the Mickey Mantle tournament championship game against Northampton at South Hadley High School. Amherst won 3-0.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY

    Daniel Hodgkins scores for Amherst despite getting hit in the head by the ball during the Mickey Mantle tournament championship game against Northampton at South Hadley High School. Amherst won 3-0.
    AYRIKA WHITNEY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Jamie Carey pitches for Amherst in the Mickey Mantle tournament final against Northampton at South Hadley High School. Amherst won the championship game 3-0.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY
  • Ethan Young of Amherst slides into second base as Garret Connly of Northampton catches the ball during the Mickey Mantle tournament championship game Sunday at South Hadley High School. Amherst won 3-0.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY
  • Daniel Hodgkins of Amherst Mickey Mantle high fives teammmate Jack Rees after Hodgkins scored during the championship game against Northampton on Sunday in South Hadley. Amherst won the game 3-0.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY
  • Zach Kelley and Brett Morrison of Amherst laugh after they pour water on their head coach Micael Bohl. Amherst won the division championship game against Northampton 3-0.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY
  • Zach Kelley and Brett Morrison of Amherst laugh after they pour water on their head coach MIchael Bohl. Amherst won the MIckey Mantle tournament championship game Saturday against Northampton 3-0.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY
  • Amherst poses with its trophies after winning the Mickey Mantle tournament championship game against Northampton 3-0 Sunday in South Hadley.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY
  • The Amherst Mickey Mantle team cheers after winning the tournament championship game against Northampton 3-0 on Sunday in South Hadley.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY
  • Daniel Hodgkins scores for Amherst despite getting hit in the head by the ball during the Mickey Mantle tournament championship game against Northampton at South Hadley High School. Amherst won 3-0.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY

One of the top offensive teams in the league during the regular season, Amherst won its four games in large part due to its pitching. It allowed only three runs in the four games, and each starter went at least six innings.

“Our pitching was unbelievable,” Amherst coach Mike Bohl said. “They say it comes down to pitching and defense in the playoffs, and that’s really true. The hitting comes and goes, but the pitching was outstanding.”

Carey was particularly strong, allowing three hits and striking out six. His lone walk came in the first inning, and no Northampton baserunner made it past second base.

“I had a fresh arm, and I had confidence in my curveball,” Carey said. “I hadn’t pitched in a while, so I had a lot of stamina.”

Carey knew that if his team won Saturday, it meant Amherst won the tournament and wouldn’t have to play a second game against Northampton on Sunday.

“I didn’t want to play” Sunday, he said. “I wasn’t washing my uniform until we won the championship, so I let that sit in my head.”

Amherst scored two of its runs in the third inning. With one out, Daniel Hodgkins singled to right, and advanced to second after a throwing error. Hodgkins scored on another error later in the inning. Django Ellenhorn reached on that error, and scored when Selah Dalomba hit an RBI single to left.

Hodgkins, the only player in the game with two hits, scored another run in the fifth inning. After beating out an infield single, he stole second, advanced to third on an error , and scored on a passed ball.

Northampton finished the year 0-5 against Amherst, including a 3-1 loss on Friday night as well as Saturday’s championship game. Northampton coach David Hoose knew going in the challenge his team was facing on Saturday.

“More than anything else, they don’t make mistakes. They don’t beat themselves,” Hoose said. “I walked over to Mike (Bohl) this morning and said ‘Could you guys help us out a little bit? Maybe a wild pitch or an error?’ But they just don’t make any mistakes out there. What can you say? If they beat you five times you can’t say it’s luck.”

Northampton’s Hunter Salem, a rising sophomore, had a strong outing in the loss, going five innings and allowing one earned run. He struck out four and walked three

“The word ‘gutsy’ comes to mind,” Hoose said. “He’s going to be a great pitcher and a great baseball player, and he did this on two days rest. I told him he he needs to give me three or four good innings and he looked at me and said ‘Coach, I’m going seven.’ That’s just the kind of attitude he has.”

It was, however, Amherst’s day to celebrate. After receiving two plaques at home plate, one for the best regular season record and one for the tournament championship, the team went to the dugout to celebrate. The umpire presenting the plaques, Mickey Mantle commissioner Artie Burke, compared their level of play to that of most American Legion teams. After the game, Hoose called them one of the best Mickey Mantle teams in recent memory.

Bohl praised the the team chemistry more than anything Saturday.

“This was a great group of kids,” said Bohl, who was hit with the customary cooler shower after the game. “They were really easy to coach. They all played different positions, and each had a defined role on the team. They were early to practice, early to games, and they just loved to play. Great group of kids, and I hope they all stay with the game and continue to play, because they’re a phenomenal group.”

Mickey Mantle Tournament

Amherst 3, Northampton 0

Northampton 000 000 0—0 3 4

Amherst 002 010 X—3 3 0

WP - Carey; LP - Salem

Records: Amherst (18-3); Northampton (17-5)

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