JML Braves win Mustang title

The Braves, sponsored by West River Health Care, celebrated an undefeated 2012 spring season in the Mustang Division (9-10) of Junior Major League baseball.

The team’s 13-0 season was impressive, considering it had only three 10-year olds, six 9-year olds and two 8-year old players.

It is the third undefeated season in the past two years for the Braves Mustang level organization, but this season’s team had only two returning players from the previous successful seasons.

The Braves won their games with reliable pitching and timely hitting from a group of players that had not played together before.

The Braves pitching was led by two 9-year-olds, Rune McCallum and Tim Samson and 10-year-old Andrew Janik.

McCallum led the team in wins (five) and strike outs (72 in 27 innings), while Samson pitched 25 innings and was credited with three wins with 51 strikeouts. Janik earned three wins on the mound and had 21 strikeouts.

The Braves defensive efforts were anchored by Chris Smith, who served as the team’s primary catcher and a reliable Chris Ricci at first base.

The offense received multiple contributions, including lead-off hitter Matt Fishman, who had an on-base percentage of .541.

Jay Hilton and Tyler Pinto also had OBP over .500.

Mitch Hodges and Tanner Swanson contributed in late season games on both offense and defense.

Offensive team contributors included Nick Manganiello with a .412 batting average, while Ricci was second on the team in runs scored (24) and tied for the lead in triples and home runs.

Janik shared the lead for team home runs, was second in average (.632) and went 3-for-3 with three RBI in the key game against the second-place team to wrap up the championship season.

Samson finished the season with the team lead in stolen bases, third in average (.550) and shared the team lead in RBIs (33) with McCallum, who led the team in all major offensive categories, (.641 avg., 33 RBIs and 26 runs scored).

The Braves won three games by two runs or less and had one come-from-behind victory over the course of the season.

Manager Mark Samson extends his thanks to sponsor West River Health Care, coaches Perry McCallum, Nick Ricci and Jay Pinto, along with all the Braves parents for their support.

Milford Junior Major League will kick off its fall season in late August and is still open for sign-ups in all divisions.

JML is open to residents of the greater Milford area and is the only recreational baseball playing Major League baseball rules and boasts some of the best kept fields in the state, located behind the Milford Library.

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