Bedford Ruthers advance to 13-year-old title game
ROCHESTER — Connor Collins was a busy boy Wednesday night.
Collins singled, walked three times and scored four runs to help Bedford defeat Goffstown 7-4 in the winners bracket of the Babe Ruth 13-year-old state tournament.
Collins also had five putouts in center field, and pitched to four batters in the sixth inning.
"He's an extremely athletic kid," Bedford coach Kevin Lavigne said. "He covers a lot of ground in center field, and we bat him up in the two hole for a reason. He's quick, he gets on base — he's an excellent all-around player."
Goffstown trailed 5-2 entering the sixth, but scored twice in its half of the inning and left the bases loaded. Bedford capped the scoring with two runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Grant Lavigne and Geoff Mosseau each collected two hits for Bedford, which never trailed in the game. Lavigne, who scored Bedford's three other runs, is 13-for-15 in the district and state tournaments.
Tom Saltzman started and pitched into the sixth to collect the win. He held Goffstown to two runs, but was pulled when his pitch count went above 90.
"When you play a team like Bedford you have to be on your game," Goffstown coach Paul Hunt said. "You can't make little mistakes against a team like Bedford. I'm disappointed, but it was a good game."
Matt Woodard, Tyler Santoro and Cody Morel each had two hits for Goffstown.
Bedford improved its tournament record to 3-0 and advanced to Saturday's championship, which will be played at 10 a.m. at Rochester's Monsignor Simard Field. Since Bedford has not lost in the double-elimination tournament, a second game will be played Saturday if necessary.
Kevin Lavigne said his son Grant will pitch Saturday. Lavigne tossed a complete game two-hitter against Exeter earlier in the tournament.
"For us that's an ideal position," Kevin Lavigne said. "He's our No. 1."
Goffstown, which dropped to 2-1, will play Friday at 5 p.m., and must win to keep its championship hopes alive. Goffstown will play either Exeter or Manchester on Friday. Exeter and Manchester are scheduled to face each other tonight.
"We're in pretty good shape in terms of pitching," Hunt said. "I don't even want to think about that second game on Saturday. Just want to take it one game at a time."