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Manchester's Eric Langley, left threw to Reily Denver for the out on Hampton's Joey Wentworth in the second inning during Babe Ruth play at Michele Field on Thursday in Salem. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)

Manchester takes state Babe Ruth tournament

SALEM — Manchester’s Tom Woodcock All-Stars captured the Babe Ruth Baseball state crown (13-15) with a 14-1 win over Hampton at Michele Park Thursday.

“We have decent pitching and we hit the ball good,” said Manchester manager Mickey Hanagan. “We have 15 kids who can hit the ball.”

Manchester advanced to the New England Regionals at Gill Stadium starting a week from Saturday against the same Hampton team.

“The competition will be better but I think we can win. We won it last year,” said Hanagan of the regional tourney.
Manchester went up 2-0. Hampton responded with a pair of hits and made it 2-1 after one. Manchester added three in the third, six in the fourth and three more in the fifth.

“We hit the ball decently today but it went right at them,” said Hampton manager Larry Forsely. “We just needed some breaks. For us to beat a team like that we have to be perfect and we were far from that. I think losing our shortstop (Jake Sickel) was tough and we lost our composure.”
Sickel injured his leg when he was hit by his center fielder going for a pop up in the third inning. The game was delayed 20 minutes while paramedics took him to the hospital.

Nick Salcito led the Woodlocks, going 3-for-3 with a pair of base hits and a double and four RBIs. Nate Hall had a pair of base hits and three RBIs. Manchester starting pitcher Declan Knieriem, a 14-year-old lefthander, went 3 1/3 innings and gave up a run on four hits and two walks.

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