By Dan Harrison
---- — HAMILTON — Intimidation quickly became a factor Saturday against Ipswich as the Hamilton-Wenham Williamsport all-star team flexed its mashing muscles, belting four home runs as part of a eight-run, first inning onslaught in a 18-1 win.
Ipswich (0-2) wasn’t just stymied by the number of times the H-W (2-0) hitters left the yard but also the distance with which they did it.
“Those were some of the longest home runs I’ve seen in Little League,” said Ipswich manager Bill Yanakakis. “It (the first inning) was a nightmare. A lot of times the first inning sets the tone. It’s hard to keep 12-year-olds excited after an inning like that.”
Cameron Peach led off the game with a towering bomb deep over the centerfield fence and then Jack Cronin followed with a solo shot to give H-W its first of two, back-to-back dingers in the inning. Later, Pierson Tocci launched a shot way over the centerfield fence for a three-run homer before Nick Glovsky followed with his first career longball.
Paul Horgan added a sac fly while Ipswich starter Declan O’Flynn also walked in a run as H-W pulled away in the first. It was a refreshing sight for head coach Bill Peach, who thought his boys were too passive at the plate in their first District 15 pool-play game, an 8-3 win over Danvers National.
“We made a point of attacking early in counts and we did that. We needed a breakout game (at the plate) and you could tell the kids were more comfortable playing here (on their homefield),” noted Peach. “Certainly the first inning relaxed the kids and when you’re comfortable and not worried about the outcome you can take some free swings.”
Cronin (four RBI) added his second homer of the game in the top of the fourth inning when he turned on a fastball and cranked it not only over the fence in left field but over the backstop on the adjacent field as well.
H-W’s RBI leader was Tocci, who had five including a hit that scored Will Jones and Aidan Heney in the second. Paul Horgan, Billy Whelan, Jones, Adam Parady (two) and Phillip Durgin also had RBI for H-W.
Mark Roselli and Aidan Cann also had a hit each as every H-W hitter registered at least a hit or a RBI in the game.
“Jack and Pierson had big days, but everybody hit. There were a lot of balls hit on the nose,” explained Peach. “When guys hit to the opposite field you’re happy as a coach and you know your hitters are locked in.”
The big lead allowed Hamilton-Wenham to use a different pitcher each inning as Cronin, Peach, Horgan and Jones all saw time on the mound. Cronin gave up a run in the first on a RBI ground-rule double by Dan Stedman.
O’Flynn tossed just a third of an inning for Ipswich before Max Kivekas came in and went the rest of the way. Jack Sotiropoulos had a strong defensive game with a pair of diving plays at first base.