Canton 12 yr olds win Suburban Youth Baseball titleBy Guest
The Canton 12-year-old Williamsport/A team won the Suburban Youth Baseball League championship by defeating perennial powerhouse Braintree 14-4 in the finals.
Canton received strong pitching from Andrew Bryant and Kyle Burke. Homeruns by Burke, Brian Drakos, Kevin Monagle, and Steven Walker led the way in winning the game in five innings. The championship game was preceded by a tense semifinal game against a strong Newton East team. Peter Hudner and Burke pitched well, and Canton got a key home run from Monagle, some spectacular outfield play by W.T. Khoury, and a ninth-inning homerun from Drakos for the 10-9 win.
The semifinal game would not have been possible without a thrilling 9-8 win against Cohasset. With Canton down 8-4 in the sixth inning and one out, Drakos hit a three-run homer to pull within one. This was followed by a triple by Walker, who then raced home on a close play at the plate on a wild pitch. After a scoreless seventh inning, Walker led off the bottom of the eighth with a walk-off homerun.
The Canton team began the season in June by winning the Westwood tournament, which was sparked by Jimmy Duffy’s four homeruns, some great pitching and great defense. The team then went on to the District 11 Williamsport tournament and went 5-0 in the “pool” tournament. These wins were highlighted by great pitching, with a total of just seven runs given up by Bryant, Walker, Hudner, Austin Maffie, and Drakos. The team also hit 12 homeruns during the tournament, including a walk-off by Jake Aronson versus Needham National.
Canton progressed to the single-elimination phase of the tournament and won its first two games against Norwood and Walpole, which included a come-from-behind win against Walpole. However, after advancing to the District finals, Canton lost a heartbreaker to Hopkinton 7-6.
After the tournament and a difficult loss, Canton went on to go 9-1 in the Suburban Youth Baseball League and ended the summer with a sparkling record of 28-4. Canton hit 70 home runs, led by Walker, Drakos, Bryant, Duffy, Burke, and Maffie. The team also played great defense, with exceptional contributions from the middle infielders (Burke and Duffy), center fielder Niko Donovan, first baseman Jake Verille, and the very athletic Tommy Kilduff, whose versatility allowed him to play great defense at several positions.
The team was coached by Jim Hudner, Chuck Drakos, Jim Walker, Lee Bryant, and Greg Zollo.
The kids really played as a team all season long. While their performance was extraordinary, their togetherness and ability to have fun was unique — highlighted by such things as a game of “duck-duck-goose” to loosen up during tournament play, some sleepovers, and just a love of the game. The coaches and parents look forward to watching them progress to the next level on the big diamond.
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