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July 7, 2014

Long ball helps Ham-Wen knock off Gloucester Americans

BEVERLY — So far in the District 15 Little League Williamsport all-star tournament, it’s been the top of the Hamilton-Wenham order that’s done the majority of the damage for the Generals.

In its 7-4 win over Gloucester American Saturday night in the double-elimination knockout round at Harry Ball Field, the biggest swings came from the middle of the H-W order.

Will Frain, Cooper McGrath and Daniel McDonough — the Nos. 4-5-6 hitters in the lineup — combined for four homers and six RBI as the Generals improved to 6-0 in the tournament. Frain and McGrath hit back-to-back solo homers to kick off the top of the third inning, extending Hamilton-Wenham’s lead to 6-0, and Frain hit another solo shot to lead off the fifth. In addition, McDonough had a three-run homer.

Hamilton-Wenham will play Beverly (which is also unbeaten at 6-0) tonight back at Harry Ball Field (5:30 p.m.) while Gloucester (4-2) takes on Danvers American at 7:30.

“Each game, we’ve had a player or group of players step up,” explained Hamilton-Wenham manager David Jones. “Tonight, the middle of the lineup was huge. They’ve been huge all summer, but it’s usually the top of our lineup.

“Daniel had a fantastic at-bat and that got the momentum going.”

After Will Jones scored on a passed ball in the top of the first, McDonough belted a three-run homer over the fence in right-center field to give H-W an early 4-0 cushion.

Will Jones, a big left-hander, got the start on the mound and cruised into the third inning before the Generals opted to give the ball to Aidan Cann to preserve Jones’ pitch count. Cann and McGrath finished out the game.

Jones used a devastating curveball to keep the Gloucester American batters guessing. When he came out with two outs in the bottom of the third, Jones had struck out the last five hitters he had faced.

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