2011 Baseball 11 Year Old District Tournament Team
7/16, West Windsor 5, Millstone/Roosevelt 1
Though the West Windsor 11-year old All Star team’s offense is highly-regarded throughout the District, its pitching staff sometimes gets overlooked. In Saturday’s Winner’s Bracket semifinal versus Millstone/Roosevelt, West Windsor put its faith in its hurlers to secure a 5-1 win and advance to play Nottingham in the semifinals on Tuesday at 8pm at HTRBA.
West Windsor’s bats were silent in five of the six innings, but the combination of Dylan Welch, Matthew Michibata and Ben Goldstein combined on a four-hitter with 10 strikeouts. Michibata’s middle innings were crucial, as he entered with the bases loaded and one out in the second inning with WW trailing, 1-0. Mixing three pitches, Michibata struck out Millstone’s top hitter and induced the clean-up hitter to ground a ball to Goldstein at shortstop for an unassisted force-out.
West Windsor took full advantage of the momentum change in the top of the third inning. Goldstein led off with a sharp single and Stephen Kamp walked. A nice sacrifice bunt by Brian Murphy moved Goldstein and pinch runner Jack Lichtenstein to second and third for Welch, who line a single to right field to tie the game while moving to second on a throw home. With two outs, Sahil Thube continued his clutch hitting by driving home Lichtenstein and Welch with a single to right field. Erik Howard, the next batter, hit a bomb into the trees beyond the left field fence for a 2-run homer to complete the scoring.
Goldstein relieved Michibata with two outs in the fourth inning and, after walking his first batter, retired the final seven (four on strikeouts) for his second straight save in the District Tournament.
With Nottingham on the horizon, it’s nice to know West Windsor has both sides of the game covered.
July 12, West Windsor 15, HTRBA 1
If you happen to be driving around the Sunnybrae Little League facility the next few days, don’t be surprised to see Wanted Posters with the mug of West Windsor 11-year old All Star first baseman Ryan Strype labeled “The Sunnybrae Assassin.” Strype’s potent bat once again prove lethal in WW’s 11-7 victory over host Sunnybrae on Tuesday in the first round of the District Tournament. West Windsor advances in the winner’s bracket to play Millstone/Roosevelt on Saturday at 10am at HTRBA.
Strype went 3-for-4 with a single, double and grand slam, finishing with 5 RBIs and 3 runs scored. This after Strype’s home run and 4-RBI day were keys to WW eliminating Sunnybrae in the early HTRBA Tournament quarterfinals last week. Strype also happened to homer against Sunnybrae in last year’s 12-2 win that knocked Sunnybrae out of the 10-year old District Tournament.
Strype’s first inning single moved Brian Murphy to second for Sahil Thube, whose hard grounder past the second base hole ended up at the right field fence to score both runners, with Thube hustling to third on the play. Erik Howard’s bullet sacrifice fly to right scored Thube for a 3-0 West Windsor lead.
After Cole Millinger shut down Sunnybrae’s top of the order in the bottom half, he singled to right to set up another big rally. A Murphy hit and a Dylan Welch walk brought Strype to the plate with bases loaded. On a 3-2 count and nowhere to put Strype, the Suunnybrae pitcher came with a good fastball. Strype ripped a high liner to left-center, with the ball hitting the top railing and bounding over the fence for a grand slam to make it 7-0.
Sunnybrae cut the deficit to 7-6 after three innings, but up came that deadly trio at the top of West Windsor’s order in the fourth. Jack Lichtenstein drew a walk and, with two outs, Welch laced a triple to right field. Strype followed with another laser to left-center, the ball this time smashing flush into the fence for a double. Thube then plated Strype with a single to right field.
West Windsor added an insurance run in the fifth on Ben Goldstein’s ground out that drove in Matthew Michibata.
The attack was sufficient for Goldstein, who hurled the final four innings, allowing only one earned run. When Sunnybrae threatened in the bottom of the sixth, having cut into the lead at 11-7 with runners on first and third and no outs, West Windsor turned to its defense. As a Sunnybrae runner attempted to steal second, Lichtenstein, the catcher, threw straight to Michibata covering third to put out the inattentive runner. One batter later, Strype made a difficult grab of a foul pop-up and was able to get back to the first base bag for a game-ending double play.
At that point, Sunnybrae was finally able to say “good riddance” to Ryan Strype.
July 5, 2011, HTRBA Tournament: HTRBA 6, West Windsor 5
In a seesaw battle between two of the top teams in District 12, pre-District Tournament host HTRBA outlasted the West Windsor 11-year old All Stars, 6-5, in the semifinals on Tuesday.
Ben Goldstein, despite giving up his first run over three games in the tournament in the top of the first, shut down heavy-hitting HTRBA over the next four innings in a gutty performance.
However, West Windsor did not generate its usual offense until the bottom of the fifth. Dylan Welch and Ryan Strype each singled and moved around the bases to score on wild pitches to give West Windsor a 2-1 lead. Then, with two outs and two runners on, Jack McNeilly hit a clutch double to the right-centerfield wall to drive home Erik Howard and Stephen Kamp. After Goldstein’s hit moved him to third, McNeilly scored when Brennan Froio was safe on a fielder’s choice.
The 5-1 lead, unfortunately, was short-lived, as HTRBA battled back to take the lead in the top of the sixth. In West Windsor’s last at-bat, Jack Lichtenstein reached on an error with one out and went to third on Brian Murphy’s long double. HTRBA was able to keep the tying run from scoring and advanced to the finals.
West Windsor’s first game in the District double elimination tournament will be on Tuesday July 12 at 6pm at Sunnybrae.
July 2, 2011, HTRBA Tournament: West Windsor 7, Sunnybrae 2
Many would excuse West Windsor 11-year old District All Star first baseman Ryan Strype if he showed any frustration from seeing few good pitches to hit based on his growing reputation as a power hitter during the Pool Play portion of the HTRBA Tournament. Strype’s patience paid off in Saturday’s 7-2 quarterfinal victory over Sunnybrae that propelled West Windsor to a semifinal date with host HTRBA on Tuesday at 6pm.
Strype hit a two-run line drive homer over the center field fence in the bottom of the first and served a two-run single in the fifth for added insurance. Strype then worked his way around the bases on wild pitches to score the game’s final run.
After Sunnybrae tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the third, West Windsor scratched out the winning run on Jack Lichtenstein’s double to the right field gap, a bouncing single by Brian Murphy and Dylan Welch’s sacrifice fly to center field that plated Lichtenstein. In the fourth inning, Matthew Michibata’s single scored Jack McNeilly to give West Windsor a 4-2 lead.
That proved enough for the combination of Cole Millinger and Ben Goldstein. After Millinger allowed two runs in three innings of strike throwing, Goldstein retired all nine batters he faced, blowing away six hitters on strikeouts. In eight-plus innings in the tournament, Goldstein has blanked the opposition while yielding only two hits and one walk, striking out 10.
July 1, HTRBA Tournament: West Windsor 10, Bordentown 6
The old baseball axiom is that in most games, the winning team scores as many or more runs in its biggest inning as the losing team scores during the whole game. Fortunately for the West Windsor 11-year old District All Stars, their bats have exploded at appropriate times to carry them to a 3-0 pool play record in the HTRBA Tournament.
Bordentown was the latest victim, as West Windsor eviscerated a 3-2 deficit in the top of the fourth inning en route to a 10-6 victory that sets up a quarterfinal matchup with Sunnybrae on Saturday at 3pm.
Ryan Strype, Sahil Thube, Erik Howard and Stephen Kamp hit consecutive doubles on blasts to the gaps to open the inning. Jack McNeilly, who went 2-for-2 with a walk, a run scored and an RBI, drove home Kamp with a single up the middle. Brennan Froio’s single put runners on first and second for Ben Goldstein, who laced a line drive single to center that scored McNeilly. When Goldstein took off for second, Bordentown’s errant attempt allowed Froio to score to give West Windsor an 8-3 lead.
Starting pitcher Dylan Welch picked up the victory with three solid innings and Thube got out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the fourth after Bordentown had cut the lead to 8-6. After Thube’s scoreless fifth inning, Matthew Michibata closed the game with a 1-2-3 sixth inning.
Ryan Strype, who scored three runs in the game, and Welch were driven home on ground ball outs in the fifth to account for the final margin. Just to prove that West Windsor can also scratch out runs when it needs to as well.
June 28, 2011, HTRBA Tournament: West Windsor 8, Robbinsville 0
Behind the stellar pitching of Ben Goldstein and a 7-run second inning, the West Windsor 11-year old District All Stars took the heart out of very talented Robbinsville early in an 8-0 victory Tuesday night that clinched first place in Pool A of the HTRBA Tournament.
In Goldstein’s five and a third innings, he allowed two hits, no walks and hit a batter while striking out four. After the first inning, only 11 of his pitches missed the plate. Goldstein and closer Sahil Thube kept the Robbinsville hitters off balance all night with effective off-speed pitches to complement their fastballs. Robbinsville had the bases loaded with two outs in the second and sixth innings but popped up both times to first baseman Ryan Strype.
Meanwhile, West Windsor jumped all over the Robbinsville pitching in the second inning after scratching out a run in the first on a Strype fielder’s choice. Stephen Kamp, the fists of 14 West Windsor batters in the inning, led off with a bloop single down the right field line and motored home on Matthew Michibata’s triple to the gap. Michibata and Brennan Froio, who walked and then stole second, both scored on Cole Millinger’s single to right field. Goldstein followed with a single and a stolen base to again put runners on second and third for Jack Lichtenstein, who lined another hit to right field that scored two runs for a 6-0 lead.
West Windsor was not finished. Lichtenstein worked his way around the bases to score on wild pitches and Thube’s hard single up the middle plated Jack McNeilly for the final run of the inning and game.
West Windsor next faces Bordentown at 6pm on Friday to complete pool play and will compete in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 5pm against the loser of Friday’s Sunnybrae/Ewing contest.
June 25, 2011, HTRBA Tournament: West Windsor 11, Cranbury-Plainsboro 1
The West Windsor Little League 11-year old All Star team opened a pre-District tournament at HTRBA by cruising past Cranbury/Plainsboro, 11-1, in four innings on Saturday. Cole Millinger threw three shutout innings and the bats exploded for nine runs in the final two innings to blow the game open.
Millinger was dominant, allowing only one hit and one walk while striking out three batters. No CP batter got past first base in the first three innings.
Meanwhile, West Windsor opened the scoring with two runs in the top of the first inning courtesy of a clutch Erik Howard two-out single that scored Dylan Welch and then Ryan Strype after a CP overthrow.
Welch, who went 3-for-3 with a double, three runs scored, and an RBI, was in the middle of the third inning eruption. Brian Murphy hit a one-out double to the left field fence and, after a Welch single and a walk to Strype, Sahil Thube’s ground ball was misplayed, allowing two runs to score. Howard followed with a bomb to right field for a triple that plated Strype and Thube. Stephen Kamp’s RBI ground out gave West Windsor a 7-0 lead.
West Windsor was far from finished. With runners on second and third in the top of the fourth inning, Murphy drove in two runs with a single and scored on Welch’s double. Strype drove home Welch for the final run and then took the mound to close the game. With runners on second and third and one out, the CP batter hit a comebacker to Strype, who looked the runner back to third and took the out at first to Murphy. Murphy then delivered a strike to Welch at the plate to nail the runner and end the game on a double play.
West Windsor next takes on Robbinsville, one of the Tournament favorites, in a pool play game on Tuesday at 8pm.