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Coleman's rally comes up short, Delaney's gets 5-4 win

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by Joshua Spaulding
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Sports Editor - Salmon Press Newspapers

WILLIAM AHLGREN crosses the plate as the ball gets away from catcher Dom Jones in action on July 25. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
July 31, 2017
NORTH CONWAY — A furious last-inning rally by Coleman's came up just short on Tuesday, July 25, as Delaney's held on for a 5-4 win in Home Run Baseball League action at Kennett High School.

Delaney's got the scoring started in the top of the first inning, as both Will Ahlgren and Reilly Smith worked walks. After a wild pitch, Jake Apgar reached on a fielder's choice, bringing home Ahlgren with the first run of the game. Apgar was gunned down trying to steal second, but Smith sprinted home on the throw and Delaney's lead went to 2-0 without a hit on the books. After Dominic Jones made a nice catch near the fence in foul territory for the second out, Cole Paro delivered the first hit of the game, a double and then stole third base. Tucker Paul worked a walk but a nice play from Parker Coleman in the hole at shortstop got his team out of any more trouble.

Coleman's came back with a run in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Coleman worked a walk and then Jones tripled him home to cut the lead to 2-1. However, Delaney's starter Tyler Sprince got a strikeout to end the inning.

Sprince opened the top of the second with an infield hit and then a base hit from Justin Stirt put two runners on. Coleman's starter Harrison Keeler got a strikeout but then hit Ahlgren with a pitch to load the bases. After another strikeout, Apgar reached on an error to drive in another run and Nate Holiday's triple plated both Stirt and Ahlgren to make it 5-1 before Keeler got a strikeout to end the inning.

Sprince got some help from his defense in the bottom of the inning. Cole Bradley had a one-out double and then a base hit by Ryon Allen and a walk to Braeden Bailey loaded the bases. However a 3-2 double play, with Stirt fielding the ball, stepping on first and firing to Paro at home, got Delaney's out of the inning.

Coleman's also got the defense going in the top of the third inning with Noah Barrows taking over on the hill. After Paul walked to open the inning, Bradley made a diving catch in center and was able to fire to first to complete the 8-3 double play. Sprince worked a walk and Stirt reached on an error but Barrows got a grounder to third to end the inning.

Sprince struck out the first two in the bottom of the third but then Barrows had a base hit. However, Paro gunned him down trying to steal second to end the frame with the score still 5-1 for Delaney's.

Ahlgren had a base hit to open the top of the fourth and Smith worked a walk, but Keeler snared a line drive to third and threw to first for the 5-3 double play to help his team get out of trouble.

Coleman's got a bit closer in the bottom of the fourth inning. Coleman worked a walk and stole second and then Jones had a base hit and stole second. Will Eaton worked a walk to load the bases with nobody out and Keeler grounded to short, forcing Eaton at second and plating Coleman, but the throw to first to complete a double play went wide and Jones was allowed to score a second run to make it 5-3. Bradley followed with a base hit but Sprince struck out the next two to get out of the inning.

Paro led off the top of the fifth with a base hit but another great play by Bradley in center kept Delaney's from adding another run.

Rylie Gavitt worked a one-out walk in the bottom of the fifth and Holiday took over on the hill for Delaney's. He waked Camden Bailey and then a Barrows base hit loaded the bases. However, Coleman's could not score, as a nice play by Matt Perkins at second base got his team out of the inning.

Coleman took over on the mound in the sixth and struck out the side and Holiday did the same in the bottom of the inning, though Bradley worked a walk and Allen reached on an error.

Allen made a nice play at third base in the top of the seventh to help keep his team close. Holiday worked a two-out walk and got all the way to third on wild pitches, but was left there.

Holiday got the first two outs of the bottom of the seventh pretty quickly but then walks to Camden Bailey and Barrows and a base hit by Coleman plated one run, cutting the lead to 5-4. Jones was walked intentionally to load the bases and Holiday got a big strikeout to end the game and give Delaney's the 5-4 win.

Today, Delaney's will play Tamworth in Tamworth and Coleman's will play Tuckerman's at Kennett. On Tuesday, Aug. 8, Tuckerman's and Delaney's will play at Kennett and Coleman's and Tamworth will play in Tamworth.

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 569-3126 or sportsgsn@salmonpress.com.

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