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SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – On Saturday afternoon, July 27th in Milbury, MA, the Shrewsbury Nationals Little League All-Star Team (11 year olds) won the Thomas Dunford Memorial District 5 Championship. The team defeated the Northboro Little League All-Stars 6-2 in the championship game. The Nationals defended their title that they won last season as 10 year olds.
After finishing round robin play with a record of 3 wins and 3 losses, the Nationals earned the #10 seed in the 14 team tournament for the championship round. Peaking at the right time, they proceeded to win four straight games in single elimination play (upping their record the past two seasons to 8-0 in elimination games) to finish with an overall record of seven wins and three losses in the tournament. Wins during this championship run came against Central Massachusetts based all-star teams from, Milbury, Westboro, Grafton, Quabog, Southboro (Quarter-Finals) Auburn (Semi-Finals), and Northboro (Finals).
In the championship game, the Nationals took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning, It was not until the top of the 6th inning that the Nationals gave themselves some more breathing room, taking a 6-1 lead and holding on for the victory. Great pitching, clutch two-out hitting, and strong defense were the trademarks of this ballclub.
Leading the Shrewsbury Nationals with an outstanding pitching performance, starting for the second consecutive season in the championship game, was hard-throwing right-hander Logan Peterson. Peterson only gave up two unearned runs, scattering only four hits on 10 strikeouts and one walk over 5 2/3 innings. After Peterson reached his pitch count limit, crafty left-hander Tyler Mudd came in from his usual centerfield position to pitch and get the last out on a force out to earn the save. This series of events resulted in a celebration of the ages on the pitcher’s mound of the entire Shrewsbury Nationals team.
Leading the offensive attack in the championship game was Sean Bunton (2 hits, 2 RBI’s) and Ryan McAulay (2 hits, RBI). Also getting hits and/or RBI’s for the Nationals was Tyler Mudd, Cade Nelson, Nico Evangelous, Clint Mills, Logan Peterson, and Matt Rossi.
Flashing the leather with some defensive gems in this game were Teddy Karlin (2B), Ryan Bouffard (SS), Shane MacDonald (LF), Nico Evangelous (LF), and Cam Thibeault (C).
Pitcher and versatile position player Ryan McAulay was named the Tournament “Most Valuable Player” for his outstanding pitching, hitting, and fielding throughout the tournament. Speedy centerfielder Tyler Mudd received the Tournaments “Most Outstanding Hustler Award” due to his creating havoc on the base paths and his ability to track down fly balls in the outfield throughout the tournament.
Members of the Shrewsbury Nationals 11 Year Old All Stars include Ryan Bouffard, Sean Bunton, Dante Colonero, Nico Evangelous, Teddy Karlin, Shane MacDonald, Ryan McAulay, Clint Mills, Tyler Mudd, Cade Nelson, Logan Peterson, Matt Rossi and Cam Thibeault.
The team’s head coach was Gary Thibeault and he was assisted by Craig Colonero, Dave MacDonald, and Michael Mudd.
Congratulations should also be in order for the Shrewsbury Americans who also made it to the semi-finals of the event for the second consecutive season. Congratulations boys!