District 5 Cal Ripken baseball

Belfast hosts tourney; Skowhegan, Messalonskee advance to states

Messalonskee surges to crown over Skowhegan; Belfast finishes 0-2
By Staff | Jul 11, 2017
Photo by: Ken Waltz Belfast's Xander Morgan-Corson throws the ball across the diamond on July 7 against Skowhegan during a District 5 Cal Ripken U9 baseball game on Walsh Field.

Belfast — The District 5 Cal Ripken 9-and-under youth baseball tournament played out Friday through Sunday, July 7-9 on Walsh Field as three squads vied for the coveted district crown.

Ultimately, between the three squads — Messalonskee, Skowhegan and host Belfast — it was Messalonskee that emerged from the fray and survived the “if” game forced by Skowhegan to claim the district title.

Click for photos from the Belfast and Skowhegan game.

Watch video below.

Skowhegan defeated Messalonskee, the latter of which advanced to the finals via the winner’s bracket, 18-15 in the championship on Sunday, which forced the all-important winner-take all finale to follow, which Messalosnkee won handily 30-9.

Messalonskee and Skowhegan will advance to the U9 state tournament, set for July 14-6 in Harrison.

Belfast went 0-2 in the tourney, falling to Skowhegan in both contests. Belfast lost 28-8 on Friday and were eliminated 41-7 on Saturday.

Waldo County YMCA sports director Brandon Hall said area organizers debated attempting to field a U10 team, but felt U9 was more appropriate “based on the age level of the kids.”

“The group of volunteer coaches, parents and players at this level have so much to offer,” he said. “[We] learned a lot this weekend in preparation for tournaments to come. This group has the next four years to look forward to and have a passion for baseball.”

Hall said the tournament was overall a success, led by the public address announcing of Sandi “Pinkalicious” Roman.

“[She] announced play-by-play over the loud speaker, t-shirts were sold, 50-50, concessions, sweet frog coupons for foul balls, fifth-inning trivia and much more to make it interactive,” said Hall. “A lot of hard work and preparation goes into these tournaments, so we want to make a fun atmosphere and focus on the game of baseball at its very finest.”

He added that despite their losses, several of the Belfast players plans to trek to Harrison to cheer for Skowhegan and Messalonskee in the state tournament.

Which Hall hopes will motivate the players to earn their own state tournament berths in the coming seasons.

“It certainly doesn’t happen overnight, but we will get there one small step at a time,” he said. “Have trust in the system and we will get there together as a village.”

Team members for Belfast included Landon Gray, Jack Lytton, Everett Romano, Sam Jewett, Michael Alley, Xander Morgan-Corson, Aidan Howard, Carter Fournier and Adam Robson.

Team members for Skowhegan included Drake Turcotte, Wyatt Salisbury, Logan Kinney, Bryson Howard, Adam Fitzgerald, Giacomo Johnson, Trevor Austin, Sebastian Dubois, Nick Welch, Nathan Jellison, Josh Fritz, Eli Wilkinson and Josh Fitzgerald.

The following is a recap of Belfast's contests:

Skowhegan 28, Belfast 8

At Belfast July 7, Skowhegan scored runs in droves as it swung past Belfast. Skowhegan scored four in the first, 17 in the second and seven in the third, while Belfast scored one in the second and seven in the fourth.

Leading Belfast at the plate were Morgan-Corson (2 runs), Gray (run), Lytton (run), Romano (run), Howard (run), Fournier (run) and Robson (run).

For Skowhegan, Turcotte (3 runs), Salisbury (4 runs), Kinney (4 runs), Howard (4 runs), Fitzgerald (2 runs), Johnson (3 runs), Austin (3 runs), Dubois (run), Jellison (2 runs) and Wilkinson (2 runs) paced the offense.

Romano, Robson, Fournier and Alley pitched for Belfast, while Fitzgerald, Salisbury, Austin and Johnson worked the bump for Skowhegan.

Skowhegan 41, Belfast 7

At Belfast July 8, Skowhegan eliminated Belfast from the tourney. Skowhegan scored eight runs in the first inning, 14, in the second, 17 in the third and two in the fourth, while Belfast scored one in the first, four in the second and two in the third.

Leading Belfast at the plate were Alley (3 runs), Fournier (run), Romano (run), Howard (run) and Morgan (run).

For Skowhegan, Turcotte (triple, double, 2 singles, 4 runs), Salisbury (single, 2 runs), Fitzgerald (3 singles, 3 runs), Kinney (double, 2 singles, 5 runs), Howard (triple, double, 6 runs), Fitzgerald (2 doubles, 2 singles, 6 runs), Johnson (2 singles, 4 runs), Austin (double, 2 singles, 3 runs), Dubois (run), Welch (2 doubles, 2 runs), Jellison (2 doubles, single, 2 runs) and Wilkinson (singles, 2 runs) paced the offense.

Jellison, Wilkinson, Johnson and Turcotte pitched for Skowhegan, while Jewett, Romano and Howard pitched for Belfast.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

Belfast versus Skowhegan baseball
Belfast versus Skowhegan on July 7 in Cal Ripken U9 district baseball tournament action. (Video by: Ken Waltz and Holly Vanorse Spicer)
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