STATE CHAMPIONS

Updated Monday July 16, 2018 by Northampton Baseball & Softball.

Article as featured in the Gazette on Monday July 16, 2018;

 

The Northampton Intermediate baseball team made history Sunday.

The team beat Lincoln-Sudbury, 9-7, in Auburn to win its first Little League state championship in the 12-13 age division.

Northampton dropped the first game of the best-of-three series, 11-1 on Saturday. Hamp rallied to win in walk-off fashion, 5-4, in Game 2 Saturday.

“They were not down on themselves. They have relentless fight and determination,” coach Jeff Payne said. “We have gone through and stressed team over anything else. There are no individual stars in baseball. It’s a team effort and this group resembles the definition of a team 100 percent.”

Northampton was motivated after Game 1.

“They watched the other team celebrate, taking pictures,” Payne said. “We kept them in the dugout to watch it, see it, motivate them.”

Hamp trailed 4-2 in Game 2 when it scored three runs in the seventh to walk off.

Trey Rios doubled and scored on a David Shycon single. After Liam Flynn walked, passed balls plated Shycon and moved Flynn to third.

Caleb Steiniger singled to put runners at the corners. Beau Elson then singled to win the game.

“They were excited with the walk-off, but we got them together and said, ‘Great game. All in all tomorrow is the deciding game. We have business to do.’”

Northampton took a 3-0 lead in the first inning of Game 3 and held it from there.

James Elliott and Cayden Payne each went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and three stolen bases. Cayden Payne caught all 18 innings of the series.

Marty Maslowski (run, two steals) also went 2-for-3, while Steiniger (two runs, two steals) singled. Peter Sullivan scored, walked and stole a base, while Trey Rios scored.

Steiniger worked 4⅔ and struck out three. Elliott fanned three over 3⅓ innings in relief.

Northampton will represent Massachusetts at the double-elimination Eastern Regionals on Long Island.

Hamp will play New Jersey at 2 p.m. Saturday at Cedar Road Park in East Northport, New York.