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'(Posted 8:30 a.m., Julyt 23)
Orleans Red Sox advance to provincial Little League championships
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Orleans Red Sox pitcher Graham McArthur limited the Carleton-Russell Aces to just one hit in the final of the District 6 Little League Baseball Championship. The final score was 14-1 in favour of the Red Sox. Fred Sherwin/Photo


The Orleans Red Sox easily advanced to the provincial Little League championships on Wednesday by downing the Carleton-Russell Aces 14-1 in the final of the District 6 playdowns.

The Red Sox needed just four innings to dispatch the Aces thanks to the mercy rule which declares a winner if a team is leading by 10 or more runs after four innings.

Orleans jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning thanks to a pair of doubles by Demi Orimoloye and Alex Ferris.

The Aces responded with their only run of the game in the bottom half of the inning, but the Red Sox answered back with five more runs in the second to open up an eight run lead.

That woulld be all Orleans starter Graham McArthur would need, as the 12-year-old hurler shut Carleton-Russell down the rest of the way. In four innings of work he allowed just one hit while striking out seven. He helped out offensively as well going three for three at the plate while driving in three of the Red Sox 14 runs. Orimoloye, John Lobban and Alex Ferris added three RBIs apiece.

The Red Sox mercied the Aces twice including a 14-0 shutout in the opening game of the tournament. In the only other game they played, they mercied South Ottawa 11-1.

It was an impressive performance by the group of 11- and 12-year-olds who must now prepare for the provincial championships which will begin in Pembroke on July 30.

The Red Sox are hoping to make it all the to the finals this year after being shown an early exit in last year's tournament.

McArthur is one of five returning players on the team. He believes they have what it takes to make it to the Canadian championships and potentially the Little League World Series in Williamsport.

"We have more consistent pitching this year. Last year we just depended ion two horses. (Offensively) it's the same thing. Our hitting is a lot deeper. Our top nine guys can all hit," says McArthur.

Depth at pitching is one of the key factors in having any sort of success at the provincial or national levels given the tournament format and pitch count rules which are strictly enforced. For instances, if a pitcher throws 46 or more pitches in a game he must sit out at least two days and a game before he can pitch again.

The Red Sox enjoy the rare luxury of having eight players who can throw the ball well.

"Coming into this season I didn't know I'd have eight kids I can count on to pitch," says the team's head coach Paukl Charron. "We also have a lot of experience. We have eight 12-year-olds on the team including five that were there last year."

The Red Sox will have to call on all that experience when they take on the likes of Toronto High Parkand the Timmins Lynx who are likely to be their main competition in Pembroke.

Members of the Orleans Red Sox pose with the championship trophy after downing the Carleton-Russell Aces in the final of the District 6 Major Little League Baseball Championships on Wednesday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

'(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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