Nashua 14s claim New England title; headed to World Series
ROCHESTER – The Nashua Babe Ruth 14-year-old All-stars are New England Regional champions, decimating an error-prone bunch from Smithfield, R.I., 16-1 in six innings here at Simard Field.
Nashua got on the board in the second thanks to three straight Smithfield errors, and a missed tag at third allowed Elias Bourque to score Nashua’s second run off a Devin Sawyer single.
With Nolan Mederos keeping Smithfield’s bats in check, Nashua’s lead only continued to grow as the game developed.
Nashua chased Smithfield starting pitcher Zach LaVallee in the third after taking another three runs off hits by Bourque and Colin Holbrook, but Nashua was not done.
Nashua batted around the lineup in the fourth, building an 8-1 lead by the end of the inning, seeing it grow to 10-1 after the fifth before batting around the lineup one more time in what became a six-run sixth.
Even without the 13 hits, seven walks and nine stolen bases on the day, Nashua received help by six Smithfield errors as well.
“We’ve been playing good defense all week, but we finally started hitting the ball,” said Nashua coach Todd Holbrook. “They made a couple of errors and we put the ball in play and we hit the ball hard today.”
Two of those walks were intentionally given to Albert De La Rosa, who also added a single on the way to scoring four of Nashua’s runs. Ian DeLuca scored three runs, with Bourque, Holbrook and Ryan Bourgeois also contributing two apiece.
On the mound, Mederos took a no-hitter in the fourth, pitching all six innings of the contest and allowing just two hits and three walks on the day.
“I was confident. I’ve been pitching good all year, and I knew I had it in this game,” said Mederos, an incoming sophomore at Nashua South. “I came in with a good mindset and things starting going good.”
Both of those hits were obtained by Smithfield leadoff man Ryan Moffat, who also reached on a walk in the first.
After losing in last year’s regional tournament, Holbrook was confident coming into today’s game, a culmination for a team that has now been together for five years.
“We thought we were going to win the tournament, we thought we were going to win the tournament last year, to be honest,” said Holbrook. “We were undefeated (last year), but when it came to single elimination, we played our worst game. Today, we played our best game.”
Nashua now heads to the 14-year-old Babe Ruth World Series, beginning on Aug. 8 in
There will be 10 teams competing for the championship there, eight regional winners plus the Alabama state champion and the host program, West Alabama Babe Ruth.