9U Lake Shore Gray Sox Win Elkridge Tourney
By Colin A.J. Murphy
Photo courtesy Judith MacArthur
Champions of the Mid-Atlantic Baseball Association as 8-year-olds a season ago, the 9U Lake Shore Gray Sox are no strangers to success, and they are continuing their winning ways in 2012. The boys are 25-6 overall as of June 10, a perfect 12-0 in MABA play, and have outscored opponents 351-148 on the season as they pursue their second consecutive league championship.
Over Memorial Day Weekend, the Gray Sox traveled to Elkridge to compete in the Maryland Stars and Strikes Tournament, hosted by their primary competitor in MABA, the Elkridge Hurricanes (also undefeated at 12-0 in MABA play as of June 10). Not only did the Lake Shore boys beat Elkridge in their own tournament, but their 8-3 victory over the Hurricanes came in the tournaments championship game, giving the Gray Sox a midseason trophy to go with their shining overall record.
In the championship game, Michael Caulkins started on the mound and allowed only one run over 4.2 innings, striking out three. Josh Moylan finished the game off by pitching 1.1 innings and recording all four outs on strikeouts.
Offensively, the Gray Sox jumped all over the Hurricanes early. Moylan belted a two-run homerun in the first inning after Dominick Williams reached base, putting the Gray Sox up 2-0. After Shaun Werners line-drive single to right center, Caulkins bases-loaded double plated three runs, giving Lake Shore a 5-0 lead after one.
The Gray Sox never trailed, as Caulkins went 2 for 4, Brooks Hoffman was 2 for 2, and Jake Marcus walked three times to bolster the offense. Defensively the Gray Sox were helped by several solid plays in the field. In the fourth inning, Kevin Curran snared a line drive at shortstop that killed an Elkridge rally. In the fifth, the Gray Sox turned a 6-4-3 ground ball double play, Curran to Kyle Garrett to Reed Matkins. In the outfield, Dominick Williams, Werner and Travis Garnett made several sound plays to keep the Sox in control.
The win was the culmination of an impressive run through the tournament field. After defeating the BCCC Warriors in their opening-round game, the Gray Sox dropped their second game to Mt. Airy, giving them a #8 seed moving forward. In their first elimination game, Matkins pitched a complete game with eight strikeouts and also went two for three with two RBIs at the plate, and the Gray Sox toppled the #1-seed Kent Island Bucs, 5-4. Garrett made a sensational diving play to kill a Kent Island rally.
In the semifinals, Lake Shore steamrolled the Linthicum-Ferndale Archers, 16-1. Garrett, Curran, and Tristan Geber all had multiple hits, and Marcus added a triple and was outstanding defensively at the catcher position. The versatile Geber put in solid innings defensively from multiple positions, including third and short, in the win over Linthicum and throughout the entire tournament.
Hoffman went five for eight with five RBIs in the tournament, while Williams went seven for 11 at the plate.
The Gray Sox have a regularly-scheduled rematch with Elkridge in MABA play on June 13, then head to Florida to take on national and international competition in the ESPN Wide World of Sports tournament. Head Coach Chris Moylan spoke on behalf of the entire coaching staff of Frank Matkins, Ed Garnett, and Brien Curran in praising the total team effortfrom the players to the coaches to the parentsthat have led to the Gray Soxs successful season.
This has been a long, hard road this season, said Moylan. The kids and parents have worked so hard, starting with our winter workouts in January at the BATT Academy in Glen Burnie and continuing through our end-of-season tournaments in July. I am very proud of the resolve, effort and determination to improve they have shown and continue to show as the season progresses. I am lucky to be a part of what we have here.
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