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The Lynn Babe Ruth 15-year-old All-Star team got off to a good, if white-knuckled, start Friday at Alumni Field in Keene, N.H., holding off Three Corners, Vt., 6-5 in the New England Regional Tournament opener for both teams.
This was game one of a three-day round-robin, pool-play preliminary. Lynn has games against Pittsfield today (1) and Rochester, N.H., Sunday, also at 1.
Lynn opened the scoring in the first inning. Chris Marks drove in one run on a single. But the play of the game was a suicide squeeze in the top of the fourth by Jaiden Driscoll that scored two runs, including the eventual game-winner.
Lynn had runners on second and third and no outs when Driscoll laid down the bunt, as the runner on third broke for home, on a high fastball. Driscoll beat out the bunt, and the speedy Gilly Galva, who was on second, kept on running and beat the throw to the plate to score Lynn’s sixth run. At the time, it didn’t seem that consequential. But after Vermont rallied to get within a run, it proved to be the game-winner.
Josh Doney took the win for Lynn. The southpaw allowed five hits and four runs over 3 2/3 innings, striking out four. Jared Paone threw three and a third innings in relief out of the bullpen. Paone recorded the last 10 outs to earn the save.
Lynn took the early 4-0 lead in this one and looked as if it would coast. However, in the fourth inning, Vermont came back with three runs.
Marks, Seth Sullivan, Doney, Alex Lara, and Shea Newhall all had at least one hit as Lynn spread the offense around.
“Our boys came strong out of the gate scoring four runs in the first two innings,” said Lynn Manager Leon Elwell. From there, our pitchers Doney and Paone really buckled down and got the job done, as usual.”
Three of the four teams in each of the two pools will play in crossover games Monday and Tuesday, with the championship game slated for Wednesday.
Lynn is looking to make a return trip to the 15-year-old World Series for the first time since 2016, when Elwell led a team to Williston, N.D., for that tournament. This year’s tournament is in Virginia.
The winner of this tournament will make the Babe Ruth World Series.