Winchester wins Cal Ripken World Series opener

Posted: August 9, 2014

WINCHESTER - There's still a long way to go, but the local boys got off to a great start in the 2014 Cal Ripken 10-Year-Old World Series Saturday night.
Playing the night cap of a four-game opening day of pool play that saw Southeastern Lexington, Ky., beat Cranston, R.I., 8-3, Marlton, N.J, shut out Oak Grove, Miss., 9-0 and Sarasota, Fla., rout Williamsburg, Va., 12-2, the team from Winchester topped them all with a 13-1 victory over West Fargo, N.D., under the lights at Jim Barnett Park's Yost Field.
"We threw strikes, we hit the ball and we made plays in the field," said Winchester manager Bob Brown. "It was a good night."
Things started out great for Winchester (1-0) as leadoff hitter Carl Keenan drew a walk, third baseman Ethan Burgreen (3 for 3, 3 runs, 2 RBIs) doubled down the left-field line and catcher William Croyle reached on an error that allowed Keenan to score. Burgreen then crossed home plate on a wild pitch and extra hitter Dalton Robinson stroked an RBI single to left to plate Croyle and give the hosts a 3-0 lead before West Fargo (0-1) had even gotten up to the plate.
Things didn't get much better for the boys from North Dakota as Winchester added another three runs in the second, this time off back-to-back doubles by center fielder Garrett Hart (2 for 3, 2 RBIs) and Caleb Childs, a single by Burgreen and a double by Croyle, to build a six-run lead that West Fargo never could erase.
Winchester scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings on an RBI single by Burgreen and an RBI double by Hart, respectively, and took advantage of three errors, three walks and a single to score five runs in the top half of the sixth to put the game out of reach.
West Fargo avoided the shutout when starting pitcher Brennan Haman - the first of four pitchers used in the loss - led off the fourth inning with a single to right, advanced to second on a wild pitch and came around to score on a throwing error.
Haman's hit was one of just three in the game for the West Fargo offense, which was stymied by the pitching of Winchester starter Childs (3 innings, 3 strikeouts, 2 hits) and relievers Keenan (2 innings, two strikeouts, 1 hit) and Burgreen (1 inning, no hits).
Winchester returns to action Sunday with a pool play game against Oak Grove, Miss., at 5:30 p.m., but Brown said it was important for his team to get that first win out of the way.
"It's always great to win a World Series game, it's great for the kids," Brown said. "[Scoring early] made a big difference for us because it showed the kids they could play in this tournament and be successful. Now we have to keep it going."