by Coach Jethro Hayman
After competing against each other in the state baseball tournament on July 4 weekend, a group of Lake Region and North Country coaches and players decided they were not ready to hang up their cleats. So they formed a hybrid 12U (ages 12 and under) all-star team to keep the season going. The Orleans County All-Stars entered the Alto Catsam tournament in Newport, New Hampshire, which is more than two hours south July 19, 20, and 21. The nine-team double elimination tournament featured some of the best teams from New Hampshire.
With only one practice, Orleans County headed down to see how the team stacked up. After trying a few other team cheers that were a mouthful, the Orleans County 12U identity was discovered: “1, 2, 3, Let’s Go OC!”
The team represented our area with distinction, earning the respect and admiration of both fans and opposing teams. Orleans County overcame several major obstacles to eventually claim the title. First, the blended team was made up of “rivals” with one practice to learn signs and positions. In a game as complex as baseball, the speed that the new team jelled was amazing. Second, they had the long drive in the oppressive heat. This was a tiring ordeal for players, coaches, and parents alike. Third, our Friday night under the lights game was canceled due to lightning midway into the top of the first inning. So many had to drive home through the storm and come back the next day. We could not believe our eyes coming over Sheffield Heights to see the trees down on the interstate! Fourth, the team had to play four games on Sunday to win the tournament. They played the first game at 10 a.m. and the last ended at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
In the end, these obstacles were surmounted by the boys’ passion for the game. At one point after the third game on Sunday, the fans of the opposition watched the Orleans County players dancing to the DJ and said “where do they get the energy?”
I would guess that these boys get the energy from their love of the game, enjoyment of their brotherhood, and the support of their fans. Not only did Orleans County take home the tournament trophy, they took home some new friends and special memories.
Alto Catsam 2013 Tournament Summary
Game One: Orleans County’s offense was too much for Lebanon in a 13-3 rout.
Orleans County refused to relinquish the lead after grabbing it early against Lebanon, recording a 13-3 victory on Tuesday July 16. With seven runs in the first three innings, Orleans County left no doubt about the eventual outcome. An RBI single by Parker Brown during the first inning and a walk by Dylan Gagnon and a two-run single by Rian Hayman-Jones in the second inning supplied the early offense for Orleans County. In the third, Nick Bingham racked up two RBI on a triple followed by an RBI double by Gabe Riendeau. In the fourth, Orleans County scored six on an RBI double by Asom Hayman-Jones and a two-run double by Noah Gonthier. Aiden Gariepy had an impressive outing against Lebanon’s lineup. Aiden held Lebanon hitless over two innings, allowed no earned runs, and struck out five.
Game Two: Orleans County drubs Kearsarge Valley, 9-3
Kearsarge Valley had a tough outing on Saturday July 20, as Orleans County dominated in a 9-3 win in six innings. Orleans County scored four runs in the first on a groundout by Noah Gonthier, an RBI double by Parker Brown, an RBI double by Asom Hayman-Jones, and a passed ball. Parker B racked up three RBI on three hits. Orleans County answered Kearsarge Valley’s top inning with two runs of its own in the second. Orleans County scored on an RBI single by Noah and an RBI single by Parker B. Orleans County tacked on another three runs in the fourth. Parker Perron kicked things off with a single, scoring Dylan Gagnon. That was followed up by Parker B’s single, bringing home Rian Hayman-Jones.
Game Three: Orleans County musters more hits but falls 2-1 to Connecticut Valley.
Orleans County lost 2-1 in six innings at Newport, New Hampshire, on Sunday, July 21, at 10 a.m., despite outhitting Connecticut Valley five to two. Rian Hayman-Jones brought the heat against Connecticut Valley during his outing. Connecticut Valley managed just two hits, scored one earned run, and struck out six times during his three and two-thirds innings of work. Orleans County scored its only run of the game on an RBI single by Nick Bingham in the first inning. It didn’t take long for Connecticut Valley to respond as it scored one run of its own in the first. Connecticut Valley never trailed after scoring one run in the fifth on a wild pitch.
Game Four: Kearsarge Valley falls 14-6 at the hands of Orleans County.
Orleans County pounded Kearsarge Valley on Sunday, July 21, 14-6 at Newport, New Hampshire, in six innings, at 12:30 pm. Orleans County scored seven runs in the sixth on an RBI single by Parker Brown, an RBI single by Dylan Gagnon, a hit by pitch, a passed ball, a wild pitch, and a two-run home run by Rian Hayman-Jones. Rian racked up three RBIs on four hits. The top of the second saw Orleans County take an early lead, 2-0. The attack began with a single from Rian. Orleans County added more runs when Gonthier scored on an RBI single by Rian. Kearsarge Valley tied the game in the third on a steal of home. Orleans County stayed on top until the final out after taking the lead in the fourth, scoring five runs on an RBI double by Parker B and a two-run single by Noah Gonthier.
Game Five: Orleans County dominates Connecticut Valley 16-2.
Rian Hayman-Jones sparked Orleans County to a 16-2 victory over Connecticut Valley on Sunday in Newport, New Hampshire, with a strong game at the plate and on the bump. Rian went 3 for 5, had 4 RBIs, and scored three runs with a single, double, and a home run. Rian shut down Connecticut Valley while he was on the mound. Rian held Connecticut Valley hitless over two innings, allowed no earned runs, walked none and struck out five. The game was close until Orleans County broke it open in the top of the fifth inning. Leading by a run, Orleans County loaded the bases for Asom Hayman-Jones who knocked in two runs with a line drive. A few plays later, Kodi Smith singled, bringing in another run, and then Rian drove in two more with a single up the middle. Orleans County batted through the order scoring 9 runs with RBIs by Noah Gonthier and Parker Brown. In the top of the sixth, Nick Bingham singled, Dylan Gagnon doubled, setting up Aiden for a two-run double, who was followed by Rian’s home run to center field. Singles by Parker Perron and Parker Brown gave Asom a chance to deliver with another RBI. The offensive explosion was too much for Connecticut Valley.
Game Six: Aiden Gariepy threw a no-hitter as Orleans County defeated Connecticut Valley 10-0.
Aiden Gariepy was untouchable on Sunday at evening, throwing a no-hitter in Orleans County’s 10-0 victory over Connecticut Valley that clinched the tournament championship. No Connecticut Valley batter was able to locate Aiden’s pitches during the game. Aiden threw a no-hitter, striking out nine batters while recording his momentous feat. Nine runs in the opening three innings allowed Orleans County to easily put away Connecticut Valley. An RBI double by Parker Perron and an RBI double by Parker Brown during the first inning helped Orleans County put some runs on the board early. Parker B had a busy day at the plate, collecting two extra-base hits. Orleans County was sparked by Rian Hayman-Jones and Parker P, who teamed up for six hits and four RBIs.