HOLDEN, Mass. — The Holden Baseball 11-12-Year-Old All Stars beat the All Stars from Worcester's Jesse Burkett League, 10-7, in District semifinal play Tuesday.
Holden must win the next two games to take home the District title. Holden plays West Boylston at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Ted Williams Field in Worcester. If Holden wins, the teams play again at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
It was a close game until the fifth inning when Holden's bats came alive. Holden put up six runs to go ahead 10-3. In the top of the sixth, Burkett plated four runs of its own, but Holden held on for the win.
P.J. Barry, Tim Baker, Erik Bjorn, Jon Rubin, Duncan Lavine, Jimmy Conway, Nick Durham, Cole Durkan, Zach Vandale and Ben Post all had hits for Holden. Jack Grogan and Nick Bove helped out with sacrifice bunts, defense and good base running.
The Holden 9-10 District All Star Team defeated Belchertown, 16-15, in extra innings. Sam Pedone had a walk-off single with men on first and second in the bottom of the seventh, driving in Peter Field for the win.
Holden was down, 14-4, in the third inning, narrowed the lead to 14-9 by the end of the fourth, and scored six in the fifth to take the lead.
There was solid hitting by Sean Gardner, Asa Floyd, Luke Delongchamp and Nick Carrelli. Delongchamp pitched three shutout innings to keep the game within reach, helped by a great defensive play by Francis Ferguson.
Belchertown tied the game in the sixth inning, but strong relief pitching from Matthew Verrier shut the rally down.
Holden plays Belchertown again for a chance to win the Sectional championship in the best-of-three series.
Holden's 10-11 District All Star team captured the District 4 championship and will now host the winner of a game between the District 1 and District 2 champions in the State Sectionals on Thursday, July 19 at the CRA.
Should Holden win that game, it would host Game 1 of the finals Saturday, July 21.