Babe Ruth League championship play continues

In this file photo, Aksel Cooperrider of the Astros throws to a Mashpee batter. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

In Game 1 of the Gateway Babe Ruth Championship on Monday, the Vineyard Gray traveled to Yarmouth to face the American League champs, the DY Gray Dolphins. The 18-1 Dolphins had no answer for hurler Jake Howell, who pitched a seamless two-hit shutout. The Vineyard won 3-0.

A sacrifice fly by Hunter Cleary, an RBI double by Nick Bischoff, and a wild pitch that scored Jeremy Regan from third were more than enough to overcome the pitching trio from DY.

Game 2, in the best-of-three championship series, was played on-Island at the high school at 4:30 on Wednesday, July 15. Game 3, if needed, will be in Yarmouth tonight.

Last week, the Vineyard Gray improved to 16-3 with a 2-1 series win over the Wareham Cubs in the National League best-of-three divisional championship series.

Last Thursday, in the first game, the Vineyard came back from an early 2-0 deficit with five runs in the bottom of the sixth to win 5-2. Jack Sierputoski pitched a complete game, striking out 10 Wareham batters along the way. Jake Howell, Harold Lawry, Hunter Cleary, Nick Bischoff, and Benny Binder delivered consecutive hits during the turnaround inning. Jack then struck out the side in the seventh to seal the deal.

In Game 2 on July 7, in Wareham, the Cubs returned the favor. Pitcher Jake Howell looked unhittable through three innings, until three consecutive hits found fair territory down the right-field line, contributing to a five-run inning. The Vineyard got as close as 5-3 with the bases loaded in the fifth, but could produce no more. The final was 7-3. Joe Serpa and Jack Sierputoski each contributed to the offense with two hits.

In Game 3, back on the Vineyard on July 9 in front of a loud crowd, the Vineyard shut down the tough Cub offense with a decisive 5-0 victory, improving their record to 16-3. A three-run fifth inning separated the two teams in what otherwise was a well-pitched and tightly defended game. Harold Lawry and Jack Sierputoski combined on the two-hit shutout, while Colby Balboni delivered a clutch two-run single during the fifth-inning rally. Colby and Jeremy Regan also combined on a fine third-to-second putout to close out the game.