Nashua prepares to host Cal Ripken 12U Regionals

Staff photo by TOM KING With dugouts, a large press box and concession area, Murray Field out in front of Holman Stadium is the obvious spot for Nashua to host the Cal Ripken 12U New England Regional Tournament beginning late next week.

NASHUA – Local Cal Ripken All-Star baseball season has been in overdrive the last couple of weeks, but the biggest stop will be in just over a week.

That’s when the Nashua Cal Ripken League will host the New England 12U Regional tournament, with the winner advancing to the Cal Ripken World Series scheduled to be played in Branson, Mich., in early August.

“It’s great exposure for our league,” Nashua CR co-tourney director Gary Smith said. “For Nashua, we want to be looked at as one of the leaders in Cal Ripken. Not every league has the ability to host an event like this.”

The opening ceremonies will be held as part of the pre-game Nashua Silver Knight festivities on Friday, July 13, with all the teams in attendance for a barbecue and the 6:45 p.m. FCBL game between Nashua and Worcester game following a 3 p.m. skills competition. The tourney gets underway on Saturday, July 14, at both Murray Field (in front of Holman Stadium) and Dube Field off Harris Road.

Nashua is guaranteed a spot as the host, but there will be two other New Hampshire teams competing, the 12U state champion and one other team. They’ll join the Western Mass., Eastern Mass., Rhode Island and Connecticut state champions as well as a second team from Western Mass. in the double elimination tournament.

The finals are set for Thursday, July 19 at Murray Field, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

While Dube is considered to have the better surface, Murray has the better overall facility and is the main spot for the tourney. With several out of town visitors, this is also seen as a boost for the local economy.

“I’m no expert on economics,” Smith said, “but it’s been figured that this event brings in about $75,000 to the local economy. A lot of the teams won’t commute when there’s five days of games.”

“It’s a lot of work,” Smith said. “We’ve been putting together a list of sponsors to help us with it, It’s ongoing, and from a welcoming perspective, you have seven other teams coming in and you need the fields to be in tip-top shape.”

Originally each team was going to be guaranteed three games thanks to pool play, Smith said. But a recent decision scrapped that format and it is a straight double elimination tourney.

Either way, baseball will be at a premium in the coming week at and around Holman Stadium.

The FCBL All-Star Game is on Tuesday evening, July 17, as part of a day-long 80th Holman Stadium birthday celebration.

At the same time that evening, there will be a Cal Ripken regional tourney game right across the parking lot.

The 12U state tournament has been ongoing in Brookline, but the one set roster is the Nashua 12U All-Star host team.

It includes: Dean Adams, Camden Brown, Thomas Campbell, Alexander Collins, Griffin Davis, Derek Finlay, Ryan Forcier, Ryan Haskell, Jordan Joyal, Jack Lobdell, Jake O’Connor, Brady Sullivan, and Jordan Raisanen Andino.

The team’s field manager is Darrel Barlow, assisted by coaches Steve Adams, Scott Lobdell, and Timothy Moreau.