The MV 13U (Martha’s Vineyard age 13 and under) All Stars took part in the Dan Duquette Summer Heat tournament over the weekend, July 24 to 26, in Hinsdale. The Vineyard came out on top as tournament champions with a 4-1 record, after facing teams from Rockaway, N.Y.; Rochester, N.Y., Dalton, and Pittsfield. The clincher came Sunday with a 14-13 win over Rochester.
After soundly beating Rockaway 19-0 in Game 1, the competitions between the four remaining teams would result in nervy and unpredictable outcomes.
The Vineyard played Rochester Royal Comets second, who entered the game with a 2-0 record. The Vineyard prevailed 5-2, behind the no-hit pitching performance of Harold Lawry.
In Game 3, the Vineyard faced the tournament-favorite Pittsfield All Stars. Although the game was tightly contested through five innings, Martha’s Vineyard could muster only six hits, and lost 9-2.
Game 4 presented the Dalton Dirt Dogs, who had given Pittsfield a tough game earlier in the day. After falling behind 3-0 in the first inning, Vineyard pitcher Jake Howell settled down and held the Dogs scoreless for the remainder of the game, resulting in a 5-3 Vineyard victory.
With a 3-1 record, the Vineyard had to await the Sunday-morning outcome between 3-1 Rochester and 4-0 Pittsfield to see whether a championship bid would be possible. In order for the Vineyard to qualify for the final, Pittsfield would have to win and score at least three runs, or Rochester would have to upset Pittsfield by an unlikely run differential of at least eight runs. Rochester defied all odds and succeeded by the winning score of 12-2, which set up the championship game with the Vineyard.
In the championship game, the first inning was indicative of things to come. The Vineyard opened with three runs in the top of the first, led by Cam Moore’s two-run single to right field. Rochester responded with four runs of their own in both the first and the second innings, to take an 8-4 lead. While the Vineyard bats remained quiet, pitcher Jeremy Regan came on in relief to cool the hot Rochester bats. In the top of the fifth, the Vineyard responded with a seven-hit, 10-run outburst, which included two-run doubles by both Ryan Scanlon and Summer Cardoza, who caught the leftfielder playing shallow. After five, the Vineyard led 14-10. Rochester scored two in the sixth to make it 14-12. Enter Jake Howell, who pitched a complete game earlier in the day against Dalton, to attempt to close the door. Three quick outs terminated the Rochester rally, and the two teams moved to the seventh and final inning. The Vineyard, after a Miles Sidoti single, went quietly. For Rochester in the bottom of the inning, the first two batters reached safely. With one out, their No. 2 batter drove a decisive single into left field to score the runner from third. The runner from second was also sent to the plate in an attempt to tie the game. Leftfielder Peter Burkes’ perfect throw to the plate was cut off by Jake along the third base line, where he quickly applied a tag to the runner. Jake then turned and threw to second, attempting to get out the batter who had moved to second on the outfield throw. Jake’s throw deflected off the runner, resulting in a safe call. With two outs, and the game-tying runner on second base, Rochester’s best hitter was at the plate. With a one-ball, one-strike count, the runner on second attempted to steal third base, and was thrown out on a perfect throw, catch, and tag between catcher Ryan Scanlon and third baseman Summer Cardoza. The game ended in Martha’s Vineyard’s favor 14-13, giving the summer title to the Vineyarders.